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US: Abuse charges against gay former Sesame Street puppeteer Kevin Clash dropped

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  1. No doubt Linda Harvey and Brian Fisher will blame Bert and Ernie.

  2. Gene in L.A. 2 Jul 2013, 7:41pm

    “‘It should not be viewed as a vindication for Kevin Clash or a determination that he is innocent,’ Mr Horowirz said.”

    It is not his innocence, but his guilt, that must be determined. Presupposition of guilt is not the way our system works.

    1. Julian Morrison 2 Jul 2013, 8:48pm

      In a court, yes. That’s how the legal system works. But accusation is very strong Bayesian evidence of guilt, and merely running out the clock is very weak evidence of innocence. You ought to assign significant probability to this guy being as guilty as sin, and if you don’t you are short-changing the accusers who are probably victims, since false accusation rates are low single digits percent.

      1. David Waite 2 Jul 2013, 10:03pm

        Two things: One, had you read the judge’s ruling you would understand how specious your argument about the accusers is. The judge specifically addressed the issue you raised. Moreover, the attorney is lying. The judge didn’t dismiss based on statute of limitations, he dismissed based on personal responsibility for bringing a timely case.

        Two, I’m a retired professional in the field of child abuse. Your statement about false accusation rates being in the low single digits is utter bollocks.

        1. Dude they were 15-17 years old…

        2. Even if the allegations are true, they were very much postpubescent teenagers. Physically adults. As recently as a century ago, people tended to go through puberty in their later teens, but modern diet has pushed this back – the human brain still has its adult instincts. If the allegations are true, it only means Kevin Clash is attracted to young adults. This is why many developed countries have pragmatically reduced the adult age of consent, as low as 13 in Japan, South Korea and Spain.

          1. I wonder why my comment has been voted down. Am I incorrect?

            We’re talking about physically adult homo sapiens past puberty. Not children. It just happens younger than it used to, because of the spread of modern nutrition in the developed world and much of the developing world. I hit puberty at nine years old, and I was six feet tall and fully developed by the time I was twelve. Brains (and emotional maturity) still take longer to develop, but when the body is already fully developed, sometimes the best you can do is give them sex education, access to condoms, and hope they make wise decisions.

          2. Kevin Clash is old enough to make the wise decision not to sleep with people below the age of consent (not that I’m presuming his guilt, I’m following on from your “it only means Kevin Clash is attracted to young adults.” which sort of does assume he is not innocent).

            You seem to have contradicted yourself by saying they were on the one hand “physically adults” and on the other “Brains (and emotional maturity) still take longer to develop”. The age of consent laws in the US/UK etc. are based on the perceived mental maturity of the person not their physical development. So by your own reasoning lowering the age of consent to 13 would discount the mental development of a person and potentially be very harmful.

            It is important to give teens good sex education and not to be squeamish about access to contraception, but it is not ok to condone the behaviour of people who are old enough to know better, when they act on their attraction to younger people.

    2. I concur with you! That is the way the system should work. Yes, there are victims and abusers. Amongst these today we seem to see an element of malicious/vicious accusers who detract from the validity of genuine and emotionally disturbing cases.

      The unfortunate consequence of this is society has developed a fixated paranoia with abuse… “all accused are guilty” reason, logic and rational thought are all overlooked. Accusers are rarely named, alleged abusers are! Yet guilt has to be proven! and in the interim media and society destroy a persons life, and for ever question a persons credibility even after found innocent.

      Recently hearing a comment “I would rather an innocent person found guilty… opposed to seeing a potentially abused person denied justice!” I cringe at the direction in which people would like to see abuse cases handled.

      1. David Waite 2 Jul 2013, 10:12pm

        I would inform this person’s family, job, neighbors and the potential jury pool about this statement:
        “I would rather an innocent person found guilty… opposed to seeing a potentially abused person denied justice!”
        Eventually, the maker of the statement would be thoroughly schooled by his entire little world, or turned into a pariah within it.

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