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ESPN Blasted for Revealing Name of Rape Accuser

11/10/2010 8:30 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

ESPN is being called out by the attorney for the woman accusing New York Mets pitcher Johan Santana of rape ... accusing the network of "irresponsible journalism" for revealing her identity.

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The woman filed the civil lawsuit for sexual battery under the pseudonym Jane Doe -- but the judge ordered her on Monday to reveal her name. ESPN.com published a story about the case and used her name.

John Clune, the woman's attorney, just blasted ESPN, telling TMZ, "ESPN has now set a dangerous precedent in telling rape victims that this will be their punishment if they attempt to pursue accountability for their celebrity offenders."

Clune, who also repped Kobe Bryant's accuser back in 2003, went on to say, "Disappointingly, ESPN today chose to publicize the identity of a rape victim on their website, despite the obvious attempt by this woman to protect herself and her children from further unwarranted harassment and abuse in pursuing her only remaining avenue to hold Mr. Santana accountable."

ESPN has not yet returned our call.

The argument for making the woman's name public -- it's wrong to let people hide behind a veil of anonymity when they make accusations in civil lawsuits that can ruin someone's life.

So we ask:



 

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63 COMMENTS

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46.

charley hardman    

refreshing to see from the first commenter the obvious solution to this perpetual joke of inequality: both parties anonymous or neither.

of course, men are supposed to sit there and take any accusation, no matter how psycho or vindictive the initiator. men are presumed guilty and that's supposed to be advancement. why? because women are considered "equal" only for the really great stuff, not equal in the narcissistic predilection to ruin the life of another wrongfully.

1388 days ago
47.

Alan    

First of all, it is "alleged rape victim", nothing has been proved. Second of all, when someone accuses someone of burglary, the alleged victim is identified; if someone is accusing someone of a mugging, the alleged victim is identified; if someone was a murder victim, the person is identified. Why shouldn't rape fall under the same rules? Rape is worse than murder?

1388 days ago
48.

cindy    

maybe the women didn't want people saying all bad things about her when the do not know what happen. already people calling her everything in the book just because he is a baseball player.that is why women will not come forward they made her out the bad guy

1388 days ago
49.

Dave    

To be fair, the media also shouldn't name the accused in rape cases, even when it's a celebrity. Although Johan Santana may be innocent, google searches of his name immediately taint his good name while his accuser enjoys permanant annoymity. Is that fair play? Absolutely not.
I suggest that the media's willingness to print the name of the accused causes an increase in false claims and celebrity blackmail.

1388 days ago
50.

Ladderr    

If it was a CRIMINAL filing, I'd have sympathy. Since it's civil, it's about money. All privacy bets are off.

1388 days ago
51.

sgm    

HE knows who she is!!!

1388 days ago
52.

Just Ducky    

It doesn't matter if ESPN leaked her name. Because the judge made the plaintiff reveal her name, it would be on the docket sheets. Docket sheets are a matter of public record - even in civil cases - unless the judge orders them sealed, which is rare. Most stated now have websites where you can look up docket sheets.

That attorney obviously isn't too bright.

1388 days ago
53.

TOO REAL    

I DON'T GIVE A FLYING F--- WHETHER YOU ARE RICH OR POOR, BLACK OR WHITE, PRO ATHLETE OR A BLUE COLLAR WORKER. NO ONE AND I MEAN NO ONE HAS A RIGHT TO RAPE ANYONE AND FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE FANS OF ATHLETES FEEL THAT THEY ARE GODS AND CAN DO NO WRONG. THESE PEOPLE ALSO BELIEVE THAT THE PROS ARE ROLE MODELS FOR CHILDREN AND TO THAT I SAY B.S. IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR ROLE MODELS FOR YOUR CHILDREN THEN YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO LOOK IN THE MIRROR FOR THAT AND IF YOU CAN'T FIND IT THERE THEN, THERE IS A PROBLEM IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD. WOMEN WHO ARE RAPED BY PEOPLE IN THE PUBLIC EYE ARE ALWAYS CALLED GOLDDIGGERS, HOES AND BIT$HES BY PEOPLE WHO HAVE NEVER MET THEM AND DON'T KNOW THEM. HELL THESE PEOPLE DON'T EVEN KNOW THE PROS BUT BELIEVE THEY DO BECAUSE THEY READ ABOUT THEM. WHEN, IN REALITY THE PROS DON'T GIVE TWO ****S ABOUT YOU OR YOUR FAMILY. SO KEEP IT REAL AND REMEMEBR THE NEXT RAPE VICTIM BY A PRO CAN BE A MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY.

1387 days ago
54.

Tony    

OBVIOUSLY its WOMEN who must be mad at ESPN. Someone was accused of rape which may or MAY NOT have happened - is anyone thinking about what he has to go through, especially if its a false claim? Hes already in the public eye and this could jeopardize his career even if its founded that its untrue. So if the "victim" names is exposed, who cares? Its a public case just like a murder case or anything else in public record. She needs to deal with it!

1387 days ago
55.

what up    

The amount of hate in these comments disturbs me.

1387 days ago
56.

Alicia    

It is a civil case, not a criminal case. If it really happened there should be criminal charges filed against him, after the criminal case is done then she can file civil charges. But just filing civil charges makes her seem like a gold digger.

1387 days ago
57.

TMS    

Did the first paragraph not say that a judge ordered her to reveal her name? If she had to reveal it then it's no longer a secret and ESPN did nothing wrong. Also agree that if you are going to accuse someone in a civil trial of a crime like that, when the criminal investigation found nothing, then you should reveal your name. I mean, what's preventing spiteful women all across this country from accusing men of rape and getting to hide behind a veil of anonymity while the mens' names get dragged through the mud?

1387 days ago
58.

Amy    

TMZ's website is so obviously a male majority and most of you make me SICK!! You support a racist, woman beater(Mel Gibson) and over 40% of you pigs believe it's ok to release rape victims names?? If it was your child, sister, aunt or mom, you ****s would be banging down doors if this happened. Shame. Shame on so very many of you. This website give me less and less confidence in the males species.

1387 days ago
59.

Anja Beverly    

I hope that no one in the ESPN family has this atrocity committed against any of their female loved ones, and if they do experience this humiliating, demoralizing act, i hope they have the same attitude, and expose them for "hiding behind a veil of anonymity....." Let's protect women that have already suffered from this demoralizing and power driven act. These "men" are jackholes for being such douche bags.

1387 days ago
60.

Karen    

To me the issue is this is a civil case not a criminal case. If it were a criminal case I would not support the release of the victim's name. Since the woman chose to file a civil suit her name should be made public.

1387 days ago
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