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Accused deserves anonymity

I am troubled by a recent article ["SAE sanctioned by ODSA," Feb. 5]. A major component of the article was an alleged date rape. You did not mention the name of the alleged victim; however, you did give the name of the accused.

This issue needs sorting out in the courts. It would be impossible for you to say at this moment in time what actually occurred.

With that in mind, I feel it is irresponsible, reckless and mean for you to publish the name of the accused. If he committed the crime, it would be permissible. But if he is innocent (which very well might be the case), you have done irreparable harm to his reputation and performed mean and reckless character assassination.

I phoned your publication to register my concern on Thursday. I was told that the policy of publishing the name of the accused was standard and accepted journalistic practice.

In fairness to whomever I spoke with, he did say that this is an issue that gets discussed extensively in journalistic circles and that I should express my point in a letter.

I feel that it is a repulsive cop-out to cite "accepted practices." We are not at the Three Stooges High School where we have to look to an outside party to determine right and wrong. We are not an institution of following sheep.

If in the event that this young man is innocent, you can never undo what you have done, what purpose did it serve to publish his name?

Alan J. McMillan '91->