Remember Duke Lacrosse

Just when you thought he couldn’t get more absurd, false rape accuser apologist Roger Canaff strikes again.

This time, he makes this statement:

Remember Duke Lacrosse: A rallying cry that will do more to shelter rapists for the next generation than any force on earth could hope to accomplish

Seriously? Come on man!

When confronted on these words, Canaff does say that the Duke Lacrosse team members were factually not guilty, should never have been tried, and that Mike Nifong should have been disbarred. Of course, anyone who disagrees with those three statements is an idiot.

However, the idea that remembering the Duke Lacrosse case (DLC) is somehow a defense for actual rapists proves that Canaff completely misses the point. DLC should remind everyone that we should not be making assumptions about what has happened in an alleged rape. DLC should remind everyone that there are predatory prosecutors who do not seek justice but instead seek to make a name for themselves. DLC should remind everyone that in this country that people are supposed to be treated as innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Canaff has not learned this lesson. He is saying that in the DSK case that there is no compelling reason to disbelieve her claims.

Everyone should remember that hookers, thieves and liars can be raped.  But Canaff would have us ignore the lies told in this investigation. At what point does an accuser of rape lose credibility? How many lies must one say in a police report before the accusations are not believed. In the case of my false accuser (who Canaff knows personally), it seems obvious that one big lie was all that was needed for the police to say that her claims were false.

Canaff also suggests that there are only two possibilities when you question the truthfulness of the statements made by accusers of rape. That either women are perfect and as such are believed when they make an accusation of rape or that they are not perfect and as such should never be believed. This, of course, is an absurd argument made by an absurd person. Nobody is suggesting that a woman needs to be perfect in order to be believed when making a rape accusation. What is being suggested is that SOMETIMES women lie about being raped and that it is reasonable to question the trustworthiness of a person making a serious claim that could have life lasting consequences for the accused.

Unfortunately, Canaff does not seem to embrace the legal ideals that our country holds dear. He would have us believe all accusers of rape, even though we know that sometimes (as in the Duke Lacrosse case) that rape claims made against individuals can be false.

4 Responses to “Remember Duke Lacrosse”

  1. K Fischer says:

    Daniel,

    Nice post. I have been following Roger’s blog for about six months when I learned that he is one of the 3 highly qualified experts for the United States Army Special Victim’s Prosecutor (SVP) division of the JAG Corps. There are soon to be 23 SVP’s whose sole duty is to take sex offense cases to courts-martial. Do you know how many Special Victim’s Prosecutors there are for Trial Defense Service (TDS)? Zero. TDS are the lawyers who are represent the accused, who is presumed innocent.

    On my last two sexual offense cases involving an SVP, my clients’ TDS counsel had tried one sexual offense case each. I hope you know that our tax dollars are being used to pay a man to ensure those accused of rape are convicted.

    I like your blog, and I urge you to continue monitoring Mr. Canaff, as he is quite dangerous to the presumption of innocence regarding sexual offenses. I seriously believe that Mr. Canaff would have no problem if the burden of proof was lowered with regards to sex offenses to a preponderance standard or if the burden of proof shifted to the accused to prove his innocence.

    EVAW was quite smart about targeting and infiltrated the military, which is an environment in which false allegation flourish. As a criminal defense attorney, I should be happy that there are guys like Roger who are creating clients, but I’m not, as I know what a toll a false allegation can take on an innocent accused.

  2. Daniel Z. says:

    If I had to guess, his involvement with the SVP is likely how he knows my false accuser. Thanks for your comment, and I happen to share your opinion on the assumed support he would have for reducing the standard to convict in rape cases. He, of course, is free to comment here and correct us. Unlike him, I would not delete his posts just because of our common “friend” (as he did when I informed him of the irony of his defense of another post of mine on another blog).

  3. julie h. says:

    Well as Mr. Nifong was disbarred, I don’t understand the ‘Mike Nifong should be disbarred’. Beyond that, I think it’s a bit specious to take one’s personal experience (you were falsely accused) and thus make it into an epidemic. Certainly for the vast majority of women, making a report of a sexual assault is humiliating above and beyond the original attack. From there, the idea that a woman would use such a false report to redeem her virtue is basically nonsensical if only because one’s self-worth is not redeemed by lying. Does this mean that false reporting does not happen. It would be absurd to say it is impossible and often it is not indicative of some particular societal goal of women but rather the result of the individuals and the circumstances around them which can vary as much as people do. From there, I think we also need to realize that our culture (like many) seems to still struggle with the idea of ‘when is it rape’. Everything from Akin’s comments suggesting that there is such a thing as legitimate rape to the emphasis that ‘no means no’ means that should those educational programs not reach the right people, that a rape can occur whenever two people come together.

