Sexual assault perp Kyle Payne is asking for it – feel free to respond

kylepayneKyle Payne, fauxminist, predator, and sexual assaulter, is up for open sentencing on August 11, though he is asking for it to be postponed so that he can continue his “counselling” and solicitation of “letters of support”.

Kyle Payne was a rape crisis advocate, women’s studies student, and resident advisor at his university. While “looking after” an unconscious drunk student in his care, he undid her shirt and took a photograph and video of her breast.

He has now published a statement on his blog, closed comments on it, and emailed a bunch of feminist bloggers to alert them to it. Yeah – he’s soliciting letters of support from feminists, in an effort to influence his sentence. Mm, that’ll go well:

Recognizing what I feel to be my responsibility as a male ally to feminism, as well as a decent human being, I ask that any women reading this letter who wish to share their responses contact me via email at I welcome your questions, concerns, feelings, and anything else you would like to share. And I would especially welcome your thoughts on how I might move forward in my life with respect and compassion toward women.

Snippets from those who have responded:

Cara at the Curvature

Lastly, stop identifying with feminism. Just stop. Of all of your crimes, this certainly ranks among the least severe. But you are not a feminist. You are the farthest fucking thing from an ally I’ve ever seen. Again with the male entitlement. You claim to want to work for your welcoming back into the feminist community and yet still call yourself a male ally and still think that after sexually assaulting a woman you can “identify with feminism.” That’s not working. It is your privilege showing in manifestly repulsive ways. Stop this charade, and stop making it all about you. It’s insulting not only towards feminists as a group but to every individual woman who you have victimized throughout the course of your assault, lies and emotional violations. Just. Fucking. Stop.

Bastante Already:

Fuck you, buddy.
You are the worst kind of shithead.
You are a shithead in wolf’s clothing and that’s infinitesimally worse that your garden-variety shithead.

Closet shitheads.
Shithead by night.


Shorter Kyle Payne:

“I don’t know what came over me, the Patriarchy made me do it. I am so very, very, humbly sorry. Please tell me how I can be a better ally from here on out.”

Corvid Diaries:

God, you’re a snivelling little turd, aren’t you? And, no, “sorry” does not cut it – not anywhere close. “I hope she knows, with utmost certainty, that she did not deserve to be treated this way.” Of course she bloody knows that, you patronising egomaniac, that’s why she pressed charges. Every woman knows that they don’t “deserve” to have their breast exposed and filmed by a sexual predator whilst they are unconscious. The fact that you feel the need to explain this tells us a lot more than you’d probably like us to know about your attitudes to women. Need protecting, do they? Can’t do this feminism thing on their own, so need a few nice, trustworthy men to come and help out with the cause? Wrong, Kyle. Just plain wrong.


“My reputation as a pro-feminist activist and an advocate for survivors has been seriously, and quite possibly irrevocably, compromised.”

Damn right. Get out and stay out.

“And I would especially welcome your thoughts on how I might move forward in my life with respect and compassion toward women.”

Oh good grief, WORK IT OUT FOR YOURSELF! It’s not our job to teach you how to treat women like human beings, for fuck’s sake. It’s obvious you have problems in that area, but your arrogance and presumptuousness are astounding (and indicative of your problem). Okay, well here’s a start for you: stop being so arrogant and presumptuous. You are doing it now, in this pathetic missive, and you did it to your victim, when you handled her unconscious body and filmed her, okay? You need that pointing out? Well, there you are, free of charge, tip number one from Debi on how to behave towards women as though they are human beings. No need to thank me.

Jeff Pack:

“Without the trust that other survivors and other activists had shared with me, a trust that had sustained me and helped me clearly see that there was good in the world, I felt that there was nothing left. I wanted to die. Fortunately, it was a select few of those compassionate souls who helped me remember what real hope is all about. In the words of Vaclav Havel,

Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good.”

Dude, you’re emotionally blackmailing the feminist community here. “I wanted to die” – oh, we’re the horrible ones, because we made you feel bad. How about we make it up by telling the judge to go easy on you?

You didn’t lose shit, Mr. Payne. You threw it away. If you’re feeling suicidal, get help, but it’s not incumbent on feminists to walk on eggshells for you.

Renegade Evolution:

Smear campain? Waa waa waa, poor Kyle, those (mostly) WOMEN bloggers were soooo mean and unfair to you! Listen, you fucking moron asshole, YOU VIOLATED that woman. Period. End game. Who is to blame? YOU! Got it, jerk? YOU. I hope to ALL that is sane or holy YOU pay for it. You have NO place in feminist spaces, no place where victimized women might be, no place speaking for or with us, you stain. YOU are a predator, got it? Did you even notice those “Prominant bloggers” were, from me, the pro-porn sex worker, to the MOST radical of feminists?

