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The Fox News Channel may have taken its "Fair and Balanced" motto a little too far on Thursday when it invited criminal defense attorney Joseph DiBenedetto to make case for why an alleged rape victim was asking to be assaulted.
Following the news that a Missouri county prosecutor had asked for a special prosecutor to review the charge that a 14-year-old girl was raped by an older high school student in 2012, Fox News host Shepard Smith turned to DiBenedetto for a counterpoint.
"There's no denying that from the surface it appears to be some sort of cover-up," the defense attorney said. "But when you look at the finer details, there are telltale signs of this girl actually lying. She is leaving her home at 1 a.m. in the morning and nobody forced her to drink. And what happens? She gets caught by her mom, she's embarrassed and the easy way out here is, 'Mom, someone took advantage of me.'"
"But what did she expect to happen at 1 a.m. in the morning after sneaking out?" he asked. "I'm not saying -- assuming that these facts are accurate and this did happen -- I'm not saying she deserved to be raped, but knowing the facts as we do here including what the prosecutor has set forth, this case is going nowhere and it's going nowhere quick."
Smith noted that DiBenedetto's interpretation of events was a "far jump."
"What you've done, Joseph, is taken an alleged victim of rape and turned her into a liar and a crime committer," the Fox News host pointed out. "That's a far jump from a 1,000 miles away."
"That's one way to look at it," DiBenedetto replied. "Assuming that is the case, she wouldn't be the first and she wouldn't be the last."