Monday, January 31, 2011

Classic "he said/she said" rape case ends in "not guilty" verdict for the accused former sportscaster, yet he lost his job, and his name will be forever associated with the term "rape"

A man's life is in tatters over what might just be a false rape claim. And hardly anyone gives a damn.

Another "he said/she said" date rape claim ends with a not guilty verdict for the man accused,  former Cleveland sportscaster Terry Brooks, but not before he lost his job and saw his good name dragged through the mud.

Mr. Brooks was found not guilty of raping a 22-year-old woman in September 2009. The woman's anonymity is preserved by compact of the US news media, while Mr. Brooks' name will be forever associated with the term "rape."  Even though the only two people who will ever know for sure what happened are Mr. Brooks and the unnamed accuser.

The alleged victim claimed she and Brooks met for drinks at a local bar and that she drank too much throughout the evening. After supposedly becoming very intoxicated, she agreed to have Brooks give her a ride home. The woman claimed, instead of driving to her house, Brooks drove to his South Euclid home and raped her. 

Mr. Brooks claimed the sex was consensual. There was no physical evidence in the case.  The alleged victim waited four months to come forward.

A classic "he said/she said" case, right? Yet, when Mr. Brooks was indicted for this alleged crime last August, his station involuntarily "placed [him] on a leave of absence until the facts are determined and we can evaluate his future with the station." He ended up resigning from his position as weekend sports anchor at WEWS on Oct. 7, two months after the indictment was announced. 

After the trial, a man who identified himself only as the father of the alleged victim yelled at Brooks,  "You are not going to get away with it. Trust me, I do not appreciate what's gone on. She's a good daughter. And if she said he did it, he did it."

So, yet another case where the very accusation against a presumptively innocent man became its own conviction.  A man's life is in tatters over what might just be a false rape claim.  And hardly anyone gives a damn.

It's as if the public humiliation to a man accused of rape is a fitting punishment because, after all, he must have done "something."

Oh, how far we still have to go.,0,3906235.story?track=rss and and