I’ve seen several media reports lately of a recent arrest on suspicion of sexual offenses.
Let’s not jump to conclusions, it could be any 82-year-old Australian entertainer living in Berkshire, London.
It’s all a bit farcical really. It also raises several of questions for me:
- If the media aren’t allowed to name this person “for legal reasons”, why are they allowed to release so much information that it narrows down to just one person? Eventually a line is crossed where the person is identifiable, which defeats the purpose of the law.
- What if there are multiple 82-year-old Australian entertainers from Berkshire, and the wrong one gets vilified because everyone assumes the category is so specific that it could only be referring to a single person?
- What if the person is completely innocent? Named or not, there is now an 82-year-old Australian entertainer who has been permanently tarred with a tainted brush, even if he is innocent (as he must be presumed to be until found otherwise in a court of law). If he is guilty, let him be tarred with the brush after it is proven, not before. If an accused is believed to be at serious risk of committing further crimes…well that is what the bail system is for.
One of the issues with the type of crime in question is the extreme social hysteria towards it. For example, this article talks about at least one innnocent man who committed suicide on the mere accusation of looking at child pornography (when in fact he was innocent). Others have lost their jobs and/or wives. And the same thing could happen to any one of you innocent readers out there. Society needs to take a chill pill; we can still catch the monsters that ought to be punished, but we have to be careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
With the right approach we may even prevent some of the abuse from happening in the first place.