A Reader Responds To Emily Cassell’s “Better A False Accusal Than a Rape”

Emily Cassell’s letter to the editor (“Better a false accusal than a rape,” Jan. 12) proclaims she would consider herself lucky if the gravest danger she ever faced in the world was to be falsely accused of rape. The reality is that being raped is a terrible thing and being falsely accused is similarly awful and life changing.

Being accused of rape triggers devastating immediate and usually irreparable reputational harm. Friends, co-workers, employers and even family view the accused rapist with disdain and suspicion often forever. The false accusation sets into motion a Kafka-esque chain reaction of arrest, astronomically high bail, lawyers fees and the potential imposition of life in prison.

False accusers are rarely prosecuted and they never face prison.

Contrary to Cassell’s blithe glance at the consequences of false rape accusations, it is every man’s worst nightmare to be falsely accused of rape. Our justice system in truth operates with the presumption of guilt. Listen to the click of handcuffs and the clank of the prison cell door. Just ask the wife, mother or father of a loved one how lucky it was to be falsely accused of rape.

Walter F. Bugden Jr.

Salt Lake City

I have nothing to add to this. Cops have a saying that goes across municipalities: You might beat the rap, but you won’t beat the ride. For anyone accused of a felony, especially rape, the ride starts when your name and face are plastered across the newspapers and the internet, forever enshrined as that guy who was once accused of rape, even if you are later found innocent, or worse, convicted, and THEN found innocent.

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