Wednesday, November 5, 2008

College woman who falsely cried rape is charged with a crime

As the news story below shows, the woman who falsely cried "rape" at Anderson University has been charged with a crime and could spend a year behind bars. The liar had been engaging in consensual sex and with another student, but later claimed she had been raped by a menacing black man.

While the story references the fact that the campus community was on alert for a rapist, it doesn't mention the very real possibility that the police might have targeted an actual black man who just happened to match her description. That, of course, would have been the greatest injustice of all. And it happens with alarming frequency.

Here is the news story:

Purported AU rape victim charged with lying to police

By Shawn McGrath, Herald Bulletin Staff Writer

ANDERSON — Prosecutors have filed a misdemeanor count of false informing against an Anderson University student who claimed she was raped early this month in her campus apartment.

Prosecutors charged Sarah D. Nixon, 21, New Albany, with the Class A misdemeanor on Oct. 17, the day after Dean of Students Brent Baker announced during morning chapel services that the crime had been fabricated.

Nixon could not be reached at her home. A woman who answered the phone there said she would likely not comment on the charge.

Nixon had not been arrested. Instead, prosecutors issued a summons for her, or an attorney on her behalf, to make an initial court appearance in Anderson City Court in November, City Court Prosecutor Eric Saltzmann said Friday. It wasn’t immediately known if Nixon had hired an attorney.

The charge is punishable by up to one year behind bars and a fine of up to $5,000.

According to a probable cause affidavit:

Nixon, who is black, told investigators she had been raped by a black man wearing black clothing and a black ski mask inside her Chestnut Street apartment between 10 and 11 a.m. Oct. 6.

She told police she had left her apartment, forgotten an item and returned to her home. The suspect came from behind a wall in the apartment and attacked her.

Nixon said the man held her down, forced off her pants and raped her. Afterward, she told police, he bragged that he was “‘the luckiest man on campus, and how others wished he could be him,’” Detective Larry Crenshaw writes in the affidavit. The attacker then thanked her and walked out of the apartment.

Nixon then went to an 11 a.m. class without incident. She later reported the attack to AU’s director of counseling services. Nixon initially said another student had been raped, but then said she was the actual victim.

Sgt. William Casey, Anderson Police Department spokesman, said detectives discovered discrepancies in Nixon’s story. She ultimately confessed.

“Nixon gave a different statement, saying she was having consensual sex with another student when something happened in which she didn’t agree,” Crenshaw’s affidavit reads. “She confessed to making up the alleged rape, but said she lied because she felt that others would not have believe her.”

Nixon told detectives she made up the rape story because she believed it would have been handled “‘on campus,’” according to the court document. Nixon told investigators she knew she should have come forward with the truth sooner, and that her claim “put thousands of campus students and citizens on alert for a rapist ... ”

It wasn’t immediately known if Nixon remained an AU student. University officials could not be reached for comment late Friday, but Casey said he believed she had been dismissed from the school.