The Dangers of Trying Sexual Abusers in the Court of Public Opinion


The recent high profile accusations of sexual abuse and misconduct has led to a rise in reports of sexual harassment in offices.

Attorneys representing victims of sexual assault have reported an uptick in calls to their offices, saying that it’s a good sign that even people in low-level positions feel confident in coming forward.However, it’s important to understand the damage the court of public opinion can have before the accused is even ruled guilty in a court of law.

“95 percent of the damage to an accused is done the moment the accusation is made public," Koffel said in a statement. "It is exceptionally difficult to overcome the presumption of guilt in sexual misconduct cases. Accusations should not be confused as proof that something happened. There are numerous criminal justice studies that have found an alarming number of sexual misconduct allegations are actually false. Bear in mind that the Duke Lacrosse case resulted in exposing the lies of the accuser and the prosecutor going to jail for his reckless pursuit of that case.”