Is there a distinction between the politics and law of sexual harassment?

Yes: the way the court of public opinion works should be different, and needs to be distinguished from, legal avenues for dealing with criminal or civil claims relating to sexual harassment. 
 
Peoples' careers in politics and industry will always be, rightly, impacted be negative public perception when there are suspicions about their behaviour.
 
The more public your position the more you have to expect the magnifying glass of public perception on you; whether this is fair or not, is beside the point.
 
Society is not asked to judge certain civil or criminal allegations in a legal fashion.  There is no such thing as "innocent until proven guilty" when it comes to public opinion.  Citizens just expect, understandably, the highest levels of ethics.
 
But when it comes to legal avenues to deal with sexual harassment (whether in the workplace or otherwise) there are criminal processes, civil lawsuits as well as legal avenues at the Ontario Labour Relations Board and the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, to name the main ones.  In these realms "due process" protections are, of course, expected. 
Wesley Jamieson
Wesley Jamieson
P: 905.572.5806
wjamieson@rossmcbride.com