Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Fairness demands she be named

Readers’ Note: After today I’ll name the False Accuser in posts and allow her name to be used on the threads. In this post I tell you why I’m doing that.

For one week starting tomorrow, I’ll put “Cautions” at the head of posts relating to the Hoax. They’ll let readers know this is a “name her” blog. After that, I’ll drop the “Cautions.”

So now you’re alerted. Please let others know as you can.

I think most of you will agree with what I’m about to say. I wish the rest of you well should you choose to move on.


There’s much public discussion now regarding news organizations’ practice of granting anonymity to those claiming to be victims of sex crimes, and at the same time identifying those who are accused.

Many say it’s very unfair that an accuser is granted anonymity while the accused are not only identified, but are sometimes framed by false reporting and character abuse as we’ve seen the Raleigh News & Observer do in the case of the Duke lacrosse players.

Even when news organizations strive to be fair and honest, “anonymity for the accuser, public exposure for the accused” is unfair to the accused, as Duke Law professor James Coleman and many others have said.

Those arguing for anonymity for accusers rely on a “greater good” argument: without anonymity victims of sex crimes will be reluctant to come forward. As a result, criminals will go unpunished and be free to repeat their crimes.

All in all, I come down on the side of granting anonymity.

But anonymity is not a right; it’s a privilege that should never be abused.

In the Duke Hoax case, the accuser and much of media have repeatedly and grossly abused the anonymity privilege.

In a future post, I’ll talk about media’s abuse.

Today I want to tell you why the Duke Hoax accuser has lost all claim to the privilege of anonymity, at least in my opinion and here at JinC.

The Duke Hoax accuser they call “Precious” used the cloak of anonymity to tell “her story” (there were really many of them) not to authorities, but to the N&O, which then told readers she was granted anonymity because she was a victim of “sex crimes.”

It can be fairly argued that when Precious granted that press interview she lost all claim to the unfair advantage anonymity gave her.

However, it may be the accuser was caught off guard by the N&O.

We may even learn she was encouraged to speak to the N&O by police investigators or someone from DA Mike Nifong’s office who “brokered” the interview. The N&O has never said who put it in touch with Precious or why the person(s) did that.

So I’m willing, until I learn more about it, to give the accuser a pass on the interview.

I also don’t hold her responsible for how the N&O reported the interview, including suppressing news the players had cooperated with the police and informing readers she was granted anonymity because the N&O did that for “victims of sex crimes.”

But then media began reporting interviews with family members who were also granted anonymity so Precious’ anonymity could be preserved. The family members told much more of “her story.” We were also told she’d be suing the players once they were convicted.

The accuser never did anything to correct any of that. She let it all work for her.

The April “no wrong choices” photo ID process was essential for the frame-up to go forward. Precious did her part and picked four players she was sure raped her.

Nifong indicted three players (we’ve never, as far as I know, been told why it was only three and not four). None of the three fit the physical descriptions of her “attackers” that Precious had given police.

Precious knew all of that. But neither she nor her family, previously so willing to talk to media, said anything. They hid behind the cloak of anonymity.

Precious knew Reade Seligmann was one of those indicted. But she said nothing for eight months before telling a DA investigator he hadn’t attacked her; he’d only watched.

And by the way, she wasn’t sure she’d been raped, but she wanted the players prosecuted for, you know, the other parts of the frame-up she and Nifong and others had arranged. Only she didn’t call it a frame-up.

Precious has grossly abused the privilege of anonymity.

It’s one thing for us to grant a person the protection of anonymity; it’s quite another thing, and an unacceptable and odious thing, to stand by and watch that person perpetrate frauds and injustices under the cloak of anonymity.

Professor Coleman has described what Nifong and Precious have done as “almost like mooning the system.” I agree.

By not acting sooner to identify the False Accuser, I helped enable her to moon the system.

But that changes tomorrow. Naming her is my way of putting sunlight on her mooning.


Anonymous said...

I thought the fourth guy she picked was a player who was not only not at the party but wasn't even in town that day, the day before or the day after.

don t. said...

Do it, do it, do it.


Anonymous said...

Does anyone not know Crysstals name? I have even seen her picture on Liestoppers.

Joe T. said...

John: I understand why real rape victims usually need their identities kept secret, but I think it's more than fair that you use this one's name now. Firstly: virtually everybody knows her identity already. Secondly: there's enough evidence (lol) to make me doubt she's a rape victim.

straightarrow said...

I would like to address the "greater good for the greater number" excuse that is always used when somebody in government wants to violate the rights of citizens.

In our society, as evidenced by the Supreme Law of the Land, The Constitution of the United States of America, all the protections of rights and benefits of the founding documents are directed at the "individual". Not a class, caste, group, bunch, assembly, but at protecting the guaranteed rights of the people as individuals.

