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Signing Luke Heimlich: Acceptable or Quit being a fan worthy?

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1 hour ago, Jake said:

First of all, as a general rule I strongly dislike the idea of sex offender registries and so on. If you're a menace to society, then you can't be in society. If your punishment is over, your punishment is over. People who commit crimes and serve their punishment should be allowed to be full participants in society. Everybody wants to say that sure the person shouldn't be in prison, but they shouldn't be allowed to do [insert whatever thing here].

This was I believe the most complete reporting on what happened: https://portlandtribune.com/pt/12-sports/385703-274945-penalties-paid-heimlich-ready-to-return-for-beavers-baseball

From the public safety perspective, it appears experts believe Heimlich is a very low risk to re-offend. His court-appointed therapist told the court he should have his restrictions as soon as allowed, saying they "do nothing to protect the community and serve no other useful purpose." The only reason this ultimately came to light was an error on the part of state police in Oregon, who misunderstood the laws under which Heimlich was sentenced. If not for the news coverage, a criminal background check would not yield any results for Heimlich. He is not a registered sex offender. In the eyes of the law, he has no criminal history.

Heimlich has only "admitted" to the offense under a single circumstance: his guilty plea required him to write an apology letter that had to be written as if he committed the offense. Maybe that's enough for you to say he is an admitted offender, but in my view it would be very naive to assume that only guilty people take guilty pleas.

The alternative that Heimlich faced after the accusation against him was to fight in a quasi-court setting (this is the juvenile justice system, not the court us adults at Soxtalk would go to if we were accused of such crimes). Heimlich's lawyer, the family says, advised that in such juvenile proceedings the accuser is always believed unless they are unequivocally proven wrong. There was an unusual circumstance here in that when Heimlich's brother divorced, he was granted full custody of the child. Nobody has said publicly why that happened but it is not what typically happens. It was understood that Heimlich's brother would see his custody questioned if he didn't react appropriately to this accusation. This is just to say that there was much more at stake here than Heimlich's own interests.

So I don't know what he did. I think there's a chance he is innocent as he claims. The best evidence against him is that the child told somebody it happened; I'm generally inclined to believe the accuser and I wouldn't sign Heimlich if I wasn't comfortable with the possibility that he did what he was accused of doing. I would advise against using his guilty plea as evidence of his guilt as there was abundant reason for an innocent person in his situation to accept the deal offered to him: go to counseling, avoid the niece, and after a few years it's all over and nobody will ever find out (unless some police officer in another state accidentally leaks your name into the public record). The alternative is a drawn out hearing process that will likely ruin your relationship with several members of the family and if found guilty, time in juvenile detention.

All that being said, I'm not hoping for the Sox to sign him no matter how talented he may be — I'm thinking he's being overrated just because he's basically untouchable — because the Sox are not exactly in a position where they have built up goodwill they can burn on a controversial thing like this.

That is far from the most thorough explanation. The Oregonian piece published had the police report excerpts and quotes from people actually involved - as well as the police department. 

There were a bunch of lunatic Beaver fans who attacked the Oregonian and said they were bias because they liked the Ducks so that's why the did this. That is obviously an absurdly stupid acquisition.

And the entire clerical error thing was nonsense in the first place - the first PR campaign launched by the Heimlichs. He still had to register as a sex offender for 5 years. Even if you say there was a mistake - which I have never seen the court document supporting that the case was dismissed due to Clerical error (I imagine it's just as likely it was dismissed because to terms of the plea deal were potentially voided by the leaking of the case information) - I'm not going to lose sleep over him being exposed for what he did. 

By the way, saying he only admitted it under a single circumstance is incredibly disingenuous. He admitted it the ONLY time it legally mattered, and he never once referenced the incident - or issued any denial - until he was exposed. He didn't campaign for his innocence. 

The part about the accuser always being believed in the juvenile system is a load of hogwash (Once again, PR BS put out by the Heimlichs) - the burden of proof in the judicial system vs the juvenile system is NOT different. In fact, when the motion was filed to make the burden of proof in juvenile court the same as civil court (because the punishments weren't as strong) it was shot down and the burden of proof remained the same for both.

