Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Even when charges are not brought, the story is still the accusation, not the denial; the presumption of guilt lingers

Read the story below. The accusation of the rape is bigger news than the males' denials, of course.

Even though the accusation is uncorroborated.

Even though the Grand Jury refused to bring charges.

Despite all that, the woman's complaint is the big story.

The defense lawyer's statement denying the claim is tacked on toward the end of the story. Almost as an afterthought.

The woman retains lifelong anonymity; in contrast, the men are freely named, their reputations tainted forever.

Double standard? Of course. But let's be honest: few people care, outside of the kinds of people reading this Web site. That's just the way it is -- "the boys probably did it anyway," is the attitude. The typical reader of this story will have one reaction: "Something must have happened. Why would she make that up?" Not, "I don't believe the boys would do that to a young woman." Because, of course, male college athletes are rapists-in-waiting -- ready to pounce on any female flesh if just given the opportunity. They are young monsters to be feared and loathed, presumed guilty in the court of last resort -- the court of public opinion. And if a woman says she was raped, she must be believed over a man who says he didn't do it -- because we are quicker to believe a young man would do one of the most vile things imaginable than to believe a woman would lie, regardless of her motive.

The young men in the story below may be ruined for life because no one will ever know for certain that they didn't rape her, and in this day and age, that's tantamount to a lifelong taint -- a taint that can never be fully washed away. You see, with no other evidence aside from the woman's complaint, a rape claim is essentially impossible to disprove beyond all reasonable doubt unless the woman recants (and some radical feminists insist that recantations of rape are suspect -- because a woman never lies about rape, unless she says she wasn't raped. Get it? Neither do I.)

And that tells you everything you need to know about the necessity of educating people that they must never presume a man or a boy is guilty of rape based on nothing more than an unfounded assertion. This is why it is crucial to allow men accused of sex crimes to remain anonymous until an adjudication of guilt. Just as their accusers are permitted to remain anonymous even even when the charges are unfounded, or worse.

It is simply not fair that a man should forever carry the taint of being a rapist over nothing more than an uncorroborated rape claim.


No sex charges for SU players

By The Associated Press
Saturday, August 2, 2008 11:35 PM EDT

SYRACUSE - An Onondaga County grand jury won't bring criminal charges against three Syracuse University basketball players accused of sexually assaulting a female student, but the school said Saturday it will go ahead with its own disciplinary process.

Syracuse spokesman Kevin Morrow said the decision clears the way for university hearings on whether the code of student conduct was violated in the case involving players Jonny Flynn, Antonio Jardine and Rick Jackson.

The allegations and grand jury action were first reported Saturday by The Post-Standard newspaper.

The grand jury acted after taking testimony from the freshman student and the players, who testified Friday after giving up their rights to immunity against prosecution.

The newspaper said the female student - who has since left school - filed complaints about two encounters involving the sophomore players in September and October.

She said she was the victim of forcible sexual assault, her lawyer, Patrick Britt, told The Post-Standard.

Lawyers for the players denied the charges as they left the grand jury room.“I want to make it clear, Jonny Flynn denies that anything even remotely improper happened and that the allegations are completely false and baseless,” attorney Stefano Cambareri told the newspaper.

Messages left Saturday at the offices of District Attorney William Fitzpatrick, Britt and the defense lawyers were not immediately returned.

Flynn is a guard from Niagara who averaged 15.7 points per game and 2.7 rebounds last season, according to the team Web site. Jardine (5.5 points, 1.5 rebounds) and Jackson (3.7 points, 3.0 rebounds) are both from Philadelphia.

Link: http://auburnpub.com/articles/2008/08/03/latest_news/latestnews05.txt