Thursday, May 22, 2008

An all-too common story

Some of the typical hallmarks of false rape claims are featured in this story. The rapist is a scary black man (the horror!). The false accuser had engaged in consensual sex. (The story doesn't say if she made up the rape claim to hide the consensual sex from someone, but that is a common fact-pattern.) And the police are concerned with the fact that she wasted their time, not the possible harm she might have caused an innocent man. The fact that charges are being filed is positive.

False rape report results in charge

THOMASVILLE, May 22, 2008 (Thomasville Times-Enterprise - McClatchy-Tribune

Information Services via COMTEX) -- -- Thomasville and Thomas County lawmen spent five hours looking for a rape suspect who did not exist.

The search began after a 31-year-old woman reported being raped Wednesday, May 14, at her North Egg and Butter Road home.

About 5 p.m. that afternoon, the victim told Thomas County Sheriff's Department deputies she answered a knock on her door.

"A black male asked if someone was there. She was not familiar with the name," said Lt. Tim Watkins, sheriff's office chief investigator.

The woman, Mary Ann Wilder, told officers the man forced his way into her home and sexually assaulted her on a sofa in the living room.

The sheriff's office forensic division, Thomasville police and sheriff's criminal investigation divisions responded and established perimeters.

The scene was processed, and the Thomasville police canine unit tracked the area.

"We discovered a semi (tractor-trailer) had been parked at her residence most of the day," Watkins said. Neighbors told investigators the vehicle had been parked at the house from that morning to midafternoon.

Further investigation showed Wilder's ex-husband had stopped by to pick up a CB radio.

"Apparently, they engaged in consensual sex," the chief investigator explained.

Wilder was later charged with false statements and writings, a felony. On Wednesday, she was being held in the Thomas County Jail in lieu of a $5,600 bond.

The manpower spent on the alleged rape was costly. Expenses are being compiled.

Watkins said prosecutors will ask that the expenses be made part of the case and considered at sentencing.