The hardreading staff over at Two-Daily Town has dutifully recorded Boston Herald columnist Margery Eagan’s sandblasting of Woody Allen’s defense against allegations by his adoptive daughter, Dylan Farrow, that he sexually molested her as a child.
Now comes Wall Street Journal columnist Dorothy Rabinowitz, a staunch believer that the sex-abuse cases in the ’80s and ’90s were overblown.
On Woody Allen and Echoes of the Past
Those who are falsely accused often naively believe that their innocence is obvious, that the allegations will be dropped.
It’s impossible to read Woody Allen’s reply to charges that in 1992 he molested his and Mia Farrow’s 7-year-old adopted daughter, Dylan, without being struck by its haunting echoes of the words of countless people accused of such crimes. He had thought that the charges were so ludicrous he didn’t think of hiring a lawyer, he reported in an op-ed for the New York Times on Sunday. He had believed that “common sense would prevail.” He had “naïvely thought the accusation would be dismissed out of hand.”
It was a kind of naïveté evident in virtually every person known to me who had been falsely charged in the high-profile sex-abuse cases that had swept the country in the 1980s and early 1990s—people convicted and sentenced to long prison terms on the basis of testimony from children coaxed into making accusations. Accusations made, at ages 5, 6 or 7, that many of them would continue to believe fervently were true, into adulthood.
Rabinowitz proceeds to recap the high-profile ’80s/’90s sex-abuse cases – the Amiraults, Kelly Michaels – and comes to this conclusion:
For no one, perhaps, is the importance of keeping alive the charge of guilt greater than the person who was, as a child, part of a famous child sex-abuse case built on false charges. These children, reinforced again and again in the truth of the accusation, would believe as adults that their horrific victimization early in life has caused them psychic injury of untold depths.
Well, someone’s getting injured here. You decide, yeah?