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Sexual Abuse on the Circuit

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  • #41
    It's my understanding that libel laws cover only defamatory remarks that are UNTRUE. But, then, I'm certainly not an attorney!


    • #42
      Be careful that you don't "bring down these boards" The topic here is one of incredible importance, both on an individual and collegial level. But I feel it is important to be very clear before posting on the web. Before you post you should be able to envision yourself standing before a camera on the nightly news and saying what you are about to post. Because that is what the www is about--"world wide", and totally accessible to anyone.
      This is an issue which we need to be supportive of one another, but keep to the issue and solutions. Don't "cross the line" carelessly, without forethought. Personalizing it only trivializes the issue and loses support. Individual issues are best left for private womens' groups or anonomus rooms of 12-step abuse groups. Building bonfires only weakens the entire structure and makes us all look like angry, resentful rabble-rousers. This issue is too important. This is indeed a public forum, but it is not a public soapbox.


      • #43
        Just some (long) random thoughts about this topic from someone who works in law enforcement and has some knowledge of the workings of courts and the criminal justice system.

        Someone earlier had posted that if there were no charges filed, it doesn't mean that nothing happened, but that a plea was reached (I'm paraphrasing so I apologize if I've got this wrong). That's not correct.

        If no charges were filed it's because the prosecutor's office decided, basically, that there was not enough evidence to garner a conviction. They reviewed police reports, medical reports, and other evidence, they interviewed victims and witnesses, and decided that the evidence was not sufficient.

        The plea bargain comes in when the prosecutors have sufficient evidence for a prosecution, but agree to a lesser charge for a number of reasons (over-crowded jails; certainty of conviction on the lesser charge weighed against a possible conviction on the greater charge; suspect giving tesimony to convict another suspect).

        Another writer wondered if this BB is a not-so-public forum. The answer is yes, it is a not-so-public forum. This forum is owned by the Chronicle and we are here only by their invitation(much as a grocery store or pub invites us in). And, just as one can be banned from a bar for becoming disorderly, one can be un-invited from this forum if the administrators deem it in the best interest of the Chronicle itself or this board in particular. And, much like a restaurant can enforce a dress code or otherwise moderate the behavior of their invitees, the Chronicle can moderate the behavior of posters here, by the criteria they see fit. Which translates into closed threads or rules about naming names.

        There is much frustration over the belief that suspects rights supercedes those of victims. Coming from the background which I do, I know this frustration first-hand. On the other hand (soap box alert), it is my strident belief that the criminal justice system of the United States is the most logical, fair, and ethical on the planet. Absolutely there are times when the guilty walk and the innocent are convicted; nothing which pertains to human interpretation--evidence and laws--can be proved to a certainty, the rules of evidence and the criminal justice system are complex, and opinions can be bought and sold. Nonetheless, this system is the greatest.

        On the website of the state police of my state--and with whom I'm employed--you can punch in a state zip code and you can discover all the registered sex offenders in the area. That is the appropriate forum for the identity of registered sex offenders, in my opinion, whereas this forum is appropriate for discussing ways to identify the problem as it exists in our sport, and ways to educate and combat it.
        Proud Member of the League of Weenie Eventers
        Proud Member of the Courageous Weenie Eventers Clique


        • #44
          Weatherford... it was not her intention to have this thread be a witch hunt; it was to discuss a serious issue.


          • #45
            <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Erin:
            Yes, it's public knowledge, and I'm not going to delete it if someone posts it. I just think people should know all of the details before broadcasting information like that to thousands of people, and be sure that what they're doing is necessary.

            . The information is out there for other people to find if they want it.

            But I don't need to know.. it doesn't affect me, nor does it affect 95% of the people here. If you want my honest opinion, I think the desire to share names has a lot to do with the gossipy nature of the horse world, as seen by the somewhat perverted "You think you have problems" thread I closed yesterday.

            If someone has publicly documented information they think is important to share, I won't stop them. But I hope they'll think long and hard about what they're doing before they post.

