Interesting… 17 years later this rape case in which Nate Parker was found not guilty has resurfaced, because of the attention around “The Birth of a Nation.” The story is about the 1831 slave revolt led by Nat Turner, which speaks to current racial tensions in America…but why should a rape trial from his past in which he was never charged threatens his future?? In 1999, as a student and wrestler at PennState University, Parker and his roommate Jean Celestin — who went on to co-write the story for “The Birth of a Nation”— were charged with raping a 18-year-old female student in their apartment after a night of drinking.
In a two-hour interview with Variety, Parker was asked to address the circumstances behind the trial. “Seventeen years ago, I experienced a very painful moment in my life. “It resulted in it being litigated. I was cleared of it. That’s that. Seventeen years later, I’m a filmmaker. I have a family. I have five beautiful daughters. I have a lovely wife. I get it. The reality is” — he took a long silence — “I can’t relive 17 years ago. All I can do is be the best man I can be now.” At the time, Parker admitted he had sex but claimed it was consensual. The woman said that she was unconscious, and did not consent to having sex with Parker or Celestin. She also claimed that she was stalked and harassed by Parker and Celestin after she reported the incident to the police.
Parker was suspended from the wrestling team, and later transferred to a different college in Oklahoma. In a 2001 trial, he was acquitted, based on testimony that he had previously had consensual sexual relations with his accuser. But his roommate was found guilty and sentenced to six months in prison. Celestin appealed the verdict, and a second trial in 2005 was thrown out due to the victim not wanting to testify again. (She sued the university and was awarded a $17,500 settlement out of court) 17 years later..sounds familiar,maybe now people will realize the Bill Cosby case is bigger than just Cosby…