Friday, October 10, 2008

Girl whose rape lie put an entire community in fear will not be charged

Outrageous. A false rape accuser who put an entire community in needless fear will not be prosecuted. Instead, she has been given licence to lie with impunity, putting innocent Arab men at risk of arrest.

Why won't she be prosecuted? No reason is given, but does it really matter? There can't be a reason good enough for not prosecuting her.

How will other false accusers be deterred if she and her ilk are not punished? How will the innocent be protected if liars are given unfettered license to put them at risk?

Sadly, the decision not to prosecute suggests that the targets of false rape accusations -- innocent men and boys -- aren't as worthy of society's protection as are other targets of crime.


Lawyer: Girl made up Palos Heights rape story

October 10, 2008

BY KIM JANSSEN SouthtownStar

The lawyer for the family of a 17-year-old Palos Heights girl who claimed she was abducted and raped last month admitted today that the girl made up the whole story.

The girl, a Stagg High School senior, sparked a widespread manhunt Sept. 17 when she claimed she had been kidnapped from T.J. Grinders sandwich shop, 12250 S. Harlem Ave., and sexually assaulted.

Attorney Martin A. Dolan, of Chicago, issued a statement saying the family provided police with information that led them to close the case. Dolan and Palos Heights police said the girl fabricated the entire story.

"We offer our deepest apologies to the community of Palos Heights and the surrounding area, the police department and all those effected by this event," according to the family's statement.

"We apologize for the unnecessary concern and time and effort from everyone involved. At this time, we assure you our community is safe and always has been."

The statement went on to ask for prayers for the girl's family "and avoid criticism or anger as they move forward and cope."

The case shocked the community and stoked anti-Arab sentiments in the area after she described her attacker as an olive-skinned man between the ages of 35 and 40, and helped police draw up an artist’s impression of the alleged attacker.

She claimed she had twice texted a pal earlier in the evening, telling him she had spotted a suspicious customer lurking outside the store looking at her.

When the suspicious man returned as she was closing the store, she claimed, she called her friend and asked him to come get her.

But when the friend arrived at the store minutes later, she was missing and her possessions were scattered on the ground outside.

The friend dialled 911 and police immediately began searching for the girl.

Officers were at the girl’s home, interviewing her parents, when she walked up the driveway, dishevelled and barefoot, claiming to have been raped, police said.

The girl surprised many when she joined the hunt for her “attacker” in the following days, handing out fliers to passers-by on Harlem Avenue, against police advice.

Police initially treated the girl's claims as legitimate, but suspicions arose after physical evidence collected in the hours after the alleged attack failed to substantiate her story.

Rumors about the case have swirled in the community and at Stagg over the last two weeks.
Police and prosecutors said they will not pursue charges of filing a false police report and obstructing justice.

The investigation — which attracted the interest of the “America’s Most Wanted” TV show, is estimated to have cost in excess of $200,000 so far.