Wednesday, April 19, 2017

JOHN DOE AND A LIFE ALTERED



You won't find his name on any police blotter.

You and your 1,452 friends on Facebook can search his name every day for a year and not
discover it.

For the sake of this article and protecting his real name, "He" will be John Doe.

Several months ago, John Doe, who played football at a Division I school, was accused of sexual
assault by a woman on campus. She was over 18-years-old, so she can be described as a woman
despite not being very mature. After the alleged incident that took place at a party on campus, the
woman filed a report with the police.

When school officials got wind of the allegations, they discussed the situation with the football
coach, who immediately dismissed John Doe from the football program, no questions asked. The
school expelled the player, as well. 

I think it would've been proper to suspend the accused player from the football program and
the student from school activities pending an investigation. Common sense tells us it's not safe
or very smart for anyone if someone accused of a major crime is walking around  campus or
on the field catching passes for the football team.

However, I don't agree with rinsing away John Doe altogether without all the facts. The football coach met with all players and told them not only to stay away from John Doe, but advised them
to discontinue any friendship they had with their former teammate. If they saw him off campus,
the coach said, don't talk or make like you even know him.

This comes from a coach who often told his players to stick together, no matter. They are the
ones who battle, bleed, and bond during training camp, off-season workouts, and during football games. "Always stick together, no matter", the coach said, but when 'no matter what' became an accusation of sexual assault, all bets, not to mention friendships, were off.

John Doe was a leper, not to be seen, or be seen talking with anyone on the team.

The coach also stripped the scholarship from John Doe.

Police didn't rush to judgment. They investigated the case over several months. News reports
stated law enforcement officials were close to making an arrest. However, a student on-campus
who had been privy to details of the alleged assault, came forward and showed investigators a
text from the accuser that shed new light on the case and what actually happened.

Several weeks ago, police made an arrest. But they didn't put John Doe in handcuffs. Instead,
they went on-campus and arrested the 18-year-old woman. When pressed on the text and other
details from the incident, the woman said she made the entire thing up. Yes, there was a sexual
encounter, but the woman admitted it was consensual. She made the entire sexual assault
story up to gain the attention of another person whom she was interested in.

She wanted attention and sympathy.

This woman sacrificed John Doe's name and reputation to gain something for herself. John
Doe not only lost his name and reputation, but his football scholarship, which was worth over
$50,000. For a kid who grew up poor, that might as well have been a lottery ticket.

John Doe also lost a lot of so-called friends who bailed on him. Instead of believing in him or
at least getting all the facts, they made like he never existed. That can happen a society that loves
to rush to judgment nor has any time to waste to make a decision based on something other than gossip. We live in a society where friends are easily made when they can be an asset, easily
discarded when they can be a detriment.

John Doe was an innocent man caught in someone else's drink for attention. A woman was thirsty
for sympathy. She wanted someone else. John Dow got swallowed whole.

The football coach didn't reinstate John Doe but I'm not so sure John Doe wanted to be any part
of a coach or team that abandoned him so callously.

The school reinstated John Doe, but there was no more scholarship. He was on his own for
fulfilling his financial obligations to the school.

The school, in a press release, praised themselves for allowing due process to take place and
not rushing to judgment. People will say just about anything, especially in a carefully prepared
letter produced by a highly-paid public relations firm that specializes in crisis management.

There was no chance for the media to challenge the statements of the press release. School
officials retreated to their ivory tower, safe from those who had far more common sense than they
will ever have.

The woman who fabricated the entire story to gain sympathy and attention is not safe. She is back home after dropping out of school and will be going to trial soon. There are many who believe the woman will be made an example of.

You will be able to find her name on a police blotter and finding her name on the Internet will
not be very difficult. A few major newspapers were resourceful enough to go to her Facebook
page and find a picture of her in a tight dress take a selfie of herself. And they inserted it in the
article about her arrest.

As for John Doe? Well, he's trying to rebuild his life. There is no more football, no more
scholarship and not a lot of friends. Even if he was cleared of the phony allegations, those
friends would rather move on than be associated with someone who was tarred, feathered, and slandered.

Sadly, that's just the way a big part of our society is.

I knew nothing about John Doe when I was interviewing him for a job. He had been passed off
to me after the boss spoke with him. I talked to John Doe about his career path in football and
why he wasn't going to pursue his final year of eligibility. He admitted he had 'made some
mistakes in his life', which admittedly, caught my attention.

After John Doe left, my boss showed me an article on his iPhone about a sexual assault on
a college campus. He then told me the accused was John Doe. John Doe was not required to
tell anyone at our company he had been involved in the incident, after all, there was no names mentioned in the article and it would be hard to connect the dots. Most people are accused of
a crime where there name never appears in a police blotter or has any kind of paper trail,
would never admit to being accused of something so foul and sinister, even if cleared by
authorities.

In reality, the accused never truly get cleared in our society that equivocates an accusation to
an arrest, an arrest to a conviction, and a conviction to a felony. Our society loves to say that
everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but in reality, it's guilty until proven innocent. Even
when you are innocent, there will be always be that stain can never be removed.

No. Matter. What.

John Doe's life has been altered forever. He will always have to be worried about someone,
somewhere who may know his story which may be used against him in trying to get a job. John
Doe had more than 90 teammates. And when they tell two friends and so on and so on. You
know the drill.

As for the woman? Her life is pretty much ruined. She will likely spend some time in prison,
have a record, and be a convicted liar. She is part of the Internet forever. Who can trust her again?

Two lives are significantly altered and why? Because a woman wanted attention and sympathy.

One man, John Doe, went through a tortuous ordeal.  And why? Because people, outside
law enforcement officials, didn't want to be bothered by the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but
the truth.

How sad. How very sad.



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