The law has been subverted for a long time now, and often gets interpreted that it is ok to trample one or a few individuals if we supply some benefit to a number superior to the number we have transgressed.

There is only one destination on that track. It is called slavery.

Anytime anyone invokes the "greater good" argument, prepare yourself either to resist or get screwed. Simple as that.

straightarrow said...

To continue the above, the reason for anonymity for suspected victims of rape is to protect her, her privacy, and her security as an individual. If one needs import her to a group in order to argue for the "greater good", there is something terribly amiss.

That should have been everybody's first clue that this was a fraud upon the court and the public. That fraud would have died, day one, if people would use their heads for something besides ear spacers.

Anonymous said...

It is long past time for the originator of this blatant hoax to be named publicly. Had it been done in the press months ago, along with the true facts of her unsavory lifestyle, much of the negative press about the LAX players would have stopped. The press is as much responsible for the continuation of this hoax as Nifong. Had the general public been aware of Magnum's criminal history and lifestyle, the pot bangers, agenda driven feminists and Group of 88 would have lost every bit of their credibility and would have bowed out of this mess long ago.

By all means, shout her name from the rooftops. FWIW: I am a woman, sympathetic to true rape victims, but also the mother of a male child. It frightens me to death that some low-life could accuse my son of false rape and have him skewered as the Duke 3 have been simply because of the color of his skin and his "privileged" background. This woman is NOT entitled to "her day in court"...that right belongs to the accused. This woman is NOT entitled to hide behind anonymity to cover-up a life style that would greatly diminish her credibility. The accused 3 have been dissected in the press and on blogs for 10 months...it is only fair this woman should have the equal opportunity to share that spotlight.

AMac said...

There was some discussion of the frequency of false accusations of rape in recent D-i-W threads, with one commenter citing a old, small study showing a very high rate (~30% IIRC). Another commenter claimed 3% or less, citing a recent, large study by the British Home Office.

On reflection, estimating the "true" rate of false accusations is fraught with problems (absent a videocamera-equipped time machine). I did read the Home Office study referenced by Ms. 3%; comments are in this thread at 4:36 PM. My interpretation was that it suggests a false accusation rate in the range of 6% to 12% of charges that come to the attention of the police.

So the problem represented here by Precious, DA Nifong, and their enablers is not epidemic, but it is far from trivial. In this case, newspapers uncritically granted cost-free publicity to one of the 1-in-17 (if 6%) accusers whose cases have no merit.

Anonymous said...

The larger studies in the U.S. have shown that false rape accusations account for between 25% to 50% of all rape accusations. A far cry from the myth that women "never" lie about rape.

Joe T. said...

Anon 2:33- Different studies on how many accusations of rape are false seem to have different professed results (some have said as low as 2 percent, some as high as 50 percent). Sometimes the results are agenda-driven too. Personally, I'd never put much stake in that kind of data as far as deciding individual cases. Each case should solely be decided by evidence, especially DNA (or lack of it).

AMac said...

anon 2:33pm --

The person citing that Home Office study at D-i-W had said "the study gives a false accusation rate of 3%."

The study was done by academics to ask why the rape-conviction rate is so low (<10% of reports ended in conviction IIRC). The police had concluded that 8% of reports were "false charges"; the authors went through them with a skeptical eye and disallowed 5/8 of them as not being provably false. For example, they might have found that the absence of trained, empathetic cops to take a report could have induced a rape victim to abandon criminal charges.

The implicit assumption was that since no reports outside the 3% (or 8%) could be proven false, none were false.

So the D-i-W commenter was correct in claiming the study said 3%, but that number didn't mean what it seemed to mean.

A similar approach might well give analogous results if you examined the studies claiming 25% to 50% rates of false accusations--except that you might discover reasons to suspect that a reasonable estimate of the rate of false accusations was lower than the authors claimed.

Anonymous said...

John, note that the following N&O article fails to mention the race in the description of a rape suspect. Maybe Melanie should be called on this. Here's the story:

Durham police searching for suspect

From Staff Reports, N&O, Jan 31, 2007

DURHAM - A woman said she was kidnapped and raped early today, and police are looking for the suspect.

A 46-year-old woman told police she was walking on Mallard Avenue just after midnight when a man approached and asked for a light. As she lit his cigarette, he grabbed her and dragged her inside an abandoned house in the 800 block of Mallard Avenue, the woman said.

The man tied an electrical cord around her throat, hit her several times and threatened her with a knife before raping her, the woman told police.
The man fled when he heard police sirens. Police were in the area responding to a breaking and entering call.

The man is described as being in his 40s, 6 feet tall with a muscular build. He was bald and wearing a brown ski jacket and black pants.


Anonymous said...

What we needed was her picture. Even understanding that rape is about power and not sex, no one could possible believe that any guy would rape Crystal. Tyra Banks, she ain't. Who would pay her for sex? Ugh -dirty.