back to article Ex-Microsoft intern claimed one of her fellow temps raped her. Her bosses hired him

An ex-Microsoft worker has accused the US software giant of bungling her internal complaint that a fellow employee raped her while she slept. In a letter submitted in support of an ongoing gender discrimination class-action lawsuit against Microsoft in the US state of Washington, the woman said that, in 2012, she was working …

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  1. ShelLuser

    So what did the police say?

    I see a lot of talk about what the woman thought and such, but I'm missing out on the results of her report to the police. Did the police do anything? Was a rapekit used? Did they find proof of sexual intercourse? If the police didn't do anything then I don't see what Microsoft could have done here. After all: in the end this all resulted in a "she said, he said" kind of scenario, and in our democracy you're innocent until proven guilty. Also noteworthy is that the whole thing didn't happened on the Microsoft workfloor but at her (shared) home.

    Even the article says that she was asleep and "thinks to have remembered that she was being raped". Is that enough to ruin someones career? "I think he did it, but I'm not sure"? And once again: I'm seriously missing out on what the police investigation (if any) resulted in.

    This isn't about a sexual assault on the workfloor, but instead about sexual related issues at home where both involved individuals also happened to be working for the same company. So unless the police actually got involved then I don't think there's much the company could do here.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: So what did the police say?

      This isn't about a sexual assault on the workfloor,

      Sorta... We do not know how their intern program is set up. I would not be surprised if the accommodation was also provided and organized by Microsoft as a part of the intern program. That opens a pretty big can of worms there and then.

      Also, with police involved the standard (and quite correct) modus operandi for most HR departments is to do absolutely nothing so that the police inquiry is not prejudiced. The real question is - why the police inquiry got nowhere.

      1. fords42

        Re: So what did the police say?

        Ex Microsoft intern here. In the UK it's up to the intern to find accommodation (though many do end up in shared houses) and AFAIK it's the same in the US.

    2. hnwombat
      Flame

      Re: So what did the police say?

      The "proven guilty" standard is for criminal cases in criminal court with criminal penalties. It applies nowhere else. In civil courts, it's "preponderance of evidence", not "beyond a reasonable doubt". In a company, the threshold is even lower.

      So yes, Microsoft could have, and should have, done more. Offering to transfer her to a different department is not sufficient, nor is it appropriate (unless offered to her as a possibility to choose from). The accused should have been transferred; he, after all, was the alleged wrongdoer, not she.

      Doing so is in Microsoft's best interests-- whether there was a crime or not, she perceived one, and that would cause problems in the department. Moving someone was necessary simply from a productivity point of view. Absent convincing evidence, the transfer for the accused should not itself be punitive; it should be to another useful experience (since he was an intern), but which involved no further contact with the woman.

      And, finally: it is always men saying that there are "degrees"and "grabbing an ass is not as bad as forcible rape". I doubt the difference is so apparent to the victim. They are both equally invasive, and equally wrong. Yes, I think we should charge people grabbing an ass with rape.

      You are not the one who gets to define how bad the crime is. It's the victim that gets to decide.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So what did the police say?

        'You are not the one who gets to define how bad the crime is. It's the victim that gets to decide.'

        No, that's the job of the courts and the lawmakers. Otherwise its just mob rule.

      2. Aqua Marina Silver badge

        Re: So what did the police say?

        “The accused should have been transferred; he, after all, was the alleged wrongdoer, not she.”

        So regardless of guilt, he should be punished and be forced to change his job because allegations?

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: So what did the police say?

          "So regardless of guilt, he should be punished and be forced to change his job because allegations?"

          amazingly, this sort of thing has been happening a LOT lately...

      3. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

        Re: So what did the police say?

        "Yes, I think we should charge people grabbing an ass with rape."

        That's surely a dangerous notion. Would you say common assault is the same as murder?

        Don't get me wrong now, grabbing ass is terribly offensive, yes, and should not be just ignored, but to equate it with the terrible act of rape is not proportional. What next? Is wolf-whistling as bad as grabbing at someone? does that make wolf-whistling rape? What about "eye rape"? (Yeah, its a thing apparently).

