Friday, November 15, 2013

Appalling: FOX sports reporter Clay Travis assumes sexual assault based on nothing more than an accusation

Read it yourself -- here's the whole thing, and the following is an excerpt:
5. Is it fair that sex accusations against anybody are made public before any charges are filed while victims are protected by law? 
Put simply, no. 
You can't unring the bell of a sexual assault allegation. If Jameis Winston is 100-percent innocent, then he's been wronged by this process. 
But I think the alleged victim believes a crime was committed against her — by someone — for a couple of reasons. 
First, keep in mind that making a demonstrably false accusation is liable under the law. That is, if you make false statements to the police, you've committed a crime. So it's not like a woman — or man — can use this shield as a weapon. 
Second, remember that sex crimes are dramatically underreported in this country. A woman is much more likely to keep quiet about sexual assault than she is to press charges. This woman contacted authorities within a couple of hours of an alleged sexual assault. The quicker you report a sexual assault crime, the more legitimacy you have with investigators and with physical examiners. 
Would this woman subject herself to intense questioning, physical examinations by strangers — it's reasonable to assume she was treated by medical professionals that night to assess her well-being and examine her for signs of physical trauma — if nothing at all happened to her?

There you go, folks. The usual struggle faced by the wrongly accused. It is somehow acceptable to assume that a sexual assault occurred based not on any facts in the case at issue but rather on nothing more than a belief about what has happened in other cases. Clay Travis assumes probable guilt based on nothing more than an accusation.

It is well to note that not only does Clay Travis know nothing more about the facts of this case than the rest of us know, but Clay Travis knows precisely nothing about the unnamed female accuser in this case. For all Clay Travis knows, she might be a serial false accuser. Or does Clay want to tell us there is no such thing?

Wouldn't it be helpful, Clay, before opining about a matter so terribly serious to a young man's life if you actually knew the facts about it instead of relying on your very peculiar stereotypes about sexual assault? A few examples of these peculiar stereotypes:

You actually suggested that because making a false rape claim is illegal, it's unlikely she made a false claim. 

Excuse me while I bang my head against the wall. By that logic, it's even more unlikely that Winston is guilty of sexual assault since sexual assault not only is illegal, but it carries with it a greater punishment and typically a much longer statute of limitations period.  My assertion is silly; yours is sillier.

Then you seem to suggest, Clay, that because underreporting of rape exists, it's not likely that this claim is false.

Can you say "non sequitur," Clay? Women do lie about rape -- for all manner of reasons, just as women don't report their rapes for all manner of reasons. The one has nothing to do with the other.

Then you assert: "The quicker you report a sexual assault crime, the more legitimacy you have with investigators and with physical examiners."

Or would it be more logical to assume the investigators aren't at all impressed with her claim? Despite the accuser's prompt complaint, it's been almost a year, and the accused hasn't been charged. You also seem to discount Mr. Winston's attorney's statement where he said he was advised by the local police department in February that the case was closed. It was only reopened after media inquiries. See here.

Then you pull out the old "Would this woman subject herself to intense questioning, physical examinations by strangers . . . if nothing happened to her?"

The answer, Clay, is that she might.

Spend a few weeks reading through the true stories recounted in this blog and our predecessor blog, and perhaps you will understand how terribly uninformed your opinion is. This blog advocates for the wrongly accused. Nevertheless. we repeatedly note that before an adjudication, we don't know what happened -- because we don't. Neither do you, and you do your readers a grave disservice by spewing your reckless opinion all over the Internet.

Your commentary is offensive to the community of the wrongly accused.