When I think of Craigslist, I tend to think of one thing: a place I can go to find jobs. I certainly spent my fair share of time searching through the job openings on Craigslist during my four months of unemployment last year (I found my current job through the site). I know you can seek dates on there. I know there are communities for people who share the same hobbies. I know you can sell everything from refrigerators to dryers, from furniture to cars on Craigslist (you can even sell comic books, though I wasn’t successful when I tried that). One thing that I’d never think to use Craigslist for? Putting up ads to get a homeowner raped because I was outbid:
A bitter woman who put out Craigslist ads to get a homeowner raped after she outbid her on her dream home in San Diego has been sentenced to house arrest.
Kathy J. Rowe, 53, was sentenced on Friday to a year of house arrest and five years of probation stemming from the case where she tormented couple Jerry Rice, 40, and Janice Ruhter, 37, for months after they purchased the Carmel Valley home that she badly wanted back in 2011, according to PEOPLE. She’s also ordered to stay away from the couple for 10 years.
That’s not only bitter, that’s utterly contemptible. “I couldn’t get my dream home, so I’m going to send people to your home hoping they’ll rape you”?! Whatever happened to this woman’s moral compass I don’t know, but she needs to get it fixed. ASAP.
Rowe, who won a San Diego “Mother of the Year” award in 2006 for her dedication in taking care of her mentally handicapped daughter, had a laundry list of egregious things she did to the couple to make their lives a living hell.
It’s more than possible for a human being to perform admirable deeds while also engaging in vile activities. Even though I know this in my head, it’s still hard to reconcile the apparent contradiction of a woman who won a ‘Mother of the Year’ award while being the kind of person who would try to get someone raped. It’s just so fucking horrible.
What started off as lame pranks—like sending the couple a $1,000-worth of magazine subscriptions they hadn’t ordered to having their mail stop getting sent to them—grew into more disturbing acts as the months wore on. There was that furious neighbor who demanded to know from Rice why he was sending his wife a Valentine’s Day card. It turned out that the neighbor wasn’t the only one upset—eight other wives in the area received similar romantic cards that Rowe sent out posing as Rice.
If she’d stopped there, I’d still think her actions were problematic (and in the case of interfering with their mail, criminal). She was trying to continuously and deliberately annoy the couple, but at least she wasn’t actively trying to harm them. But this, this is beyond the pale:
Then there were the Craigslist sex ads Rice found online—with one of them titled “Carmel Valley Freak Show”—that encouraged strangers to swing by the couple’s home and surprise Ruhter while the husband wasn’t home, reported U-T San Diego. Rowe pretended to be Ruhter while writing responses to these men, one of which read, “I love to be surprised and have a man just show up at my door and force his way in the door and on me, totally taking me while I say no.”
She was trying to weaponize rape. That’s so fucking disgusting. She actively wanted someone in that household to get raped…to have their consent violated…to have their bodily autonomy completely ignored. This is someone who doesn’t value the rights of others. The awfulness doesn’t stop there, as her attempts to get the couple raped came close to succeeding:
The couple says that one man responded to one of the ads and showed up unannounced at their door twice.
I hope he never tried to enter the home and fuck both him and Kathy Rowe, but hey, she says this isn’t representative of the kind of person she is, so I guess it’s all good:
Rowe was arrested in 2012, and although she was originally charged with solicitation of rape and sodomy, and harassment, she pleaded guilty last November to a stalking charge.
“A home should be a place of safety and sanctuary, but I never truly felt this way in our house,” Ruhter said in court on Friday. “I felt most secure away from my home. The house became my prison.”
Rowe had told prosecutors that she was “devastated” that she lost the home to the couple because it was the perfect one-story house with a pool and yard for her family; she was taking care of her disabled daughter and husband who was recovering from a heart attack, according to ABC News.
“I just want to say how humiliated I am for my behavior,” Rowe said in court. “This is not representative of who I am. I’ve never behaved like this. How much I wish I could go back and take all this away. … All the things I put them through, the stress, the lack of privacy, I’m just very sorry.”
Yes, I’m sympathetic to what was going on in her life. I’m sure she was under a lot of stress. None of that excuses her actions though. Given that she was trying weaponize rape, I wonder if she understands how horrible rape is. I’m guessing no. And I hope she never has to find out, because rape is, IMO, the ultimate violation of a human being and the complete denial of our rights and our dignity.