A website that claims to be operated out of the University of Washington is posting the names of men accused of sexual misconduct. As it turns out, many of the claims are anonymous and completely unsubstantiated.
Last week, at the height of the Senate confirmation process for Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump said: “Well, I say that it’s a very scary time for young men in America when you can be guilty of something you may not be guilty of.”
Not surprisingly, the media went after him for being offensive and insensitive. But in fact, a website that says it wants to “frighten” accused men is publishing full names along with the colleges they attend and the accusation – anything from emotional isolation to rape.
Former attorney Richard Randall says if the University of Washington is actually involved with the site, they’re possibly opening themselves up to legal liability. “[They may be liable for] invasion of right of privacy; perhaps intentional infliction of emotional distress; perhaps interruption with a business opportunity, if any of these people are going to lose a job because of this,” he explains.
Add to that the destruction of a person’s reputation, which may never be recovered. “Here you just throw the charge out there and it based on ‘she said.’ It’s not a ‘he said, she said’- it’s just ‘she said.’ There’s no credibility in terms of the truthfulness of this,” says Randall.
Those defending the website say it’s extremely rare for a woman to come forward with a false rape claim – with which Randall agrees, if the woman has to come forward publicly and put her name and face behind the charge.
But he notes that this website offers the chance for accusers to remain completely anonymous with no chance of being exposed.