Thursday, January 21, 2010

Was Hunter Beck Falsely Charged with Rape?

Several readers have contacted us concerning Florence native Hunter Beck. After attending a party on Chisholm Road last Friday night, Beck returned to the residence of his father Jim Beck at 220 Mauldin Avenue in the Bellmeade Subdivision. Hunter, whose age has alternately been listed as either 18 or 19, attended Florence High School where he has many friends who contend the teenager has never been in any serious trouble.

Florence police arrested Beck at the residence of his father Jim and stepmother Donna early Saturday morning. He is currently free on $50,000.00 bond and has retained Tim Case as a defense attorney. Case and Hunter's supporters contend the sex was consensual.

The friends who have contacted us feel the accusations result from a misguided case of revenge. Sources say that Hunter's personality changed as he entered high school, where he was a star on the track team. On his MySpace page he lists an annual income of $250,000.00--quite a salary for someone not yet out of his teens; however, Hunter's family owns Beck Plumbing and may be perceived by many as an easy financial target. One friend tells us that Hunter has often been misjudged because of his bravado, the result of his two-older half siblings enjoying a higher standard of living. Jessica Beck West and Chace Beck, the children of Cindy Rideout Beck Mitchell, do not list their younger half-brother among their Facebook friends. Others say Hunter's relationship with his biological mother was strained.

No matter Hunter's personal problems, they do not necessarily make him a rapist. If he is innocent as his friends claim, we hope his accuser, also 18, receives a full measure of punishment for bringing false charges. If Hunter Beck is a rapist, then he deserves the maximum punishment.

Other voices: Sources at the Florence Police Department speaking off the record state that Hunter Beck's accuser has changed her story several times.