Saturday, May 3, 2008

Woman cries rape when husband catches her with her lover; husband kills lover; woman convicted of manslaugter

THE TRAGIC OUTCOME OF A FALSE RAPE CLAIM

Tracy Roberson's false claim of rape got her lover killed by her husband in 2006, and on Friday May 2, 2008, it brought her a conviction for manslaughter.

Authorities say Mrs. Roberson's husband, Darrell Roberson, fired the shot that killed Devin LaSalle, 32, the father of three, outside the Robersons' Arlington, Texas home on December 11, 2006. Mr. Roberson had come home unexpectedly from a gambling trip to Dallas, and found his wife and Mr. LaSalle together in Mr. LaSalle's truck. He started shooting as a horrified Mrs. Roberson began saying she was raped. Arlington police charged Mr. Roberson with murder. Mrs. Roberson's false rape claim, prosecutors said, was more than a farce. It actually led an angry and jealous Mr. Roberson to kill.

Her attorneys, Jill Davis and Kim Minick, called the conviction a travesty. They said their client was distraught and deeply regrets Mr. LaSalle's death. "This is a woman who made a horrible, horrible mistake, and she will live with that," Ms. Davis said. "We were expecting and hoping for a different verdict," Ms. Davis said, noting that Mrs. Roberson was a stay-at-home mother with no criminal record.

Comment: No comment can possibly underscore what is the ultimate injustice to an innocent man falsely accused of rape -- shot dead by the liar's husband. The liar lived, and her outraged attorneys seemed bent on turning her into a tragic figure who simply made a mistake. Could they say the same about the dead man if, indeed, he really had raped the woman? Rape is never "a mistake," but a lie that costs an innocent man his life is? The jury did not pretend that the woman's lie was something other than what it was. Thankfully the husband who fired the shot was not charged -- that would have simply compounded the injustices.