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Follow The Money: Advice for the Falsely Accused



Being accused of a crime you did not commit is terrifying. Very often the person being accused has to suffer in silence because to speak before a trial or a determination could jeopardize the outcome. Yet not speaking could jeopardize the outcome too.


At Stanford University, female soccer star Katie Meyer took her own life after she was accused of spilling coffee on a male athlete. She was found dead in her room with a letter from the Dean of Students open on her laptop. She was given an impossible choice: to speak to the disciplinary committee and potentially jeopardize her assumption of innocence or not speak and thus be presumed guilty for not speaking.


Katie’s parents have sued Stanford University but to all intents and purposes they should be suing the US Department of Education and the Department of Justice since the disciplinary process that led to Katie’s death was effectively endorsed by these departments on April 4, 2011 when the unregulated “Dear Colleague” Title IX letter was introduced at the University of New Hampshire by Vice President Joe Biden.


He was flanked by representatives from both departments. The non-partisan FIRE issued a statement declaring the dangers of such a letter. Senators Lamar Alexander and James Lankford criticized the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights for its overreach. Not enough people listened and as a result those falsely accused of sexual assault could now face the death penalty in Florida.


What started in America has spread to other countries. The United Kingdom has adopted “Operation Soteria” with American Betsy Stanko behind it. What real qualifications does Betsy Stanko have? She’s a feminist activist who has mustered her way into being an expert and advisor on sexual assault allegations. PR goes a long way for those out to make a career out of selling snake oil to snake charmers.


So here are some things that I believe may be helpful if you find yourself or a loved one being accused of a crime they did not commit:


1) As a rule I would say that you should stay off social media. I would screen capture but delete all social media accounts, however you may wish to seek legal advice on this as you don’t want to be accused of deleting evidence either.


2) Do not talk to police, investigators, friends or anyone who may be used against you. You would be surprised how many people will yield to money offers to follow a narrative to get someone convicted.


3) If police, investigators, administrators ask you about an incident, do not speak to them without seeking legal advice.


4) Investigate the people offering legal advice. Investigate the investigators, administrators, police - search back through several pages on the internet for “vs X name” “vs X school/business” etc. Find professional relationship maps. Look on Linked In. Research the hell out of them so you are fully aware of conflicts of interest, undue influence etc. Find out relationships between them and charities or non-profits, previous cases they have been involved in that might be similar to yours. Are you the victim of copy-cat claims?


5) Investigate the person or people making the false allegation. Were they encouraged to do so? Who are their friends, associates, colleagues? Are they likely to be drawn to money offers?


6) If there is news media or social media, keep copies of all of it. Investigate the journalists. Find out what other articles they have done. You can often find links between journalists and certain attorneys or non-profit or causes. Start to decipher lobby speak in articles and see if you are targeted as part of a lobbying effort to push through certain bills or acts. For example Evan Rachel Wood accused Marilyn Manson of sexual assault but she decided to become an activist after Donald Trump won the election in 2016. She had a non-profit that is tied to the HBO documentary “Phoenix Rising” and the “Phoenix Act” advocating for the removal of a statute of limitations for bringing claims of sexual assault.


7) Research the tax reports (IRS Form 990 in the US) for any non-profit involved. Research statements by these non-profits. Find out their relationship with police, prosecutors, lawmakers.


8) FOLLOW THE MONEY.


9) Write out - or have an advocate who is not emotionally traumatized by the event - write down the sequence of events. Fill it in with documentation (texts, emails, phone calls or whatever) from the very beginning. Every detail is important. Research the social media accounts of the complainant and their associates. Find out who follows them, who they follow, who is behind them.


10) Don’t rely on your attorney to be the saviour. Good attorneys are excellent but some attorneys are deal-makers who have a pattern of dealing with wrongful convictions, agreeing to compromises so that they and their counterparts keep in business with each other. But that might result in selling you out, compromising your position. Lawyers bread is buttered only partly with clients. The rest of it is buttered with other attorneys, judges, prosecutors, police. Find out whether your interests come second to their interests in their professional club and find out if there is a conflict of interests in representing you versus their acceptance in that club.


11) Inspect, in detail, again and again and again, statements, articles, documents, charges that are made against you. Look up the rules for these charges. Look up the rules for the people bringing them, the institutions and their standards of conduct. If you can’t get hold of them ask for them. Ask for everything. You are defending your reputation, your career, your life.


12) Knowledge is Power. I’ve read many accounts of people feeling helpless when they or a loved one faces charges for something they haven’t done. You don’t have to be helpless. You can take control of the situation by researching everything and being prepared.


It looks overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be. Police, investigators, administrators are beholden to their employers. They follow the instructions of their employers who very often adopt those from third parties who may be contractually benefiting from flawed investigations.


Once you are aware of all of this I believe you will be in a stronger position to fight it. Police don’t like to be answerable to the public, nor do prosecutors or judges. But they are all hired and paid for by the public and thus accountable to the public. School and University investigators are hired by the institution who receive money from government or donors and are therefore answerable to boards of trustees. There are insurance companies as well and underwriters. It’s not good for these to be paying out for false allegations.


The #MeToo movement and Title IX Campus Sexual Assault Narrative have thrived on propaganda with Government operatives from the Department of Justice Office of Violence Against Women and Department of Education Office of Civil Rights behind them. They are largely political. Sexual assault and domestic violence are not political nor tied to any particular gender contrary to popular narratives.


I will close with the following disclaimer: I am a lay person who did a lot of research. I am not an expert beyond the research I have done and I’m not a professional but I put this out there because I think it may be useful.


By Claire Best


Claire Best heads Claire Best & Associates, an international talent agency representing some of the most respected names in the entertainment industry for film, television, and commercials that was established in 2010. She had 16 years of experience in the agency business as an owner, C.E.O. and C.O.O. before Claire Best & Associates. Prior to becoming an agent in 2002, Claire was a production executive at New Line Cinema and Fine Line Features where she oversaw the production of many well-known domestic and international feature films from 1996-2001. Claire has also produced and executive produced a number of award winning and critically acclaimed features, shorts, and documentaries. She is a voting member of B.A.F.T.A. and the Television Academy (see: clairebest.net).


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