Thursday, July 3, 2008

Woman's rape lie due to remorse leaves innocent teen shattered

As shown in the story below, a teenager is justifiably angry that a false rape accuser who shattered his life was released from jail after only eight days. The lie left the young man degraded and humiliated; he was physically threatened because of it and became a virtual recluse. He lost his apprenticeship and is unable to properly relate to women because his confidence has been destroyed. The young man was held in a cell for six hours without food or drink and then subjected to a degrading, intimate medical examination.

The young woman eventually admitted she lied due to remorse that she had cheated on her boyfriend. She served eight days in jail, but last week appeal judges overturned the sentence, after her defence counsel argued that the Sheriff should have taken into consideration the fact that Lindsay could be viewed as "vulnerable." The court heard she had a troubled background and alcohol issues. The woman is now on probation after spending only eight days in prison.

Several comments. First, often ignored from these stories is the devastating effect on the falsely accused male. Author Annie Brown is to be commended for putting the focus exactly where it belongs -- on the victim -- as opposed to future, hypothetical, phantom, even unborn women who might, maybe, perhaps, possibly will be deterred from "coming forward" because of skepticism caused by the lie.

Second, as we've said before, there is something terribly wrong with a system that allows a young man to be treated like a criminal based on a disputed account of consensual sex. His humiliation is put on display for the world to see, all because of a lie. She is anonymous until her claim is revealed as false.

Third, note the motive to lie -- remorse. One of the motives cited by experts for false rape claims is "remorse after an impulsive sexual fling . . . ." Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case, S. Taylor, K.C. Johnson at 375 (2007).

Fourth, how will other women be deterred from making false claims when false rape accusers are not punished because of a "troubled background"? Would judges significantly reduce a true rapist's sentence because of a "troubled background"? Of course not. Until these claims are taken seriously, until they are punished accordingly, they will keep occurring.


Teenager slams justice system after rape lies hell

Jul 3 2008 By Annie Brown

A TEENAGER who was falsely accused of rape has spoken of how the allegation turned his life upside down.

Graeme McCombie, 19, said he may never recover from the appalling lies told by former school mate Jenna Lindsay, 20.

Last week, appeal judges overturned a two-month jail sentence imposed on Lindsay after she was convicted of wasting police time.

Graeme said he was angry that judges decided instead to put her on probation for two years.

"After everything she put me through, she deserved to go to jail," Graeme said. "If I had been convicted, I would have been put in prison, put on the sex offenders' register and had my life ruined for something I hadn't done."

The nightmare began for Graeme on July 21 last year, when his sister invited him to a gathering of friends at Lindsay's cousin's house in Brechin, Angus.

After a few drinks, Lindsay became increasingly flirtatious with Graeme and they moved from the living room to a bedroom where they had sex.

Graeme said: "I had been at school with her, but I didn't know her that well. She was the one who made the moves. We both had a good bit to drink and we had sex."

Graeme then went to get some water and while he was away, Lindsay ran out of the house, telling her cousin that Graeme had raped her.

Graeme said: "She had been fine when I left her. The first I knew of her rape claim was from her cousin.

"Her cousin didn't believe her, but I was in a state of shock. I couldn't get my head round someone saying something like that about me.

"I am a decent guy, I am easy going, not controlling or aggressive at all."

It emerged that Lindsay had turned up at the home of her grandfather, claiming she had been raped and her parents called the police.

CID arrived at her cousin's house and took Graeme to the police station.

"When I was in the police car I was panicking," said Graeme. "I had never been in trouble with the police and I thought I was going to be charged with a crime I hadn't committed."

Graeme was a trainee mechanic with no criminal record and he was a popular, placid young man.

He was horrified when he was placed in a police cell for six hours with nothing to eat or drink. He was interviewed by officers for an hour and then taken for an intimate medical examination, where swabs were taken.

"It was so degrading," he said. "I was humiliated and I felt disgusted. When they put me back in the cells, I was close to tears."

Eventually his father, a prison officer, came to the station to pick him up.

Graeme said: "My dad knew I would never do anything like that. It never crossed the mind of anyone in my family that I was anything but innocent."

Graeme was signed off work for three weeks with stress and became a virtual recluse.

He said: "I was getting threats from her friends and I was too scared go out because of what people might think.

"I was down because I knew if they put me in prison, I wouldn't survive. I'm not a criminal. I knew I couldn't cope with being in jail."

In the meantime, police realised there were inconsistencies in Lindsay's story and quizzed her during a series of interviews.

She said she couldn't remember much of what happened, but still insisted Graeme had "taken advantage of her".

But after intensive questioning she eventually admitted she had lied.

Lindsay had been going out with an "older" boyfriend for five years, who was the father of her three-year-old daughter. She claimed she had been hysterical because she had been unfaithful.

Ten police officers had been involved in the case at a substantial cost to the taxpayer, so Lindsay was charged with wasting police time.

Graeme was told he wouldn't be charged, but he remains shattered by the whole experience.

Sheriff Kevin Veal ordered that Lindsay spend 60 days in Cornton Vale after he decided there was a need to "send out a strong public message that such conduct will not be tolerated".

Although Lindsay was five months pregnant, she would have been released long before her baby's due date in August.

Sheriff Veal said she had shown little sympathy for Graeme and didn't care about the impact of false allegations on genuine rape victims.

But last week judges at the Justiciary Appeal Court in Edinburgh overturned the sentence, after her defence counsel argued that the Sheriff should have taken into consideration the fact that Lindsay could be viewed as "vulnerable".

The court heard she had a troubled background and alcohol issues.

Lindsay is now on probation after spending only eight days in prison.

But the torment still continues for Graeme.

He lost his apprenticeship because he was unable to concentrate at work.

As a result, he was robbed of his dream of becoming a mechanic.

Graeme said: "I was doing really well in my apprenticeship, but she ruined it for me."

He still has sleepless nights and feels nervous around women.

He said: "I would never chat up a girl. I have no confidence."

Graeme is now working as a painter and decorator, but fears it will take him years to recover.

"I know she admitted she lied, but I still worry about people talking about me," said Graeme. "I will never, ever forget it and I will never forgive Jenna for what she has done."