Comment Of The Day: “Ethics Quiz: The Child-Molesting Pitcher”

I think my favorite Comments of the Day are those where a reader is moved to relate a personal experience. That is what Zoltar Speaks!, currently on an Ethics Alarms sabbatical—I can relate—does here, in response to the Ethics Quiz about the star college who either was, or was not, a child molester in his teens.

Incidentally, the poll results on that quiz revealed tat only 25% of those polled felt that his guilty plea should affectt his college baseball career now.

Here is Zoltar’s Comment of the Day on the post, Ethics Quiz: The Child-Molesting Pitcher:

I’ve been waiting to share this since I read this blog post and I just got the “okay” to share this story about an old friend. If this reveals my identity to people that have knowledge of these events please respect my choice of anonymity.

I can tell you that sometimes the accused get terrible, terrible legal advice, my friend was one that got such terrible advice.

Many, many, many years ago my friend was advised, by his attorney and a prosecutor, to plead guilty to a statutory-rape charge about six months after he turned 18 for having sex with a minor girl. The thing is that he never had sex with her but yet he was being accused of it both legally and he was being smeared in the public. He had actually only been on a few of dates with her when we figured out she was a minor, if I remember right she was about to turn 17 – she looked older. My friend dumped her, it was a public rejection revealing that she was lying about her age and she made quite a scene – I was there.

The attorney that advised him to plead guilty was fired and he got an attorney that would fight for him. In the end it turned out that the girl had proven herself to be a pathological liar and this was just one in a long line of big revenge lies she had concocted over the years. It was really interesting that her mother was the one that got directly involved in this case and due to her involvement it was eventually proven by a medical doctor that the girl was still a virgin. I was told that the prosecutors face fell off the front of his head when the evidence was presented to him. The case was dropped before it ever got to court but the accusation stuck in the minds of the public. It’s amazing how that accusation of raping a minor stuck like glue on my friend, people presented the accusation as some kind of evidence that he was a terrible person even though it was completely false. He ended up moving from the area as a result of having to prove himself innocent over and over again. I’m sure there are still people that would think he is a rapist or worse just because he was accused.

You would think that moving away was pretty much the end of the story; nope, there’s more.

A few years after this took place my friend was in a bar a couple of states away from where this all had taken place and ran into this girl, now an adult, with her boyfriend. He didn’t know she was in the bar until her boyfriend confronted him with the accusation that he was the guy that had gotten away with raping her when she was a minor. My understanding is that it came very close to a physical confrontation but he was able to convince the boyfriend to allow him to prove his innocence with actual documentation that he had saved (his attorney advised him to keep everything related to the case in a safe place). You’ll never guess how he got the guy to allow him to prove his innocence; this pathological liar girl had changed her name and that came out in the confrontation and the boyfriend hadn’t known anything about that. The next day, my friend allowed the boyfriend to read the documents plus he got to see photos of the girl as a teenager to prove it was the same girl. He learned that she was a pathological liar, actually thanked my friend for helping him dodge a bullet, and he dumped her. The last I heard anything about the girl, she was in a prison somewhere out west.

I can tell you for a fact that just being accused of a sex crime, especially with a minor, sticks with you regardless of innocence that’s why these #metoo accusations from years gone by are so damaging and no one truly knows whether they are true or false but the accusation will stick for life and destroy the accused.

My personal opinion is that if you choose to plead guilty when you’re innocent, you’re an idiot.

 

16 Comments

Filed under Childhood and children, Comment of the Day, Gender and Sex, Law & Law Enforcement, Romance and Relationships

16 responses to “Comment Of The Day: “Ethics Quiz: The Child-Molesting Pitcher”

  1. Other Bill

    Great story, Z. Reminds me of a similar scenario of former and present boyfriends getting together to free each other of a neurotic girlfriend in “Lucky Jim.”

  2. dragin_dragon

    Great story, great comment. I have had a similar experience but for ethical reasons, cannot reveal the details.

    • dragin_dragon wrote, “Great story, great comment. I have had a similar experience but for ethical reasons, cannot reveal the details.”

      I understand completely. I asked permission to share the story and had my friend read and verify the comment and he gave me the “okay” before it was posted.

