Sex crimes question

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by DC_DEEP, Oct 26, 2005.

  1. DC_DEEP

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    The other thread about the National Sex Offender Map got me thinking about some other related topics, but one in particular: What should happen to the accuser who later recants or is proven in court to have lied? I have seen several cases where for instance a high school girl makes accusations against a male teacher, then later says she did it because she was mad at him, or had a crush and was jealous of his wife, or some such thing. Legally, he is cleared, but what does that do to his career? What about his marriage that broke up before the truth was uncovered? Or the embarrassment his family endures? Is it enough for the accuser, the prosecuter, the courts, to just say "oopsie, my bad. won't do it again."??? My opinion is that the accuser, if found to have lied, should get the maximum sentence the accused WOULD have gotten if convicted. There is really no good way to approach arresting offenders - you have to take accusations seriously, but it always ends up being guilty until proven innocent, which also is not good.
     
  2. GoneA

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    Actually DC Deep, that's a good question....

    I think that whole situation would leave scars on every aspect of the person accused life, which you mentioned. Yet, some scars would be deeper than others. Keep in mind, however, it's all very subjective.

    For instance, I feel where the person accused career is concerned, everything would technically resume as it was prior the incident; yet, I think he/she would still be viewed in a slightly different light by colleagues and so forth. I also surmise it would be a while before the embarrassment the family suffered, as it were, is lifted.

    Furthermore, as far as marital problems are concerned I would assume they could be worked out. After all, the accusations were based on lies.

    Then again I'm not married (and happily so), so I'm not the world's foremost authority.
     
  3. Irvy

    Irvy Member

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    I know of a guy who was a counsellor at a summer camp. A kid he was responsible for was being abused at home, and the poor kid was pretty confused. He knew he didn't like what his dad was doing to him, but didn't know whether what was being done to him was normal or not. Perhaps he was "wrong" for not liking it, and it happened to everyone.

    However, just incase there was something wrong with it, he didn't want to ask his friends if their fathers did the same to them, so he told someone at the summer camp that this counsellor was doing those same things to him, to gauge the reaction.

    Obviously, a big commotion arose, and the boy realised his fears were right, and this was not a normal thing his dad was doing, but was trapped in the lie he'd told about the innocent leader. On further investigation, however, he admitted the whole truth, and the guy was cleared of all charges.

    However, the old "no smoke without fire" effect hit. The poor guy lost his teaching career, he couldn't go back to the summer camp he loved, and I believe he ended up leaving the country altogether, just because of the allegations, and even though he was officially cleared of them all.
     
  4. DC_DEEP

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    These things are often drawn out over more than just a month, and some have even been convicted and jailed before the truth comes out. Many marriages cannot withstand that kind of strain, and the damage done cannot be fixed.

    <!--QuoteBegin-Irvy
    @Oct 26 2005, 09:31 PM
    However, just incase there was something wrong with it, he didn&#39;t want to ask his friends if their fathers did the same to them, so he told someone at the summer camp that this counsellor was doing those same things to him, to gauge the reaction.

    Obviously, a big commotion arose, and the boy realised his fears were right, and this was not a normal thing his dad was doing, but was trapped in the lie he&#39;d told about the innocent leader.  On further investigation, however, he admitted the whole truth, and the guy was cleared of all charges.

    However, the old "no smoke without fire" effect hit.  The poor guy lost his teaching career, he couldn&#39;t go back to the summer camp he loved, and I believe he ended up leaving the country altogether, just because of the allegations, and even though he was officially cleared of them all.
    [post=355656]Quoted post[/post]​
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    This is EXACTLY the kind of stuff I was talking about. The damage just cannot be undone, whether or not the guy is cleared. So what should be done to remedy the hell that this man went through? Anything? Nothing? Just a simple "sorry, man. no hard feelings, eh?" It destroyed the man&#39;s LIFE. So the boy could get some answers without being embarrassed. Obviously, if the boy is a minor, nothing can be done to him. If it were someone older, though, what kind of punishment would be appropriate?
     
  5. Irvy

    Irvy Member

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    It is a terrible situation, and it so easily happens.

    I used to work in a kid&#39;s home, for kids with learning and physical disabilities and "challenging behaviour". We had a kid there who was coming out with a lot of very worrying comments, sexually related. However, rather than just repeating phrases or such, he was describing things as he saw them. For example, he asked one of the other boys if he could "kiss his willy". Obviously, we recorded everything, and kept a close eye on the situation.

    It then came out very shortly after that a member of staff at his previous home had been abusing several of the kids there, and he was one of them.

    Thankfully, the man was found guilty, and in this case, rightly so. However, it made our jobs far more difficult. We were concerned that after the flurry of attention the kid got, from social workers and the police, that he would miss being the centre of attention. He&#39;d remember, whether he understood or not, that it had been because he&#39;d said those things. Our fear was that he&#39;d try to get the attention back by saying the same things about someone else, and we had to be extremely careful about not leaving any member of staff alone with him, and other such precautions. It also meant that at night time, when there&#39;s usually 1 member of staff on watch and another on sleep over upstairs, that now 2 members of staff had to be around.

    None of this was because he was in any danger of being abused, the team that worked there cared greatly for the kids and would never want any harm to come to them. We had to go to all those extra measures for OUR safety, so that nobody could be put in that situation of being falsely accused.
     
  6. D_Barbi_Queue

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    I do think there should be some kind of punishment, but mainly for the older accusers who know that they are lying and understand the consequences.