        Furthermore, by creating this sort of association between things you run the risk of devaluing the position of the victims of violent rape. "She was raped? oh, someone grabbed at her?", and that sets a dangerous precedent when we are already being told that most rape goes unreported because the authorities seemingly choose not to believe victims.

        1. HereIAmJH

          Re: So what did the police say?

          "Don't get me wrong now, grabbing ass is terribly offensive, yes, and should not be just ignored, but to equate it with the terrible act of rape is not proportional."

          It may not be rape, but in the US it is classified as sexual assault. Washington state defines it as Indecent Liberties. "Any touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a person done for the purpose of gratifying sexual desire of either party or a third party."

          And BTW, if she was unconscious then in Washington state she was unable to consent to intercourse, making it second degree rape. "Victim is incapable of consent because he or she is physically helpless, mentally incapacitated or developmentally disabled."

          I'm surprised, since it was a co-worker, that there wasn't an Order of Protection that would have forced Microsoft to relocate one of them. (which would mean him, because penalizing the alleged victim opens you up to lawsuits like this)

      4. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: So what did the police say?

        "Yes, I think we should charge people grabbing an ass with rape.

        You are not the one who gets to define how bad the crime is. It's the victim that gets to decide."

        Well you are an idiot then, Sorry, but you are. If I am seriously offended by the tailgater on the motorway yesterday (he was a complete dick, and it's a crime) I can send him to jail for 30 years for death by dangerous driving?

        Rape has a definition. Grabbing someone's arse is a crime, it's just not rape. Words have meanings. And rape is the only crime where there's even a debate that there might be more and less severe versions of it. Murder is murder, but the type of murder determines the sentence. We don't treat all thieves equally as well. The campaigners are definitely wrong on this one.

      5. Trilkhai

        Re: So what did the police say?

        And, finally: it is always men saying that there are "degrees"and "grabbing an ass is not as bad as forcible rape". I doubt the difference is so apparent to the victim. They are both equally invasive, and equally wrong.

        No, I think it's very safe to say that the vast, overwhelming majority of women out there (including me) would say that having something jammed into a bodily orifice is literally more invasive, more painful (unless the person has third-degree burns on their butt), and more psychologically damaging.

        I can definitely say that as an undersized 13-year-old girl, while I found having my butt & chest grabbed by the jocks as part of a bullying campaign was upsetting, it didn't freak me out half as much as their threats to rape me if they ever found me alone. (They weren't smart enough to threaten to do it if I told on them, or I might not have gotten the little asshats suspended.)

        1. hnwombat
          Pint

          Re: So what did the police say?

          = I can definitely say that as an undersized 13-year-old girl, while I found having my butt & chest

          = grabbed by the jocks as part of a bullying campaign was upsetting, it didn't freak me out half as

          = much as their threats to rape me if they ever found me alone. (They weren't smart enough to

          = threaten to do it if I told on them, or I might not have gotten the little asshats suspended.)

          Okay, fair, enough, I was being extreme, but to try to make a point-- men don't get to decide that "grabbing a little ass" isn't serious. It's the grabee that gets to decide. "Boys will be boys" is not acceptable, and is legally actionable.

          1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

            Re: So what did the police say?

            It's the grabee that gets to decide. "Boys will be boys" is not acceptable, and is legally actionable.

            Grabee gets to decide acceptability.

            The actual crime is defined by the law. This is valid for both the actual sexual assault on the grabee and the broken wrist of whoever dunnit if the grabee does not like it and "takes the law into her own hands"(*).

            (*)It is very easy to break wrists of people who do not know what you are doing when they are trying to grab you. Regardless of size. In fact, being little versus a Jock helps. Just go learn some aikido. It takes 6-12 months to learn it, not like you need to get to the darker belt colours to be able to do it. You can of course chose other options, but this one is the best as far as dealing with opponents that vastly outsize you. It is also the one that gets you to a point where you can defend yourself fastest.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So what did the police say?

