exculpate ˈek-(ˌ)skəl-ˌpāt verb
: pronounce not guilty of criminal charges
The word exculpate has appeared in 22 articles on NYTimes.com in the past two years, including on Jan. 7, 2018, in “A Golden Globes Draped in Black Addresses #MeToo” by Brooks Barnes and Cara Buckley:
The Globes were draped in black, quite literally, with actresses and some actors vowing to use their attire to make a statement about sexual harassment in Hollywood and other spheres. Winners were expected to use their moments of glory to rail against the systemic sexism and silence that allowed the behavior of men like Mr. Weinstein, James Toback, Louis C.K. and Mr. Spacey to fester for decades.
On the red carpet, eight actresses walked hand in hand with activists who focus on sexual harassment and gender inequality.
… And inside the ballroom, the ceremony in many ways felt like business as usual. Stars, producers and studio executives schmoozed in frantic fashion during the commercial breaks and straight through some awards. The vibe even approached easygoing and carefree — as if Hollywood felt it had exculpated itself with all of the serious talk on the red carpet and the sharp-edged jokes Mr. Meyers cracked during his monologue.