Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat

 

To translate the above Latin blog title into colloquial English…

The burden of proof is on the one who declares, not on one who denies.

Indeed, a fair, free society presumes everyone innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The U.S. Constitution’s 6th amendment is even more explicit:

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence [sic].”

All of the above language becomes key, especially when we consider how, as of late, our daily news reportage has been featuring underlings accusing superiors of sexually harassing, abusing and/or assaulting them.

SIDEBAR: Just to be clear, here, no one should ever malign investigative journalists… discredit their factual reportage as “fake news” simply to escape an inconvenient truth / uncomfortable reality. Right is right and wrong is wrong no matter how much the facts of any story may negatively impact an accused person’s life and/or livelihood. After all, a reporter’s job #1 is to not only alert us to the fact that there are purportedly dangerous people in our midst but to also encourage other victims to come forth to proclaim, “Me too”. Moreover, whenever such stories involve elected / appointed officials and political wannabes, these reporters are also performing their patriotic duty to alert our society… our electorate… to the presence of potentially corrupt leadership… e.g. lawbreaker lawmakers, lawless law enforcers, judicial hacks, etc.

Returning now to the specifics… while our Fourth Estate’s journalists have been doing a fine job in exposing ALLEGED sexual predators and while it’s true that, statistically speaking, their victims are seldom liars, we cannot and must not ignore that in caps and italics “A” word. In other words…

The broadcast airwaves and front pages of our online and in print newspapers are not the proper venues for trying and convicting the accused.

In other words, have we not been putting the cart before the horse?

With our goal being to make our entire society a much safer, saner, pleasant place to live and work in, the accusers would be doing us a tremendous favor if they’d first report sexual harassment, abuse and assaults to the appropriate legal authorities. From there, the legal authorities would present the evidence to the prosecutors… prosecutors would go to trial whenever the evidence proved sufficiently strong… juries would weigh all the evidence to determine the guilt or innocence of the accused… and judges would punish the convicted appropriately (be that fines, community service, mental institutionalization or imprisonment).

Last but not least… that’s where the Fourth Estate’s journalists would enter the picture… act as the relentless watchdogs of the entire judicial process… sniff out any and all irregularities… verify whether or not prosecutors and defense attorneys are acting ethically… whether or not assigned judges are conducting honest and impartial trials.

Of course… all fair-minded journalists would also be serving our society well were they to grant any legitimately acquitted person an interview… to publish their story to set the record straight and restore their good name…. to give such an article the exact same positioning and prominence that trial had been given.

This all makes sense to me… how about you?

 

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bad, Bad, BAD “Grooming”

 

With all of the recent, front page reportage exposing sexual predators who infest our entertainment industry and political arenas… with many of their victims now speaking openly of how they were abused… I suppose it’s only natural that an old memory of mine has resurfaced.

This incident had to have occurred when I was a 10 or 11-year-old… a public school fifth grader. This was at a stage in my life just prior to entering puberty… a time when I was still totally naive about sexual matters… or more to the point… unaware of the existence of sexual deviants.

You see, the common parental wisdom of that 1960s era, small-town America was childhood ignorance is bliss. Little did they know that kids living in cocoons is every sexual predator’s dream come true.

That certainly set the stage for something awful. In my case, it involved an affable, well respected, “happily married”, veteran schoolteacher, Mr. K… who (no big shocker) also attended the same Catholic church I did. True, I wasn’t officially one of his students. But, since he was also a playground monitor, we soon became pals.

His grooming routine consisted of his ear to ear, grinned greetings and never ending repertoire of silly jokes. His “What’s the good word” catchphrase certainly was a conversation starter, too. His pockets bulging with a never ending supply of chewing gum and candy all but ensured he’d always have tons of kiddies constantly swarming around him.

One day, Mr. K entered the boys lavatory and stood at a urinal near the one I was using. It was just the two of us. At first I didn’t think this was any big deal… but…

Within mere minutes, he turned left… aimed his sticking straight out penis right at me and spewed forth what I believed to be pee. Looking back at it now through my adult eyes, there was no way in hell that that had been urine. Even if it had been, why the need for his messy, abrupt, 90 degree pivot? Huh?

My reaction that day, fortunately, was to totally skip the hand washing routine and bolt for the door. While what Mr. K had done did seem rather odd to me, I simply could not connect the dots… realize that this pervert had just gotten off while, perhaps, even fantasizing about me?

And what if I hadn’t successfully escaped? What would he have done next? Would he have targeted me further in the future?

Well, I did act less friendly towards him afterwards. The very fact that I had run away also must’ve worried him… forced him to believe that I was totally on to him… rattled his cage to the point where he never bothered me again. Back in the here and now, I cannot help but wonder if he ever did the same thing… or worse… to any of my classmates?

Because this had been an isolated incident and sans any physical contact, I’d rank my level of psychological damage to be low. Yet, since I did remember this all so vividly… more than a half century later… I cannot help but wonder if, perhaps, I’m actually underrating it?

 

Read a related article HERE.

 

 

My 2 Cents’ Worth… 2 Pennies For Your Thoughts?

Just for the record, I don’t find Bill O’Reilly’s claims of innocence to be credible. The ugly display of extreme rightwing political punditry typically goes hand in hand with the grotesque exhibition of sexually abusive / predatory behavior.

Nonetheless, O’Reilly claims he hadn’t sexually harassed women / created a hostile work environment at his now former network, FOX. My best guess is his oinking had become so loud and habitual he had become oblivious to his own, obvious oinking noises.

O’Reilly’s sincere apology to womankind is long overdue. He must also put his big money where his big mouth is. He should contribute all $25 MILLION of his lavish FOX severance package to NOW… The National Organization for Women… as in NOW!

After that? It’d be advisable for sexist pig O’Reilly to seek the help of a shrink to help cure him of his misogyny.

That’s my two cents’ worth… two pennies for your thoughts on this O’Reilly matter?

For additional reading, check out the blog posted by NOW President Terry O’Neill.