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Going too far.

Byline: The Register-Guard

Allegations that Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore made sexual advances toward a 14-year-old girl are appalling if they prove true.

Even more appalling has been the reaction of some of Moore's supporters. They have gone far beyond expressing support for the GOP candidate to attacks on the alleged victim - including accusations that she's lying - and protestations that 1) if this did happen, it happened long ago and is old news and 2) that Moore's actions, which his alleged victim says included undressing and touching her and having her touch him, weren't all that bad. Others went even further to declare that there is nothing wrong with a 30-something man having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old.

Have we really reached the point where people are willing to defend and justify child molestation because of politics?

By now, all parties involved in this discussion should be well aware that no political party or group has a corner on sexual assault.

This is not a political issue, it's a criminal one, regardless of who the perpetrator is and what party - if any - he or she is affiliated with.

Anyone who has asked why victims of assault and molestation don't come forward immediately to make a report have their answer in the torrent of abuse and prurient comments directed at the alleged victim, and young girls in general, being generated by the Moore situation.

It takes a great deal of courage for victims to come forward with allegations of sexual assault, particularly when they involve well-known and powerful figures. It means having their most private matters exposed to public gossip and criticism, It is any wonder that few people willingly subject themselves to this type of scrutiny and vilification?

Sexual assault and abuse are serious offenses, and allegations that they have occurred should be treated seriously.

If they involve a public figure, there are of course repercussions, including decisions by those affiliated with the accused as to whether they want to continue that affiliation.

But the three-ring circus these cases have become needs to stop. These need to be treated as criminal and judicial matters, without respect to what political party - if any - the alleged perpetrator is affiliated with. A sense of decency that has been lost needs to be restored.

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Title Annotation:Editorial
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Nov 11, 2017
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