AS EVERYBODY in the MHRM knows – false accusations of sexual assault are real. They’re very real. Far too many men and boys have been and continue to be persecuted by educational, legal, and criminal justice institutions based simply upon the word of a woman. As soon as the words ‘he sexually assaulted me’ are uttered – a male’s life is never the same again. In North America, those who utter those words are immediately treated as victims – not as alleged victims; phalanxes of social and criminal justice institutions assemble to offer assistance, to counsel, to provide help to the accuser. Those who are accused, ostensibly innocent until proven guilty, are in truth exactly the opposite and treated at almost every juncture, as criminals. So damaging is an accusation of rape or sexual assault that even when a man clears his name – he is still left with almost overwhelming reputational damage. It is an unfair burden that he must carry for the rest of his life.
With the exception of small organizations, operating on less than a shoestring, there is nobody to reach out and help these people. Those accused of such crimes are routinely denied even the most basic semblance of due process. The current state of affairs represents a series of wholly unbalanced and transparently unfair systems. The reasons for the existence of this situation are myriad and complex. While false accusers clearly provide the impetus for putting these forces into action, they are not directly responsible for their existence. Rather, it is the historical influence of feminist-led agitation for change in laws and in how police and courts prosecute sexual assault that have brought us to this juncture. Indeed, perhaps the most infamous ‘victim’ of this rampant paring down of men’s rights before the law was none other than prominent feminist Judith Grossman, who writing in the Wall Street Journal earlier this year claimed that ‘[u]nsubstantiated accusations against my son by a former girlfriend landed him before a nightmarish college tribunal.’
History, of course, just like hackneyed literary clichés, has a habit of repeating itself so it should come as no surprise that it’s happened again. Another prominent feminist’s son has found himself entangled in the criminal justice system and SHOCK! HORROR! according to his mommy, he didn’t get treated fairly.
Amy MacPherson is a journalist for Huffington Post Canada. She has worked for CBC and a number of other publications as an investigative journalist and considers herself to be an equality and political activist. On December 6, 2013, MacPherson published an entry to her blog ‘These Eyes,’ entitled ‘I Might Go To Jail For This, But Have Little Choice (Lawyer Needed).’ It is a massive, galumphing entry – some 20,000 words long, with more twists and turns than a bowl of spaghetti. In the blog entry MacPherson discusses her professional background and openly describes herself as an ‘anti-conservative’ whose journalistic investigations had implicated Canadian politicians in the past. She describes a campaign of harassment and death threats aimed at her and her family caused by her work as an investigative journalist and goes as far as to suggest that her son is the victim of a false accusation specifically because of her work.
It is a hellishly complex story and is populated with a mass of players, a labyrinthine plot that would put James Ellroy to shame and at its centre a young boy – who according to MacPherson has been framed. Her son is the innocent victim of a conspiracy and while MacPherson doesn’t name her agent provocateur(s) she implicates numerous individuals, and institutions. She implicates school boards; principals; police; prosecutors; witnesses; and slates her own lawyer – labelling him as ‘reluctant’ to act in her son’s defence.
Her son, unnamed in the blog entry due to a publication ban was found guilty of sexual assault in an Ontario court. He was charged with three counts of sexual assault, three counts of forcible confinement and one count as an accessory, all of which occurred over a three-day period. “She (the victim) says 2 weeks ago that my son, a handicapped boy and 2 other boys she refuses to name, forced her to be assaulted by DEE. Three days in a row they dragged her through the school to the same bathroom, in front of all the other students as classes ended for the day.” Because of the judge’s interpretation of sentence parity (the principle of parity mandates that a sentence should be similar to sentences imposed on similar offenders for similar offences committed in similar circumstances: Criminal Code, s. 718.2(b)) MacPherson’s son didn’t go to jail but was sentenced to a combination of community service and travel restrictions for two years.
