Sexual assault is a serious accusation that can result in a lifetime of stigma and discrimination, on top of the potential sentence the accused may serve as punishment. In many cases, discrimination begins even before a court date is set, with the public’s sympathy often going to the alleged victim.
Wendy Kaminer, in her article for WBUR.org, scrutinizes and challenges this reality. Kaminer pleads for authorities to establish the right balance in protecting the rights of the accused and the complainant, particularly in university campus settings.
“I’ll be mocked for nitpicking, I know, but the failure to distinguish instinctively between an accusation and a proven or substantially proven fact is not merely semantic. It reflects an attitude toward sexual assault cases that devalues due process and underlies the kangaroo courts on college campuses. Indeed, the Obama administration actually requires colleges and universities to minimize the due process rights of alleged offenders by using a minimal standard of proof when adjudicating complaints of sexual harassment or assault.”
Kaminer further writes:
“Believe the victims.” Coming from feminists protesting “rape culture,” it’s understandable (however misguided.) Coming from school administrators and the Obama administration, even in modified form, it’s inexcusable. Government officials, as well as campus administrators, should care about the respective interests and rights of self-identified victims and alleged offenders in equal measure. They should care about fairness for all.
While Kaminer writes mostly about sex crime allegations on campuses, her opinion seems to reflect what is happening in the rest of the country, including in Houston, Texas. Making sure a person gets due process and that his rights are protected is precisely the reason why those accused of sexual assault need the help of a reputable Houston sex crimes lawyer.
Whenever a degree of prejudice is involved, it’s likely that any interrogation or investigation into a sex crime can be detrimental to the accused. A sex crimes attorney can help protect the rights of someone who is the target of a criminal investigation. In particular, a sex crimes lawyer can make sure a client is aware of his rights and how to use them.
A reliable sex crimes attorney can look deeply into a situation to establish a good defense for the court, if necessary. Such factors as the alleged victim’s actions or the provisions surrounding the legal age of consent in Texas may be used to exonerate an accused of a sex crime or mitigate a potential sentence in the event of a conviction. The best sex assault lawyers in Houston, Texas and elsewhere, including the attorneys at Scheiner Law Group P.C., can help a person fight through any social bias or prejudice, and help preserve a person’s reputation, career, and future.
(Source: ‘Believe The Victim’? Maybe — But Protect The Rights Of The Accused, Too, WBUR.com, February 04, 2014)