It’s the side of the #MeToo movement leftists don’t want to talk about.
But a case that made headlines in New York City earlier this week is a reminder that in an era of hysteria when it comes to accusations of sexual assault, there’s a reason the American system is built on the presumption of innocence.
Because when that presumption is forfeited, the results can be tragic.
According to The New York Times, two New York men, Gregory Counts and VanDyke Perry, who spent a combined 37 years in prison for a rape that never happened, were in a courtroom on Monday to hear Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance ask a judge to vacate their convictions.
The woman who accused them of attacking her in 1991 — starting a cascade of criminal injustice that ended up costing them years of their lives — had finally told the truth.
She’d made up the whole story.
According to The Times, the woman’s accusation stemmed from a dispute Counts and Perry had with the woman’s long-ago boyfriend over drug money. At one point, the woman’s boyfriend shot Perry during a confrontation, wounding him and setting the stage for more retaliation.
In order to have them put in prison so her boyfriend would be safe, the woman went to police with the story that Counts, Perry and a third man had raped her, The Times reported.
Perry, who was 21 when he was convicted, served 11 years in prison. Counts, who was 19, served 26 years.
The third alleged rapist was never arrested.
There was no physical evidence that Counts and Perry had raped the woman. But police, prosecutors and ultimately a jury put the men behind bars on the woman’s word alone.
If that situation sounds too much like the current #MeToo situation to be comfortable, you’re not alone. It’s a sad truth that in the Salem witch trial atmosphere being stoked by opportunistic liberals, careers and lives can be ruined by a reckless, unsubstantiated charge.
Anyone old enough to be reading this is old enough to remember when standing up for men falsely accused of rape was a liberal badge of honor, like Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird.” It really wasn’t all that long ago.
But when Democrats decided to make a political movement out of a phony “rape crisis” on college campuses (typified by an utterly false “expose” in Rolling Stone magazine), they threw that out the window.
And last fall, after The New Yorker decided to publish the already well-known fact that Hollywood mega-producer and uber-Democrat donor Harvey Weinstein was a serial sexual abuser of women, the Democrats kicked it into overdrive.
Now, any woman who launches an accusation against a man — preferably a wealthy man — is automatically supposed to be believed (unless that man is Hillary Clinton’s husband or close campaign aide).
That’s not necessarily a bad thing on its face. Considering the number of abusive men who’ve been ousted from their positions because of substantiated allegations of sexual abuse, it’s probably an overall benefit to society that sexual assault victims feel confident to come forward.
But when the leftist mob mentality has shifted to the degree that it has, the danger of presuming that the accused really are guilty has gotten greater than ever — even a liberal like Bill Maher can see it.
And that can lead to injustices like the ones perpetrated on Counts and Perry — who lost years of their lives because a drug addict woman was trying to save her drug-dealing boyfriend from a dispute over drug money.
And it’s the side of #MeToo that leftists don’t want to talk about.
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