Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Colorado town sues woman who made false rape claim

The City of Brighton is suing a false rape accuser for $34,000. The City of Brighton is suing Dawn Delay in civil court to try to recoup $34,000 it spent investigating her claims. That money was used to pay six police detectives overtime on the case, only to find out later that Delay made up the story and lied about being raped.

It was April 2006 when Delay reported the rape to police. She told them it happened near her home in The Sugar Creek Subdivision of Brighton. Her story came just days after another teenage girl reported she'd been raped too, a claim which also turned out to be false. City attorney John Bramble said, "It was one of the first times in the history of this city that we had what we thought were two rapes in less than a week." Both women said it was a trio of Hispanic men who raped them. For months afterwards, police repeatedly questioned many of her own neighbors. Eduardo Diaz, who lives just a few houses away from Delay, said, "Everybody looked at me differently for a while. Nobody would talk to me at all." The City later acknowledged what they did was wrong saying none of the stops they made regarding potential suspects was appropriate. They also say by vigorously going after Dawn Delay, it wants to send a message that false reporting is not acceptable.

Comment: Good for the city. Note that both false accusers referenced in the story singled out "scary" foreign men as their attackers. Note the harm done to Eduardo Diaz, who was not only innocent but was never even charged. Women who don't specifically name a man in connection with a false rape claim can still do tremendous harm to innocent men -- anxiety about being arrested and social stigmatization. Perhaps Mr. Diaz could sue her.