Saturday, August 29, 2009

Man accused of sexual battery kills self shortly before the 'not guilty' verdict

I would have to be Shakespeare to properly describe the tragedy at work in the news story set forth below. We have explained many times on this blog that the mere accusation of rape is enough to tear strong men and plucky boys apart unlike anything else a person can experience. Macho guys who never knew such a thing was possible reduced to tears, unable to sleep or eat or trust women. It is not just the specter of many years in prison with its attendant horrors that does this, it's also the annihilation of a man's good name. It's having family, friends, and colleagues think you might be a rapist. It's having your 80-year-old grandmother with whom you've always had a special relationship ashamed of you for something you didn't do. It's knowing that every prospective employer for the rest of your life will be able to Google your name and find the news report about your arrest for rape. And it's knowing that no matter what, even if the charges are dropped, even if you prevail at trial, in the eyes of most people, you will always be a possible rapist. Is it any wonder rape claims lead to tragedies like the one in the following news story?

St. Augustine man kills himself before jury's 'not guilty' verdict

ST. AUGUSTINE - Authorities say a St. Augustine man on trial for sexual battery charges apparently killed himself before learning the verdict: not guilty.

A St. Johns County judge became concerned Thursday when 57-year-old William Telano Evans didn't show up for the reading of the verdict. The judge sent deputies to find Evans but let the jury read its verdict without him present.

Evans, never hearing the verdict, was found at his home minutes later dead of a gunshot wound.Evans was arrested in 2004 after a now-38-year-old woman reported that he began routinely molesting her about 29 years ago when she was 9 or 10.