        I have a small issue with this , What happens when said woman , decides I don't like you so I know I will cry rape , even if the person has never even looked at you , or would not even be interested in you . But it's being used as a weapon to move you or destroy your career, This is not to detract on the REAL VICTIMS of such a heinous crime of which I would advocate for the harshest punishments one could obtain against such a perpetrator. The issue is people lie , sometimes for sympathy , sometimes for drama , sometimes just to f**k you over . With a police investigation , you can have a investigation of which even if you say look DNA evidence the question becomes ok consensual or against your will , DNA does not prove either way , so a lot them comes down to how good an actor the man or woman is , as in I was brutalised , ok so show me bruises which if present certainly lent weight to the argument that it was non consensual but still not conclusive as some woman like rough sex. Hell an ex used to love being hurt by people , so much so she actually sought out and paid people to hurt her when I refused to hurt her in the way that she wanted. People can do some really screwed up stuff , for some really screwed up reasons.

        I don't like Microsoft , even thou I have worked for them deep in the past , to me it's a awful place to work , but as a employer , what can you do ? A says B did something , B says no I diden't of course it looks certainly very odd when you start asking around and C ,D , E ,F , H ,I ,J ,K ,L ,M , N also say he did something , but in a isolated incident Where it A is the only accuser of B it becomes Archaism razor, which is the more likely , Perhaps put people in different groups move people around to avoid issues of people feeling nothing is being done , but without evidence (DATA) of something really happening or being likely to have happened it is very difficult to do something . If the person that was most likely attacked is reading this , this is not aimed at you per say , I have every sympathy for you also . All I can suggest is maybe ask around people that know this person and see if he has done this before, see if you can establish a pattern of abuse (all of which the police should have done for you , and likely tried too) In even making this accusation you have likely doomed his prospects anyway , as in the well no smoke without fire , so everyone sure your innocent we just wont leave you with female colleges alone.

        The issue and this is a real issue is that being on the end of false claims is no joke either , it can ruin you life , leaving you wanting to take your own life for the fact that people could even think that of you , the police don't help either from the point of view you KNOW it's a lie , but as far as they are concerned you get the WHY WOULD SHE LIE thrown in your face , officers insinuating your not safe to be around to family members and friends , all of which tends to lean towards nobody wants to take a chance it is true so your treated as guilty from the start , as a non guilty party your at best given a NO FURTHER ACTION , which is not a we are wrong , not we are sorry for all the stress and grief, sorry for ruining your life , it's just a we don't think we can nail you to the wall so FOR NOW !! we are not going to do anything more.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: So what did the police say?

          "I have a small issue with this , What happens when said woman , decides I don't like you so I know I will cry rape , even if the person has never even looked at you ,"

          Well, according to todays news, 2 years of your life being made hell you'll never get back and your name plastered all over the media as a rapist during all that time, and that's only if and when the evidence proving your innocence is finally disclosed to your defence team.

      7. Jonathan Schwatrz
        Stop

        Re: hnwombat Re: So what did the police say?

        Wow! Do you just hate men? Your whole post boils down to "she should be believed because she's a woman and he's an evil man"!

        "....Microsoft could have, and should have, done more...." On what basis, other than "he has a penis"? Did the police prosecute the guy? Was he ever even charged?

        ".....The accused should have been transferred; he, after all, was the alleged wrongdoer...." Amazing that you use the word alleged but do not seem to understand what it means.

        ".....whether there was a crime or not, she perceived one....." So now you want a business to make an important decision (and on one that they could be heavily sued) just because a woman "perceived" something?!?!?

        ".....Moving someone was necessary simply from a productivity point of view. Absent convincing evidence, the transfer for the accused should not itself be punitive; it should be to another useful experience (since he was an intern), but which involved no further contact with the woman....." So a woman is allowed to remove a competitor for a role and leave a stain on his professional career just because she said so? Darling, maybe you should take your pussy hat off and realise having a vagina does not give you the right to dictate the law.

