Blind Beauty Pageant Judge Arrested for Groping Contestants
Pottsville, IA (AP) – Edwin Metcalfe, 62, was arrested yesterday on charges of sexual assault after allegedly groping eleven teenage girls during a high school beauty pageant. Metcalfe is legally blind.
Sergeant Dwayne Frake of the Pottsville Police Department told reporters that Metcalfe had been serving on a panel of judges for the pageant, but, unable to judge the contestants’ appearance by visual means, sought another way of assessing their appearances. He was arrested after the parent of one of the students complained.
Metcalfe’s lawyer, Emily Edwards, insisted her client had acted entirely properly, given his disability and his commitment to fulfilling his task as judge, a position, she noted, that was entirely voluntary. “Edwin Metcalfe’s firm adherence to the rules of fair play and to the community are really what’s being challenged here. My client has been wronged by a system set up to entrap well-meaning people who fondle young women for completely innocent reasons.” She predicted the case would be dismissed without trial.
Melissa Boone, professor of anthropological studies at Iowa State University, said that this incident was hardly the first of its kind, though perhaps the first in decades in the Hawkeye state. “Everyone automatically assumes that someone who runs his hands along the soft, supple parts of a teenage girl’s body, lingering on the most curvaceous portions, is doing so because it titillates him,” she said, but that is not necessarily the case. This incident is more complicated, noted Boone, in that, “the girls in question willingly offered their bodies to the defendant so that he could perform his service to the community.”
“The big question is, have anyone’s rights been violated? It’s hard to say. The community has certain standards enshrined in law, but the very same community specifically agreed to appoint a blind man to judge the pageant. They couldn’t expect anything else.”
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