Thursday, July 31, 2008

English rugby players accused of rape: no claim was made, and they vehemently deny it, so why are their good names being tainted as possible rapists?

The story below illustrates a sad reality for innocent men accused of rape: even if the complainant does not press charges, and even if the men vehemently deny the allegations, and even if there is not one scrap of evidence to substantiate the alleged rape, the reputations of the accused men can be blackened, possibly forever, because their names are made public. The claimant is, of course, protected with lifelong anonymity. The men will never have a chance to prove that she lied.

Exactly why were the names of the supposedly-presumed-innocent young men made public in this instance, Judge Jeff Blackett? Do you not understand that the prejudicial effect to the young men of an unsubstantiated rape claim far outweighs the disciplinary value attendant to disclosing their names?

And, readers, please don't miss the most important point to this story: the claim is a wholly unsubstantiated, naked allegation by a lone teenager. Yet, because of the rape culture invented by the radical feminist sexual assault lobby -- where false claims are widely considered to be a "myth" -- this young woman has the power to possibly destroy the good names of two rugby players.

With nothing more than an allegation that she refuses to pursue.

She is able to use the media -- perhaps unwittingly in this case -- as her tool to assassinate their characters. The very whiff of an allegation will become "fact" in the minds of most casual readers because of the way the story is reported (poorly -- but judge for yourself -- it is set forth below) -- the teenager's claim is exalted as the most prominent aspect of this story.

To hell with presumed innocence and the effect a vile rape charge will have on a young man's name. All that matters is a sensational accusation. Most casual readers will glance at the story and assume "something must have happened," and the men will forever be considered "rapists" by some people.

What a shameful culture this is. It is hoped that faithful readers of this blog have a greater sense of healthy skepticism.

England rugby players named in New Zealand sex scandal report

London, July 11 : A far more stringent code of conduct will be imposed on England rugby union players after a judge announced that he had fined two squad members who were at the centre of rape allegations on last month's tour to New Zealand.

Judge Jeff Blackett, the Rugby Football Union's disciplinary officer, made public the names of four players involved in the incident at an Auckland hotel in which two admitted that they had sexual relations with an 18-year-old woman, who went on to claim to police that she had been raped.

However, Blackett ruled that, in the absence of any testimony from the complainant, he accepted that Mike Brown and Topsy Ojo had "consensual relations" with the woman at different times in the same hotel room. Two other players, David Strettle and Danny Care, were exonerated over the incident, which tarnished the tour and the image of English rugby, The Times reported.

The 18-year-old had claimed she had been "sexually violated" in a hotel by four England players. Topsy Ojo, Mike Brown and Danny Care denied any wrongdoing.

The report, by the RFU's disciplinary officer Jeff Blackett, also reports for the first time that the alleged victim made an allegation of sexual misconduct both to police and doctors at a hospital where she sought treatment.

The report said that the alleged victim "stands by" the allegation, but has decided not to make a formal complaint because "she does not want to go through the criminal process".

Because no formal complaint has been made, the four players - who vehemently deny the allegations - were not arrested and were allowed to fly home at the end of the tour.

Blackett stressed in his report that there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing by any of the players.

But he fined and reprimanded Ojo and Brown for misconduct arising out of their late-night drinking, whilst clearing Care of any wrongdoing.

He said David Strettle, who was wrongly named by the Sun newspaper as one of the four accused men, was also in the clear.

Brown and Ojo both claimed to have had a "consensual relationship" with the teenager, the report said.Although Blackett said the players had only committed minor disciplinary breaches, his report contains highly damaging details of exactly what went on, and will be seen as a new low point for English rugby.

--- ANI