Thursday, September 11, 2008

Politician put on the defensive for even suggesting some sexual assault claims are manufactured

How tragic that a man running for the position of county attorney feels a need to explain and apologize for even suggesting that sexual assault cases should be scrutinized because some are false.

You see, for merely suggesting that allegations of rape are "too often fabricated or exaggerated," a letter writer to the local newspaper named Audrey J. Carter chided Mr. Barnes in this manner: "Isn't this sort of dismissive nature toward victims of sexual assault a thing of the past? I thought we had gotten over automatically suspecting the victims in sexual assaults and victimizing them all over again when the crime comes to light."

Ah, excuse me, Ms. Carter, but Mr. Barnes was talking about false rape accusers, not rape victims.

Or, let me guess, Ms. Carter: in your world, any woman or girl who makes a rape claim against any man or boy, no matter how far-fetched, is automatically a "victim," right? Because women don't lie about rape. Right?

You need to spend several hours studying my Web site, Ms. Carter. You have denigrated the countless innocent men and boys falsely accused of rape -- many of whom read this Web site. Your implication is morally grotesque.

Ted Barnes' defense of his position is set forth below. He expressly notes that "it may not be politically correct to acknowledge that some sexual assault claims are manufactured . . .." Truer words have never been spoken.

The truth, in this case, is painful and, yes, politically incorrect: there are far too many false rape claims, and far too many false rape apologists. It is the purpose of this Web site to make the truth politically correct.

Here's what I meant
Ted Barnes, Concord

I write this the day before the primary, expecting that it will be published some time after the election. Win or lose, I feel compelled to set the record straight on an issue that came up in the days leading up to the primary.

The Monitor published a story recently which included a reference to my intent as county attorney to scrutinize sexual assault cases because I believed some such allegations to be false.

What I failed to do, in a free-ranging discussion with the Monitor editors, was to delineate the context of my comments.

The narrow frame of reference I had in mind, which I failed to express in response to a broad question, was my experience with prosecutions arising from divorce cases and other, similar matters where one party had made false claims, alleging either rape or child molestation, to destroy the other's chances in the dispute, if not to destroy that person entirely. Because all such allegations are investigated by the police, and most are prosecuted, it was this injustice at which I took aim.

It may not be politically correct to acknowledge that some sexual assault claims are manufactured, but then, I never claimed to be a politician. If I were, I would have moved quickly to dispel the misimpression created by the story.

It was never my intent to subject putative victims to rigorous scrutiny, rather to induce increased focus on the circumstances surrounding the allegations, which does not happen often enough in criminal prosecutions.