Eventually [Beau] Donaldson admitted, “Yes, I took advantage of you,” adding that he felt “shitty” about it.

This exchange between Allison Huguet and her rapist, Beau Donaldson, occurs in Chapter 5. Detective Baker has just gotten a warrant to secretly tape record Beau. Allison calls Beau from her wired cell phone from a room at the police station, and Detective Baker encourages and coaches her through the call. This quotation, then, is Beau’s legally admissible confession to raping Allison. It is significant for Allison’s case because it is the strongest piece of evidence Detective Baker secures for the prosecution. Without it, it is difficult to image that Beau and his lawyer, Milt Datsopoulos, would have accepted a plea deal. In fact, based on the pattern of rape prosecution in Missoula, it’s reasonable to suppose that if Beau hadn’t confessed, he would have been found guilty of rape or punished at all.

The quotation is also significant for the way it reveals the contrast between a victim and a rapist’s mentality. Allison can do little to escape from the reality of having been raped, but Beau has dealt with so few consequences from his actions that he only begrudgingly almost admits to his crime. Beau only says that he “took advantage” of Allison, not that he raped her. And though Beau says that he told psychotherapists that he raped Allison, at Beau’s plea hearing, it comes out that his claim that he has sought treatment with two different psychotherapists is a lie. Beau only seeks substance abuse treatment at the advice of his lawyer months after this exchange with Allison. When psychologists do finally interview Beau for his plea hearing, Beau tells them not that he raped Allison, but that he believed he and Allison were had consensual sex. During his confession, then, it seems Beau is only telling Allison what he thinks she wants to hear.