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POLL: Should details of sexual assault be public?

There is debate on who shield laws protect more - the victim or accused.

Details of sexual assault, except for victim identifying details, should be made public, sexual assault victim advocates and some members of the press said in a Cape Cod Times story this weekend.

In Massachusetts the "Shield Law" seals the reports of what happened in sexual assaults in a proactive measure to keep a victim's identity a secret. No details about the assault other than the suspects name, age, address and charges are made public.

However, the story showed how some experts believe the law protects the accused more than the victims. 

Recently, a was accused of allegedly raping a 14-year-old girl he coached for singing and performance.

Stephen B. Lindberg was charged 10 counts of statutory rape of a child, enticing a child under 16, indecent assault and battery on a child 14 or older and violating a protective order - all of the details of these incidents were kept "shielded" or sealed from public viewing. 

Do you think the shield law protects the victim or accused? Should the details of assaults be public?

bill roderick November 16, 2011 at 01:08 PM
the public should be made aware of the people that commit the crime,,we do not want them living in area without knowing who thay are,,sex offenders list should be public..
Jennifer Simckowitz November 16, 2011 at 02:21 PM
Hi Bill, the list is public. They are arguing the specifics of the abuse/assault, the details about the incidents, should be released. E.g. with the whole Penn State thing - they want the specifics of each incident to be released instead of just saying "molested" because they feel it doesn't describe properly what happened. What do you think about specifics being released?

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