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Tags: dershowitz | falsely accused | murder | sexual assault

Alan Dershowitz: I'd Rather Be Falsely Accused of Murder Than of Sexual Assault

close-up head shot of lawyer alan dershowitz looking to his right
Alan Dershowitz (Frank Franklin II/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 11 April 2019 09:40 AM EDT

Had I been falsely accused of killing someone, rather than of sexually assaulting someone, no one would believe the made-up story. 

I would have been able to prove, through travel records and other indisputable documentation, that I couldn't have been at the murder scene. But when someone is accused of any sexual misdeed, the evidence – no matter how convincing — does not seem to matter, especially in the court of public opinion.

In my case, two women I never met were put up to falsely accusing me for obvious financial gain.  They both had histories of making up stories about famous people for money, and of committing perjury. 

As to one of the women, her own lawyer acknowledged in a lawfully recorded conversation, that it was "impossible" for me to have been in the places where she falsely claimed to have met me.  He acknowledged that she was "wrong," "simply wrong."

A thorough investigation by the former head of the FBI and several other retired law-enforcement investigators concluded that the first woman had falsely accused me. The judge struck her accusations from the record and sanctioned her lawyers for including them.  Her lawyers withdrew her affidavit and admitted it was a "mistake" to file it.

As to the second woman, prior to accusing me she had tried to sell a story to the New York Post claiming that she had sex tapes of Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, and Richard Branson.  The Post, of course, found that she lacked credibility and refused to publish her false allegations.  Nonetheless her lawyer allowed her to file a sworn affidavit falsely accusing me.

If this were a murder case, my evidence of innocence coupled with the lack of credibility and corroboration by my accusers, would subject them rather than to criminal prosecution. 

But when a woman accuses a man of sexual misconduct, everything changes. The rebuttable presumption of innocence turns into an irrebuttable presumption of guilty.  Incontrovertible evidence of innocence is replaced by the mantra that women never lie and must be believed regardless of how untrue their allegations may be. 

Indeed, the very fact that you are calling your female accusers liars, even if they are, is taken as evidence of your sexism and likely guilt.  Most significant, regardless of what the courts may order or the evidence may prove, the media and the internet still treat you as "guilty," or at least "suspect."

It is for these reasons that I have asked the FBI to investigate the accusations against me.  I will provide them with all the evidence and invoke no privileges. I am confident that a thorough and objective investigation will conclude that I have been the victim of criminally false accusations leveled in sworn affidavits that are clearly perjurious.  What remains to be seen is whether my false accusers will get away with it or be brought to justice.

There has been understandable outrage about how prosecutors dealt with the Jussie Smollett false accusation.  The difference is that Smollett made a general accusation and didn't falsely accuse any specific individual.  Nonetheless if the evidence supports his guilt, he should have been prosecuted. 

Deliberately false accusations, made for personal financial or other gain, must be taken seriously.  They distort the legal system, they undercut the creditably of the #MeToo movement, they direct resources away from preventing real crimes and can lead to violence, especially in the racial context. 

Despite the seriousness of false accusations, they are rarely investigated and prosecuted, especially when they involve accusations of sexual misconduct.

I'm not talking about disputed cases of consent or other gray-area issues.  I'm talking about deliberate frame-ups of completely innocent people, motivated by financial gain.  They should be prosecuted and seriously punished.

So maybe next time I will be lucky and I will be falsely accused of murder rather than sexual improprieties.  Proving my innocence will be a lot easier. 

Something is very wrong with this picture.

Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law Emeritus at Harvard Law School and author of "The Case Against the Democrats Impeaching Trump."

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Alan Dershowitz writes: Had I been falsely accused of killing someone, rather than of sexually assaulting someone, no one would believe the made-up story.
dershowitz, falsely accused, murder, sexual assault
Thursday, 11 April 2019 09:40 AM
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