Another school teacher is dragged through hell by a teenager (and her mother) who spread a vicious rape lie about him.
First: the man took and passed a polygraph. Why wasn't the accuser forced to take a polygraph? We don't know, but we do know that sexual assault advocates claims that rape accusers alone should be exempt from taking polygraph tests.
Second: then there is the reputation issue. The girl and the mother are not named in the article. The teacher is. Let us be honest: there will always be someone who claims "something must have happened" even after it is determined that the claim was false. The very accusation becomes fact in the minds of too many people, an assumption planted by the rape hysteria fanned by an over-eager news media looking for sensational subjects to report and a public unfairly suspicious of male sexuality. It also underscores the need for men charged with rape to remain anonymous until convicted. A rape charge differs from any other claim in terms of the stigma and the harm it does to innocent persons; the media and the law, need to start acknowledging that reality.
HERE IS THE NEWS STORY:
Ferris coach Van Lierop cleared of wrongdoing
SPOKANE -- A Ferris High School teacher and coach accused of raping a teenager has been cleared of all wrong doing.
Originally the girl and her mother went to the front desk of the Spokane Police Department to complain they were receiving harassing phone calls and when they were asked who was making those calls the mom responded it was the man who raped her daughter last year.
It was at that point that Ferris teacher and coach Don Van Lierop's name was dragged into the case and an investigation got underway.
Van Lierop was subsequently placed on paid administrative leave and has since voluntarily taken and passed a polygraph test.
No other witnesses have come forward to substantiate a rape claim and it wasn't until Thursday that the alleged victim agreed to be interviewed by detectives. However that interview never occurred and the teen did not reiterate the rape claim.
Van Lierop's attorney who has always maintained the coach was innocent now worries about Van Lierop being able to restore his reputation in the community.
"We can only hope that it will and hope that people understand false allegations do get made and it's tragic and it has horrific consequences and that's what's happened in this case," Attorney Kevin Curtis said.
In a statement released by his attorney Thursday night, Van Lierop says the last two weeks have been a nightmare for him and his family.
"I hope and pray everyone who has heard about these false allegations will also learn that I have been cleared of all allegations and understand that I am the victim of horrific lies," Van Lierop stated in the release.
Van Lierop is clear to return back to work at Ferris High School effective immediately, Curtis says Van Lierop will be back to coaching on Friday night.
"He's tremendously relieved tonight that the truth has come out but it still doesnt take away from what has happened to him and the damage to his reputation," said Curtis.
ANOTHER NEWS STORY:
Girl who made false rape claim won't face charges
SPOKANE - The girl who wrongly accused Ferris high school boy's basketball coach Don Van Lierop of rape is not expected to face any criminal charges, according to Spokane Police.
Detectives exonerated Van Lierop Thursday afternoon, more than two-weeks after the 16-year-old girl and her mother made the accusation.
The girl's attorney admits she fabricated the whole story.
Van Lierop will return to practice Friday, but will not return to teaching until Monday because a substitute had already been arranged.Van Lierop released the following statement Friday through his attorney:
"The past two weeks of my life, and the life of my family, can only be described as a person's worst nightmare. Any husband, father, coach or teacher can only imagine what a person and his family go through when falsely accused of this kind of conduct.
I hope and pray that everyone who has heard about these false allegations will also learn that I have been fully and completely cleared of all allegations, and understand that I have been the victim of horrific lies.
I am looking foward to returning to my teaching and coaching duties at Ferris High School. I have dedicated my life to helping students and athletes become responsible citizens in the future, and will continue to do so."
The girl who made the accusation is currently undergoing counseling, according to attorneys.
Spokane Police will hold a news conference Friday afternoon to discuss the case and release the police report. Because the accuser is a minor, and is not expected to face charges, it's unlikely her name will be released.
The girl no longer attends Ferris High School.