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Johan Santana moves to have the sexual assault case against him dismissed

Nov 3, 2010, 1:32 PM EDT

Johan Santana

A year ago,  Johan Santana was accused of rape. The police investigated, found the accuser’s statements “to be inconsistent with that of other witnesses” and declined to file charges.  Back in August, Santana’s accuser filed a civil suit in Florida.  Santana is now asking that it be dismissed. Why? Because the accuser filed it anonymously, using a Jane Doe, rather than using her real name.

Those of you who have filed high profile trials involving rape or sexual abuse may be wondering why Santana would be asking this, given how common it is for alleged victims to be given anonymity. But that’s mostly in criminal cases, where the victims are merely witnesses, not parties to the suit. In civil suits, such as this one, the accuser is a party seeking money damages. In such cases, the presumption of our legal system is that it is open to the public, and that anonymity is only granted a party if his or her interest in maintaining their privacy outweighs the public interests invoked by an open legal system.

While this is a matter that continues to be litigated, the burden to remain anonymous in a civil lawsuit is pretty high, and it’s not at all uncommon for courts to require that a Jane Doe plaintiff either sue under her own name or else drop the suit, even in sexual assault and rape cases.

And yeah, I realize this has little to do with baseball, but there are a handful of legal issues in the world that still hold my interest, and this is one of them, so you get my ramblings on it.  Wait around a while and I’m sure someone’s option will be picked up.

  1. BC - Nov 3, 2010 at 1:57 PM

    How the heck you’re even allowed to file a civil suit anonymously to begin with is beyond me.

  2. Jonny 5 - Nov 3, 2010 at 2:18 PM

    Or the plaintiff just assumed a chunk of money would automatically change hands, causing the lawsuit to go away… I’m pretty sure this amount was discussed, was found to be too much for Carlos here, and now it’s time to take off the gloves. I find myself with a feeling of disgust over this case. Either he raped her and got away with it, Which disgusts me. Or he didn’t, and she’s trying to bleed him dry, which also disgusts me. Either way this case represents just how low a life form we really are.

  3. Richard In Big D - Nov 3, 2010 at 2:19 PM

    I understand the difference between “beyond a reasonable doubt” and “a preponderance of evidence”, and how these terms apply to criminal nad civil actions, respectively. And I understand how, in the case of a trial and “not guilty” verdict, there may be a civil suit, because there would be a “preponderance of evidence” that just doesn’t take you all the way “beyond a reasonable doubt”. But in a case like this, where there obviously wasn’t enough evidence to even HAVE a criminal trial (based on the judge’s decision to dismiss), how can someone even FILE a civil suit, let alone have any hope of winning a judgement?

    • Jonny 5 - Nov 3, 2010 at 2:38 PM

      I could file a civil suit against you right now for using “nad” instead of “had” in that sentence above. That’s how easy it is. It could also be tossed for being ridiculous, but filed it is… Am I right oh lawyerly ones out there???

      • pauleee - Nov 3, 2010 at 3:19 PM

        Except he used “nad” instead of “AND”. Case Dismissed!

      • Jonny 5 - Nov 3, 2010 at 3:58 PM

        BURNED!!!! hahaha!

  4. BC - Nov 3, 2010 at 2:39 PM

    Actually, doesn’t the Sixth Amendment guarantee your right to face your accuser? Been a while since I took Con Law. Craig, maybe you have some insight? Why wouldn’t this be the case?

  5. Detroit Michael - Nov 3, 2010 at 4:18 PM

    Please continue to cover legal issues especially, Craig. It makes this blog distinctive.

    Also, convince the powers to be to rename the blog “Shysterball and Gleeman and friends.” Work on that one.

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