In 2007, a "developmentally challenged" 20 year-old black woman said she'd been beaten and sexually abused in a racist attack in West Virginia. She's now recanting her story. This, of course, is all Al Sharpton's fault.

At the time, Al Sharpton called for a hate crime investigation. And why wouldn't he? Megan Williams said that she had been "stabbed, sexually assaulted, beaten with sticks, forced to eat human feces and doused with hot water" in a trailer where she was being held captive by white people shouting racial slurs at her. Six people are in prison for the attack (because of physical evidence and their own statements, according to the prosecutor). Now, Williams says she was just trying to get back at her boyfriend, who beat her up. She also says she was pressured by her mother to inflate the case for financial gain.

So: Just another case of race-baiting by Rev. Al! Right? He singlehandedly forced those six convictions into existence! Right? Even though he didn't even get the hate crimes investigation he was asking for? Well. This maybe was a contributing factor to the downfall of the suspects: The two people Williams was living with in the trailer were both convicted murderers, says the NYT.

At the time of the alleged assaults, Ms. Williams was staying at a ramshackle trailer owned by Bobby Brewster and his mother, Frankie Brewster, in Logan County, about 50 miles from Charleston. Mr. Brewster had killed his stepfather at the trailer when he was 12, the authorities said, and served time at a juvenile facility. In July 1994, Mrs. Brewster shot and killed an 84-year-old woman she was looking after, also in the trailer, according to court records. She served six years at a state correctional facility and was paroled in 2000.

By all means, throw out the convictions. Let the people unjustly convicted sue. Hell, fire the prosecutor. But let's skip the "JESSE JACKSON AL SHARPTON PLAYS THE RACE CARD AND IT BACKFIRES AGAIN" bit. (Drudge: "Sharpton pushed WV rape story which turned out to be a hoax..."). Hate crime laws are dumb, but that's not what anyone is arguing about here. They're arguing that Al Sharpton should have known this girl was lying about her charges, even though no one else knew that.
Al Sharpton is not a detective! Although he'd be a funny one. Al Sharpton has many, many cartoonish qualities. But he's also on the right side of most issues. Particularly racial issues. Unlike Drudge, or the New York Post, or most of West Virginia. So, let's all save our valuable breath.
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