"Do you really believe that they are guilty?"
"Not at all, but the appearance of impropriety is present and we cannot have that."
"So you are going to trash their reputation based upon an appearance that you admit is not representative of reality."
"It may seem harsh, but we want to set a higher standard and that means they cannot even come close to a violation."
"And yet if we were to judge your own behavior, we can conclude that although you do not have evidence to prove that they are guilty, you have chosen to treat them as if they were guilty."
"It may appear that way."