Here’s the thing about “presumption of innocence.”

Rape is the only crime where the victim is presumed guilty.

The victim must first establish her innocence to the satisfaction of the police in order for there to be even an investigation, much less prosecution. She is presumed guilty of being a slut, a liar, a false accuser, eager to destroy a man’s life in order to get attention, perhaps to punish him for some slight, possibly even greedy for a monetary settlement. Even on the rare occasion when her rapist is found guilty, her presumed guilt stays with her, especially if her rapist is a popular personality, whether small scale (in a community), or large scale (a pro sports figure).

With other crimes, a not guilty verdict reflects badly on the prosecutor, not the victim. With rape, a not guilty verdict “validates” the presumed guilt of the victim. If he’s found not guilty, she “obviously” lied.

When the jury deliberates, they deliberate over her guilt as much if not more than his. In order to find the accused guilty they must first decide her innocence. Something that is really hard to do — she doesn’t even get a defense attorney. The prosecutor isn’t there to protect HER rights. He/she represents the state, not the victim.

Retired professor, feminist, writer, photographer, activist, grandmother of 5, overall Wise Woman. Phd UIA School of Journalism & Mass Communication, 1994.