Thursday, June 7, 2012

Red Wings to sign Max Nicastro: 'Whatever is in the past, he's been cleared of.'

This is a follow-up to our story earlier this week about Max Nicastro, the ex-Boston University hockey star who was cleared of rape charges last week. Mr. Nicastro was under investigation for three months in connection with an allegation by a classmate, but the charge was dropped due to insufficient evidence.

Now, Mr. Nicastro is about to begin his pro hockey career. The Detroit Red Wings anticipate signing the defenseman, their third-round pick in the 2008 entry draft, after July 1 and assigning him to the Grand Rapids Griffins.

The Red Wings' assistant general manager, Jim Nill, was asked about the rape allegation, and here is what he said: "We got no comment on what happened.  Whatever is in the past, he's been cleared of. We move forward.'' See here: http://www.mlive.com/redwings/index.ssf/2012/06/red_wings_49.html

This attitude is a refreshing contrast to some of the unjust sentiments we quoted in our earlier post. Too many people seem to think that a rape accusation, in itself, warrants punishment. Worse, someone who should know better -- a victims' advocate -- made ill-advised comments bemoaning the fact that the charges were dropped -- as if, by necessity, a rape accusation warrants a jury trial.  (To its great credit, another victim's advocacy group, Jane Doe Inc., went to great lengths to support the district attorney.)

We don't know what happened between Mr. Nicastro and the unnamed accuser, but we do know two things: (1) it would be grossly unjust to suggest the accuser lied, and (2) it would be equally unjust to suggest that Max Nicastro should go through life branded as a quasi-rapist.

Mr. Nill is correct: We move forward.