A University of Arizona student known for his fiery, on-campus Christian sermons disrupted a campus sexual assault awareness event Tuesday by holding up a sign that read “You deserve rape” and preaching that “if you dress like a whore, act like a whore, you’re probably going to get raped.”
“I think that girls that dress and act like it, they should realize that they do have partial responsibility, because I believe that they’re pretty much asking for it,” said Dean Saxton, a junior at the university who preaches under the name Brother Dean Samuel, to the Arizona Daily Wildcat.
Saxton was protesting ahead of a Take Back the Night observance, a march and rally to protest violence against women.
Several students complained to university authorities, who declined to take action against Saxton or his sign.
Kendal Washington White, interim dean of students, said of Saxton’s message, “We find it to be vulgar and vile. However, it is protected speech. He has yet to, at this point, violate the student code of conduct.”
“[Saxton] is part of a larger societal culture that tolerates rape, and that’s exactly what the Oasis Program Against Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence is here to counteract,” said violence prevention specialist Megan McKendry, who works with Campus Health Services. “His message is an awful one that we condemn. No one deserves to be raped.”
One student attempted to pull down Saxton’s sign, resulting in a tussle. Campus police broke up the altercation and allowed Saxton to continue his sermon.
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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