"he deserves the presumption of innocence"
fuck that. this is not court, social opprobrium is not equivalent to the armed might of the state.
the only way to ensure every person accused of sexual violence is presumed to be innocent in every circumstance is to assume that every victim is always lying.
presuming the accused to be innocent is setting the standard for prosecution in criminal courts. the people deciding the case must begin by assuming the accused is innocent.
ONLY THE PEOPLE DECIDING THE OUTCOME OF THE CRIMINAL CASE MUST PRESUME THE ACCUSED IS INNOCENT BEFORE TRIAL BEGINS.
no one else.
we cannot apply the rules of criminal courts to every human interaction. they are designed to have artificially high standards because the state has an enormous amount of power over nearly everyone.
a victim of sexual violence does not have that kind of power over their assailant. victims of sexual violence only very rarely can invoke the armed might of the state on their behalf and risk further violence and humiliation if they do.
to move towards any kind of justice we — those of us who are not involved in criminal proceedings — must presume an assault has taken place and the victim can reliably identify their assailant.
otherwise we maintain the status quo where perpetrators of sexual violence can act in the near certainty they will never be even mildly inconvenienced for their sins.
All of this.
Though, I also want to point out that most of the issues where “presumption of innocence” applies to courts is about burden of proof. In a criminal trial, the burden of proof lies with the prosecutor, so one is supposed to assume the defendant is innocent until proven guilty by the prosecutor to a certain legal standard of proof (beyond a reasonable doubt, for many things).
There’s a reason that it’s called a burden of proof in a court, because the side that is required to make the proof has a burden the other side does not. The notion that it isn’t imposing on victims when you require them to meet a standard that even within the court system is called a fucking burden is absurd.
Also, presumption of innocence doesn’t apply in all US civil courts, in some events in a civil court, a defendant is presumed, say negligent, until they can prove otherwise considering the low likelihood the of the event without negligence (in this example). Certain product liability suits, where injury occurred on an international flight-there do in fact exist case circumstances in the US where the defendant may have no presumption of innocence and actually has a presumption of liability. Also, in a number of situations, when a plaintiff has shown cause, the burden of proof then shifts to the defendant.
Besides, a rape victim’s testimony is always evidence. A rape victim asserting someone has raped them is providing some evidence-their own testimony. In some jurisdictions a victim’s testimony is sufficient enough for it to potentially (depending on the testimony and situation) be considered as meeting any applicable burden of proof.A person saying they have been raped is always, always, always providing evidence because their word does count as evidence and, yes, a victim’s testimony is also legally evidence when given in a court of law.