Did you fucking learn anything???? Here’s a hint, Kyle…women do not want or need lying sack of shit “allies” like you….get it?

And if you really want to immerse yourself in his piggishness, here’s his introductory vlog – posted last month, well after he assaulted the unconscious woman in his care.

“I invite your comments, and hope that we can have a dialogue”.… Comments are moderated. Ratings are disabled. Yeah, I’m feeling really welcome.

Edit 4 August 2008: And now he has pulled that video (and no other), and is watching this thread. Way to go, Payne, on convincing the feminist community that you’re truly sorry, and not just trying (and failing) to control your coverage.

Categories: gender & feminism, violence

Tags: , , , , , ,

36 replies

  1. I just can’t find the words to fully describe how much his arrogant entitlement issues make me hate him.

  2. I just cannot comprehend that this shithead honestly thinks he can make it all better and go back to working as a rape counsellor. Fuck, if there were ever a clearer sign that it’s All About Him and absolutely nothing to do with actual compassion for victims of sexual violence. FUCK, I can just hear him in a session, “Well, I know how you feel, *I* actually sexually assaulted a girl once, memememe, mememe, mememe.”

  3. At the risk of becoming a target myself, I’m not sure what precisely you want that man to do. He has admitted his guilt. He has expressed regret for what he did to the victim. He has declared that he wants to withdraw from any of the roles which you’ve identified as being inappropriate until his mental health issues are dealt with.
    In essence, he agrees he’s wrong, does not disagree that he should be punished, and wants to change.
    I’m not sure what you want him to do. Declare that now that he’s been an arsehole on one occasion he might as well decide to be an anti-feminist arsehole permanently? You don’t want him as an “ally” because he’s a very flawed human being; you’d rather he were, what exactly?
    Of course, I realise that as a man I have absolutely no entitlement to an answer whatsoever, of course, and have probably misunderstood entirely the entire point you were making, and it’s staggeringly offensive for me to have even opened my metaphorical mouth. But still, I’m curious.

  4. Your first (and probably only) mistake is taking his bullshit at face value. He’s a complete liar. He has been trying to bluff this out for months, and has only now posted this because he thinks there’s nowhere else to go. Read what he’s writing with that in mind, and it all changes.
    Apart from stopping lying, I wouldn’t mind if he admitted guilt _and full responsibility_ for his actions without making it a giant IT’S ALL ABOUT MEMEMEMEMEME screed about how he is grovelling and begging forgiveness and wants to be accepted back into the “feminist movement”. This is blatantly disingenuous and insulting to actual feminists.
    And remember that he committed this crime while in a position of power over his victim. And that he has said that he has been collecting women’s rape stories in the course of his work as an advisor, and has said that he is collating them into a book, and realise that _he is getting off on all of this_. I believe he’s surrounded himself with rape activism because he jerks off to victimhood.
    But mostly, I want him to shut the fuck up and never hassle women again. He’s a toxic, utterly egocentric, opportunistic piece of shit.
    “Mental health issues” and “poor me, I’m just flawed” is a pile of crap, his way of trying to weasel out of responsibility. Someone who has sexually assaulted a women they’re in a position of power over shouldn’t be a resident advisor or rape crisis worker, ever again, simple as that. It’s not a matter of a few counselling sessions and bingo, all fixed now. I don’t think he shouldn’t get any job ever again, but in that sort of work? No, just no.
    If he wants to be an ally, he’s got to act like one. This doesn’t involve submitting a resume and cover letter to the Queen of the Allies; it involves actually living a feminist life. Which he has shown no indication of doing so far.

  5. Why did that deserve an answer? That’s not passive/agressive, that’s just flaming aggressive.

  6. Jeremy, your expertise in law isn’t questioned here, but I don’t remember someone’s “right” to be considered an appropriate member of a movement ever being codified anywhere. The topics discussed here cover a lot of behaviour which are nominally “legal”, like creepy advertising or media; or, like Nicu’s upskirting incident, to take legal action would be time consuming and tiresome (and the target might never be found) so he gets away with it. What I’m saying is, if the guy’s aquitted, “innocent in law” doesn’t mean “suitable for counselling rape victims”. Would you complain if a person who had admitted paedophilic activities, but had been acquitted on a technicality, was judged unsuitable to work in a child care centre?

