By TATIANA PROPHET
In this Huffington Post exclusive, two anonymous women accuse Al Franken of groping them at campaign events. At least one friend of one of the women does allow her name to be used, and recounts how her friend told her that Franken had grabbed her buttocks.
Anonymous sources are highly problematic for journalism, and should be used with extreme caution, with the reason for anonymity stated very clearly. One reason they are discouraged is that when they are used to vouch for character, they can be misused if anyone has a vendetta against someone. The use of anonymous sources becomes even more problematic when it comes to accusations of sexual assault or impropriety, because victims are often intimidated into silence either overtly by a powerful perpetrator, or covertly through the built-in power dynamic.
This difficulty in proving cases of sexual misdeeds in a he-said, she-said situation, as is often the case, is a Gordian knot we're going to have to cut (or untie) as a society, so that we can balance the right of the accused to a fair trial (not a trial by media), with the right of the victim to justice as well as the protection of all potential future victims of a person with compulsive behavior.