    This is a much harder question in some of the gray areas: when a woman is raped and accuses the wrong man, not on purpose. Or the kid that is confused by someone&#39;s questioning and says "yes" when it was really "no" such as in the McMartin trial:


    For kids especially, this is a real hard thing for them to talk about. I know...I was molested by a family member for 6 years of my youth. I had a strong feeling that it was wrong, but I wasn&#39;t completely sure. There was no one for me to talk to about it as I thought I would get in trouble too for letting it continue. I didn&#39;t see that I was a victim, I thought I was an accomplice.

    What that boy (in Irvy&#39;s story) did was somewhat understandable to me, not that I condone it. But I don&#39;t think he should be punished. There just needs to be an easier outlet for kids to come forward.
     
  7. Irvy

    Irvy Member

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    No, I agree, the kid was just trying to find out what was going on in his life in what he thought was the safest way. Unfortunately, an innocent man&#39;s life was thrown in the trash because of it, but I doubt the kid intended for that to happen.

    I really don&#39;t know what can be done. If a child makes an accusation, it should be taken seriously, but there is still the notion of innocent until proven guilty which in this case has been completely thrown out the window. In a case of suspected abuse, you are treated completely guilty unless proven innocent, and even if you are, the suspicion never goes away.
     
  8. DC_DEEP

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    Lots of horrible shit goes on, doesn&#39;t it? But with the gray areas aside - If it turns out that a charge was made, without basis, and with malice, what do you think of my suggestion that the false accuser be given a sentence equal to what would have gone to the accused?
     
  9. Irvy

    Irvy Member

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    If malice is involved, then that&#39;s an assault in itself, and should be punished suitably, in my opinion.
     
  10. DC_DEEP

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    Well, really technically, it would be more of a slander than an assault, but simply going back and charging that person with slander would not NEARLY begin to make the punishment fit the crime.
     
  11. Irvy

    Irvy Member

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    I would view it as an assault because of the knock on effect. The loss of career, reputation, social status, and in some cases life, when the person feels their only escape is suicide. That&#39;s far more than mere slander.
     
  12. Dr Rock

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    who lives in the east &#039;neath the willow tree? Sex
    isn&#39;t there already a law to prosecute people who deliberately bring false charges and/or submit false evidence?
     
  13. Irvy

    Irvy Member

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    Well there&#39;s certainly pergery (spelling?) for people who lie in court.
     
  14. madame_zora

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    DC, I agree with you in the case of adults- I can think of very few acceptable arguments for that, other than serious insanity. One of my favorites is the parents who convince their children to lie about who the abuser is to cover up their own (or a family member&#39;s) crimes. THOSE people should definitely get the full sentence intended for the accused.

    Sentences for perjury or slander would in no way compensate for the loss of income, self-esteem and social standing caused by such a trauma. These cases often go on for years and the person under suspicion is usually seen by most as guilty until proven innocent, which is wrong. The problem is, there are often no witnesses in rape and molestation crimes so the courts have had to be more lenient in what kinds of evidence can be used or we&#39;d have very few convictions for these heinous crimes which leave many, many lives shattered. However, people who use the fact that even an accusation can ruin a life to that end when they know the person they are accusing is not guilty is a hideous crime, and should be punished accordingly. In addition to the lives they ruin, they also cast suspicion on those who really do have a crime to report and weaken the system that protects us all.
     
  15. Irvy

    Irvy Member

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    Well that&#39;s kind of a flip side to it as well. The more cases there are where the accused is proven innocent, and the more that allegations are seen as completely innocent until proven guilty, the less likely people who are actually being abused are to step forward to report it.

    But what do you do? It&#39;s a terribly complicated situation. How can you ensure that actual victims are protected and their abusers brought to justice without mistreating innocent people who are wrongly accused, for whatever reason?

    Another whole group in this is male rape, either by other men or by women. This is still viewed by many as quite a funny situation, because of the notion that men are basically "un-rape able", as we&#39;re always up for sex. The whole notion that a man can be raped by a women is always regarded with a slightly amused, slightly disbelieving look, and many men go through this ordeal and never report it.
     
  16. DC_DEEP

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    Yes, as I pointed out before. Orally making false accusations is slander, printing lies about someone is libel. Both are illegal, but once again, my point is that those are misdemeanors. If someone is wrongly accused of a felony sex crime, and his life is ruined, then he is proven innocent, it wouls seem that the only recourse is to charge the perpetrator with a misdemeanor. It hardly seems to be justice.

    Right. How can we make the criminal justice system more just in this particular area where everyone involved loses?

    <!--QuoteBegin-Irvy
    @Oct 27 2005, 04:16 AM
    Well that&#39;s kind of a flip side to it as well. The more cases there are where the accused is proven innocent, and the more that allegations are seen as completely innocent until proven guilty, the less likely people who are actually being abused are to step forward to report it.

    But what do you do? It&#39;s a terribly complicated situation. How can you ensure that actual victims are protected and their abusers brought to justice without mistreating innocent people who are wrongly accused, for whatever reason?

    Another whole group in this is male rape, either by other men or by women. This is still viewed by many as quite a funny situation, because of the notion that men are basically "un-rape able", as we&#39;re always up for sex. The whole notion that a man can be raped by a women is always regarded with a slightly amused, slightly disbelieving look, and many men go through this ordeal and never report it.
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    Yes, as evidenced in the trial some years back with Abner Luima, the immigrant who, while in jail, was raped and tortured by NYC police. (by the way, they didn&#39;t soil their precious cocks, they shoved a broom handle up his ass.) And in the case of Mary Kay Latorneau, people were mildly disturbed, because it was an older woman frolicking with a young male student. She was of course convicted, but the level of moral outrage from the general public was much less than it would have been if the roles were reversed - a male teacher having sex with a 6th grade girl.
     
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