This part is complete bullshit as well: "Heimlich and his family have chosen not to be quoted about his situation. But they recently provided the Portland Tribune with therapist reports and court records, which offer some information not previously made public. The Tribune also conducted interviews with Luke, his father, Mark Heimlich, his mother, Meridee Heimlich, and his sister, Faith Heimlich, who all gave perspective on Luke's life, and theirs together. Many things have become evident, including that Luke has been steadfast in denying the allegations against him, from the time he first met with police officers in 2012 until today."

Uh no, actually he hasn't been steadfast in denial since day one because he fucking plead guilty!

That article you cited is literally a collection of defense quotes and stories released by Luke's immediate family. The same people who sat there and had him say he was guilty. 

This is all BS - it's the Heimlichs trying to save themselves after the exposure. Fuck him.

"Polygraph tests often are used to determine the veracity of suspects or witnesses, and to monitor criminal offenders on probation. Luke and his parents would have welcomed the opportunity for a polygraph asking questions directly related to his niece, but their attorney said polygraph results are inadmissible in Washington court, and he advised against asking Luke specific questions."

More BS from your article - nothing about a polygraph is reliable or reasonable in terms of defense. 

Edited by Look at Ray Ray Run

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I don’t think it’s “quit being a fan”-worthy, in terms of rooting for my team, but I do think I’d have a really hard time rooting for his success. And I would feel very uncomfortable if he was, say, leading us to a World Series. So overall, i hope he doesn’t end up with the White Sox. 

I think I have a softer stance than most think I should, but let me be clear that it is NOT because I am not outraged at the idea of him molesting a child. Rather, I think it’s because I just don’t know what really happened. At the end of the day, it is hard to believe something bad didn’t happen, but... I don’t know maybe it’s just how my brain works that I tend toward neutral on things where I don’t feel like I know all the facts. Like - it is PLAUSIBLE that the child made stuff up for any number of reasons and that he did just follow bad advice pleading guilty. I accept it isn’t likely. But it is possible. And... I don’t know, I guess I sort of liken it to not being comfortable with capital punishment because of the fact that we know SOME people on death row are actually innocent, even though most aren’t — my brain just has trouble supporting vengeance in an instance where I can’t be totally sure that the vengeance is actually warranted. It just. It give me pause. 

I think if we actually had details about what happened, I would very easily and clearly be more on the “don’t even let this guy play” side — not because criminals don’t have a right to live their lives after they do their time, but because if it’s all true, the guy should be in jail doing time right now. And it’s weird because I objectively know that whatever happened probably deserves that, but I just cant commit to it emotionally because I can’t be sure that it’s really true. 

It’s a nuanced thing that I can’t feel comfortable with and I wish the whole thing simply didn’t happen. 

Edited by Eminor3rd

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This whole business reminds me of a case back in late 70's or early 80's.  An NFL placekicker (I'm not going to name him) got into a sort of similar situation (not a relative) and was charged with a similar crime, but they let him off the hook by pleading to a lesser offense instead of the one with a 20 year sentence if found guilty.  He always claimed he was innocent.  He was cut, re-signed with another team, and then cut again when all was made public.  This guy was not US citizen, by the way.  Back in those days, I had less faith in the criminal justice system, since there have been many instances where a person was offered a lesser plea just to clear the case, guilt or innocence notwithstanding.

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I don't believe it's my place to decide whether or not he gets a chance, but if he does I really, really, really hope it's not with the White Sox.

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18 hours ago, Jake said:

First of all, as a general rule I strongly dislike the idea of sex offender registries and so on. If you're a menace to society, then you can't be in society. If your punishment is over, your punishment is over. People who commit crimes and serve their punishment should be allowed to be full participants in society. Everybody wants to say that sure the person shouldn't be in prison, but they shouldn't be allowed to do [insert whatever thing here].

This was I believe the most complete reporting on what happened: https://portlandtribune.com/pt/12-sports/385703-274945-penalties-paid-heimlich-ready-to-return-for-beavers-baseball

From the public safety perspective, it appears experts believe Heimlich is a very low risk to re-offend. His court-appointed therapist told the court he should have his restrictions as soon as allowed, saying they "do nothing to protect the community and serve no other useful purpose." The only reason this ultimately came to light was an error on the part of state police in Oregon, who misunderstood the laws under which Heimlich was sentenced. If not for the news coverage, a criminal background check would not yield any results for Heimlich. He is not a registered sex offender. In the eyes of the law, he has no criminal history.

