There is the doctrine of “innocent until proven guilty” in U.S. jurisprudence. The general idea is that people are innocent until proven guilty. However, this doctrine is derived from the legal requirement to prove guilt, rather than to prove innocence in the U.S courts. U.S. courts do not determine innocence, rather they prove that there is enough evidence to presume the accused is guilty of the crime charged. Roy Moore has been accused of the heinous crime of child molestation and sexual assault.
Although at least four accusers have sworn, in writing, that Moore sexually assaulted them, Roy Moore has not been charged with a crime. Moore has also denied the allegations. He has also threatened to sue the Washington Post for breaking the sexual misconduct allegations about him.
Many Republicans have not waited for a jury verdict and have systematically asked Moore to drop out of the race and have redacted their endorsements of him. The White House has stated that if the allegations are true, then Moore should drop out. Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, urged Moore to “step aside.” McConnell told the New York Times that he believes the women accusers.
It should not be a surprise to anyone that the Republicans are distancing themselves from Roy Moore. There is an ongoing civil war among the Republicans. The Republicans are also worried about the upcoming mid-term elections because of their inability to produce substantial legislation, although they have a Republican president and control both houses of Congress.
Several advertisers dropped Sean Hannity over his coverage of Roy Moore’s controversy.
Those who support Roy Moore have argued that people are supposed to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
On one had we have the Republican infighting leading to several Republicans dropping their support of Roy Moore because of the allegations and a White House that is lukewarm, at best, in their support of Moore. On the other hand, we have Roy Moore denying the allegations and some of his supporters demanding that he be allowed the “presumption of innocence” doctrine.
But Roy Moore himself has made the “presumption of innocence” moot by his own words. On the Sean Hannity Show on November 10, 2017, Moore said something that should concern everyone. When Sean Hannity asked Moore if he had ever dated any 17-year-old women when he was in his thirties, Moore replied:
Not generally, no.
Roy Moore is arguing that the allegations are “politically motivated.” But when Roy Moore had the opportunity to unequivocally put to rest the idea that as a thirty-year-old man he dated women in their teens, Moore stated that “generally” he did not date teens in his thirties. As if that wasn’t bad enough by itself, Moore made the comment that he “had the permission of the mothers” for the women he dated.
Let that sink in for a moment, even if we accept for a fleeting moment that Moore was being a traditional Southern gentleman, why did he feel the need to make the statement that he had the mother’s “permission” to date a woman, especially amid the controversy?
A thirty-year-old man would seek a mother’s permission to date a teen or a woman in her early twenties because of the obvious age disparity.
That is the troubling aspect of the whole thing. Even if we offer Roy Moore the “presumption of innocence” how can any decent man be alright with dating even one teen woman while he is in his thirties, or more to the point, why did he feel the need to ask for “permission” from the woman’s mother? Isn’t a southern gentleman expected to ask the father for permission?
There are just too many troubling aspects about the allegations, from the women going on the record, to Roy Moore’s halfhearted responses to specific questions from a friendly host.