How Attorneys Are Using #MeToo To Defend Their Clients Accused Of Sexual Assault

By Anna Orso
The Philadelphia Inquirer

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A defense attorney in a case of sexual assault in Philadelphia involving a Temple student says he may not mention the #MeToo movement by name during trial but said he’ll work to pick jurors who are sympathetic to a man facing sexual misconduct allegations during a time when he says “a man doesn’t even know how to talk to a woman anymore.”

PHILADELPHIA

After Ari Goldstein’s hearing last week on sexual assault charges, his attorney said the accuser had ulterior motives, simply, it is a case of “#MeToo gone wild.”

“The atmosphere of #MeToo,” attorney Perry de Marco Sr. said in an interview Tuesday, “has infected this case.”

The point of #MeToo, the movement that originated on social media and has brought down dozens of powerful men accused of everything from workplace harassment to rape, started as a sort of cultural workaround to a failing in the legal system, a way to call out men who have committed sexual misdeeds but who might never be prosecuted.

But what about the men who are prosecuted? Some are now using the name of that very movement to launch their own defenses, in the courtroom and outside it, in a way that calls back to long-ago defense strategies that imply accusers are just out for attention.

During a preliminary hearing in Goldstein’s case last week, the accuser, a Temple student, testified that during a February encounter, she “kept saying no” while Goldstein allegedly pinned her to his couch, dug his knee into her thigh and pushed her to perform oral sex on him against her will.

Municipal Court Judge Lydia Y. Kirkland held Goldstein, the former president of Temple University’s Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, for trial on charges of attempted rape, indecent assault and simple assault.

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