Thursday, October 30, 2008

Woman lies about rape, causes man to be repeatedly questioned, gets no jail time

In the news story below, a false rape accusation resulted in the repeated questioning of a man who fit the suspect's description.

Imagine if you were that man -- or if you are not a male, imagine you are that that man's wife or girlfriend or mother.

Imagine the terror of knowing that at any time, for reasons completely beyond your control, you or he might be arrested and put in jail based on a lie.

Imagine the terror of knowing that you or he might go to trial and that the jury might not believe the truth.

Imagine the terror of knowing that you or he could be convicted and sent away for decades. Your life, or his life, taken away. All because a women lied.

With that in mind, consider what happened to the false accuser for the terror she most assuredly caused this innocent man: she was sentenced to no jail time.

None. Not a single day.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, further evidences that our society does not take false rape claims seriously enough, and that it has little regard for the men and boys who are, in various ways, victims of these lies.

Woman admits to false rape report, pays fine

There was no intruder, no stranger out of the night bent on raping Holly Mebruer.

Instead, there was "rough sex" gone wrong, infidelity and what Mebruer testified Monday was a big mistake.

The 35-year-old was found guilty of filing a false police report after a bench trial before Greene County Associate Circuit Judge Mark Powell.

As punishment for the misdemeanor, she'll have to pay the Springfield Police Department more than $1,350, undergo counseling and spend two years on unsupervised probation.

In late April, the woman called police to her home at Lake Shore Apartments, 3660 South Cox Ave., reporting she'd been the victim of assault and attempted rape.

She said she'd gone outside to check on her dog when a large black man overcame her. He cut off her clothes and punched her in the eye before Mebruer was able to kick him in the groin, sending him stumbling out of the apartment.

Police responding to the scene found the woman's apartment in disarray, clothes that had been cut or torn and injuries on Mebruer's left eye and chest.

The resulting investigation occupied dozens of hours and resulted in the repeated questioning of a man who fit the suspect's description. It also prompted the apartment complex's management to send safety warnings to tenants.

But Mebruer's tale was false.

Confronted by police about discrepancies in the report, she eventually admitted as much.

Mebruer, who had a boyfriend, was with another man that night. She testified they'd engaged in "rough" romantic behavior during past dalliances, but that his conduct on this occasion alarmed her.

"Something was just different about it, and it did scare me," Mebruer said.

The man pulled out a silver pocket knife and cut her clothes off, she said. He then began running the weapon lightly over her chest. When she kneed the man in the groin to get him to stop, he punched her in the eye and left, Mebruer testified.

She called several friends, she said, then called 911 with her false tale.

"I don't believe I was rational in any sense of the word," Mebruer said. "I've spent a lot of time thinking about why I would say something like that.

"I would give anything to go back and change it."

The woman's ready admission made Powell's job an easy one. Except for some small discrepancies, Mebruer's testimony agreed with those of three Springfield police officers who testified earlier in the trial.

"We can believe everything everyone has testified to today," Powell said before finding the woman guilty. "We're really arguing about sentencing today, aren't we?"

Mebreur said she lost her job as a result of the charges and resulting publicity. Unable to find new employment in or around Springfield, she now lives in Rolla.

"I'm thankful that it happened because my life was not on a good path," Mebruer told the judge as he considered her punishment.

The sentence Powell arrived at was less than that sought by prosecutors, who wanted Mebruer to pay restitution and complete 100 hours of community service.

Link: http://www.news-leader.com/article/20081021/NEWS01/810210377/1001/RSS01

ANOTHER VERSION OF THIS STORY:

Woman guilty of false rape charge

A former Springfield woman was found guilty of filing a false report of assault and attempted rape.

Holly Mebruer, 35, will have to pay the Springfield Police Department more than $1,350, undergo counseling and spend two years on unsupervised probation.

She was found guilty of the misdemeanor Oct. 20 by Greene County Associate Circuit Judge Mark Powell after a bench trial.

In April, Mebruer told police a man attacked her and tried to rape her in her home at Lake Shore Apartments, 3660 South Cox Ave. She said he fled after kicked him in the groin.

Police found clothes that had been cut or torn and injuries on Mebruer's left eye and chest.
The investigation took dozens of hours and led to repeated questioning of a man who fit the suspect's description. It also prompted the apartment management to send safety warnings to tenants.

After police found discrepancies in Mebruer's story, she admitted it was false.

Mebruer, who had a boyfriend, was with another man. She said they engaged in rough romantic behavior -- he cut her clothes off and ran a knife blade over her body.

After she kneed him in the groin, he punched her in the eye and left, Mebruer said.
She called several friends, she said, then called 911 with her false tale.

Mebruer said she lost her job as a result of the charges and publicity. Unable to find work here, she now lives in Rolla.

Link: http://www.news-leader.com/article/20081027/COMMUNITIES0401/810290315/1145