Heimlich has only "admitted" to the offense under a single circumstance: his guilty plea required him to write an apology letter that had to be written as if he committed the offense. Maybe that's enough for you to say he is an admitted offender, but in my view it would be very naive to assume that only guilty people take guilty pleas.

The alternative that Heimlich faced after the accusation against him was to fight in a quasi-court setting (this is the juvenile justice system, not the court us adults at Soxtalk would go to if we were accused of such crimes). Heimlich's lawyer, the family says, advised that in such juvenile proceedings the accuser is always believed unless they are unequivocally proven wrong. There was an unusual circumstance here in that when Heimlich's brother divorced, he was granted full custody of the child. Nobody has said publicly why that happened but it is not what typically happens. It was understood that Heimlich's brother would see his custody questioned if he didn't react appropriately to this accusation. This is just to say that there was much more at stake here than Heimlich's own interests.

So I don't know what he did. I think there's a chance he is innocent as he claims. The best evidence against him is that the child told somebody it happened; I'm generally inclined to believe the accuser and I wouldn't sign Heimlich if I wasn't comfortable with the possibility that he did what he was accused of doing. I would advise against using his guilty plea as evidence of his guilt as there was abundant reason for an innocent person in his situation to accept the deal offered to him: go to counseling, avoid the niece, and after a few years it's all over and nobody will ever find out (unless some police officer in another state accidentally leaks your name into the public record). The alternative is a drawn out hearing process that will likely ruin your relationship with several members of the family and if found guilty, time in juvenile detention.

All that being said, I'm not hoping for the Sox to sign him no matter how talented he may be — I'm thinking he's being overrated just because he's basically untouchable — because the Sox are not exactly in a position where they have built up goodwill they can burn on a controversial thing like this.

This is a very good summary, and generally how I feel as well.  

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On 3/7/2019 at 4:14 PM, Look at Ray Ray Run said:

Ok, but youre still putting some blame on the victim here which is absolutely absurd, imo.

Victim shaming a victim that was 6 at the time and that the accused admitted to the act. Of course hes gonna say he didn't do it now.

Edit: not sure victim shaming is the right word, but your implication is that she could have been complicit in setting up Luke at 6 years old and I just don't by it.

I hate this argument.  Expressing a level of skepticism is not putting the blame on the victim.  

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What could be interesting is even if a major league franchise takes an interest in him, I wonder if affiliates would allow him to be on their teams?  There are some pretty small towns in the bible belt in the lower levels of the minors.

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3 minutes ago, southsider2k5 said:

What could be interesting is even if a major league franchise takes an interest in him, I wonder if affiliates would allow him to be on their teams?  There are some pretty small towns in the bible belt in the lower levels of the minors.

The affiliates would not get that option. The PDCs specify that the parent club controls the roster of uniformed personnel. But it sure as heck would cause them problems, which I am sure they would express to the parent club (and they could make things difficult in other ways).

 

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I think his only chance [if he was innocent] to ever getting signed would be that his niece one day publicly admitted that it never happened.  And I doubt she ever would because frankly....its pretty hard to remember a lot of details from ages 4-6.  

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On 3/7/2019 at 1:55 PM, soxfan2014 said:

I'm sorry, but no way am I pleading guilty to that if I'm innocent. You're 15. You know how creepy it is to touch a little kid.

Honestly, I think innocent people pleading guilty to crimes they didn't commit happens way more often than we realize. Of course everyone always says they would never do it. But until you are put into that situation, you never really know.

Especially if you are a young, scared kid getting either zero help from any adults or attorneys or getting advice that its the best thing to avoid a long, drawn out legal battle that will end up ruining your name and reputation even if you are eventually found to be innocent.

 

This is slightly off-topic but I just recently listened to a podcast that had a story about a 19-year-old single mother who was also homeless that happened to be charged with murder. After spending 18 hours in an interrogation room with no lawyer and worrying what was going to happen to her 6 week old daughter, she eventually pled guilty to the crime.  The cops believed her confession because she was able to give them details that only the killer would know. 

They later found proof that she couldn't have been the killer and the case went into the cold case files. 10 years later when they went back and looked at the taped confession they realized that they had unknowingly fed her the information that she knew about the case. The literally showed her receipts from when the killer took the victims credit card and used it at various stores and restaurants. Then later when she was able to tell them where his credit card was used, they thought that was the proof that she did it.

