Thursday, 4 August 2016

Forever Tarnished

In view of what happened to me a few years ago, I know I shouldn't be shocked when reading news stories of a fantasist making outrageous allegations of historical sexual abuse straight from his or her own warped imagination. Nevertheless, such a story has presented itself recently and I am shocked to the core that such appalling claims could have been believed by agents of the State.

I defy any sane person not to feel acute sympathy for outstandingly successful and highly respected geography teacher, Kato Harris, for having been the innocent target of just such a fantasist who claimed she had been repeatedly raped by him in a school classroom (with a window onto the outside corridor) during lunch breaks. The parents of this complainant did everything they could to support their daughter, quite naturally. They employed a psychotherapist and hypnotist and even flew her to New York on a weekly basis to visit a therapist. After all, 'their daughter had been brutally and outrageously abused by a professional in a position of trust'.

However, anyone who works or has ever worked in a school, with its busy routines, would think it inconceivable that a member of staff could carry out an act of sexual intercourse in a public classroom during school hours. Even if this highly unlikely event were to take place without anyone noticing, are we then supposed to believe that a pupil could endure having been raped in a public place by a teacher she hardly knew and then return at 2 pm for afternoon maths, and for this to have happened on repeated occasions? If rape in such circumstances could ever occur, then the perpetrator should not only spend the rest of his or her life in custody, but also he or she would need to be criminally insane to think the victim would not tell the first person she saw. Or at least tell SOMEONE they trusted that day.

How on earth could anybody in authority with an I.Q. above the day's temperature not take all the mitigating factors of these allegations into account before deciding to ruin the career of an outstanding teacher by charging him and exposing him to the inevitable media glare? Even though the jury returned an immediate and unanimous verdict of not guilty, the stain on Mr. Kato's character will never be erased and - as anyone who has been the target of ludicrous, false historical allegations will tell you - the online references to the whole tawdry affair will be inextricably and irrevocably entwined with the accused's name for the rest of his or her life (and subsequently) because the search engines refuse to remove allegations, even if they have been shown to be lies.

Those who upload such reportage take the view that a trial took place, we are only reporting the facts, so live with it. How heartless, how cruel. Thus, anyone in modern society will have his or her life linked with a heinous crime in perpetuity if some lying opportunist or fantasist alleges abuse, which is exactly what happened to Mr. Kato (who despite being acquitted now faces a legal bill for his defence in excess of £195,000), and which also happened to me.

Despite the fact I proved the allegations proffered against me were lies, I will be forever tarnished. I have repeatedly attempted to have references to my own charging and trial in 2014 erased but there would be more chance of the England football team winning the next World Cup. I am unlikely to secure new work from anyone who didn't know me prior to the ordeal because of these unfortunate search engine references. Employers will naturally always lean on the side of caution, particularly where alleged child abuse is concerned, regardless of the fact of an acquittal by a jury that has heard all the evidence.

I wish Mr. Harris the very best as he tries to rebuild his life, but if he thinks the lies laid at his door by an hysterical fantasist will have no future bearing on his life, he is in for disappointment.

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