A soldier accused of sexually assaulting a minor was released when the girl withdrew her allegation/accusation.

Is there any difference between allegation and accusation? The news article used allegation but I've seen accusation used in similar cases.

Thanks in advance!
Veteran Member7,658
To allege that someone has done something is to state that someone has done something illegal or wrong without giving proof
To accuse someone is to say that someone has done something morally wrong, illegal or unkind
So it will depend if the girl offered proof of this assault or not. If she did not, then it is an allegation; if she did, it is an accusation.
Veteran Member5,006
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Based on your definitions, they are different and the distinguishing criteria is the availability of proof.
If so, I believe they should not be used interchangably or there'll be contradiction. In my example,
since it started off saying the man was accused, indicating the presence of proof, toward the end of the sentence, the appropriate word should be accusation, am I right?
Yes.
Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.Retired Moderator: A moderator who has retired.
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