I just watched the "Today" story on the woman who accused Wake Forest's Gary Clark of sexual assault in 2009.
I don't know what to make of it.
The woman, Maggie Hurt, says she performed oral sex on Clark because he told her to and because she was too scared to not do what he said. Clark, obviously, says it was consensual. No charges were ever filed because there were no witnesses or physical evidence to back her story. So what we have is a classic he-said-she-said situation with the character of each party under attack. Clark's attorney, for example, has told the newspaper in Winston-Salem (N.C.) that Hurt had sex in a hotel bathroom with a male cheerleader just hours before the alleged incident. That comment, presumably, was designed to suggest Hunt is promiscuous, which may or may not be true. Either way, it doesn't mean she wasn't also sexually assaulted. So here we are, just running in circles.
My only issue with the "Today" show story is this: Host Meredith Vieira set up the piece by saying "some schools are turning a blind eye" to sexual assault, and -- though it might be true in general -- that just seems incredibly unfair as it pertains to this case. Again, I have no idea whether Clark sexually assaulted Hurt. If he did, it's a shame he's getting away with it. But the bigger shame would've been punishing Clark based on nothing more than the word of a woman, because though men get away with sexual assaults all the time, men are also falsely accused of sexual assaults all the time, and I can't see a way for Wake Forest or police to punish or charge Clark with sexual assault in this case given the lack of witnesses and physical evidence.
Bottom line, it's an uncomfortable and sad story all the way around.
But I don't think anybody turned a "blind eye."
The only alternative to not charging Clark would've been to charge him without witnesses and physical evidence.
And that, to me, would've been much, much worse.