Letter to the Editor

Unsupported allegations

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

In a recent Letter to the Editor titled "The Risk Dr. Ford Is Taking" the writer asks if the victim of sexual assault should let someone know. We all know Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is already in the middle of the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination process. She had sent a July 30 confidential letter to her California Congresswoman with a sexual assault allegation against the nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The letter was passed along to California Senator Diane Feinstein.

The letter sat silently in Senator Feinstein's office for six weeks. In the meantime, the FBI completed their sixth Kavanagh investigation, he visited 65 senators' offices and concluded four days of Senate hearings. All of this national news activity occurred without a mention of the sexual allegations made in the Dr. Ford letter.

Eventually, a redacted copy was provided to the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley. He immediately asked Senate Judiciary investigators to investigate the allegations. Unfortunately, the letter did not provide a date, time, or location of the possible sexual assault, but it could have occurred around 1982 in the suburban Maryland area around Washington, DC. How Dr. Ford arrived at the scene of the assault or how she got home remains a mystery. The letter did suggest the names of three possible witnesses who were present. A check by Senate Judiciary investigators determined that those three individuals had no recollection of the 36 year-old party where the alleged sexual assault took place.

It is curious why this sexual allegation letter had been around for six weeks, but didn't appear until the Kavanagh nomination was ready to be voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. It also raises the question Is the mere presence of an allegation without evidence enough to derail a Supreme Court nomination? Are unsubstantiated allegations now sufficient to derail any hiring or promotion? How do you prove you are innocent of a serious crime that does not have a date, time or place? What if this happens to your son, father or brother? How could they prove their innocence?

Phil Petersen