Additionally, according to MacPherson, the Crown and the school devised a lifelong ‘Safety Plan’ for her son which places additional restrictions upon him. Should her son wish to continue at school he would have to do so with a guard that escorts him at all times on school property. On top of this – he is also not allowed to use the bathrooms at the school. He must use the principal’s bathroom, with a guard posted outside. He must also “submit to lifelong counselling to help him accept his guilt, via the school board.” For these reasons – MacPherson will not send her son back to school and views his participation there as a form of needless humiliation. “Guilty or innocent, appealing or not; no matter what it’s airing a minor’s criminal record to the community on a daily basis. The law doesn’t allow this and neither does the publication ban, but everyone running Hazard County is above the law. Therefore if I go to jail for this letter, I just don’t give a damn anymore. Playing by the rules and jumping through inhumane hoops hasn’t helped my son yet.”
MacPherson does have grounds for her suspicions. In her blog she catalogus numerous problems with the prosecution’s case not least of all is the victim’s constant rehashing of her story. On three occasions, she said the sexual assault occurred on different dates. On two of those dates MacPherson’s son was able to prove that he wasn’t at the school and therefore couldn’t have participated in the attacks. There were illegal searches as well as testimony from two of the attackers that MacPherson’s son wasn’t present. Yet – none of this mattered. The machine cranked on regardless and found him guilty.
Of course, this is a pattern that many within the MHRM are familiar with. MHRAs have been screaming – for years – about the inequality and institutional corruption within the legal system. One such person is AVFM’s own Attila Vinczer who earlier this year worked with Velvet Martin to get the truth out about what happened to her daughter Samantha. Martin, like MacPherson, was hit with a publication ban by an Ontario court. The reason was clear – to protect the people at CAS who put her daughter into a care home – a ‘care’ home where she lost her life. Vinzcer, in an act of defiance convinced Martin to violate the ban and to use her name. In a conversation with Men’s Human Rights Ontario, Vinczer said that ‘had it been my kid – I would have shouted her name from the highest mountains.’ Vinzcer’s decision led to Martin violating the ban and the court immediately lifting the ban as a result. It was clear that not only was the ban unenforceable, but it was also morally corrupt.
Amy MacPherson didn’t think so and berated Vinzcer for his defiance and openly backed the CAS in a Facebook argument with Vinzcer. In fact, MacPherson doesn’t really like the MHRM at all – and in her blog entry warned MRAs to stay away from her son’s case. “MRA voices had better stay away from this too. My son marches alongside the ladies when they need to fight for their rights, no different than his own. This isn’t and can’t be a gender issue. That’s been the most confusing part. It needs to be equality and access to justice for all, full stop.”
Well… guess what? We didn’t stay away from it. Men’s Human Rights Ontario have reached out to MacPherson in a bid to help her son. Not only that but we also reached out to our good friends at Canada Court Watch and are expectant that a lawyer will contact MacPherson soon. Unlike Amy MacPherson we know that what happened to her son is likely not the result of a massive conspiracy but is actually just the way the system works against men and boys. We know this – because we’ve seen it time and time again. It is for that reason that we reached out to her.
Ms. MacPherson, our offers to you are sincere. Right now – there is nobody beating down your door to help you. The ‘sisters’ won’t help you. You know that. In fact it is not a stretch at all to say that there are many feminists that would be happy to see him dead. You wrote that a “mom will do anything for her child and that’s the context in which I hope you will read this. I will bring shame upon myself, no doubt. But that’s okay in the bigger picture and I accept that too.” There is no shame in helping your son.
We want to help you.
It’s up to you.
Publisher’s statement: On behalf of A Voice for Men I want to also offer the services of our Judicial Accountability Committee in order to seek justice for Amy MacPherson and her son. Regrets for being so blunt, but as Mr. Byset clearly stated, we are the only help you are ever going to see. Unless you want your son to be just another convicted offender on a list of social undesirables, contact us. Paul Elam, publisher, A Voice for Men.