  7. No need to hypothesise about acquitting or innocence – he’s guilty, he plea-bargained, he’s just awaiting sentencing.

  8. “At the risk of becoming a target myself, I’m not sure what precisely you want that man to do.”
    Let me spell it out for you, sunshine, since apparently the twelve billion other remarks to this effect haven’t penetrated your skull:
    G.O. T.O. J.A.I.L.
    The trial is still upcoming, see?
    and STOP talking as though ever ever EVER continuing his work as any kind of feminist ally much less a fucking COUNSELOR.
    I mean, I know this is REALLY difficult to understand, but TRY.
    how to avoid not “becoming a target myself,” p.s.
    1) do not be a fucking predator like Kyle
    2) to a much lesser extent, stop making stupid-ass whiny remarks like this one in a place where you clearly already KNOW it’s not fucking welcome. Hello?

  9. Sorry, not the “trial,” the “sentencing.” And yeah, I just popped off: apologies to the hosts if that was over the line, I’m not a regular here, maybe Jeremy is, I don’t know.
    but really, for fuck’s SAKE. He’s a manipulator! He’s still doing it! There IS no until! And damn right I don’t want him as an “ally;” I want him to GO AWAY and SHUT UP. That is the polite version of what I -want.- Don’t like the pitchfork and torches tone? Scary? Too bad. This is the kind of response predators do tend to bring out, particularly when they’re still clearly trying to play their games and there’s no guarantee they’ll see the inside of a jail cell or even -not- be in other positions of trust again.

  10. I just can’t find the words to fully describe how much his arrogant entitlement issues make me hate him.

    Exactly, tigtog. There’s nothing more that can really be said.

  11. So, he’s deleted the videoblog you’ve linked to, but still has all the other ones up on his channel.
    The jackass is totally watching all of this.

  12. The jackass is totally watching all of this.

    I suspect you’re right, Anna. In one way it’s understandable, when one is being spoken of negatively on the net, to want to keep an eye out. But such close surveillance of the discussions has a quality that doesn’t help women feel comfortable about him in any position where he’s counselling women.
    He’s really going to have to accept that anything in the rape crisis area is now closed to him. I can’t imagine any organisation wishing to engage him in such a capacity after this, and rightly so. If he’s ethical and genuinely remorseful, he won’t write the planned book either – let’s see how that pans out.
    If he’s serious about wanting to continue as a feminist ally, there are other areas of ally activism where he could be effective that won’t require rape victims to confide in a sex offender, and those are what he should pursue.

  13. I am not sure how Payne decided that publicizing facts is a “smear campaign.” Note how he tried to blame pornographers for this “smear campaign” as if that might garner him some sympathy from feminists.

    ”The consequences of my actions are well-deserved. No act of men’s exploitation of women ought to be excused or overlooked, regardless of a man’s history of good deeds (even if, in fact, those deeds have been feminist in nature) or a history of trauma related to sexual abuse and other exposure to violence. “

    He is saying these things to try to get people to think “He was abused so he isn’t responsible for being an abuser, too.” and “He should get a pass because of all his ‘good deeds’ ”
    He tried to minimize what he did. He is cynically using his blog in an attempt get sympathy. Where is the contact information to submit letters of support for the victim?
    For the person that questioned how this man could ever be “welcomed back to the feminist community” – the only way to regain trust is to be trustworthy. To live it. It takes years to repair a betrayal. He’s not going to get instant trust, and his current post does not bode well for his ability to live it.

  14. I believe my actions warrant everyone’s questioning of my character and of my ability and willingness to act in accordance with my own professed values
    Except he doesn’t its a smear campaign remember. The sick shit cannot even keep his story straight. I want him to just crawl into a hole and disappear…I cannot stop from wondering what if there were more victims out there and he just happened to get caught this time? He would never be welcome in any feminist community I would consent to participating in..wolf in sheeps clothing that he is.

  15. As I pointed out, Payne’s insinuation of himself into women’s spaces and activities should be viewed by the judge not as mitigating factors in his sentencing, but as worsening factors that demonstrate the depth of his depravity and the need for a harsh sentence.

  16. Wow Jeremy, for a ‘lefty’ you really did a great impersonation of a sexual assault apologist.
    He hasn’t *been an arsehole* on one occassion. Being an arsehole is making a stupid remark, or getting pissed and barfing on someone’s shoes. He sexually assaulted an unconscious woman in his care. He did this *after* hearing stories of trauma in his role as a rape counsellor. That’s not *being an arsehole*, that’s wilfully abusing the power you have, that’s sexual assault, that’s predatory, that’s objectifying, commodifying, that’s *doing the thing you know damned well traumatises the women you say you want to *help* the women whose rights you say you *care about*.
    Maybe as a lefty you ought to actually rethink the premises upon which you base your assumptions about women and your concerns with their concerns/anger/apparent obligations to forgive assault and predatory acts just because the word ‘sorry’ was mentioned? Just a thought.

