From Glenn Sacks eyes Reese Hopkins case (1/16/09):

Columnist and former syndicated talk radio host Glenn Sacks has taken a keen interest in the child rape case against ex-WRKO gabster Reese Hopkins, saying there are “a lot of tangible problems” with the New York prosecution’s case.

“I’m not dumb enough that I’m going to go out there and declare this guy innocent and white as snow,” Sacks told the Herald yesterday. “But I think there are a lot of very tangible problems with the prosecution’s case that point to possible innocence.”

Hopkins, 39, is charged with raping a girl when she was age 11 and 12 in 2004 at the upper East Side apartment he shared with his girlfriend. The alleged victim was a pal of his girlfriend’s daughter.

The Herald reported yesterday that Hopkins said he would rather die in prison than admit to any guilt. He remains on Rikers Island on $100,000 cash bail.

Sacks said he became interested in the case after one of Hopkins’ friends wrote to him about it. He said he has spoken with Hopkins and has gone over the case with Hopkins’ attorney, Keith Cavet.

Sacks, a fatherhood advocate who lives in Los Angeles, said he’s awaiting documentation that shows Hopkins wasn’t living in the Manhattan apartment on the dates that the alleged rapes took place.

“He had moved out in June and the rapes supposedly happened between September 1 and October 1,” said Sacks, who said nobody was living in the apartment at the time because it was uninhabitable and being painted.

Hopkins has said he was living and working in Connecticut at the time of the alleged assaults.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s press office didn’t return a call yesterday.

Sacks said that, according to Hopkins’ attorney, there’s no record of the victim receiving medical attention after the alleged rapes.

Sacks hosted the men’s rights program “His Side with Glenn Sacks,” which aired in Boston.

According to Hopkins’ attorney, the teen accuser also told child protective services that Hopkins had molested his stepdaughter, but the charge was found to be “unsubstantiated.” I have been in touch with Hopkins’ fiancée, whose daughter the accuser claims Hopkins molested. She says Hopkins is innocent and is working to help him get out of prison.

According to Hopkins and his fiancée, they knew nothing about this until Hopkins was arrested late last year.  Imagine that — a girl can claim that you did something to her four years ago, and you can be arrested out of the blue and thrown in prison on a bail they know you have no way of making.

I shuddered when I heard about the case.  After all, my 16-year-old son and my 10-year-old daughter have their friends sleeping over at our house all the time.  So four years from now one of my daughter’s friends can claim that I raped her and on her word alone I’ll be thrown and held in prison?

Hopkins called me from Riker’s Island last week and he says he is also determined to prove his innocence.

I spoke with Hopkins’ attorney, who believes that Hopkins is innocent.  The attorney believes that the prosecution does not have any evidence outside of the girl’s word about what allegedly happened to her four years ago.  Yet the attorney says that there is nothing particularly unusual about this.  He also says that false rape claims are common.

Hopkins’ attorney says that there is no record of the girl seeking medical attention after the alleged rapes.  This is very suspicious — Hopkins is a large adult, and it is hard to believe that a large adult male could forcibly rape an 11-year-old girl without there being substantial injury to the girl.

Most of the previous coverage of this case has been of the inflammatory, “what a terrible thing Hopkins did” variety. Please write Boston Herald reporter Jessica Heslam and thank her for presenting Hopkins’ side by clicking here.

As I told the Herald, I’m not going to say I know Hopkins is innocent and white as snow, but I’m concerned that there has been an injustice here. As we’ve noted on previous occasions, false accusations of rape are a terrible problem. To learn more, see my column U. of Maryland right to deny protesters a forum to publicly name alleged rapists (Baltimore Sun, 10/15/07).

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