Letter: This is for the courts

While I have no disagreement with the general theme of “We’re in new era,” (Letters, Nov. 28), I am compelled to make these comments.

 

The author stated, “Unlike the days when rape of black women and girls not only went unpunished … and when reported, unbelieved and disregarded – we are in a new era where most victims are respectable, credible and white.” Did the author mean that black women who were sexually assaulted in the past were not respectable and credible? Whether his wording was intentional or not, my head exploded when I read this statement.

He concluded, “We cannot undue [sic] the intimidation, shame, embarrassment, horror and terror imposed, but we may alleviate some discomfort by insisting the perpetrators pay financially for their trespassing…” Is the inference here that rich and powerful people (e.g., the U.S. Congress) can and should pay their accusers or actual victims for their silence and remain free, while lesser folks go to prison? Second head explosion.

Here is a novel thought the author should consider. A sexual assault victim must swear out an arrest warrant or deposition against the accused, and seek justice through criminal prosecution or civil litigation. The fear of criminal prosecution for perjury by either party would then overcome the limited fear of civil litigation for defamation. Those convicted of sexual assault, regardless of status, go to prison.

“He said, she said” sexual assault accusations prosecuted in and by the media cannot replace criminal convictions or civil verdicts. Considering cases like Roman Polanski (convicted), Steven Pagones (exonerated), and the Duke lacrosse team (exonerated), our legal system, unlike the media, has an obligation to find the truth and render a just verdict.

Tedd Antonacci

Augusta

 

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