  17. And “at the risk of becoming a target myself”…like Kyle Payne you mean?

  18. Payne’s insinuation of himself into women’s spaces and activities should be viewed by the judge not as mitigating factors in his sentencing, but as worsening factors that demonstrate the depth of his depravity and the need for a harsh sentence.

    I agree and in this country at least (not sure about the US) there is a history of activities that should ring alarm bells being seen as mitigating factors by the courts. I know Helen was joking above but in fact, working in child protection has been seen as a mitigating factor in the sentencing of child abusers. The law is a deeply patriarchal institution so that shouldn’t surprise.

  19. Wow Jeremy, for a ‘lefty’ you really did a great impersonation of a sexual assault apologist.

    That seems a trifle OTT, fuckpoliteness. Jeremy has a point in that the law doesn’t recognise this sort of sexual assault as a particularly nasty type of crime (violence wasn’t involved), I just know that as a woman I find it personally threatening and automatically project what I’d feel if placed in the situation of his victim.
    Some men (though Jeremy hasn’t done this) would argue that it wasn’t a ‘serious’ sexual assault in that there was no physical damage. I’d argue that stripping a vulnerable woman in his care and photographing her for his personal gratification is a big red flag that identifies him as a FUTURE sexual predator. I’m not sure what research exists on likeliness of outcomes in this area, but the general understanding is that offenses like this tend to escalate and progress to violence. The instinct to come down on him like a ton of bricks isn’t a legally supportable one (which is where Jeremy is coming from) but an instinctive understanding that public opprobrium might make him less inclined to chance his luck in the future. He is unlikely to be gaoled but this will at least create a criminal record that will keep him away from positions of trust with vulnerable women.
    And is it just me or do you just know that this guy chose Women’s Studies because that’s where the chicks are?

  20. Deus I really do wish you’d stop dispensing your wise rationalism from on high – I was a trifle over the top in saying Jeremy comes off as a sexual assault apologist when he interjects in a thread of feminists expressing their anger over a feminist rape counsellor sexually assaulting an unconscious teenage woman in his care to ask us what we WANT from a guy who’s said sorry???
    Jeremy was *just making a point about the law*? Really, strange then he didn’t mention the law…strange he resorted to “when WILL you stop your whining, dude APOLOGISED already!But never mind me I’m sure you hate me given I’m a man”.
    Your responses tend to be a *trifle* condescending

  21. I agree completely with tigtog’s comment at #1. And now I want to talk a little more about what Deus Ex Macintosh said, at #19 – commencing with “the law doesn’t recognise this sort of sexual assault as a particularly nasty type of crime (violence wasn’t involved)” and going on from there. Actually, is this totally accurate? Is there evidence that sexual assault carried out on unconscious women is viewed as more benign, in particular Australian law courts? This is horrifying if it’s true. I can’t be the only person who read about the worm who is the topic of this post and thought of John Xydias.

  22. Laura, I completely share your horror. According to some, being unconscious and in someone’s care is just a little bit like asking for it.
    I totally agree with abyss2hope commenting at The Curvature, who called Payne a “trust vampire”.

  23. and, excuse me: this is a HUGE violation of trust. He was supposed to be a COUNSELOR TO HELP WOMEN WHO’D ALREADY GONE THROUGH THIS SHIT. There is a term for this: “sanctuary trauma.” There are less formal but no less accurate terms. And again: the CHARGE, which was reached via PLEA BARGAIN, is the breast exposure; this does not, in fact, mean that this is -really- all he did (why’d he plead guilty, then, hm? Why the plea bargain for the lesser charges & the drop of the “assault” charge WHICH HAD BEEN THERE)?
    On top, of course, of what everyone already said wrt um yeah, it’s traumatic enough all by its damn self.
    Clue phone? Ring ring ring ring ring?

  24. I’d argue that stripping a vulnerable woman in his care and photographing her for his personal gratification is a big red flag that identifies him as a FUTURE sexual predator.
    No. I don’t know what the definition sexual assault in your jurisdiction is, but in mine – and clearly, in Kyle Payne’s, since he has in fact been charged with a criminal act in this case – stripping a woman WITHOUT HER CONSENT and taking her picture WITHOUT HER CONSENT is a predatory act that identifies him as a CURRENT sexual predator. Full stop.
    And Jeremy, many of the linked posts on this topic deal with what we’d like the man to do. As I said in my own post, it fucking freaks me out for a sexual predator – not even an ‘alleged’ sexual predator, since all of us were all aware that he’d already confessed – to be seeking out my contact information in order to let me know that I ‘deserve’ to hear all about just how bad he feels. OTT? You’re damn fucking right it is.

