Saturday, April 10, 2010

When it comes to rape claims, the forces of political correctness throw presumptively innocent women under the bus, too

Comment about news story below: A teacher's good name, her entire life, actually, has been destroyed based on nothing more than the say so of a teenager, from what I can tell, before a single scrap of evidence was admitted at trial. She wrote a very supportive note to our site earlier this week and noted, among other things: "This should never happen to anyone again, and I plan to change the law. . . . I am going to turn this terrible incident into something good. Someone who does this to someone should get the same punishment as the defendant would have had if he or she falsely accuses someone."

Her story, sadly, is similar to too many we've told here. The accuser's identity is guarded with all the tenacity that Clark Kent shields Superman's; she, on the other hand, was subjected to a high profile witch hunt. To rub salt ino her wound, the charges were dangled over her head for three years.  Three years of a hell most of us can't imagine. This, of course, underscores the point we make frequently about the necessity for anonymity while charges are pending, until there is a conviction.  This isn't even to mention the crippling legal fees.

The District Attorney claimed that she had a history of seducing students.  If that's so, it's funny, isn't it, that the prosecution dropped the charges when the accuser decided not to cooperate -- sounds like the case was him.  A typical he said/she said case, except the genders of the accuser and accused are reversed.  For teachers accused of sex crimes, just use the word "grooming" and people assume something must have happened.

Along the way, the teacher had to tolerate at least one news report referring to the accuser as the "victim." See here. So much for journalistic standards of printing -- you know -- facts.  As we've written on this site, calling an accuser a "victim" does grave disservice to (1) the presumed innocent who are accused of such crimes since, by necessity, they must be guilty if their accusers are, in fact, "victims"; (2) actual rape victims, because this description trivializes rape by including among it's "victims" persons who might only be false accusers; and (3) the readers of the newspaper, who are entitled to accurate reporting but receive something less than that when the paper transform an accuser into a "victim."

Finally, let's briefly mention women and the false rape problem. Presumptively innocent men and boys have a near-monopoly on having their lives destroyed on the basis of a "he said/she said" rape allegation.  But some women, almost always teachers, are also victimized.  Just as it isn't fair for men, it isn't fair for the women who are subjected to this harsh reality.  If it is true that we are living in a matriarchy, then the forces of political correctness that are content to treat presumptively innocent men and boys as collateral damage in the "more important" war on rape realize they must do the same to the woman accused of sex crimes -- they happily throw those women under the bus to make their larger point.

False rape claims primarily destroy men and boys. Most of the email this site has received have been from women -- loved ones of men and boys falsely accused. They suffer greatly. They are outraged that women can do this to men.  They are not allied with the false accusers any more than men are allied with rapists. For almost every man and boy destroyed by a rape lie there are other victims, too -- mothers, fathers, wives, children, girlfriends -- and to look at the FRA problem as one solely affecting the man destroyed is the worst kind of childish, self-indulgent myopia, no better than the loony feminists who refuse to believe that men are every bit as outraged -- in fact, likely more outraged -- by rape than women are (their other-worldly theory is that men, as a class, benefit from rape).  And, of course, this site hears from rape victims (almost entirely women) who fully support our work because they hate to see innocent men and boys hurt (it might surprise some people that they feel that way), and because rape liars diminish the credibility of every rape victim.  Women are crucial to our fight. It is unfortunate that some misguided persons resent the fact that we acknowldge what can't be plausibly denied -- while FRAs are primarily a men's problem, it is not just a "men's problem."  Too bad for them.

Donna's story is our story; her fight is our fight. It makes no difference that she's a woman.
Here is the news story:
Kid sex charges dropped, but teacher’s life still ‘ruined’

Charges have been dropped against a former middle school teacher accused of grooming a student for sex, but she said her life remains a living hell.

“I was a teacher who had a decent, good life,” Donna S. Giguere told the Herald yesterday. “My life was ruined three years ago.”

In 2007, Giguere was a Blackstone Middle School teacher arraigned in Worcester District Court on six child sex-assault charges, including the alleged rape of a 13-year-old boy who was her foster child.

Authorities accused the teacher, who was 38, of “grooming” the teen for sex.

Giguere, a mother of five who has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, said her family “lost everything.”

“I couldn’t get a job, we lost our home,” Giguere said, adding $100,000 in legal fees has left her family in debt “up to our eyeballs.”

Prosecutors dropped the case because the alleged victim didn’t want to proceed, said Timothy Connolly, a spokesman for Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early, Jr.

“We got some e-mails that said he didn’t want to go forward,” said Connolly, who does not know the precise whereabouts of the man, now 20. “We were never able to get an address or a solid telephone number from him.”

Connolly said prosecutors last knew the alleged victim was living in Montana.

“Since he’s left (the state), we haven’t had a lot of cooperation,” he said. “It’s been a while since we had contact with him. It’s been several months.”

Giguere claimed prosecutors didn’t have a case against her. But Connolly said his office wouldn’t have dropped the case if the alleged victim cooperated.

“We certainly would have gone forward if we had the victim,” he said. “(This) doesn’t say we don’t believe the crime occurred. We don’t have the victim to go forward.”