We think that all allegations of sexual assault should be corroborated by some physical evidence

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The  New York Times reports that “The women accusing the Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual misconduct have faced doubt and derision.” The writers then say that other “women, who have alleged sexual assault or harassment by powerful men in Hollywood, Silicon Valley and elsewhere, have become targets for online abuse or had their careers threatened.”

The article cites a case where an alleged assault victim reported being raped in Lynwood, Washington where the police did not believe her. The woman, “Maria” said a man had broken into her apartment. However, “Police detectives treated small inconsistencies in her account — common among trauma victims — as major discrepancies. Instead of interviewing her as a victim, they interrogated her as a suspect. Under pressure, Marie eventually recanted — and was charged with false reporting, punishable by up to a year in jail.”

“More than two years later, the police in Colorado arrested a serial rapist — and discovered a photograph proving he had raped Marie,” the report says. Several other examples are listed where women are not initially believed (and charged with false reporting of a crime) when it was determined later, the women were telling the truth—significantly, because of the later discovery of physical evidence that corroborated her version of events.

The writers do not mention any of the thousands of men who have been falsely accused of rape by adult and adolescent females.

OUR FREE OPINION

Many alleged victims of sexual assault (including adolescents) lie or substantially embellish their reports. Having worked in the criminal defense field for nearly three decades, I have found that victim advocates or organizations that interview young girls to discuss a possible sexual assault,  can shape or taint the girl’s later testimony. It is not all that unusual for a girl to invent a scenario of rape after meeting with such people. Older alleged victims often have a motive for claiming they have been assaulted—it may involve child custody, money alimony or other spousal payments in a dissolution proceeding.

The problem with allegations of sexual assault is that is that they are hard to disprove.

In the case of Roy Moore, the allegations are four decades old. As we have said before, there is no longer any scientific evidence available, and witnesses are often gone from the scene.  Many members of the public are calling him a pedophile and demanding that he drop out of his Senate race based solely on a series of ancient accusations. Based on what evidence—we wonder!

Some cases do have physical evidence—such as the Al Franken case, where he is depicted in a photograph squeezing the sleeping victim’s breasts.

We think that all allegations of sexual assault should be corroborated by some physical evidence before the case reaches the probable cause stage in criminal cases. In false civil and criminal claims of sexual assault, criminal charges should be filed against the reporter, or in the case of minors, those people who helped shape the child’s testimony.

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