In the early morning hours of September 17, 1992, a knife-wielding, crazed 26-year-old Joel Rene Valdez, broke into Xan Wilson’s home, and brutally raped and terrorized her for hours.
Realizing she was not in a position to prevent this man from raping or even killing her, she had the remarkable presence of mind to insist on the use of a condom to protect against AIDS. Valdez put on a condom and proceeded to forcibly engage in multiple sexual acts.
Valdez was arrested and initially charged with only with burglary, but not rape. The jury apparently determined the use of the condom constituted a legal consent to the sexual acts that followed, and the public was shocked and outraged.
Xan was infuriated by the Grand Jury’s decision and called the Rape crisis Center of Austin for help. They referred here to one of Austin’s finest trial lawyers, Mark Mueller, who requested a second Grand Jury with appropriate psychological testimony to support Xan’s position that ‘insisting on a condom did not mean she consented to the rape’.
The second Grand Jury then voted to charge Valdez with both rape and burglary. On May 13, 1993, Joel Rene Valdez was convicted of aggravated sexual assault and sentenced to 40 years in prison. His projected release date is not until, September 30, 2032. Valdez is currently 54 years old.
Even though the crime of rape has ancient roots, this case has particularly modern aspects. The specter of AIDS arises even in circumstances of extreme stress and panic. Women always run the risk of pregnancy or infection after rape, but now they worry about death too.
Xan Wilson was not only wise to bargain for protection but assertive even as she was being assaulted. The community response was also positive. The consent defense, which might have been accepted with a shrug years ago, was rejected outright by a public increasingly impatient with even more plausible defendants who invoke it.
In this Insider Exclusive Network TV Special, “JUSTICE IN AMERICA – CONDOMS DO NOT EQUAL CONSENT – Xan Wilson’s Story” we visit with Mark Mueller, Founder @ Mueller Law Offices, his client, Xan Wilson, Dayna Blazey, the Travis County, Texas Prosecutor in the Joel Rene Valdez case, and Jennifer Hill, a Sexual Assault Victim Counselor at the Travis County, Texas DA’s Office
As we take you inside today’s legal system, and how this case changed the manner in which sexual assault cases were presented to Grand Juries in Travis County and several other Jurisdictions. After this case, a qualified mental health care worker was routinely made available to explain rape trauma, sexual assault behavior and the range of victim responses, as well as to answer any questions that might arise. Because of the publicity around the case, it was an early educational wave of the #MeToo movement, prompting conversations all over the world.
You can contact Mark Mueller @ https://www.muellerlaw.com/ or (800) 323-1475