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Guilty Until Proven Innocent: Fraudulent Rape Case At Amherst

I think this is one of those stories with the potential to get pushed extremely far to one end of the political spectrum or the other, which is why it makes it so dangerous to even try to touch.

There is clearly an obvious wrong that has been perpetrated on the young man falsely accused in this case-  and the fact that the school doesn't allow for a proper defense is downright madness. Though I understand the school's policies were designed with the intention of protecting victims, what they have unintentionally perpetuated is a guilty-until-proven-innocent mandate which puts the burden of proof on the wrong side of this equation. 

I think we have to be careful not to extend this narrative too far though. There are people who will latch onto stories like this and claim that it is part of a global feminist pseudo-conspiracy to demonize all men, and I believe that is leaps and bounds away from reality. Rather than an attack on the rights of men everywhere, I look at this as an example of when policy is designed with too much heart and too little brains- that is to say that it's not wrong at all to want to protect real rape victims from further trauma and harm, but good intentions can't come at the expense of actual justice.  

I do understand why policies like this exist in the theoretical sense- one need only look at statistics like this or this to realize that the cases of unreported rape vastly outpace the cases of fraudulently reported rape. This fact isn't meant to condone fraudulent rape cases being treated like real cases, but it does suggest that the overwhelming percentage of sexual assault accusations made are not fake. 

So what is one to do? I'm not sure. But I do know that the rights of the accused to a fair trial should have to be taken very seriously if we want to keep living in a free society. Does that limit our ability to reduce trauma to victims of rape? Probably, but again I'm not sure how to square this with the job of our justice system.

I will say this- the most disturbing thing to me about this whole thing is how the male in this scenario is likely the actual victim of sexual assault here- and no one seems too keen to talk all that much about it. That is truly fucked up.