Not everyone is aware that the #MeToo “movement” didn’t arise organically. I had been told it was coming well before it happened, that there was a deliberate plan to circumvent the difficulties presented by the legal system, even the Title IX campus sex tribunals, because they required two things that proponents found too hard to address: Evidence and the possibility that their accusations might be tested.
When it started “happening,” meaning that it wasn’t just some crazy conspiracy theory but had metastasized into reality, I wrote about it. For the sake of time frame, this was before Alyssa Milano grabbed onto Tarana Burke’s 2006 coinage of Me Too. This wasn’t an accident, but a decision to elevate unproven accusation into indisputable “truth.” It was a decision that the cost of the “few” false accusations and ruination of innocents was unfortunate, but necessary, collateral damage.
You might also note how critical it is to this scheme that the rape epidemic and false accusations lie be perpetrated. With both of these key beliefs in place, the downside of this extrajudicial and subconstitutional system was small enough that people would overlook its harm, ignore the fact that these cries were entirely unproven and would never be proven. There are no rules of evidence on social media, just as there’s no appeal.
And regardless of where you stand on the underlying issue, it has been a huge success. It has accomplished its goal of circumventing the principles upon which our law was grounded and eviscerating them. But where does it go from here? There remains a problem with the scheme, that as much as they can get men fired or expelled, books burned, movies trashed and art removed from the walls of museums, they still can’t put men in jail without going through the “regular” legal system.
A prosecutor in Maine has the answer.
Victims often hesitate to seek justice because many fear they won’t be believed. Others don’t want to relive the trauma they experienced through lengthy legal proceedings. Sexual assault cases are difficult to prosecute since these crimes often occur in private settings. Aside from personal testimony, investigators often lack solid evidence to build a criminal case.
But District Attorney Natasha Irving says it’s time to reform how the legal system prosecutes sexual assault cases, so victims who come forward know they’ll be supported. Irving says prosecutors shouldn’t decline to prosecute a case just because they “think it’s too hard to prove.”
Reforms prosecutors are all the rage, as activists have smartly realized that District Attorney elections were a weak link in the chain of the system. With very few votes, they could seize these offices, put reformers in place and reinvent the system from the backend to achieve what they have failed to accomplish from the legislative side. Few people cared about District Attorney races outside their friends and family, and they were handed vast power by legislators who thought they would always be handpicked by party leaders and instructed to do the party’s bidding. Give the activists credit for spotting the opportunity and seizing it.
But Natasha Irving’s idea of how of “reform” isn’t to adhere more closely to the Constitution, to assure every accused of due process, or to recognize that the job of a prosecutor isn’t to convict, but to “do justice.” Rather, her “reform” is to arrest and prosecute people against whom there is insufficient evidence to convict.
But that shouldn’t be a primary concern, said Irving who failed to get a conviction in that case after the judge ruled the state had not met the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
“It didn’t feel good for any of us to lose that case. But I do think personally, I would rather show a victim that we will fight for them, than [rejecting a case] because it’s too hard to prove beyond a reasonable doubt,” Irving said. “We don’t want law enforcement or prosecutors to ever think that something is a ‘he said she said.’”
This isn’t to say that prosecutors should reject any case that isn’t a slam dunk, but to prosecute men based on the litany of rationalizations, as proffered by the “experts” who teach the jury what they’re to believe to be fact, when the evidence at best fails to establish proof beyond a reasonable doubt is a deliberate abuse of power. Ironically, it’s the same abuse complained of by reform prosecutors in any other prosecution not involving an accusation of sexual assault. Go figure.
Irving says it’s time for a “come-to-Jesus-moment” about the realities of sexual assault.
Where #MeToo has enjoyed massive, if mindless, acceptance among the woke, it is now working its way back into the legal system it was created to avoid, only this time based upon the invented belief in its foundational ideologies to overcome its evidentiary failings.
Will it work? First, it doesn’t have to in order to accomplish its goal. As the saying goes, you can beat the rap, but you can’t beat the ride. Men will be arrested and prosecuted, their faces and the accusations against them will appear in the media. They will lose their jobs, their homes, their families and be criminals. Even acquitted, the belief of guilt isn’t dissipated. After all, juries don’t return verdicts of “innocent,” but not guilty. And as the presumption of innocence is reduced to a “legal technicality” rather than a tenet of law, there is no way to overcome the taint.
But second, it may well work. For the reasons detained people plead guilty now, they will plead guilty to sex offenses rather than roll the dice at trial or spend a few years awaiting their chance for vindication.
And third, if the rationalizations, the expert witnesses, the narrative, accomplish what their pushers hope, perhaps juries will convict despite the gross inadequacy of proof. Is it “unfair” that some accusations of sexual assault and rape are hard to prove? Perhaps, but that’s always been the nature of our criminal justice system, that it’s better that ten guilty people go free than one innocent be convicted. There was no exception for sex offenses. Until now.