Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Power outage rocks campus
Power outage rocks campus
Jack Brandt September 13, 2023

Fake assault charges hurt everyone

I want to begin this article with a huge disclaimer:
To anyone who has been a victim of sexual assault, I am deeply regretful for what happened to you. You deserve to be happy and safe and most importantly, to be believed.
Unfortunately, the current climate of sexual assault means that true victims of sexual assault are often not believed. With the Kavanaugh trials, sexual assault is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. In fact, safety concerns for going outside at night alone have been at an all-time high on campus. The Clothesline Project has come back again in full force, even after the defacing incident occurring last year. Sexual assault is a very large issue and the mere mentioning of Kavanaugh puts people on edge. But what happens when the accusations are false?
Look back to June of this year. Two engineering students at the University of Syracuse were involved in an almost month-long social media, university and law enforcement issue. Lab work, rape kit and medical exam taken within 26 hours of the event resulted in no evidence that sexual assault, drug use or sexual encounter had ever taken place. The accusing female proceeded to take to social media to accuse the man and ruin his career. She contacted his new employers who quickly terminated the accused in accordance with a zero-tolerance policy. The accused student was also expelled from his university in order to follow “state policies.” He was found innocent, and in the eyes of the law, this is enough. However, in the eyes of the population, he will never be seen as a normal student or a normal man.
The current climate for sexual assault makes sure that anyone accused of such a heinous crime will never have a future. They will never be able to be somewhere in this country where they will be anonymous again. A simple Google search of their name will reveal news about the accusations against them. They’re deemed dangerous, even if they’re innocent. Their future will be marred by this accusation and will stick with them throughout any attempt at a future career or relationship.
American legal system values are important. There’s a reason we believe in “innocent until proven guilty.” We need to be extremely careful with sexual assault accusations. While the victim must be taken at face value, they should also be investigated thoroughly. The information and identity of both individuals should never be released unless the accused is found guilty.
This era of sexual assault politics is just that: politics. This ruins credibility for true victims and lessens the impact of accusations. The damage done to true victims is, in some part, also done to those falsely accused. The innocent should not lose their future due to a climate of guilty before proven innocent.

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    Heidi StolleyOct 24, 2018 at 7:03 am

    I regret reading this article. gross

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Fake assault charges hurt everyone