Again, I'm not saying that's what happened in this case. Just that I think it happens way more often than people realize.

Edited by Iwritecode

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5 minutes ago, Iwritecode said:

Honestly, I think innocent people pleading guilty to crimes they didn't commit happens way more often than we realize. Of course everyone always says they would never do it. But until you are put into that situation, you never really know.

Especially if you are a young, scared kid getting either zero help from any adults or attorneys or getting advice that its the best thing to avoid a long, drawn out legal battle that will end up ruining your name and reputation even if you are eventually found to be innocent.

 

This is slightly off-topic but I just recently listened to a podcast that had a story about a 19-year-old single mother who was also homeless that happened to be charged with murder. After spending 18 hours in an interrogation room with no lawyer and worrying what was going to happen to her 6 week old daughter, she eventually pled guilty to the crime.  The cops believed her confession because she was able to give them details that only the killer would know. 

They later found proof that she couldn't have been the killer and the case went into the cold case files. 10 years later when they went back and looked at the taped confession they realized that they had unknowingly fed her the information that she knew about the case. The literally showed her receipts from when the killer took the victims credit card and used it at various stores and restaurants. Then later when she was able to tell them where his credit card was used, they thought that was the proof that she did it.

Again, I'm not saying that's what happened in this case. Just that I think it happens way more often than people realize.

Yeah it definitely happens. But I ain't pleading guilty to touching my 6-year old niece if I didn't do it.

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9 minutes ago, soxfan2014 said:

Yeah it definitely happens. But I ain't pleading guilty to touching my 6-year old niece if I didn't do it.

Sure, that's the common reaction. But imagine you are a 15 year old kid with hopes of going to college and becoming a major league player at some point. Then your parents and lawyers are telling you that if this goes to trial that the story will get out and there's a chance, however small, that you may still be found guilty. That even if you are found innocent, there were still be people that judge you for even being accused of the crime.

BUT, if you just plead guilty since you are still a minor, this will all go away and eventually be erased from your record and nobody will ever know a thing about it.

It's not an easy choice.

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14 minutes ago, soxfan2014 said:

Yeah it definitely happens. But I ain't pleading guilty to touching my 6-year old niece if I didn't do it.

This is where I don't believe Heimlich.  6 year olds don't make up this kind of stuff, and they definitely don't make it up in enough detail to be able to get to the point where you can go to trial. I don't have any data in front of me, but knowing how small that false reports are for this kind of stuff in general, when you add in who the victim was, I have to imagine it is infinitesimal.  The denial in this case just doesn't add up to me.

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28 minutes ago, southsider2k5 said:

This is where I don't believe Heimlich.  6 year olds don't make up this kind of stuff, and they definitely don't make it up in enough detail to be able to get to the point where you can go to trial. I don't have any data in front of me, but knowing how small that false reports are for this kind of stuff in general, when you add in who the victim was, I have to imagine it is infinitesimal.  The denial in this case just doesn't add up to me.

I think you are correct unless the mom planted it in the child's mind because it somehow helped with custody.  That is easy to coach a kid into believing and saying.  That being said....I think he's guilty.

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1 hour ago, southsider2k5 said:

This is where I don't believe Heimlich.  6 year olds don't make up this kind of stuff, and they definitely don't make it up in enough detail to be able to get to the point where you can go to trial. I don't have any data in front of me, but knowing how small that false reports are for this kind of stuff in general, when you add in who the victim was, I have to imagine it is infinitesimal.  The denial in this case just doesn't add up to me.

You are very wrong about that sir. If an adult makes a suggestion, especially a parental figure or some other authority figure, they can be duped  into thinking something has happened that hasn't. 6 year olds are very gullible, and I, personally, think that there is a possibility that someone told her to say this. I know of single digit aged kids , whether disturbed or not, that wanted to get something out of their parents and learn about this and use it to blackmail them, even as young as 6-8 years old. I have seen it happen. Parenting has become completely different over the last 25 or so years because kids have realized they have this power, and they don't understand the consequences, so they use it. I have heard stories of kids being grounded in their room for misbehavior and making up stories that their parents locked them in their room, didn't feed them or let them use the restroom, etc because they were upset about being grounded and nothing more. The bottom line is by the time a kid reaches school age, in this point in history, they know they have this power and they're not afraid to use it, mostly because they don't understand the consequences. Therefore, you, as a parent, can't control your kids behavior as well as parents used to. 

