'Disgusting': Hateful fliers blame rape victim for nudity ban at country club's pool
Marie Treme speaks to WWL-TV (screen grab)

A New Orleans woman who survived being drugged and raped was recently re-victimized when someone posted fliers blaming her for changes to a clothing-optional policy at a local pool.


Earlier this year, Maria Treme went public with her story of being raped at The Country Club's pool in the Bywater neighborhood.

"I woke up, I had bruises, I didn't know where they came from and I immediately knew I was roofied because I know how much I had to drink, I know how much I can drink and there was zero memory, nothing," she told WWL-TV at the time.

After reviewing surveillance footage from the club and speaking to eyewitnesses, she was shocked to discover that she had sex with at least three different men, two at the pool and one at her home.

Treme notified police, but officers waited hours before initiating a rape kit, making toxicology screening useless.

"When the (nurse) told me the half-life of a roofie, I checked the time and I said, 'It's almost 24 hours,'" one of Treme's friends explained to WWL-TV in July. "I'm thinking, 'It's not gonna be in her system.' And if it's not in your system, well there's the evidence. Your case is closed. They could see someone drop something in your drink and you can't prove anything. There is no evidence."

After Treme went to WWL-TV to expose how the NOPD had bungled the case, authorities eventually ordered an end to the "clothing-optional" policy at The Country Club.

Treme, who suntans in the nude and participates in the World Naked Bike Ride, said that she disagreed with that decision.

But over the weekend, someone began posting fliers around the Bywater neighborhood with her face that blamed her for the policy change.

"No evidence of rape," the flier reads in large letters.

"They're upset that they can't nude sunbathe and so they decide to attack a rape victim and that's disgusting," Treme's attorney, Aubrey Harris, told The Times-Picayune.

"As far as I am concerned, to take the nudity away from there is more victim blaming and shaming," Treme insisted, adding that rape victims could fear coming forward after seeing the way the case was handled.

"If you're mugged in the street, you call the cops," she said. "Why is it different if you are a rape victim? What is the stigma attached to being raped that you have to remain silent? I'd like to see that change."

Family Justice Center's Executive Director Mary Claire Landry pointed out that officers often mistakenly believed that women were gaining an advantage by claiming rape.

"I can tell you, what women or victim would go through this if it weren't true?" she asked. "We just have to change the values of men and perspectives... I think we have a very sexualized culture and a lot of times kids just hear messages that women are products and just images of manipulation and we should be able to treat them how ever we want."

For its part, The Country Club has denounced the fliers and expressed support for Treme.

"We're very upset and oppose the fliers," the statement said. "Under no circumstances do we support personal attacks and hateful language. Never. Especially in this circumstance. Those actions violate the very spirit of The Country Club and the people here."

"To say that nobody can get naked anymore, in my eyes, is just more victim-blaming," Treme pointed out to The Times-Picayune. "It's just like saying, 'What did she expect when she was dressed in that short skirt or her boobs were out?'"

"Rape has nothing to do with being naked or the clothes you wear," she added. "I feel like them going after the nudity policy is further sending out a bad message."

Watch the video below from WWL-TV, broadcast Oct. 25, 2014.