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Letter: Guilty until proven innocent?

Like many others these days, I am taken aback by the plethora of show business personalities, politicians and other males that are the focus of single or often multiple accusations of sexual assault. By any modern-day civilized standards such behaviour is reprehensible and completely inappropriate, no matter what the circumstances, and can never be justified.
I am also disturbed, however, by the apparent lack of due process and almost total lack of any requirement for proof of such heinous criminal acts having occurred before the alleged perpetrator is brought to “justice.” Canadian judicial standards and also American standards (if Trump hasn’t thrown them out), as I understand them, still call for a presumption of innocence until guilt is proven.
While I am in no way suggesting that the alleged perpetrators be given free rein after such accusations, neither should they be convicted solely in the court of public opinion.
It seems to me that all any person who has a grudge against another has to do is fabricate a charge of inappropriate behaviour and it is effectively game over for the accused — their job is gone, they have to resign their position and they are instantly castigated in the eyes of the world. No statement of defence is expected, required or sought.
Surely there must be some sort of suspension, interim or temporary removal of the person from their position or some other procedure that can be followed until there is a rendering of a judicial hearing? I thought that was a foundation of the legal systems in most modern day democratic countries?

Marvin Barnes
St. John’s

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