Bottom line, your assumption is very dangerous. 

Edited by Jack Parkman

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13 minutes ago, Jack Parkman said:

You are very wrong about that sir. If an adult makes a suggestion, especially a parental figure or some other authority figure, they can be duped  into thinking something has happened that hasn't. 6 year olds are very gullible, and I, personally, think that there is a possibility that someone told her to say this. I know of single digit aged kids , whether disturbed or not, that wanted to get something out of their parents and learn about this and use it to blackmail them, even as young as 6-8 years old. I have seen it happen. Parenting has become completely different over the last 25 or so years because kids have realized they have this power, and they don't understand the consequences, so they use it. I have heard stories of kids being grounded in their room for misbehavior and making up stories that their parents locked them in their room, didn't feed them or let them use the restroom, etc because they were upset about being grounded and nothing more. The bottom line is by the time a kid reaches school age, in this point in history, they know they have this power and they're not afraid to use it, mostly because they don't understand the consequences. Therefore, you, as a parent, can't control your kids behavior as well as parents used to. 

Bottom line, your assumption is very dangerous. 

Your assumptions and victim blaming of a six year old frankly disgust me, and I am not going to even entertain discussing this with you further.  People like you are the reason that victims of molestation and sexual assault hide in the shadows.

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I just can't see how some expert wouldn't be able to tell if a 6 year old was lying. especially about this particular subject. I get it's very delicate, but even if a parent put them up to it, the vast majority of 6 year olds eventually telegraph they are lying about the simple things. This is a bit more complicated.

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2 hours ago, southsider2k5 said:

This is where I don't believe Heimlich.  6 year olds don't make up this kind of stuff, and they definitely don't make it up in enough detail to be able to get to the point where you can go to trial. I don't have any data in front of me, but knowing how small that false reports are for this kind of stuff in general, when you add in who the victim was, I have to imagine it is infinitesimal.  The denial in this case just doesn't add up to me.

Unless there is something way deeper going on, like the mother feeding the info to the girl.  IIRC, the mother and father divorced after this.  There clearly was more to the family dynamic then what is out in public. Its hard to fathom a parent doing this to a child, but its not impossible.  Maybe it was an attack from the mother as a way to get full custody of the child by trying to show the court that his family is fucked up.  

I have a similar situation (NOT INVOLVING SEXUAL RELATIONS IN ANYWAY) in my own family where my sister who is a good mother but has her issues, has told her child not to talk about my sister's boyfriend (not the biological father) around her/my family.  My family hates the guy - and for good reason, he's a scumbag - but for whatever reason, my sister has not been able to completely kick him to the curb.  But my parents help support my sister and her child (who is around 6 years old), and I believe my sister is concerned that if my parents knew this scumbag was still in her life to the degree that he is, they may be less inclined to support.  So my little 6 year niece has basically been brainwashed by her mother (who again is a good mom, though I disagree strongly with how she has handled this) to not discuss this guy AT ALL around my family. Its fucked up and obviously like I said don't agree with the way my sister has handled the situation at all, but I am also not super close with her, so I sort of mind my own business and stay out of it.  But its an example to a much lesser degree that a mother can definitely feed a child that age information. 

NOT saying that is for sure what happened here, but it is not impossible.  

Edited by ChiSox59

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3 minutes ago, ChiSox59 said:

Unless there is something way deeper going on, like the mother feeding the info to the girl.  IIRC, the mother and father divorced after this.  There clearly was more to the family dynamic then what is out in public. Its hard to fathom a parent doing this to a child, but its not impossible.  Maybe it was an attack from the mother as a way to get full custody of the child by trying to show the court that his family is fucked up.  

