September 6, 2013

In its coverage of a hearing involving an alleged rape at the Naval Academy, The Post has regularly reported that it “does not generally identify alleged victims of sexual assault.” But The Post has repeatedly identified the names and home towns of the three defendants.The paper’ s policy obviously recognizes the detrimental effect that news coverage can have on someone’s reputation, but this concern does not extend to defendants, who are presumed innocent under American jurisprudence.

I am not familiar with all of the details of this case, but I have read — in The Post and elsewhere — of many innocent men whose reputations were destroyed by being falsely accused. It would seem to me that a more balanced policy is in order.

Peter Friedman,
Dartmouth, Mass.

The writer is a retired naval officer who taught at the Naval Academy.