The Innocent Must Suffer

by Christopher J Thompson

Given the facts presented, it certainly appears that University of Montana student
Beau Donaldson *1 has sexually violated another student and, if so he has violated the
law; if this is the case he must be punished. However, as the Campus Ambassador for the
National Coalition for Men, I write to briefly suspend the witch-hunt that appears to be
developing and pray you consider an alternative solution.
I learned of the situation developing at the University of Montana during a recent
meeting with Montana State University Dean of Students, Matt Caires, during which he
agreed that while any number of sexual assaults greater than zero is unacceptable, the
nine that have occurred in Missoula in a year-and-a-half are not startling. Recently Mary
Friedrichs of the Office of Victim Assistance at the University of Colorado-Boulder, a
comparable campus to that of U of M, reported 42 sexual assaults in a single year.
Conversely, the same year on the University of North Dakota campus Caleb
Warner, then a student, was expelled from school and prohibited from setting foot on any
North Dakota University campus for three years after allegations of sexually assaulting
another female student *2. Only the university took this draconian stance against an
innocent man, destroying his education and forcing him to squander tremendous amounts
on a degree that would likely never come to fruition; fortunately, the local police force
easily recognized the false reporting and charged the female accuser with such,
preventing an innocent man from unnecessary incarceration.
Months later on the campus of Montana State University, a woman reported a
sexual assault against her and an investigation began that exposed her lie a week later.
Yet MSU Police Chief Robert Putzke felt charging the woman was unnecessary *3,
instead referring the case to the newly appointed Dean of Students Matt Caires, and it
was here I met Mr. Caires who assured me the woman would be reprimanded; however
student confidentiality prevented release of any further information.
It is clear a number of innocent people are charged with these crimes, their lives
subsequently devastated, as a direct result of society’s attempt to prevent sexual assault.
Blackstone’s Formulation, paramount in criminal law, states Better that ten guilty men
escape prosecution than that one innocent suffer. Thus I propose we punish false
reporting by subjecting the perpetrator to the same penalties the accused would be
subjected to. Additionally, supporting construction of campus men’s centers such as the
one currently being developed at Montana State University, is crucial to provide
guidance to the wayward young men before they perpetrate these heinous crimes.







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