Stallman was not saying that Minsky should not be absolved of responsibility. He was just saying that the term "sexual assault" is inaccurate in that it implies violence.
> I think Minsky was smart enough to know what was happening.
That's a fairly large assumption. Minsky's name shows up twice in hundreds of pages of deposition. Once is in a statement by the victim when she is asked to name names:
> They instructed me to go to George Mitchell, Jean Luc Brunel, Bill Richardson, another prince that I don't know his name. A guy that owns a hotel, a really large hotel chain, I can't remember which hotel it was. Marvin Minsky.
And the only other reference (that I am aware of) is in reference to being on a private flight with a bunch of other people.
How are you able to infer so much from so litte information?
Which is also incorrect. Sexual assault encompasses coercion without physical violence.
It is accurate to say that the girl was sexually assaulted; whether or not Minsky sexually assaulted her is up for debate.
I agree with the parent that it seems sketchy that Minsky (and the others present) didn't have at least some idea what was going on. At best, these girls could be prostitutes, but just assuming everything about the situation was completely legit is in my mind morally questionable.
Then there wass also a person present at the gathering who says Minsky turned the girl down. If she says that she had sex with him, I would tend to believe her, though.
I was actually reading Stallman's site last night, after seeing the article about him leaving CSAIL. I noticed he had a "glossary" section where he basically rejected the use of many common words and phrases, because their literal meaning did not match the colloquial or modern use (for example, he rejected the word homophobia, being pedantic about the phobia part). I'd bet this whole thing about "sexual assault" is along the same line.
In that case think its important for thinking clearly to develop your own definitions that group things together into categories where all members share important traits.
When he uses the tools of pedantry, he does so to try and change the goalposts of the conversation, not to provide greater clarity.
“whether or not Minsky sexually assaulted her” is precisely the thing that Stallman was debating, and got into trouble for.