Let me begin by sharing why it was important for me to write this piece. Misogyny. Specifically media misogyny and my personal experience with it.
This is how the media works when depicting women and these are the manipulating filters it goes through before it gets published. It doesn’t matter that the article doesn’t specifically state I had a sexual relationship with Garcia because it only has to be implied to give it life. The trolls who had commented on the article are proof of that. Coincidentally the editor made the call to close the comment section to protect his ass from libel. Nonetheless the comments are forever burned in my memory because they were abusive, bullish, and filled with accusations that I was involved in some sort of prostitution ring.
Let me be clear I don’t see prostitutes or escorts as an other. I see all women as my sisterhood and I am not so insecure with my sexuality that I must furiously disown them but the irony is I never did a single lap dance for Garcia let alone engage in a sexual relationship with him. As a result of the article I have personal safety issues and for good reason. Predators seek out women in sex related industries because for decades the media has denied their humanity. *They can’t be victims because they’re whores/gold diggers*. Sadly people miss the connection that the media is run by angry white men who don’t feel any personal responsibility to do the right thing in the name of equality for women because to them as long as they’re not the underdog social order is as it should be.
Garcia was/is a predator but the editor selectively chose not to publish that part of the discussion.
It was brought to my attention by one of the women I worked with that he had drugged and raped her as well as another woman we worked with. Far be it for me to call her a liar. Is it possible that she and the other woman were lying? Sure but highly unlikely according to rape statistics? I tried to encouraged her to report it to the police but she wouldn’t. So now the burden lie with me and all I could think about was the likelihood he would assault more women I worked with. I couldn’t have that on my conscience so I made the decision to report it myself. I met with two officers and it very quickly became clear they were only interested in my relationship with Garcia not the alleged rapes I was reporting. The officers had completely marginalized me.
When authorities use their power to deliberately silence rape victims instead of helping them find justice, it not only leaves rapists free but intimidates other victims from coming forward. ~ Jaclyn Friedman (source)
Setting the record straight: Garcia never paid for anyone’s trip to anywhere that I am aware of. There was a trip planned to Vegas which never happened because he was arrested on embezzlement charges before it could. However I planned a trip for my son and I for Vegas during March Madness which was completely paid for by me. I happened to mention the trip to Garcia and everyone who was present at the time and two days later he announced he and his buddy would be going the same days as my son and I. Creepy but I was not going to cancel a trip I had been planning for my son and I for many months.
Garcia offered to buy my son and I several Vegas show tickets as well as take us on a shopping trip our first day in Vegas. He offered to comp us a room which originally I had declined but later took him up on once discovering our hotel had security issues. I had assumed we’d be in the Circus Circus tower but instead we were in the manors. I did not feel safe with my 12 year old. It is not my intention to give Garcia any clemency and frankly this story is so old the only people who care are those who have been victimized by Garcia and then me, once more, by the media. Nonetheless he did not take any of the women I worked with on shopping trips that I was privy to. The article also states he took women to our local casino which, again, is not true to my knowledge. This is something the editor came up with on his own. There are no facts in the original article only manipulations of the truth.
The woman who claimed Garcia raped her drove to Vegas with a friend with plans to work the clubs during March madness. That same day my son and I arrived by plane with tickets I had purchased a year earlier. I later learned she and her friend were sharing a room with Garcia and his buddy. It was during this trip that the alleged victim first told me Garcia had raped her weeks earlier. I felt panicked because Garcia had arranged a spa day for me while he and his buddy took my son for the day. Upon the new information I canceled the spa day.
Day four I promised Garcia I would come down to the casino and gamble with him and everyone else after I put my son to bed. It was that night Garcia put $400 in the slot machine and said “anything you win is yours.” Garcia’s timing was intentional because he waited for the alleged victim to arrive before he put the money in the machine. That was when I got up and gave the machine to the alleged victim and went upstairs to bed. The following morning I packed my son and I up and swiftly left for the shuttle to take us to the airport.
There are many details to this story like the fact I never left my drink unattended when I was around Garcia because it was how he supposedly got access to the women he allegedly raped. I did confront Garcia about the alleged rapes despite the victim requesting that I not. I wanted him to know I knew. It should be no surprise he denied them but it was what he did moments later that cleared up any doubts I may have had until then. While his buddy was engrossed in his slot machine and only the casino cameras were watching, Garcia leaned in and assaulted me with his open mouth on mine. It was unwelcome and uninvited and in that moment I knew he was capable of rape. I was silent in disbelief and didn’t react because I was so stunned he assaulted me. My intelligence tells me if Garcia ever had intentions to rape me he knew he would never get that chance so he took his only opportunity and assaulted me in that moment.
Something valuable I learned over the years about predators with money is they will use money to manipulate and gain the trust of women at a socioeconomic disadvantage. Examples of such men are R. Kelly, Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, or Roman Polanski. What makes these kind of men so dangerous is the misogynist climate we live which promulgates the idea these men are in fact the victim of gold diggers trying to take their money.
If I had understood the media as I do know I would have never spoke to a reporter. Unfortunately Fernanda Echavarri came to my work asking for me by name. You have no idea how many times I’ve wished the bouncer had just sent her away. How she knew to ask for me by name I figured out years later. I’m convinced Som Lisaius had something to do with it. He was patronizing my club at that time. I believe he was watching Garcia and taking a mental note of the women Garcia paid special attention to. I was truly naive to Fernanda’s agenda. By the time she got to me I had talked to so many authority figures it just didn’t register who she was representing. At the conclusion of our conversation she asked me if she could print my name and I was very explicit that because of the nature of my employment she could not.
The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses. ― Malcolm X
I could have internalized this experience in a number of ways. One of which could have left my son without a mother. Not to be melodramatic because taking my life never crossed my mind but for some women I’m certain it would have. So essentially Mark B. Evans took a gamble on someone else’s life, and not just any life but the life of woman responsible for the care of a child and that makes his actions deplorable. I look for understanding in all of my experiences. I research and read until I find connections. In hindsight it’s of no surprise to me that this is how I found feminism.
I do want to thank Mark for something. Feminism. If it wasn’t for his enormous ego, inability to make sound editorial judgement, and his obvious affliction with apathy I’m not sure I would have ever been awakened to the blaring realities of male privilege, media misogyny, and all the other rich information feminism has taught me. So thank you Mark. I intend to use my awakened awareness to its full advantage and make this world a better and safer place for all marginalized peoples.