My February 2 post on Chicago priest Father Przybylo continues to draw posts, the most recent comment was from an anonymous Catholic who suggeted that sinces it's LENT we should withdraw "judgment" of Father Przybylo and contmeplate whether there might be a false allegation. I responded to the comment, and I won't repeat the remark I left there, if you're interested click on the link.
However I did note that this Blawg has repeatedly highlighted situations where people have not only been falsely accused of crimes, they have been convicted, incarcerated and in at least one instance executed in Texas, (see the posts relating to Cameron Todd Willingham.)
A friend of mine is or rather I should was a school teacher here in OurTwon,a nd he was accused of "kidnapping and rape," and after endless delays and continuances, his case wen tot trial last week. I knew "Ryan" because like me he's a veteran and like me he went to school on the GI Bill and worked his ass off while he got his degree. During the several years prior to his indictment he earned a fantastic reputaton and was a rising star. More charismatic, than good looking; I knew that he would attract attention from the girls, and before he obtained his teaching certificate we actually talked about the necessity of "maintaining boundaries." When he was removed and accused, I was devastated. I can only imagine the horror he felt; my efforts to reach him were unavailing as he disappeared off the radar.
Shortly before Ryan's trial my daughter's friend, "Sally," received a subpoena to testify for the prosecution. Sally retained the Blonde Super Lawyer to represent her, because as Sally reported to the BSL, she didn't have any information; and Ryan had always been appropriate with her even though Sally liked to talk to him after school. When the prosecutor heard from the BSL, he decided he didn't need Sally's testimony afterall. Last week Ryan went to trial and he was acquitted of all charges. Ryan was actually innocent.
Can Ryan revive his moribund teaching career? Probably not. It's hard for schools to reinstate even "falsely accused" former teachers in light of potential liability. I pray my friend Ryan can make peace with this awful experience and find something deeply satisfying in life.
In this world, all things are possible. Do false allegations get made, get prosecuted, result in conviction, end up in incarceration? Yep.