By writing this letter, I’m opening myself up to misinterpretation. Before anyone accuses me of being insensitive and sexist, allow me to add this disclaimer: I believe rape is a hideous crime deserving of the death penalty.

However, Karen Craven’s one-sided column on Oct. 25 may be counterproductive to the cause of understanding and fairness.

To say that no one cries “rape” (like crying “wolf”) is as ludicrous as saying one is ever falsely accused of any crime. It is a fact that women have wrongly accused men of rape, and admitted to doing so afterwards. Ms. Craven, whenever you make an all-inclusive or all-exclusive statement, you’re probably wrong (as you are in this case). You can’t make broad generalizations. Rape is tragic, and so is a false accusation. I’m not saying it happens a lot, but it happens! It is a problem to be addressed, not ignored.

As for William Kennedy Smith, the alleged victim’s story was contradictory. As for Anita Hill, why did she wait ten years to come forward (after Clarence Thomas was in the spotlight)? Why were there documented falsehoods in her testimony?

With Mike Tyson, I think he got what he deserved. The young girl used very bad judgment, but didn’t deserve to get raped.

Ms. Craven made a point when she said “The DEFENDANT is the one who is innocent until proven guilty … ” Exactly! Yet, when a man is accused of rape, his name is known and the accuser’s name is kept secret. So, if it was a false accusation and proven to be so, the alleged rapist (now the victim) is still viewed as a rapist, and his life is changed for the worse. Sounds like “Guilty even after proven innocent” in some cases. To be fair, the accused person’s identity should be kept secret until convicted.

To insure justice, the past of both the accused and the accuser have to be examined. It isn’t always pretty, but it is necessary.

As I said before, rape is a terrible crime. Women don’t usually cry “wolf”, but it happens.

To end on a sad note, every time a woman falsely accuses someone of rape, it makes it harder for women to come forward, and harder to win in court. However, it is no reason to deny the problem. To be fair, each problem should be dealt with without neglecting the other.

Tony H. Ferrero


Physics Major