  25. Laura, rather than seeing it as a more benign offence the courts considers the use of threat or force as aggravating factors, so the assault of unconscious women in the absence of additional physical violence would not meet the definition of aggravated sexual assault in those states where such an offence exists. The recent changes in NSW law made it clearer that someone who is unconscious or is otherwise diminished in capacity cannot consent but I don’t believe assaulting an unconscious person would be seen as aggravated sexual assault. That is my understanding.

  26. Jeremy, I’d like to take your comments in good faith, and say the following:
    I’ve known people who have done truly horrible things in their lives. Things that will make you go, “wow, Natalia, you knew people like THAT? Why the hell are you making such a big deal about Kyle Payne then?!”
    And the thing is… I *like* to think I know actual remorse when I see it. That’s first of all. And I believe that genuine repentance can be achieved by most people, and I hope one day Kyle Payne can get there. But that’s not what I’m getting from his words at present. Not at all.
    Second of all, the horrible people I have known? These people weren’t interested in continuing work with survivors. They weren’t agitating to get back into people’s good graces because they were Nice Guys with some issues. Now, a few of those people, as far as I know, did go on to lead actually meaningful lives. But they *earned* back their grace. Not through words, and certainly not by trying to get back into places of power where they might get a chance to taste a little more of that holy victim blood Kyle Payne still obviously craves.
    Honestly, I hope Kyle Payne can get over this stuff. But he hasn’t. Not yet, anyway. And his words read to me like a cynical ploy for attention and sympathy. More manipulation. More theater.
    And that’s why I’m angry and sad. And that’s why I think a lot of people are angry and sad. Not because we’re also baying for blood. But because his words, once you really let them sink in, are so transparent.

  27. Everyone’s gone to a lot of trouble on Jeremy’s behalf, which is admirable, but I don’t for a minute believe that he actually wanted an answer. He wanted to make sure that a bunch of feminists didn’t have the opportunity to censure a man without having their judgement called into question.
    Hey Jeremy, here’s a challenge: prove me wrong with a nice, succinct thank you to Lauredhel for giving you such a rational, thorough clarification that you get the point now.

  28. I encourage everyone to write letters to the judge. I would also encourage everone to contact the Buena Vista County Attorney in Storm Lake, Iowa. He is the one that agreed to this ridiculous plea bargin. The County Attorney is the one that will be arguing for the State why Kyle Payne should go to prison, he is the one that has the duty to convince the Judge that Kyle Paynes act were so heinous that he should go to prison. If the County Attorney does not ask for PRISON the judge will not send Kyle Payne to Prison. So PLEASE PLEASE call, write or email the Buena Vista County Attorney
    Dave Patton
    County Attorney
    606 Geneseo Street
    Storm Lake, Iowa 50588
    (712) 732-1933
    (712) 732-2009 FAX

    Justice must be served. Dave Patton must know the nation is watching he agreed to this pleas bargin now he must argue why KYLE PAYNE must go to prison.


  29. Please help the victum, my niece not be a victum again. We got word today there could be no jail time for Kyle Payne!! What the hell…he abused a young women..took sexual pics…and says it was over quickly and he was in total disbelief. What he didn’t say was after he offended he then posted the pics and video on his computers and even printed the photos of the victum. PLEASE CALL/and or Write to the BV County Attorney and say Jail is what needs to happen. The County Attorney said only 2 emails have come in voicing outrage. Thank you

    [moderator’s note: I’ve redacted your name because I don’t know that the victim’s name has been published in any media, and since you say you are a relative, this could have the effect of inappropriately identifying her. Please drop me an email if you would like this altered and can show evidence that the name is public. Thanks. ~lauredhel]

  30. My brain shut down and restarted at the point where he said “I didn’t know about the urge cos of feminism, so I acted on it!” – THAT’S a defence, and something he thinks will appeal to feminists or anyone? What is the logic here, knowing it would be wrong to do _and having councilled people who suffered it_ meant you acted on it? When your job at the time was to _prevent_ potential danger? WHAT?
    I remember being surprised when I saw a woman comment she and others she knows are often on their guard against attack – I’m certainly not now. Jesus.


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