Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Woman falsely accused boyfriend of rape for revenge. Her sentence: 'A stern talking to' and no jail time

Read this news story, which I've reprinted below. A woman cried rape out of revenge against her boyfriend and had him arrested. She was angry because he left the apartment to get cigarettes but didn't return soon enough for her liking. The woman called the police and in a "jovial" fashion claimed she was raped. Even though her story didn't ring true from the outset, the boyfriend was arrested (the story doesn't say how long he was jailed but it appears that, as with so many of these stories, the innocent male served more jail time than the lying female would eventually serve when her deception was outed). And finally police determined there was no rape.

When it was time for her to be sentenced for her crime, the judge underscored the seriousness of her lie -- a lie that destroys men's lives -- by giving her "a stern talking to" and releasing her without any jail time whatsoever. None.

That will teach her to try to destroy an innocent man! The next time she or another woman who reads this story is tempted to do such a vile thing, they'll think twice because they'll know they could end up getting "a stern talking to." It that won't deter them, I don't know what will.

This story illustrates several important points about false rape claims.

First, women with a motive do lie about rape. Usually it's not for revenge but to "explain" an illicit sexual affair to a parent, husband or boyfriend.

Second, a male can be arrested without any basis whatsoever aside from the far-fetched claims of a woman whose story doesn't even add up. That is the most frightening thing about cases of this nature -- the unbridled power that a liar has over any man or teenage boy. All a woman needs to do is say the word and a male above a certain age likely will be arrested. Few if any other such claims furnish the liar such power over other people.

Third, while the judge correctly noted the stigma to the accused from the false claim, he also made sure to add that the a false claim could deter legitimate claimants from coming forward. This, of course, is the judiciary's favorite thing to say about false rape claims since it returns the status of victimhood to women, where it belongs (or so many people think). In this case, the victim is hypothetical, phantom, even unborn woman who might possibly, theoretically be deterred from making a rape claim because of the lie. Never mind the innocent men -- they are just collateral damage in the effort to get women to come forward and report rapes. (In any event, it's not even true that such a false claim will discourage women from coming forward. A false rape claim won't deter even other false rape claims, much less legitimate rape claims, since judges like Judge Jackson don't think women who lie about rape deserve to serve jail time.)

Fourth, there is a gross absence of proportionality in sentencing. Whereas if the woman's lie had its intended effect, the boyfriend would be imprisoned for many years; yet, the woman gets only a slap on the wrist. The boyfriend was actually arrested and obviously experienced considerable anxiety. What he experienced probably was worse than what she would have experienced if the rape she jovially described to police had actually occurred.

Sentences like this give license to women to lie with impunity; such sentences denigrate innocent men whose victimhood simply is not taken seriously.

Shame on you, Judge Jackson.


Crying Rape No Joke

"This isn't funny; this is not a game or a way to get back at your boyfriend," said Provincial Court Chief Judge R. Leslie Jackson in court Tuesday where a Charleston woman was sentenced on a charge stemming from a desire for revenge on her boyfriend.

Chrystal DeMerchant, 22, pleaded guilty to a Jan. 12 charge of making a false statement of sexual assault.

Crown Prosecutor Robert Murray said DeMerchant called police that date, claiming to have been sexually assaulted in the bedroom of their apartment by her boyfriend of 11 months.

But police arrived to find the boyfriend gone, he said.

DeMerchant was calm and jovial in demeanor when relating events to them, the Crown continued.

"Police found this odd," Murray said.

He said police officers also found she seemed mentally challenged with childlike responses to their questions he said.

DeMerchant was taken to the Upper River Valley Hospital where she was met by her grandparents.

"The grandparents told police not to believe DeMerchant because she had a propensity to lie," said Murray.

The police questioned her again and found maybe the grandparents were right, he said.

Murray also related the boyfriend's side of the story.

He said the sex earlier in the evening was consensual, after which they played a game of cards. He went out to get cigarettes, but didn't come back right away.

Friends say DeMerchant was mad at the boyfriend for not returning so called the police and claimed sexual assault.

Police arrested the boyfriend but later released him after determining the allegation was false.
From his client, defence lawyer Sylvain Pelletier issued an apology, adding she is in a stable relationship and living with her mother.

When asked by Judge Jackson if she had anything to say to the court, the accused shrank into her seat, chewed on the cuff of her powder blue sweatshirt and shook her blonde head no.

Judge Jackson gave the young lady a stern talking to from his bench about the seriousness of making a false allegation of rape.

"It carries a stigma [on the accused]...and makes legitimate complainants doubtful about coming forward," he said.

Given the mitigating circumstances of DeMerchant's mental capacity, Judge Jackson sentenced her to a suspended sentence of one year, probation for one year, to keep the peace and be of good behaviour, report for a mental health assessment, abide by the recommendations of the assessment, and to abstain from drugs and alcohol.

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