Should Kobe Bryant's accuser's name be published online?

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In keeping with the practice of not identifying rape victims, mainstream media has shied away from divulging details about the 19-year-old college student from Colorado who has accused Kobe Bryant of sexual assault. But information about the young woman's identity is available online — much of which is inaccurate or false. What do you think: does the public have a right to know in such a high-profile case, or is this a violation of the accuser's right to privacy? Do you think this sort of posting should be allowed?

Some of your responses:

Absolutely not! I think she should have the right to sue for libel or slander — whichever applies in each case — because her name will be ruined before the trial even starts. This is trying the victim; we are supposed to try the accused.
Cathy Dubre

Although we all have a priori beliefs on a matter of this seriousness, the truth is that at this moment it is impossible to asess accurately who is the victim, Mr. Bryant or his accuser. Because of that, the same privacy standard must apply to both parties, which means that if Mr. Bryant has to face the public, so must his accuser. This may not be a perfect solution, but it is the only fair> Armando Santiago

The answers seem clear to me. Should websites be allowed to publish the name of the accuser? Yes, unless they specifically encourage people to harass or threaten the accuser, it is protected speech under the First Amendment. Should these people be doing so? No, it is rude and irresponsible. Fortunately, in this country, we all have the right to be rude and irresponsible.
James Sweet
Rochester, N.Y.

Her identity should by no means be released without her permission. However, I know that if the media were saying things about me that simply weren't true, I would have to stand up and defend myself. However, the release of such information, true or not, taints the pool in which possible jurors can be found for a trial. She's been made to look like a gold digger and attention getter, and she may not be at all. She may just be a victim of a horrible crime. Only time will tell.
Stephanie Crawford

I feel there has been more damage done to her reputation through misinformation and out and out lies then could ever come from knowing who she is and what the truth really is. Let her have her own press conference setting the record straight on what is and what is not true. Most people are going to believe what's being printed until she nullifies the accusations with the truth.
Jenifer Gabriel
Charlotte, N.C.

No, but unaffiliated websites are going to do it anyway. Traditional media which violate generally accepted rules of behavior — like pornography, we know it when we see it — can be reminded via the marketplace that a sizable majority of us don't like it. The radio talk-show host who violated the code is easily taken care of this way. Probably won't be, though, because the sizable majority doesn't listen to such garbage.
Dick Walsh
Addison, Texas

Should a woman think twice about reporting a rape because the alleged criminal is a celebrity? Should we afford special status to only some people? This woman is getting death threats and Kobe is buying a a huge ring for his wife as if she is the victim. Please, let's remember who was allegedly raped. Kobe may have counted on her not to be believed, and the ensuing media attention further victimized the victim.
Brenda Jackson
Toronto, Canada

I have no problem with the accuser's identity being withheld if the same standard applies to the accused. It doesn't seem like the prosecutor was thinking about Mr. Bryant's right to privacy when he was holding a press conference to discuss the accusations. How humiliated must Mr. Bryant and his wife feel right now? If Kobe Bryant can't hide behind anonymity then neither should the accused, and her identity should be posted in the public domain.
Shamaun Holston
Irvine, Calif.

Exposing a woman who may be a rape victim redoubles the violation of her physical being. It is not ethical for a news organization to reveal her identity. And, as my mother would say, it's not nice. Kobe Bryant is innocent until proven guilty; therefore, the woman who filed the charges is a victim until proven otherwise. In either case, should further harm come to either party, the people who have fomented the negative hysteria should be held accountable: Tom Leykis and others of his ilk.
Peg McNichol

I do not agree with the shame-based ideas behind not naming the victim. She has done nothing ostensibly wrong, so why should she hide? Let her face her attacker with honor. I also believe that, particularly in the case of celebrities on trial, the victim should have the option of exploiting the media as well. Right now, whether her accusations are true or false, she is being vilified by a media blitz. She should be able to fight back and she cannot do that and hide her face. In short, we no longer live in ancient times where rape meant that a woman was permanently, irrevocably tarnished for life. She should come out and speak to the world without fear.
P.L. Malino
New York, N.Y.

Of course not. Remember: more often than not, victims of sex crimes get further victimized when they are outed. That's why no one unconnected to the case needs to know who they are, and that's why no respectable news organization identifies them.
Amir Khalid Hussain

Last week's question: How should states deal with the licensing of older drivers?