Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, in Wilmington, Ohio.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, in Wilmington, Ohio. AP Photo - Evan Vucci

Why are we ignoring Trump's rape allegations?

A CASE working its way through US courts alleges that Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, raped a 13-year-old at a 1994 party in a New York apartment owned by billionaire investor and since-convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

In court documents, it is alleged that Trump and Epstein sexually abused her at four different parties, and that Trump raped her at the fourth and last one she attended.

She claims she was lured to the parties by "promises of money and a modelling career".

The plaintiff also alleges that Trump told her if she ever revealed what happened:

Plaintiff and her family would be physically harmed if not killed.

She is suing Trump for $75,000.

The accuser, known as Jane Doe, now 35, failed to show up at a press conference to give her first public statement on Wednesday after reportedly receiving "terrible threats". Her lawyer Lisa Bloom says she plans to reschedule the conference.

Trump has strongly denied the allegations, and his lawyer Alan Garten has called them "reckless, irresponsible and categorically untrue".

For several months, there have been questions as to why the case has received what some may consider a lack of proper media coverage.

In a New York magazine profile of Epstein before he went to prison, Trump acknowledged that they knew each other.

"I've known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy," he said.

He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it, Jeffrey enjoys his social life.

Until the now-infamous Access Hollywood video showed Donald Trump that he liked to grab women "by the pussy", the media had been relatively quiet about allegations by several women over the years against Trump, which accused him of sexual assault.

Fifteen women have gone on the record to say that Donald Trump sexually assaulted them. Trump has called all these accusers "liars" and threatened to sue them.

But there are several reasons for what seems like an almost total media silence on the child rape accusation, in comparison to the extensive coverage of the Hillary Clinton emails. This is likely the main one:

The accuser is anonymous

A reporter for a senior national publication in the US told the Huffington Post, wishing to remain anonymous themselves, that the plaintiff's anonymity was the main stumbling block.

"If it's something that is this damaging to a candidate, you'd better be sure, and she's anonymous," they said.

"Look, if she came out and she would do an interview, that would be different, but she's an anonymous plaintiff."

Once a publication reports a claim by an anonymous source the responsiblity for verifying the claims shifts from the accuser to the reporter.

Particularly after the Rolling Stone case, where the magazine was sued after publishing an article about an alleged gangrape at the University of Virginia.

Current law in the US and the UK provides anonymity for rape complainants, which meants that their names cannot be made public from the time the allegation is made through the rest of their lives; unless they choose to relinquish their right to anonymity themselves. 

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