Old charges come back to haunt Ben Westlund. But is it fair?

The Associated Press reports a confidential letter detailing a 2-year old harassment charge included more harassment than previously reported.

Is it fair to bring this up? No it is not for three reasons. First of all, Westlund admitted his errors. Most politicians don’t. Second, the victim, a fellow State Representative, has acknowledged that the issue is resolved and is good friends with Westlund. Third, bringing up such private controversial matters can have the unexpected result of throwing the victim a new set of problems. When sexual harassment charges get tossed around by outside parties it can lead to other women being afraid to pursue their complaints.

A sense of confidentiality, privacy and the right to self-direction by the victim to pursue resolution that meets their personal values is important when looking at harassment cases.