            Two things here. 1.it was deleted by Weatherford. and 2. I can't believe the seceond part of this quote "that it doesn't affect me" statement I am shocked at what I found out this morning but more shocked that many others knew this and now that it comes out on a thread they started it gets deleted.


            • #46
              Erin and Weatherford have a "good cop/bad cop" thing going here. So what does a witch hunt make? When does freedom of information and/or speech cross the line to litigious gossip? If it HAPPENED..if someone say, LOST THEIR JOB over it...then why must we assume "zebras" when we hear hoofbeats outside our door????? I think IF you don't want controversial and sensitive issues posted then DON'T POST THEM!!! This thread was started by a MODERATOR!!! So either stop opening the Pandoras Boxes or stick to topics like hoof paint and breeches material. To heck with substance.


              • #47
                I wonder how many children (girls OR boys) Erin and Weatherford have that go to the shows?? Could this color their complacency re: this issue?
                The thing about smart people, is they look like crazy people, to dumb people.


                • #48
                  Ok everyone for thoes of you who did in fact see that link now you know. Im not going to defend this person for there actions but in time people do get there act together. If you noiced it sohapend to be as we see a icolated incodent and the person is under supervision. In other words they mess up or have a tip there lives are literaly screwed. So when you know that if you are being watched it makes you less likely. I think that yes it was a bad thing but how can some of us sit here and destroy a life without first confronting them. Before we sit and destroy this persons life and make it public lets first hear what this person has to say. Instead of concentraiting on the ones who have been convicted lets concentrait on the ones who have not. its a touchy issue. Thnk how this so easaly will ruin someones life and we have not taken the time to hear the story. Maby this person can instead of being our enemy at the moment be an asset to us. see this person has been there and could tell us what it was like to be in this persons shoes. As I have said before in many posts: take a wilk in there shoes and have a feel of what life is like for them. It is fact but before we destroy lives here lets here it from this person. Weatherford you know I dislike people like this but comeon people lets not detroy a life without knowing the whole story.
                  \"I\'m going to go see a horse about a man\" - Unknown


                  • #49
                    I believe that the GUILTY party "ruined" their OWN life. They should have considered the reprocussions of their actions BEFORE they DID them. What is with society today?? We bend over backward to protect the guilty! What about the many victims and potential victims out there? The rate of recidivism for a crime of this nature is extremely high. Anytime you want to take your head out of the sand? It will NOT go away by ignoring it.


                    • #50
                      It was Weatherford's decision to start this thread, I assume because she felt it was important that it be discussed and that parents not be blindly trusting of everyone at horse shows. She's gone out of town, and emailed me this morning telling me she had deleted posts in reference to one person, asked me to keep a close eye on the thread and not close it.

                      Jumphigh, if you'll notice, I said the information should be shared among the people who do have kids going to shows... most definitely. But it should not be shared with, say, me, because I don't.

                      If you go and look at some of the state sexual offender registration sites, they don't just list all the people registered. They ask you to either provide a name (i.e. your new babysitter) or a zip code, city name, county name, etc., so you can find out of your new neighbor has a sexual conviction. Obviously, the point of that is to make the information available to those whom it immediately affects.

                      I didn't see the post that was deleted, so I don't know what was said. But I stand by my statements that people shouldn't post information like this for thousands to see if they don't know the whole story and are legitimately concerned that someone could be in danger.


                      • #51
                        Just a clarification, I think Erin meant her last sentence to read "... are not legitimately concerned that someone could be in danger."

                        And, as is clear from my earlier post, I agree with her.

                        [This message has been edited by Portia (edited 05-18-2000).]
                        "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


                        • #52
                          Erin, I have emailed you privately, as you know, but I will say this publicly. I implore you to shut down and delete this topic as long as it contains clearly stated or implied personal attacks. No good can come of it.

                          I would guess that 99% of us have absolutely no first-hand knowledge of alleged OR "legally factual" incidents, and have no right to comment on them without a thought as to the tragic implications for certain individuals. I don't care if it's legal or not - it is WRONG.

                          Shut it down. What ever happened to "he who casts the first stone . . . "

                          Shut it down.


