Whether Sarah Katherine Campbell committed the crime of which she stands accused has yet to be determined. She is due the process, the fairness, that the law provides anyone accused of a crime, even if those who would have shrieked that she must be believed would have denied that to those she accused.
Deputies said 18-year-old Sarah Katherine Campbell was charged with filing a false police report of a felony.
According to deputies, the charges stemmed from a false report of a sexual assault. Clemson University Police responded to a report of a sexual assault at the Delta Chi Fraternity house on January 27, deputies said.
The sheriff’s office said an investigation into the incident was launched and as evidence was gathered in the case, it was determined that the sexual encounter between Campbell and the male at the fraternity house was consensual.
This never happens, except when it does. This is forgivable because we need to have a conversation. This is probably just the cops hating on a sexually assaulted women and favoring the Patriarchy, because male privilege. Or maybe Campbell just lied about being sexually assaulted, but what’s the big deal if the brothers of Delta Chi get nailed for a sexual assault that didn’t happen? Isn’t the problem huge enough that it’s worth sacrificing some innocent males to the cause?
Ridiculous as these excuses may seem, Clemson appears to have bought into them.
& yet the allegation nonetheless triggered a “voluntary” ban on all fraternity social events.https://t.co/czDKjqlLLY
— KC Johnson (@kcjohnson9) March 1, 2018
But that’s college life these days, as guilt, innocence, even wholesale fabrication of accusations, merely serves as a prelude to punishments and restrictions, just in case. Nobody wants to have the wrath of social media impair their applications for the coming school year.
So the arrest of Campbell for falsely reporting is a good thing, at least so far as it may be factually accurate? The reactions to this news suggest it’s not good enough for some, as calls came in for Sarah Katherine Campbell to suffer the punishment that would have been imposed on those she falsely accused.
The desire for parity, for retribution, to do as much damage to the false accuser as she would do to the falsely accused, is understandable. There has always been a visceral need for an “eye for an eye.” The reasons for revenge are nothing new, easily grounded in claims to moral imperative.
But it doesn’t work that way. Assuming Campbell committed the offense of falsely reporting a sexual assault, she should be punished for the crime she committed, not the crime of accusation. She should be punished based on the factors that apply to her, her life, her experience, her remorse, her explanation. Just as would be the case for those she accused if her accusations were true.
I get it. You’re angry. You know that we’re up to our eyeballs in malarkey, that nonsensical narratives have overcome facts and reason, and that the promoters of this hate mongering wouldn’t think twice about tossing innocent males in the clink. Or out of college. Or just destroy their lives, somehow. Yes, I get it.
But the answer to anger isn’t more anger, more unreasonableness of your own to counter their unreasonableness. So they don’t care about facts, or lives, or harm done to men? Is that the bar by which you measure your own reasonableness, the worst of the other side? If they’re intellectual midgets, running full-tilt on mindless emotion, don’t you aspire to be better, bigger, more rational?
We’re inundated with appeals to emotion, and feel the need to strike back. Resist the impulse. Resist the anger. Resist being the worst, most unreasonable person you can be. That they would not be as kind to you is irrelevant.
The religion of believing the victim, embracing the narrative of false rape statistics, will guide those who would destroy due process, eliminate fairness, demand the return of Torquemada to campuses and courtrooms to soothe their hurt. False accusations happen. Exaggerated accusations happen. Reframing consensual sex into post-hoc regret rape happens. They shouldn’t, but they do, no matter how much the religious refuses to believe.
And the harms done to the victims of these wrongs is very serious, no matter how they’re trivialized by those who want to turn Blackstone’s ratio on its head. Not only do I get it, but I’ve been pounding away at this for a long time.
And yet, falsely reporting a crime isn’t the same crime as rape or sexual assault. Don’t be them. Don’t be angry. Don’t demand an eye for an eye, even though it strikes you as some sort of cosmic fairness. If Campbell committed the offense with which she’s charged, it’s good that it was discovered and that she will be prosecuted for it.
And if convicted, she will get the sentence her crime, and she, deserve. What that will be has nothing to do with the offense of accusation. As furious as this may make you, as unfair as this may seem, this is the rational way with which we deal with crime. Just as we want it to apply to us, we should want it applied to her. Be better than them.