Child sexual abuse is a very emotional and sensitive issue among Americans. Most parents these days tend to be very cautious when it comes to the people who make contact with their children. Even close relatives and friends cannot escape the doubtful and wary minds of concerned parents. However, child sexual abuse cases do not always tell the truth. There have been several false accusations that have ruined the lives of the wrongly accused.
Back in 1985, there was a notable case in Rosedale, Maryland. An ex-marine named Kirk Bloodsworth was convicted of sexual assault, rape, and murder of a nine-year old girl which allegedly happened a year before. After trial, he was found guilty and sentenced to death row. Without any physical evidence, the court found him guilty based on the statements of five witnesses who saw him with the young girl before she disappeared.
Luckily for him, the early 90s saw the revolutionary development of DNA testing. The new technology found out that the DNA in the semen found in the girl’s underwear did not match to that of Kirk. Finally, in 1993, after almost nine years in prison, Kirk Bloodsworth was released. But the problem is, his exoneration will never restore the life he had before. The experience in prison and in death row will forever change his future and will never bring back the things he should’ve done if he was free.
Bloodsworth’s case is a clear example of how the criminal justice system favors the alleged victim, especially when it is a young child accusing someone of molestation. The accused at this point is considered guilty even though there is no valid proof such as physical evidence or admission. While it should be noted that child molestation is a heinous crime, it must also be pointed that the accused must still be deemed innocent unless proven guilty by a competent court with proper evidence and due process. The same as other criminal cases, guilt must be proven beyond reasonable doubt.
However, hearsay evidence and appeal to emotion by the victim are usually enough to convict a person who is wrongly accused. And for those unlucky people, their conscience becomes their sole weapon. It’s like you’re going to war where your enemies carry guns and cannons while you go out there bringing your sword.
Unfortunately for the wrongly accused, the proof of innocence is so hard to present since the eyes of the media, the people around you, the court, and even the whole justice system is already putting one of your hands in cuffs.
While it is a long shot for all those who are already serving their sentence for the crime they did not commit, those who want to avoid suffering the same fate must realize that the threat of being wrongfully accused is so real. So if you are a person who is close to children, you have to take extra measures in ensuring that you avoid having unnecessary physical contact with them, as this may be interpreted by other people as molestation. Furthermore, you must also avoid being with a child alone, as this may be considered by others as manipulation. In any case, the best way to avoid being falsely accused of child molestation is to have a clear conscience and a cautious way of making sure that when you’re with a child, there must be other persons around as well.