Tags: allegations | al franken | weinstein

Parsing the Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Parsing the Sexual Misconduct Allegations
Sen. Al Franken, (D-MN) speaks to the media after returning back to work in the Senate on Capitol Hill on November 27, 2017, in Washington, D.C. Franken took questions from reporters outside of his office in light of the multiple women accusing him of sexual misconduct. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

By Tuesday, 28 November 2017 11:31 AM Current | Bio | Archive

In the United States a person is considered innocent until proven guilty. The U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment guarantees "equal protection under the law." This means that the burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove that someone is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. What we are facing today regarding the alleged sexual misconduct charges on many politicians and Hollywood types has further divided this country on each other's version of guilt.

No matter what your thoughts are regarding these allegations, the only real evidence I see for any crime is the pictures of Sen. Al Franken, and others have apologized or paid hush money for their actions which may reveal their culpability. However, the NYPD has an active investigation into Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual assault of actress Paz de la Huerta, and may actually have enough credible evidence to indict him.

There have been many allegations of abuse and child molestation against Judge Roy Moore, who is the Republican candidate for Senator in Alabama. The question is, can we prove that these crimes really happened? Many people including myself believe there is smoke emanating from Roy Moore regarding these claims and that they may warrant an investigation. Nonetheless we must look at it from a lawful perspective, not one of feelings — just ask yourself, would you like your life ruined with charges such as these that may not be true? Moore denies every charge and the amount of victims that have come forward may lead you to believe that Moore is a predator, nevertheless this does not mean he is guilty in the eyes of the law, which we are ruled by — however, public perception usually rules. President Trump is supporting Moore because he denies the accusations and he has every right to do that because of a lack of evidence against him, those who don’t support Moore have no evidence either to prove the allegations against him are true.

We are treading on very dangerous grounds with these allegations that come years or decades later by assuming guilt before any evidence is presented to indicate these incidents occurred. This could wind up becoming a political tool used by politicians just before election time to try and manipulate the outcome. It’s very suspect that these arise just before an election and every American has the right to question these coincidences! We also have to question who and what law determines “sexual abuse,” “rape,” etc. States have their own similar laws and statutes of limitations that cover this and which actions are defined as “sexual abuse.” In my experience as a detective many people just assume that if someone touches them on a shoulder or asks them out on a date this is sexual abuse. However, they couldn’t be more wrong, therefor we need to investigate each individual alleged action to make a real determination if a crime occurred.

We also have to take into account that based on my experience many women falsely accuse men of sexual crimes and this happens more frequently than you think. This is why a complete investigation must be conducted to uncover the truth. That’s why it is extremely important for all alleged victims to come to the police directly after it happens, the longer you wait the harder it is to substantiate your allegation.

Members of Congress however, believe when it comes to sexual harassment and other crimes that they are above the law. They have devised an out for themselves to keep from being publicly named, and put the burden on the taxpayer to pay hush money. President Trump talks about cleaning the swamp in D.C., however, it looks more like a sewer.

I’m pondering that if the media or anyone else uncovers such actions, my question is when did they uncover it and did they wait until an opportune time to reveal it, which shows their political bias? Was the information uncovered months before an election and then reported just before November to help sway it? If so, then the media would be culpable in colluding with a specific party to destroy an opponent and, if uncovered, this gives more credence to the issue that Americans no longer trust the media.

Everyone has a right to an opinion on these cases; however it is the rule of law that determines criminal action and guilt or innocence, not opinions, innuendo, or assumptions. Let’s not ever forget that, god help us if we ever do!

Harry Houck is a CNN law enforcement analyst, retired NYPD Detective First Grade, and USMC veteran. Follow him on Twitter, @HarryJHouck, or Facebook. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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Everyone has a right to an opinion on these cases; however it is the rule of law that determines criminal action and guilt or innocence, not opinions, innuendo, or assumptions.
allegations, al franken, weinstein
Tuesday, 28 November 2017 11:31 AM
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