Reader: Claims against Abraham Lincoln coach Oscar Ponce show destructive power of media

Thumbnail image for oscar ponce.jpg
Oscar Ponce.
Our post about a sex assault charge targeting Abraham Lincoln cross-country coach Oscar Ponce noted the unlikeliness of these allegations in light of his status as a DPS star and role model. That got one of our readers thinking about how quickly reputations can be tarnished or destroyed -- a comment made before police issued a second charge against Ponce, whose current whereabouts are unknown.

Citizeninneedofunbiasedreporting writes:

With all due concern for the alleged victim, it is disconcerting how a person with an impeccable record can be brought down and convicted by public opinion and the media based solely on one accusation. I hope and pray that this young person is ok, in all sincerity. I understand needing to take immediate action. However, the police report and media reporting are heavily tilted to one side, especially considering these are just allegations at this point. Oscar has spent 34 years building his reputation in the community I hope that these allegations are either founded and true, or they (the media and public opinion) retract and make right these heavily biased reports.

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I have enough faith in the Denver Police department that they indeed had enough evidence to arrest this individual and not put forth false charges. 


The fact that Ponce is now 'missing' after a second allegation is pretty telling.  Anger over 'jumping to conclusions' is very disrespectful to the alleged victims--it's not like these victims spoke to the media directly, an arrest would never have been made without evidence.  Assuming Ponce isn't capable of this because he appears to be a 'nice guy' is idiotic, the Sandusky case is proof of that.  I have met Ponce and his wife, and would never have guessed he would be capable of this type of act, but I certainly have enough decency and respect for these children to be open to hearing what they say he did to them, to be sure as hell he is guilty or innocent, and to protect other children from him in the meantime--their rights to be safe trump all.  


That is an important distinction, peoples inability to make informed and reasonable decisions based on the information reported has always been a problem.  Good point.  I did understand the futility of my comment.  What is especially sad about this situation is people have become conditioned to these cases, they can make a fairly accurate assumption that these cases will end up with a guilty verdict.  In this case, my gut tells me to reserve judgment until the facts have been released. 


The problem is not reporting.  The problem is The Public's belief that what is "reported" is fact. 

Ponce should keep in contact with the authorities, but avoid the media at all times.  For the absolute worst method of proceeding, see Sandusky's lawyers.

When will people learn that the media is not subject to the Rules of Evidence?  The media's primary goal is not justice or accuracy of the is to sell.  It's second and third goals are; to sell, and to sell, in that order.

Fair treatment for all
Fair treatment for all

Saying he would never have been arrested without evidence is naive.  The "evidence" in many cases is simply someone's word, a claim of wrongdoing,  The amount needed to arrest is very low, to actually convict, much higher.  I hope any true victim gets justice, but there are many innocent victims of false allegations as well and they have little ability to repair their damaged name.  One can only hope for fairness on all sides.

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