Monday, December 28, 2009

Anonymous Claims About Pending Rape Case

On the blog Crime Scene KC there's a post called Teen says she was raped while passed out where anonymous commenters are passing judgment against the teenage girl.

The first outright allegation against the 16-year-old girl comes from someone calling him or herself Pleasehelp:
THIS GIRL HAS DONE THIS TO MORE THEN ONE PERSON. SHE JUST NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH. SHE IS PUT THIS OUT THERE TO GET HERSELF OUT OF TROUBLE AND ALL SHE IS NEEDS TO DO IS COME OUT AND TELL THE TRUTH SHE WON'T GET INTO ANY TROUBLE IF SHE DOES.
The problem with this comment and the tone of most other comments which preceded it is and which follow it is that they are making criminal allegations while refusing to be personally accountable for doing so by providing their legal names.

This comment comes from someone using the id TooToo:
Innocent people's lives ruined all because a promiscuous teenage girl who has a history of falsely accusing people of such acts to get out of trouble with parents. Sounds like a lawsuit in the making for not only her family but the Johnson county police department too........I think if this girl has any friends they might want to give her some advice and tell her she might want to drop the act now!

The message they are sending is that girls shouldn't make serious criminal allegations which may be false and which could taint someone for life but anonymous commenters can and should do so.

Valid rape cases where the victim was incapacitated are notoriously difficult to prosecute and many times are dropped for this reason alone. Yet these types of accusations often leave people who do not understand how often sex criminals get away with their crimes, even when they are reported, to believe that dropped charges are proof that these anonymous accusations have been proven to be true when they have not.

Past allegations, if they were made by this girl, which didn't result in any convictions are not evidence that this girl ever falsely accused anyone. The ugly reality is that some children, and some adults, are subjected to repeated sexual assaults. To take a possible past injustice and use it as a pat excuse to dismiss a current charge is either to be incompetent or malicious.

The second possibility comes up often in the comments of news stories where people who often position themselves as supporting the constitutional right of "innocent until proven guilty" position themselves as against this constitutional right by what they write about alleged victims of sex crimes.

It's interesting that people who claim to be against unsubstantiated criminal accusations are making their own criminal accusations against the alleged victim in this case. If anyone believes they have proof against this girl they should go to the police not launch anonymous personal attacks on the Internet. Only 1 commenter used what might be a real name.

When news agencies and bloggers allow their websites and blogs to be used for people to make statements which may be slanderous, they have chosen to support possible slander through their inaction and this helps sex criminals and harms victims of sex crimes who have reported or are considering reporting.

Too often the responses to blog posts and news articles about specific cases feels like a concerted effort to tamper with the case without the person doing the tampering having any legal responsibilities for their actions.

This can be as damaging when the comments attack the original report by repeating popular misinformation since those types of comments can come across as having no axe to grind.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:44 AM   1 comments links to this post

1 Comments:

At December 28, 2009 4:51 PM, Blogger JENNIFER DREW said...

This case is currently being investigated by police authorities and yet anonymous individuals are using this as an opportunity to make unsubstantiated claims concerning the female victim. All too often such 'claims' are believed to be true because they feed into common rape myths and also enable male sexual predators to continue to sexually attack and rape women and girls.

News Agencies have a duty not to allow their websites be hijacked by individuals determined to present claims as 'evidence' wherein female rape survivors of male sexual violence are dismissed as 'non-credible and innate liars.'

The media commonly claims to be unbiased and objective when reporting crimes against women and girls but this case shows such claims are not true.

The legal system whilst still very much flawed is the one wherein charges levied against male perpetrators must be investigated - not anonymous individuals who are determined to silence any woman or girl who courageously reports to police a male(s) has raped/sexually assaulted her.

We should not therefore be surprised that only a tiny minority of women and girls who have been subjected to male sexual violence courageously report these crimes to police, given increasingly dominant opinion views all males as 'innocent' and all females as 'guilty of malicious lies.' Silencing women and girl survivors of male sexual violence serves one purpose only - namely to ensure unlimited male sexual access to any woman or girl as and when the male(s) desire.

 

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