Yesterday we reported on the virtual sweeping-under-the-rug of the death of Dione Payne, 16, of Dayton, Ohio. The Dayton Daily News, one of the only local sources to report on the rape, and beating death of the youth seemed more interested in focusing on the “troubled past” of the victim, instead of the past of the murderers.
Michael A. Geldrich, 36, and Michael J. Watson, 39, are both being held in the Warren County Jail for the December 1 beating death of the young Payne. Miami Valley Hospital workers discovered that Payne had been sexually assaulted during the attack. Hospital personnel contacted Middletown police and stated the teen had been sexually assaulted, according to the police report. But thus far, no rape charges have been brought, and hate crime charges have been dismissed point blank by Franklin Police Chief Russ Whitman, who said there is “no evidence” that there was a racial motive to the rape and murder of this 16-year-old African American.
To add insult to injury, some local media reports have fixated on a checkered history of the juvenile: possessing narcotics, and even allegations that he had fired gun shots in the past. They talked about morbid comments made on his Facebook account before the day he was raped and beaten to death. They even called the 16-year-old out for getting arrested for littering. What they did not do was explain why the police have ruled out a racial motive to the attack, and why the Warren County Prosecutor has neither pursued hate crime charges, nor even charged the attackers with rape.
These questions still remain unanswered. But there is more that we can do besides reading about this frustrating account and getting on with our day in silence. What can you do? Well for starters, contact the Warren County Prosecutor, who is now handling the case. Demand that all crimes committed against 16 year old Dione Payne be presented to the grand jury on Michael A. Geldrich and Michael J. Watson- for the hate crime of rape, robbery and murder! The prosecutor can be contacted at the number and email below:
Ask why these criminals have not been charged for raping the 16-year-old boy who they murdered. Also ask why hate crime charges are being excluded, when this does not seem to have been a common practice for these drug buyers to rape and beat-to-death previous people who they have tried to procure narcotics from.
Are these charges being brushed off because there were drugs potentially involved, or for some other reason that neither the police, the City of Franklin nor the local media are reporting.
SPREAD THE WORD and get people involved. Tell everyone you know who thinks this 16-year-old rape and murder victim deserves justice, in spite of his “troubled past”.
About the author: M.B. David is the author of several scholarly works on Middle Eastern politics, history and religion, such as People of the Book: What the Religions Named in the Qur’an Can Tell Us About the Earliest Understanding of “Islam” as well as the recently published Sci-Fi novel Sleeper Cell 2240: Memoires of the 21st Century Interplanetary Revolution. He is currently working on his doctorate, writing a dissertation focused on the non-profit Hashlamah Project Foundation and associated global study circles.