                          • #53
                            <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by horsluvr:
                            I believe that the GUILTY party "ruined" their OWN life. They should have considered the reprocussions of their actions BEFORE they DID them. What is with society today?? We bend over backward to protect the guilty! What about the many victims and potential victims out there? The rate of recidivism for a crime of this nature is extremely high. Anytime you want to take your head out of the sand? It will NOT go away by ignoring it.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                            Do you know that an 18-year-old boy who has consensual sex with his 17-year-old girlfriend could be charged and convicted as a sex offender? If that were you, would you want that information broadcast for the world to see, to be branded as a child molester, and to be told that it's your own fault and that you should accept the repercussions of your actions??!

                            I find it incredible that people here are so anxious to condemn without the tiniest notion of what the facts are. Do you honestly think that if anyone here knew of an actual child molester wandering around horse shows looking for prey, that person would be "protected"? Well, sadly, the issue is not that clear. There are many shades of gray.


                            • #54
                              <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by goodmudder:
                              ... I implore you to shut down and delete this topic as long as it contains clearly stated or implied personal attacks. No good can come of it.

                              I would guess that 99% of us have absolutely no first-hand knowledge of alleged OR "legally factual" incidents, and have no right to comment on them without a thought as to the tragic implications for certain individuals. I don't care if it's legal or not - it is WRONG.

                              Shut it down. What ever happened to "he who casts the first stone . . . "

                              Shut it down.

                              I have been watching this thread all along. There have been several informative posts about the legal system. But I agree with the above statement. So before this thread is closed, let me add the following -
                              Professionally, I have worked MANY years with young/teenage children (boys and girls) who have been victimized many ways. Parents, please listen to the following tips...
                              1) This issue transcends all sports and opportunities where there are adults & children. Offenders can be the local baseball coach, teacher, clergy, next door neighbor, family member. There are signs to watch out for - EDUCATE yourselves!!
                              2) I have seen the effects of adults WRONGLY accused by young people and how it can destroy their careers and families.
                              3) Parents...talk to your kids!!!!Know what they are doing. Who are they talking to online? Who are their friends? Don't drop them off at a sporting activity (or barn) for HOURS at a time unless YOU are completely comfortable.
                              4) Kids...there is always someone out there that cares and WILL help. If you are in a situation and want help, find an adult whom you trust and PLEASE talk to them.

                              Enough is enough. I too think this topic has crossed the line from sharing information to gossiping about people.

                              [This message has been edited by CAH (edited 05-18-2000).]


                              • #55
                                Im thinking of starting this up as a second thread but before I do I want to lay down some lines and see who can abide by them. So from this point on you are being teasted. As you know I do not tolerate many things on this type of leval. This was not started to point the finger it was started so that we can talk about his issue in a manerly way. we were able to talk about the weight thread in a very manerly way and when I restarted the Abuse thread we were able to conduct in again a manerly way. as soon s this thread hit around 65 posts I will then evaluate if I want to start it.

                                These are rules i expect that will be followed on the rest of this thread.

                                1) Any links that point to an individual person will not be tolerated.

                                2)Any clues to a person will not be tolerated.

                                3)links to helpfull sights will be alowed.

                                4) rude and uncalled for language will be in no way tolerated.

                                5) Storys and well thought out opinions are welcomed.

                                I waant us to be able to enjoy these discusions but some of the info and some of the posts have indead put a sower prick in my mouth.

                                I know I am liked here but unless we can act our age and conduct ourselves in a fair maner when we do talk i will then pack my bags and moove to a new home. I very much so like it here but what are we saying to the new people. that its ok to turn this into a name boiling gossip pot. I very much so dislike this type of conduct thats why I came here because i wanted stimulated talk. If i wanted gosip or names I would go some place else but thats not what i or any of the other members want. Please don't diapoint me and force me to leave. but all of the gossip I have seen over the past week or so is apauling. It discusts me and for contributing to such rubish is unexceptable. What if any one here was being talked about on another board. How would that make us feel that our lives were becomeing public. Its an invaision of privacy. If we want to protect our children lets put our energy on that instead of continuously talking on one person. Im sitting here tinging what has all of my and weatherfords and lauras work been for. Has it realy come down to this. Has all we worked for for NOTHING? We pour our hearts out into what we work for but If this is to become a personal bashing thing I want nothing to do with it. I will continue my work but instead of it being for all of us it will be for the ones who apreciate what i stand for. Its your decision do we want to work as a team or not?
                                \"I\'m going to go see a horse about a man\" - Unknown


                                • #56
                                  Thank you Goodmudder, I don't know how it could be said better.

