Are teen boys facing unfair prejudice in acquaintance-rape cases? According to Columbus lawyer Brad Koffel, the legal system is failing to provide young men with a presumption of innocence—the cornerstone of the American-justice system. “Innocent until proven guilty” is not just a facet of judiciary practices; it is also a human right under the Sixth Amendment in the Bill of Rights.
In other words, Koffel is saying the legal system victimizes teen boys in cases of alleged rape—defendants in these cases are essentially being stripped of their right to a fair trial.
According to Koffel, some cases of consensual sex become “regret sex”—then eventually “rape.” As Koffel further explains, “there needs to be more vetting because the pendulum has gone so far in the opposite direction to the point where we really don’t have a presumption of innocence in these cases. The young man does not go to court feeling the presumption of innocence.” Koffel also says the Rape Shield Law, which prevents the accused’s defense from looking into the accuser, further complicates the matter and makes innocence all the harder to prove. The cards are clearly stacked against a man accused of rape—even though statistics show not every, alleged rapist is guilty. The University of Massachusetts facilitated a 2010 study that availed up to 10 percent of rape cases are based on false accusations.
Koffel says when it comes to teenage boyfriends and girlfriends, that number could be much higher.
While the act of rape is unquestionably evil and necessitates punishment, young, male, supposed rapists still deserve a fair trial and should not be automatically condemned as “guilty.” There was a time when women had to legally prove they were raped, but now a new issue has been born: the failure to give the accused the presumption of innocence.