Accusations are hard to overcome


To the Editor: 

I was surprised that the M.V. Times issue of Nov. 10 had no mention of the settlement of the long-running legal squabbles of Alan Dershowitz, which arose out of an accusation against him of sexual assault.

The New York Times gave almost half a page to the story.

The Times reported that Virginia Giuffre agreed to withdraw her accusation. She had identified Mr. Dershowitz, along with Prince Andrew of Britain, among others, as one of the men to whom the late Jeffry Epstein had trafficked her as a teenage girl.

Lawsuits and counter-lawsuits by Dershowitz against Giuffre and her lawyer, David Boies, and by them against him, were dropped by agreement among the three litigants.

Thus ended a legal battle that began in 2014. A mere eight years.

But a “she said/he said” case, like this — with no witnesses, and often based on events which had allegedly occurred years earlier — can leave men permanently damaged, whether or not an accusation is valid.

To illustrate: I have a woman acquaintance with a long-held jaundiced view of Professor Dershowitz. She scoffs at the settlement, and remains as convinced as ever that he is guilty.

And I, like many other people, will always believe it is highly probable that Supreme Justice Kavanaugh’s accuser testified truthfully that he had molested her when they were both teenagers.

An accusation of sexual assault is like indelible ink. Once splashed upon a man, it may be virtually impossible to scrub off entirely.


R.E.L. Knight
West Tisbury