        "....You are not the one who gets to define how bad the crime is. It's the victim that gets to decide." Epic fail! You are stating that there doesn't even need to be an investigation of the alleged crime, it's just automatically the worst possible offence because she's a woman and says so. TBH, women like you are the reason feminism gets such a bad name.

        1. hnwombat
          FAIL

          Re: hnwombat So what did the police say?

          @Jonathan Schwartz:

          = TBH, women like you are the reason feminism gets such a bad name.

          I'm cis-male.

          And men still don't get to decide how bad "grabbing an ass" is. The rest of your comments I'll ignore because you didn't understand the subtleties of the point that I was trying to make-- which is that Microsoft has a right and a duty to act based on suspicion. They are not a court of law. Just like Google was right to fire their jerk.

          1. Walter Bishop Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: hnwombat So what did the police say?

            @hnwombat: "I'm cis-male.

            Jezus, no self respecting man refers to himself as cis-male, save that stuff for reddit :)

          2. Jonathan Schwatrz
            FAIL

            Re: hnwombat Re: hnwombat So what did the police say?

            "I'm cis-male...." Right! In my experience, the only people that use that term are not straight men, not unless they're hipster millennial metrosexuals looking to virtue-signal. Oh look, I can apply labels too!

            "....you didn't understand the subtleties of the point that I was trying to make....' Hmmm, it seemed your "point" was "she female, he male, therefore he must be guilty and punished, cos she said so". You have failed to provide any other argument. You definitely did not provide any form of legal argument, just an emotive one.

            "....Microsoft has a right and a duty to act based on suspicion....." No, they don't. Just take the time to ask a lawyer, they'll tell you why companies are careful not to give employees a reason to sue them. If Microsoft had transferred the guy without any corroboration of the claimed rape then they would open themselves up to being sued for defamation of character and (ironically) sexual discrimination ("we're changing your internship because you're a guy and she's a woman" - pretty clear cut case of sexual discrimination). They would at least need an HR investigation (usually by a third party) which would need to show something like a witness statement of at least intent on the guy's part. But it looks like the police investigation turned up nothing, which means Microsoft's HR probably would have turned up nothing.

            IMHO, you are either blinded by your hatred of Microsoft or have been swimming in the kool aid for far too long. Or both.

          3. Kiwi

            Re: hnwombat So what did the police say?

            I'm cis-male.

            No, you're not. You're nothing more than a disgusting piece of shit.

            The rest of your comments I'll ignore because you didn't understand the subtleties of the point that I was trying to make--

            You tried to equate rape with "ass grabbing". How dare you try and lecture someone else!

            which is that Microsoft has a right and a duty to act based on suspicion.

            No one outside of the police and the courts has such a duty without damned good evidence and extremely good reason. The alleged victim wasn't willing to go elsewhere so SHE didn't consider it bad enough to take up an opportunity elsewhere, so why should the other person be moved on mere allegation of one person?

      8. Cynic_999 Silver badge

        Re: So what did the police say?

        "

        You are not the one who gets to define how bad the crime is. It's the victim that gets to decide.

        "

        OK, I allege that your entire post was meant as an horrific personal attack on me. As I have made the allegation, by your rules action must now be taken against you you. And as I get to decide how bad your crime was, I say that what you did to me in your post was far worse than murder. You will therefore happily submit to a life sentence.

      9. PNGuinn Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: So what did the police say? @ hnwombat

        "And, finally: it is always men saying that there are "degrees"and "grabbing an ass is not as bad as forcible rape". I doubt the difference is so apparent to the victim. They are both equally invasive, and equally wrong. Yes, I think we should charge people grabbing an ass with rape."

        No No NO.

        "Grabbing an ass" is generally NOT acceptable behaviour - from the context it's a sexual assault, possibly a serious sexual assault. But no way is it "invasive" in the sense that rape is "Invasive" All sexual assault should be punished severely if proven.

