Thursday, May 31, 2012

Innocent Until Proven Guilty??

A person DH and I know and have considered to be a friend (although not close) has been accused of... well, I'll not go into the details, but it isn't anything pleasant, and it involves a minor. This is a person otherwise considered to be an "upstanding member of the community", as the saying goes; a white collar professional, a volunteer with kids' organizations, well liked and well respected, all of that. DH heard about the accusations and subsequent arrest of this person through friends, then came home and pulled up the article in the local paper for me to see.

I am so upset about it all. Either way, it's horrible. If he's innocent and this minor and her family are looking to make a quick buck, they're doing so at the expense of this man's life and everything he's worked so hard to build. He is an entrepreneur who depends completely on his reputation and this will wipe him out financially, to begin with. It won't affect just him, either; it will devastate his family both personally and financially. His young kids are in local schools; thank goodness it's almost summer break.

False accusation is an ugly, ugly thing.

But on the other hand, if this girl is telling the truth, then he needs to be held accountable. I've been molested and I know how painful that is; this should never be swept under the rug if it's true.

But now here I am trying to decide what to do. Do I continue to interact with this man through his business (which is mainly how I know him, although DH and I spent time with him and his wife socially many, many years ago) or do I cut him off? I have no way to judge his innocence or guilt, but yet I am in a position where I have to do just that, even if only for myself. Do I believe him or do I believe this teenager?

I know that the bad guys can frequently seem like the good guys. They put on a good show, which is what they want everyone to believe, so I can't go by "well, I know him and he would never", because even someone who appears to be the most upstanding person in the world can have dark, dirty secrets. But then again, good guys can come across like, well, good guys. That's how I've always seen this man in the past- he's a good, decent person, a great dad to his kids, a loving husband to his wife, good at his job, well liked by everyone who knows him. I want to believe he is innocent, but then that would mean the girl is lying, but to falsely accuse her is ugly, too. It's awful.

Either way, I am heartbroken for all concerned.

1 comment:

Mr DVMP said...

Tough situation, but no matter how repugnant the accusation might be, like the court system you have to assume innocence until proven guilty.

Moreover, even if guilty they are still the same person you have always known. So the harder decision will be if you do find out they are guilty, do you treat them the same or shun them.

Luckily that is not a decision you have to make yet.