Monday, March 24, 2008

Injustice in Seattle false rape case is decried

In response to this injustice, the Seattle Times printed this astute letter today. Here it is in full:

"Justice, or the lack thereof, should not be gender-specific"

Cruel inventions

Once stolen, a man's virtue cannot be restored

Editor, The Times:

Katherine M. Clifton pleaded guilty to making a false rape accusation against a college professor ["Woman pleads guilty to false rape report," Times, Local News, March 19]. Clifton was sentenced to 365 days with 357 suspended, to pay a $5,000 fine, with $4,750 suspended, and pay the victim's attorney fees.

The professor whom Clifton falsely accused had been charged with first-degree rape and burglary. Prosecutors in his case asked for $500,000 bail, noting the professor was "an extreme threat to the victim and the community."

The professor served nine days in jail and was suspended from his job, even though there was no evidence to support Clifton's accusations.

Like the Duke University lacrosse team members' case and many others, the victim faced years of imprisonment, while the perpetrator faced little more than a minor rebuke. In no other scenario are perpetrators more lightly sanctioned when their victims suffer life-altering abuse.

Instead, malicious and premeditated false accusers should suffer the maximum sentence their victim could have received if convicted. Most such accusations will then stop.

The notion that punishing false accusers will stifle legitimate victim complaints is ideologically driven, hyperbolic conjecture.

King County District Court Judge Peter Nault and others like him should be removed from the bench if they continue to coddle perpetrators like Clifton.

Nault should have been more concerned about making the victim whole rather than chivalrously kowtowing to political correctness and Clifton's rationalizations.

Justice, or the lack thereof, should not be gender-specific.

— Harry Crouch, president, National Coalition of Free Men; founder/director, California Men's Centers; secretary/treasurer, Children's Rights Initiative for Sharing Parents Equally, San Diego, Calif.

Editor of this Web site: Bravo, Mr. Crouch. Your point is dead on: "[t]he notion that punishing false accusers will stifle legitimate victim complaints is ideologically driven, hyperbolic conjecture." It is perplexing, and hurtful, that some who want to raise awareness about rape feel a need to denigrate falsely accused men by minimizing their victimization. This case is an example of that. We owe it to those men and, yes, to true rape victims whose claims might be doubted because of these lies, to punish far more severely women who cry "rape" when no rape was committed.