In this Rhode Island case the defendant, now 48, is accused of raping an acquaintance in 1976 when both were 16. The alleged victim reportedly didn't tell anyone and repressed the memories until recently.
With the attitudes about this type of rape which were so strong back then (and which still exist to a lesser extent today) this scenario of repression is an understandable coping mechanism.
For anyone who wants to argue that if a rape is repressed then it causes no harm, don't bother. I knowingly blocked the memories of being raped for about 20 years and that didn't magically undo the harm my rapist inflicted. Note in the way many people talk about it that repression doesn't always mean that someone doesn't know something happened. Sometimes repression is like having coils of barbed wire around the memories of certain events.
What's surprising is that this case wouldn't be dismissed instantly by investigators as too bad, so sad, too late with no effort to see if the allegations can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
It's interesting that in this case the defense strategy is to deny sexual contact since that means if the prosecutors can prove that he did have sexual contact with her he will be a proven liar or an unreliable witness.
I wonder how many men will read about this case and worry that their past actions may come back to haunt them.