Saturday, February 24, 2018

Sexual misconduct haunts public figures *

Amidst an avalanche of allegations of sexual misconduct against a phalanx of prominent men, mostly in the US, but also in other developed countries, one can anticipate a similar surge here in Trinidad and Tobago, although our litigation procedures are more constrained, some might argue restrictive, than in those jurisdictions. I argue, too, that cultural differences influence the way the local public, if not the courts, view such allegations.

The common thread in most of these cases is that the alleged violations took place many years ago, rendering prosecution of the culprits, if they are indeed guilty, a challenge. In the case of comedian/actor Bill Cosby, the alleged rape took place in 2004, but his accuser did not report the serious crime until one year later. The prosecutor filed charges 11 years later, in 2015, and the trial, which ended in a hung jury, concluded in June this year.


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