        It's NOT rape. Rape is one of the most vile crimes a man can commit, and because of that the burden of proof is necessarily high. Some would say, and I would agree, that the ultimate penalty should be available to the courts for rape.

        Rape is NOT a trivial matter. To equate it to "Grabbing as ass" IS to trivialise it, and is a vile insult to rape victims.

        Sorry, downvoted.

      10. Kiwi

        Re: So what did the police say?

        And, finally: it is always men saying that there are "degrees"and "grabbing an ass is not as bad as forcible rape". I doubt the difference is so apparent to the victim. They are both equally invasive, and equally wrong. Yes, I think we should charge people grabbing an ass with rape.

        Speaking as a victim, YOU ARE ONE SICK FUCKING INDIVIDUAL if you think they're even remotely close to the same thing.

        Both wrong? Yes. Both the same? Get some brains. How fucking DARE you try to equate those two things

        How DARE you try to minimise the effects that actual rape has on a person by equating it with "grabbing an ass". Go to a rape crisis centre, talk to the victims there. If they let you live come back and tell us if it's still the same.

        You are not the one who gets to define how bad the crime is. It's the victim that gets to decide.

        Read your own words you WORTHLESS FUCKING PIECE OF FUCKING SHIT CUNT!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So what did the police say?

      “I don't think there's much the company could do here”

      You clearly don’t get it. If ever the word “rape” is used in an allegation, then it must be true. Facts should never get in the way of a good lynching. Even if it went to trial and a jury of his peers declared him not guilty.... well, it’s rape, he’s a man. He must have done it. Sack him, castrate him and put him on the sex offenders register for life.

    4. Trilkhai

      Re: So what did the police say?

      While I favor letting the police handle matters, a couple of things suggest to me that MS might have mishandled this...

      --In the statement from MS that El Reg quoted, they mention meeting with her, but nothing about talking to him or whoever else was at the shared living space to get a feel for how realistic her claims were (if only to avoid hiring a guy that might be a problem for other employees), suggesting they might've been blowing her off.

      -- She was told that if she got a restraining order, she would be the one forced to change departments, apparently at some loss to her career based on her reaction. That seems a bit...off.

      -- Microsoft says they "encouraged her" to talk with law enforcement, but AFAIK the cops would've been contacted when the hospital did the 'rape-kit' thing that day. That sounds a bit too much like MS Sent a one-size-fits-all CYA statement, not one specific to that incident.

      It seems to me like these days, it doesn't usually take much for somebody to lose their job over even an accusation of perfectly-legal but "inappropriate" behavior. I imagine that something like "this co-guy raped me at a shared employee's place; I had the hospital do a rape kit, cops have been alerted" would be parallel to something a company would at least want to look into.

    5. kain preacher Silver badge

      Re: So what did the police say?

      The charges were dropped.

  2. jake Silver badge

    "seriously sexually assaulted"

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't all sexual assault serious?

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: "seriously sexually assaulted"

      Well obviously there are degrees. Forcible rape is much more serious than a quick grab of the ass.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: "seriously sexually assaulted"

        a quick grab of the ass is still not very chivalrous. but yeah, "degrees".

        men who grab women's asses without permission need some form of appropriate punishment, though. A good punch in the face (from the woman) oughta do it. [which is why I don't go around grabbing women's asses without permission]

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: "seriously sexually assaulted"

          bombastic bob wrote "A good punch in the face (from the woman) oughta do it. [which is why I don't go around grabbing women's asses without permission]"

          Oh. Now I see why the long winded reply ... the only thing stopping you from grabbing ass is that you might get punched. Is that from experience? Methinks thou doth protest too much.

        2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: "seriously sexually assaulted"

          A good punch in the face (from the woman) oughta do it.

          USAsian... Bless him.

          You would have gotten anything from a spiked heel in the family jewels to a broken wrist where I grew up. With EVERYONE applauding the girl - one of the reasons why very few people even dared consider that if they thought it will be unwelcome.

