If this had been a Republican...

Rosslyn Smith
Would this remain a local DC story if the accused had been staff director of an important committee in a Republican controlled Senate? 

A former senior congressional aide was indicted this week in D.C. Superior Court on charges that he sexually assaulted two women after drugging them with a sedative that he allegedly put in their drinks.

Donny Ray Williams Jr., 36, who served as staff director for a Senate subcommittee and worked in the offices of several members of Congress, gave at least one woman Ambien and assaulted her while she was unconscious, according to court papers.


Williams was charged with 10 counts of first- and second-degree sexual abuse and related charges in connection with attacks that authorities said occurred between July and December 2010. During that time, according to his profile on the LinkedIn Web site, Williams was staff director of a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee.

A third woman made similar allegations against Williams, attorneys and Williams said, and a fourth woman said that he threatened her. As a result of that fourth allegation, Williams was indicted on one count of threatening to injure or kidnap a person. Additional details of that charge were not made public.

Would the names of the key Republicans he had worked for be buried in the tenth paragraph of the local news story? Or is it more likely we would be treated to the image of network reporters lining up outside the offices of these legislators to ask how come this person had been working for them?

According to his profile, he began his Capitol Hill career in 1999. He worked for panels chaired by Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.). He also said he worked for Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.). The Washington Post confirmed that he had held those positions.

Would this story have remained off even the local radar since the accused was first arrested well over a year ago?  Or would we have been constantly reminded that a couple of the Republicans he had worked for were among the most conservative in the Capitol?  Would questions about why hadn't they spotted this alleged predator in their midst be mixed with speculation that their callousness to so called women's issues had contributed to a culture of violence?   Of course because the accused is a Democrat, his crimes are not considered news worthy outside of the local pages of the Washington Post.  Nor are there any bigger issues at stake about the people who had hired him. 

I can think of a few such questions I'd want to know the answers to if I live anywhere close to Washington, DC.  Why was he still working for the US Senate for at least two months after his arrest?  Had he been placed on leave once he was arrested?  In the world the media occupies only Republicans wage war on women and  create cultures of corruption. 

Would this remain a local DC story if the accused had been staff director of an important committee in a Republican controlled Senate? 

A former senior congressional aide was indicted this week in D.C. Superior Court on charges that he sexually assaulted two women after drugging them with a sedative that he allegedly put in their drinks.

Donny Ray Williams Jr., 36, who served as staff director for a Senate subcommittee and worked in the offices of several members of Congress, gave at least one woman Ambien and assaulted her while she was unconscious, according to court papers.


Williams was charged with 10 counts of first- and second-degree sexual abuse and related charges in connection with attacks that authorities said occurred between July and December 2010. During that time, according to his profile on the LinkedIn Web site, Williams was staff director of a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee.

A third woman made similar allegations against Williams, attorneys and Williams said, and a fourth woman said that he threatened her. As a result of that fourth allegation, Williams was indicted on one count of threatening to injure or kidnap a person. Additional details of that charge were not made public.

Would the names of the key Republicans he had worked for be buried in the tenth paragraph of the local news story? Or is it more likely we would be treated to the image of network reporters lining up outside the offices of these legislators to ask how come this person had been working for them?

According to his profile, he began his Capitol Hill career in 1999. He worked for panels chaired by Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.). He also said he worked for Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.). The Washington Post confirmed that he had held those positions.

Would this story have remained off even the local radar since the accused was first arrested well over a year ago?  Or would we have been constantly reminded that a couple of the Republicans he had worked for were among the most conservative in the Capitol?  Would questions about why hadn't they spotted this alleged predator in their midst be mixed with speculation that their callousness to so called women's issues had contributed to a culture of violence?   Of course because the accused is a Democrat, his crimes are not considered news worthy outside of the local pages of the Washington Post.  Nor are there any bigger issues at stake about the people who had hired him. 

I can think of a few such questions I'd want to know the answers to if I live anywhere close to Washington, DC.  Why was he still working for the US Senate for at least two months after his arrest?  Had he been placed on leave once he was arrested?  In the world the media occupies only Republicans wage war on women and  create cultures of corruption.