                                  We are getting nothing constructive done on this thread. Instead of finger pointing at one particular case - OF WHICH WE DO NOT KNOW ALL THE FACTS - we need to discuss ways that parents can be better educated so that they can protect their own children. This probably should be done on a local basis. There is no need for the entire internet world to know these facts.

                                  Come on folks, what about Laura's PTA idea? Does it have merit? How could something like that be implemented? Should it be started on a local level? Does it need to go national at a later time?

                                  I know one thing, in this age where people move from place to place many times in their lives, and, if I had kids, I would love to be able to go to a local parents equine organization for help, not necessarily to know only what kinds of people that there may be around the area, but in chosing the correct barn and instructor, facilitating showing, etc.

                                  We have so many truly creative minds on this forum. So, let's create, not destroy!
                                  If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
                                  Desmond Tutu


                                  • #57
                                    Erin if you have read my posts you KNOW I have not said anything about this incident directly but PLEASE don't compare this incident to that of a 18 and 16 year old. I have edited it because I do not want to give any more information that I have obtained with out hearing the whole story. But this is nothing like the type of incident you compared it with.

                                    [This message has been edited by MB Stark (edited 05-18-2000).]


                                    • #58
                                      These bulletin boards are read by many people who don't necessarily post. I go to several racing boards as well, and several weeks ago, we adopted the nickname Fu Peg for the Derby winner, Fusaichi Pegasus. This nickname appeared in a column in the Baltimore Sun this morning. Information on the world wide web spread faster than the flu in New York City. You must be sure of your facts and be able to find proof before you post something that could possibly cause damage to another.

                                      This is such an important topic, but you have to exercise care when dealing with people's lives.
                                      Man plans. God laughs.


                                      • #59
                                        I must support Louise on this one. I feel that this entire thread has gotten totally out of control. Yes, sexual abuse is something very terrible, and it can be found in the horse show world, just as it can be found in our schools, churches, etc. In my opinion, it's time for this topic to rest.


                                        • #60
                                          Lets get constructive. I was thinking as I make my jurnie back eas this summer to sit down with weatherford (well Ill be staying with her) but I want to try to get some us us together so that we can talk face to face. I encurage any of you who want to do some real work to join. Even if you can't sit with us we do and can comunicate. I want to take all of our ideas and put them into a pot so that it can start to boil. I very much so like the idea of a equine PTA. It is so important to not just educate the children but the parents. I see such a lack of comunication between parents and children and trainers. Its important for us to partner up and become more active in the lives of our future. All groups start like this a fue people that have concerns and would like to do something about it. we have so many grate ideas. some of the thing I have been thinking about as I sit and watch tv as I try to fall asleep is maby a Websight that offers parent advice and help makeing it multi funtional so that we can productivly comunicate. Also I encurage a equine parents association. I feel that these aids will better everyone. Our main concern should be to educate and also to give the helping hand to victams of any sort. Look how long madd has been around and look how now they have so much say in so many issues. We nead to start something so that we can have that power. It a very dangerous tool we have here its called our minds. If we can productively put them together we can acheave anything. I encurage everyone who has the big enough dedacation and desire to join us face to face so that we can talk about this. we can only say so much here. Thats why I was encurageing people to use ICQ so that we can chat in real life and be able to better comunicate. We nead to stop the gosip and get real on how we can do something and make it real. We nead all the people we can get. so how about it put down your bats and lets get the real issues roling and the real ideas roling so that we can adress them.
                                          \"I\'m going to go see a horse about a man\" - Unknown