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: "seriously sexually assaulted"

        But DougS, the ass grab is still assault, and thus serious, no?

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: "seriously sexually assaulted"

          "But DougS, the ass grab is still assault, and thus serious, no?"

          I thought assault like that was a misdemeanor in the US, and hence not serious by definition?

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: "seriously sexually assaulted"

            I should add that "assault" is the threat of violence or an attempt at violence, even if physical violence does not occur; whereas "battery" is the follow-up physical violence. Saying "I'm going to beat you up at lunch time" is assault. Taking a swing at you and missing is also assault. Actually beating you up is battery.

            Not sure what this means WRT the original article.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: "seriously sexually assaulted"

        a quick grab of the ass

        Surely, that would be theft? I want my donkey back!

        Grabbing someone may be assault but it isn't sexual assault. It's only in the workplace where this would be treated as sexual harassment: different situation, different code.

        1. HereIAmJH

          Re: "seriously sexually assaulted"

          "Grabbing someone may be assault but it isn't sexual assault. It's only in the workplace where this would be treated as sexual harassment: different situation, different code."

          You're confusing things. Sexual assault and sexual harassment are different. In general, in the US, offensive touching of a sexual nature is considered Sexual Assault. If you grab my arm in a sexual manner, it's sexual assault. If you do the same in a non-sexual manner it would be battery.

          Some examples;

          You meet a woman at a club and you grab her arm to pull her in to kiss her. Sexual assault.

          A woman cuts in front of you in line at the grocery store so you grab her arm. Battery.

          Both could be without malice, but they could still get you arrested, depending on the situation.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: "seriously sexually assaulted"

      "isn't all sexual assault serious"

      yes, and it should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, EVERY time.

      But if no charges were ever filed, and/or no lawsuit was ever filed against the alleged perpetrator, then it's "heresay" as far as I'm concerned.

      Microsoft is NOT a police department. And yes, sometimes women DO make this kind of crap up.

      But if the guy really DID rape her while unconscious, he deserves a nice extended stay at the Iron Bar Hotel. And the victim's responsibility to society is to MAKE SURE THIS HAPPENS!!!

      icon, because we SHOULD "think of the children". They need a proper example of how to deal with crime.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: "seriously sexually assaulted"

        Bob, there is no "but". I asked a simple question with a simple yes/no answer. Why do you feel the need for a long winded reply?

        1. Kiwi

          Re: "seriously sexually assaulted"

          Bob, there is no "but". I asked a simple question with a simple yes/no answer. Why do you feel the need for a long winded reply?

          Because it's not a simple question?

          I've had male and female playfully grab at parts of me because they thought it was something I'd enjoy - they weren't all wrong but they weren't all right either. The ones that got it right were perfectly fine legally, the ones who got it wrong had strayed into sexual assault. 3 of us playfighting, one my boyfriend one a very horny guy but NOT mine - my BF grabs a handful of arse, perfectly acceptable and part of the fun. The other guy - not acceptable, he's told no, still we had a fun time. But I could've had him charged with sexual assault because it was not welcome and not asked, but he did make the assumption it was OK and was expecting a lot more than night (boy was he disappointed!)

          At that end of the scale, it's not particularly serious especially not from intent (where the guy honestly believed it would be ok and that belief wasn't from a "I'm entitled" but "I thought you'd like it, sorry").

          The other end of the scale. Well, I don't think I could get a coherent sentence out here. Rape is very serious, forced sexual assault may or may not be as serious (and often the effects on the victim can outweigh the intent of the attacker), something done out of playfulness where reciprocation or enjoyment is expected is not nearly as serious.

      2. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: "seriously sexually assaulted"

        "And yes, sometimes women DO make this kind of crap up."

        Although instances of this happening are far lower than for any other type of offence.

        A man is far more likely to be raped himself than be accused of rape, and that is counting all accusations of rape regardless of whether they are true or not.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "seriously sexually assaulted"

      “all sexual assault serious?”