I have a similar situation (NOT INVOLVING SEXUAL RELATIONS IN ANYWAY) in my own family where my sister who is a good mother but has her issues, has told her child not to talk about my sister's boyfriend (not the biological father) around her/my family.  My family hates the guy - and for good reason, he's a scumbag - but for whatever reason, my sister has not been able to completely kick him to the curb.  But my parents help support my sister and her child (who is around 6 years old), and I believe my sister is concerned that if my parents knew this scumbag was still in her life to the degree that he is, they may be less inclined to support.  So my little 6 year niece has basically been brainwashed by her mother (who again is a good mom, though I disagree strongly with how she has handled this) to not discuss this guy AT ALL around my family. Its fucked up and I obviously like I said don't agree with the way my sister has handled the situation at all, but I am also not super close with her, so I sort of mind my own business and stay out of it.  But its an example to a much lesser degree that a mother can definitely feed a child that age information. 

NOT saying that is for sure what happened here, but it is not impossible.  

Thanks, parents feeding their kids info happens. We have no idea what happened here. This is an unfortunate story because the only people that know what actually happened are Heimlich and his niece. They'll both have to deal with it for the rest of their lives, no matter what the truth is. 

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47 minutes ago, southsider2k5 said:

Your assumptions and victim blaming of a six year old frankly disgust me, and I am not going to even entertain discussing this with you further.  People like you are the reason that victims of molestation and sexual assault hide in the shadows.

What part of his comment did you interpret as "victim blaming"?

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10 minutes ago, ChiSox59 said:

Unless there is something way deeper going on, like the mother feeding the info to the girl.  IIRC, the mother and father divorced after this.  There clearly was more to the family dynamic then what is out in public. Its hard to fathom a parent doing this to a child, but its not impossible.  Maybe it was an attack from the mother as a way to get full custody of the child by trying to show the court that his family is fucked up.  

I have a similar situation (NOT INVOLVING SEXUAL RELATIONS IN ANYWAY) in my own family where my sister who is a good mother but has her issues, has told her child not to talk about my sister's boyfriend (not the biological father) around her/my family.  My family hates the guy - and for good reason, he's a scumbag - but for whatever reason, my sister has not been able to completely kick him to the curb.  But my parents help support my sister and her child (who is around 6 years old), and I believe my sister is concerned that if my parents knew this scumbag was still in her life to the degree that he is, they may be less inclined to support.  So my little 6 year niece has basically been brainwashed by her mother (who again is a good mom, though I disagree strongly with how she has handled this) to not discuss this guy AT ALL around my family. Its fucked up and obviously like I said don't agree with the way my sister has handled the situation at all, but I am also not super close with her, so I sort of mind my own business and stay out of it.  But its an example to a much lesser degree that a mother can definitely feed a child that age information. 

NOT saying that is for sure what happened here, but it is not impossible.  

Like I said, 6 year olds don't make up this stuff.  Adults might, and there is always the chance of coaching, but 15 minutes of talking to a 6 year old would tell you by their answers if they were lying.  They would only be able to regurgitate the story they were told, and not to provide anything outside of that.  The story would change, and not make sense at point, especially as they got off of their talking points.

Again, the rate of this stuff happening in real life is minuscule.  The true reports FAR outpace the false ones.  If there is ever an assumption to be made, it is to believe the kid and not to assume they are lying, just like in rape allegations.

The idea of there being some epidemic of false allegations going on is bullshit put out to protect predators.

I don't know what happened exactly in this case, but the one thing I do know is that neither of my two daughters would have ever been around this man.

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52 minutes ago, default said:

What part of his comment did you interpret as "victim blaming"?

Yeah, I clearly put none of the onus on the kid and all of it on the adults around them, who are either manipulating the kid in the worst case scenario or the investigator having confirmation bias and believing an otherwise clearly coached story even if there are holes. Kids lie about things, and they don't understand the consequences.  The problem here isn't the kids, but the adults around them and the situation. I want this to be perfectly clear.  It all comes down to whether the investigator does their job properly. Sometimes though, people believe what they want to believe. 

I do not, in any circumstances, want anyone to think that I'm blaming this child. I do not, under any circumstances, want anyone to think I don't support victims of sexual assault and the (wrongly misdirected) societal stigma against them. In every case of false accusation, no matter what crime, it comes out because the investigators do their job properly and due process is given to the accused. 

I believe the following: 

1) Accusers should be considered credible until proven otherwise

2) Due process should be given to the accused until proven guilty in a court law. 

I acknowledge that statement #1 is a huge societal problem that needs to be changed, but we need to be careful that we don't go too far in the opposite direction, though I do admit erring in that direction is probably more prudent. 

 

Edited by Jack Parkman

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