Is the movie The Accused (1988) based on a true story?

Ethan Davis Ethan Davis May 06, 2020 · 2 mins read
Is the movie The Accused (1988) based on a true story?
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Yes, The Accused (1988) is based on the gang rape of Cheryl Araujo that occurred on March 6, 1983, in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

What is the true story behind the movie The Accused (1988)?

The Accused is a 1988 American drama film directed by Jonathan Kaplan and based on the real-life gang rape of Cheryl Araujo that happened in 1983 in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Cheryl Araujo was a 21-year-old woman who went to a local bar called Big Dan’s with a friend on March 6, 1983. The bar was known for its rough atmosphere and attracting a rough crowd. After a while, she was targeted by a group of men who harassed her and made sexual advances towards her. Despite her protests, the harassment continued until several of the men dragged her to the pool table and gang-raped her in front of a large crowd of witnesses.

The men involved in the rape were charged with various crimes, including rape and indecent assault and battery. The trial was highly publicized and focused on the issue of bystander culpability. Many people witnessed the rape but did not intervene or call authorities, leading to further condemnation of the rape culture at the time.

In the end, four men were charged in the rape and convicted of various crimes. The trial brought to light serious issues of sexual assault and bystander intervention, and it had a significant impact on public perception of sexual assault and how society deals with it.

The film The Accused was based on this true story, though some fictional elements were added for dramatic effect. The main character, Sarah Tobias (played by Jodie Foster), is not based on Cheryl Araujo but rather a fictionalized version of her. The film received critical acclaim and was instrumental in raising awareness about the issue of sexual assault and victim blaming.

Are there any books about the true story behind the movie The Accused (1988)?

Yes, there are books that discuss the true story behind the movie “The Accused” (1988). The movie was inspired by the real-life gang rape of Cheryl Araujo in 1983 at Big Dan’s Tavern in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The case brought attention to issues of victim-blaming and the rights of sexual assault survivors.

One notable book related to the case is “The Accused” by Canadian journalist Lisa Hobbs Birnie. It provides an in-depth account of the crime, the subsequent trial, and its impact on the community. Published in 1987, it served as one of the main sources for the film’s screenplay.

Another book that provides insight into the case is “The Acquittal of America’s Most Violent Anti-Gay Sex Scandal” by Daniel King. Although not solely focused on Cheryl Araujo’s case, it touches on the events that led to it and the trial that followed.

These books offer an overview of the real-life events that influenced the making of the movie “The Accused” and provide more detailed information about the case itself.

You can try an audible free trial and search for audiobook versions of those

Ethan Davis
Written by Ethan Davis
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