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This responds to Scott Reeder’s Jan. 29 column, “There’s another aspect to Kobe Bryant’s legacy,” Reeder writes: “At best, Bryant was an adulterer. At worst, he was a rapist.”

It’s important to note that it cannot be publicly known, at any level of empirical credibility whatsoever, that Bryant was a rapist. That means that when one accuses Bryant of being a rapist, one does so with 0 percent certainty regarding the truth of that statement. Not 90 percent, 50 percent, 10 percent, 5 percent or 1 percent. Zero percent.

In other words, such a claim has the status of a public fiction.

That does not mean that Bryant did not rape his accuser; it means that one cannot claim to know that.

The reason this accusation remains unverifiable and therefore unknowable is that the alleged victim chose not to proceed with a criminal case. That choice may have been coerced by tactics of both the defense attorneys and the media, as Reeder suggests. But again, Reeder cannot know that at any level of certainty whatsoever, and neither can anyone else.

It is, obviously, for good reason that our legal system requires public testimony, material evidence, and cross-examination. It is therefore obvious that “believe all women” cannot be a credible basis for determining legal outcomes of sexual assault charges, and that no lawyer or judge would support such an assertion.

It shows poor judgment for Reeder to project his own personal trauma on this case. He continues to show, at best, that he is a lousy journalist.

DAVID GREEN

Champaign

News-Gazette