The Associated Press reported today on a 51-year-old New Jersey man facing trial for raping five of his daughters, three of whom allegedly bore his children from the assaults. He faces 27 charges including sexual assault, child endangerment and criminal sexual contact, but the wire service has decided not to name him in its coverage:

The Associated Press generally doesn't identify victims of sexual crimes and is not reporting the names of the husband and wife to protect the identities of their children, now all over 18 years of age.

The longstanding media policy to shield some crime victims from being identified has always been a questionable one, since people who suffer rape aren't the only victims who might be harmed by the publicity generated by a trial. Here, though, the policy has been extended to the perpetrator of a crime.

I question whether in a free society it is acceptable to put someone on trial and potentially imprison them while never revealing the person's name to the public. What if someone has information pertaining to the accused that ought to be known to police? What if other victims are out there who might never know to come forward unless told of the arrest?

In any case, the web has made it considerably more difficult for information of this kind to stay secret. The New Jersey Star-Ledger and New York Daily News identify the accused rapist as Aswad Ayinde.

-- Rogers Cadenhead

Comments

You realize of course the reason they do not publicize the name is because now you have identified for all to know who the children born of incest and sexual assault are, and will now probably be taunted and identified in school and by their friends and suffer ostracism. Good job, hope you feel good about yourself.


 

As my post states, the victims in this case are all now adults. I did not identify Aswad Ayinde until after it already had been reported by several major newspapers and TV stations. Leaving it out would have been pointless.


 

Your argument is flawed because the name is public information anyway. If you wanted to, you could get it yourself. This has nothing to do with the practices acceptable in a free society, but rather the decisions made in one media company.

By your logic, you should also go after all the crimes and criminals that never make the paper to begin with, for space or news judgment reasons.


 

Your argument is flawed because the name is public information anyway. ... This has nothing to do with the practices acceptable in a free society, but rather the decisions made in one media company.

I never said otherwise. I'm only talking about the media policy. If the only remaining national wire service chooses not to name a crime suspect, it is a policy that many other media outlets will follow.


 

The NY Daily News story quotes an ex-lover who is a lawyer saying she learned his horrible secret in 2002. But there's no follow-up asking her why she didn't report him then! She should be disbarred, and prosecuted as an accomplice.


 

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