      Factual sexual assault is yes.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: "seriously sexually assaulted"

        AC, I wasn't referring to a specific case. I was referring to the wording of the article. Please try to read for content. Ta.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "seriously sexually assaulted"

          @ Jake "Please try to read for content. Ta."

          I suggest you take your own advice and re-read my post. I actually wholeheartedly agreed with you with added emphasis on my part.

          Ta

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So a woman makes a claim against a man, and, to judge from the headline, El Reg's position is outrage that that he was hired anyway?

  4. Louis Schreurs BEng

    trending

  5. TonyJ Silver badge

    I don't know...

    ...there seem to be several issues here.

    Firstly, I don't know if the same is true of our US cousins but here in the UK, women that make a rape charge have their identity protected but the accused men don't. And, as mentioned before, women can and do lie (I am not suggesting she lied, by the way - just a generalisation) but even if found not guilty that kind of mud sticks

    That should change. The identities of both should be protected until one of them is found either guilty of assault/rape or found to be lying.

    Secondly, there's the big question mark over why the police felt there was no charge to answer to - now assuming that they did everything correctly, then that rather suggests there was no rape.

    However, I believe that Microsoft should have transferred both of them. Not as a punishment in any way but to be seen to be acting properly to protect both individuals - moving desks doesn't seem to be enough.

    Dunno...it just feels like there are key items missing in the story.

    1. 's water music Silver badge

      Re: I don't know...

      assuming that they [police] did everything correctly

      I don't think that is an assumption that is in any way safe to make

    2. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

      Re: I don't know...

      Microsoft screwed up here, and badly. You're right - the best choice would have been to move both employees, so that they're not meeting each other every day. If the accusation was false, moving both would reduce the accuser's ability to bully the accused; if it was true, being apart would prevent problems at a subsequent trial ("but you spoke with my client regularly in your office? Surely you could not have been as traumatised as you claim ...").

      Your question about anonymity has a local answer if you want to look into it further: In Irish law, accused rapists remain anonymous unless convicted, on the grounds that knowing identity of the accused can easily allow identification of the victim (remember that most victims of rape know their attacker). However, this provision often means that convicted rapists are not named either, because in many situations, doing so would remove the victim's anonymity. It's common here for victims to renounce their right to anonymity after a conviction is secured, just to ensure that their attacker is named.

      But the Irish law primarily exists to protect the victim, not the accused. The risk of false accusation isn't significant, because the overwhelming number of charges of rape are based on real attacks. To hear some people talking about it, you'd swear every second accusation was malicious, but the FBI's figures in the US put the false claim rate at just under 2% - the same level as for other crimes (of all classes). Bear in mind that this 2% figure is of those cases where a police complaint is made- there are many victims of physical assault who cannot bring themselves to make an official complaint - the reporting rate for rape is believed to be as low as 12%.

      ... It's also sad to see some regular and vehemently anti-Microsoft commenters lining up to support the company's cack-handed actions in this case. I guess they can overlook "pure evil" when it has the side-effect of keeping uppity wimmen out of a "real man's industry".

      1. TonyJ Silver badge

        Re: I don't know...

        Here's a thing about your 2% figure though.

        A quick Google took me to a Guardian article starting that official figures listed 23,851 reported cases in 2015/16 in the UK and Northern Ireland.

        At 2% that is just short of 500 falsely accused.

        So that's potentially 500 men who had their lives utterly ruined whilst the accusers not only get off scot free but usually also get to remain anonymous.

        All I am calling for is equality in the system that means until a conviction is secured, both parties by law have to remain anonymous unless there are very good reasons not to (and that'd be for the courts to decide). In either case, post-conviction the guilty party should be named and the victim given the opportunity to remain or waive their anonymity as they see fit.

        I still just feel there are key aspects to the story missing. Why, for example, has it taken 5 years to get to this? Why did the police find no crime had been committed?

        As I originally said, MS should have moved them both for the very reasons you said as well as to be seen to be impartial such as not to prejudice the case. Just moving a desk was woefully poor action.

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