    Finally, everything I’ve read by Mr. Canaff regarding the Duke University Lacrosse ‘rape story’ demonstrates that he, like many, recognize that the fact that it was found to be false means that the lesson many people will take away from it, would be little more than the concept that false accusations are common and that somehow women get something for going through it. Hardly seems likely, I didn’t even live in NC at the time and the stories I read painted the accuser’s reputation in particularly graphic terms from being a possible prostitute, drug user and mentally ill. The fact that some or all of these descriptions may be true does not take from the fact that she certainly wouldn’t consider it any boon to her life or her future to be nationally labeled as such.

    The wisest counsel, it would seem to me is to at least recognize that rape is unique in several features as a crime. While it does not kill (physically at least) it is particularly personal and damaging. Next, it is uncommon if not unheard of, for rape to have any witnesses other than the parties themselves. Finally, while there feasibly could be an agenda or reasons for false accusations, they would be uncommon at best. Taking those things into account, why would anyone presume to judge the accuser more harshly or with more immediate doubt that someone who claims to be mugged or burgled? Unlike being mugged or having one’s home invaded and items stolen the victim of sexual assault will be struggling with a loss of self worth and humiliation. If whomever they are speaking to immediately denies the likelihood of their victimization then the damage is furthered and yet, it is without any reason that one should be less likely to believe the victim of the sexual assault, particularly as, unlike the mugging or burglary victim, they would not be in a position for much an insurance claim, so with that in mind, the false accusation of mugging or burglary is offered with a built in agenda.

    It is only because the victim and the accused stand under a glare of social stigma that such an issue is made of false accusations relative to concerns over false accusations of other crimes.

    I presume you were falsely accused (based solely on your statements) and that is unfortunate but hardly grounds for presuming that someone who seeks to support those who are victimized is somehow apologizing or supporting those who falsely accuse. Instead, Mr. Canaff seeks to support victims of a crime that inherently and typically lacks the type of evidence we seek for most crimes, so if you wish to offer a magic wand by which he (or anyone else) can determine the victims that are speaking the absolute truth from those that aren’t…it would make things easier for everyone, but given that the vast majority of complainants won’t gain anything with a false accusation, I find his logic to be generally (please note) sound.

  4. Daniel Z. says:

    Julie: It is “should have been disbarred”. Roger and I agree that what happened to Nifong should have happened.

    Where did I make false accusations into an “epidemic”. I would encourage you to read this post on my new blog. http://liberaldan.com/?p=13 where I criticize so called “men’s rights advocates” for giving false accusations undue weight. I think that you suffer from one of the problems that a lot of people have when they hear about false accusations. They assume that just because someone brought it up that they are like the “Men’s Rights” movement who seek to do horrific things like jury nullification for all rape cases because of the injustices they see when it comes to false accusations of rape.

    Rape is a much bigger problem then false accusations of rape. But that doesn’t mean that false accusations are not a problem. And to throw real victims of false accusations under the bus because they happen to be in a minority is morally deplorable.

    You bring up Akin, he is a moron and his statements are hurtful to actual victims. But Roger Canaff’s words (and the words of others who dismiss people who have been falsely accused) are also hurtful to victims because they ignore the real pain that victims of false accusations go through. Hell, specifically Roger defends his close personal friend who is the person who falsely accused me.

    I agree with other blogs on sexual violence and the right of all people to be free from sexual violence that we should move to a “yes means yes” society and not a “no means no” society. Know that your partner does want to sleep with you. There are many reasons why the lack of a no may not imply consent.

    I am not saying that we should judge the rape accuser any more harshly than the accuser of a robbery or assault. What I do say is that people accused of rape should be given the same presumption of innocence that people accused of robbery or assault are (or should be) given. And if the accuser can be shielded by the law before a verdict is determined, shouldn’t the accused also be shielded by the law to prevent people from being falsely labelled as someone who committed the 2nd worst crime that one could ever do to a person?

    And back to your theory on Mr. Canaff, he absolutely defends someone who did make a false accusation against me. He is a close personal friend with her. He is a false rape accuser apologist. He is even more of one because he seeks to suggest that we should not remember the Duke Lacrosse rape case for what it was.

    Finally, the vast majority of complainants are victims of rape. So they are not going to be making a false accusation to begin with. Only a small fraction of those who make rape claims are lying about it. Those who are lying, should be punished. And if someone is really concerned with protecting victims of crime, they should not rush to the defense of those who falsely accuse. Canaff does so, and he is a terrible person for doing it.

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