Letter: How to investigate and report allegations of rape

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The Independent Online
Sir: I was appalled that the continued reporting of the infamous trial ('Date rape acquittal fans row', 20 October) has concluded with the accused having been acquitted but still being treated as guilty by some individuals. In particular the statement by Siwan Hayward of the 'No Means No' campaign that 'Women don't lie about rape' was particularly repugnant.

The accused was not guilty according to a jury of his peers of nine women and two men. Nevertheless, his name will be forever tarnished by those who put themselves above the law by declaring that only they know the truth and that he must have done it.

Perhaps more relevantly though, consideration should be given to the naming of accused men in rape trials. In the present case, the accused had his name consistently linked to the word rapist, at least implicitly. His name cannot be completely disassociated with this crime - witness Ms Hayward's continued attack. Should not the accused's name be withheld until he is proved to be guilty? Do innocent men have no rights?

Yours sincerely,

GUY CARMICHAEL

Rijswijk, Netherlands

20 October

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