  3. Jean

    Your friend was lucky that he was able to prove his innocence. But the vast majority of accused done thave the concrete proof needed to PROVE inncence. It’s his word against hers testimony. If the girl had lost her virginity to someone else, your friend would have been convicted and served time behind bars because he chose to Challange it.

    I have a friend who’s son is behind bars because a kid was mad that he was being punished, so he made an accusation against his teacher. The father sent an email to all the other parents “pleading” for others to come forward, and planned a lawsuit. Multiple “victims” were brought forward by parents, but each kid said nothing happened. Psychologist said that they repressed the memory. He was offered time served if he pleaded guilty, knowing he was innocent, he took it to trial. First trial resulted in a hung jury, second trial resulted in a guilty verdict. He’s now serving 20 yrs for a crime he didn’t commit.

    This sir, is WHY innocent people plead guilty (or take an Alford plea). When there isn’t any physical proof of innocence, you will be found guilty simply because of an accusation.

    • Is there no hope for an appeal, particularly with a psychologist who can explain the junk science behind “suppressed memories”?

    • Jean wrote, “If the girl had lost her virginity to someone else, your friend would have been convicted and served time behind bars because he chose to Challange it.”

      That’s a really bad assumption. Seriously, did you not read the part where the “girl had proven herself to be a pathological liar and this was just one in a long line of big revenge lies she had concocted over the years”?

      Jean wrote, “This sir, is WHY innocent people plead guilty (or take an Alford plea). When there isn’t any physical proof of innocence, you will be found guilty simply because of an accusation.”

      Your opinion is evidence that you think the justice system has flip-flopped from the concept that people are innocent until proven guilty to a new norm of vigilante justice where people are guilty until proven innocent. It’s my opinion that until innocent people stop willingly give up their rights and force the justice system prove that they are guilty beyond reasonable doubt, nothing will change.

      I will never plead guilty for something I did not do.

      • Jean

        Be as it may, but if you faced this situation with nothing more than a he said-she said, juries will 99% of the time go by the word of the victim. Go and look up The Innocence Project, and find how many people have been convicted of a crime they did not do. Find out how many went to trial…
        The problem isn’t the number of innocent people who take plea deals, the problem is the number of prosecutors don’t care if the accused is innocent or guilty, but that they get a win to further their career.

        • Jean wrote, “Be as it may, but if you faced this situation with nothing more than a he said-she said, juries will 99% of the time go by the word of the victim. Go and look up The Innocence Project, and find how many people have been convicted of a crime they did not do. Find out how many went to trial…The problem isn’t the number of innocent people who take plea deals, the problem is the number of prosecutors don’t care if the accused is innocent or guilty, but that they get a win to further their career.”

          That’s the rough equivalent to rationalization 1A. Ethics Surrender, or “We can’t stop it.”.

          Again Jean; It’s my opinion that until innocent people stop willingly give up their rights and force the justice system prove that they are guilty beyond reasonable doubt, nothing will change.

          If you’re innocent; never give in to unethical rationalizations that strip you of your civil rights, never give up!

          Innocent until proven guilty is not just a neato meme!

  4. Many say no innocent person would take a plea, but yes, they would, and they do, for a multitude of reasons. Not wanting the alleged victim, especially a child, to have to go through a trial; and not being indigent and entitled to a public defender but not having enough money for an attorney without bankrupting the family are two good reasons. The strongest, however, and why attorneys often give this advice, is that the child is almost always believed and a guilty verdict would result in a potentially horrific sentence. Sexual crimes, especially against a child, are the only crimes where the accused is considered guilty until proven innocent, and proving oneself innocent is near impossible when the alleged crime is one that leaves no physical evidence. How would you prove you didn’t touch someone? I don’t know if Luke did it or not. I do not automatically believe either one. What I do know is he served the court-ordered punishment, he has apparently not re-offended, and he has the right to live his life and have his career. The child and her mother were entitled to justice. They are not entitled to vengeance, and any additional punishment of Luke would be vengeance. The alleged victim has the right to her life also, and that includes the right to heal. If she was telling the truth, I hope she got or is getting therapy that focuses on healing and recovery rather than encouraging, as some seem to destructively do, perpetual victim-hood.

  5. Thanks for the Comment of the Day!

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