Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Teen makes two false rape claims

Notice in the story below the aside about the recent case of a man falsely accused of rape who nearly beaten and stabbed to death.

The young woman central to the story below is becoming a serial false accuser and the courts need to deal with her more severely than a teen who makes an isolated false accusation. Nothing short of substantial jail time -- perhaps two years or more -- is appropriate.

Teen pleads in false rape case

An 18-year-old woman who twice falsely reported being raped by an unknown black man pleaded guilty to mischief Thursday.

April Ibbotson, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to mischief by misleading police to believe she had been sexually assaulted June 21 and again July 24, both times in Owen Sound.

The claims prompted a week's worth of wasted investigative time, assistant Crown attorney Michael Martin said. The allegations also came within weeks of the near-fatal beating and stabbing of a black man wrongly accused of rape in downtown Owen Sound in late July.

Ibbotson also pleaded guilty to failing to attend court Nov 6. She turned herself in Nov. 11 and has been in jail since.

No sentencing recommendations were made Thursday. Ibbotson will be sentenced Dec. 18, when a presentence report on her circumstances is to be ready. Until then, she remains in custody.

Ibbotson's first false accusation occurred June 21, Martin said. She contacted Owen Sound police at 11 p. m. and reported that she had been approached from behind along 3rd Avenue West and was dragged near a fence at about 9:30 p. m. that night. She alleged her underpants were taken down and she was sexually assaulted.

She was examined in hospital. Police established a crime scene in the area where she said she'd been raped by a black man 6'3" or 6'4" inches tall, with a moustache and goatee. Police canvassed people in the area around 13th Street West and 3rd and 4th avenues.

Investigators grew suspicious due to "discrepancies" in her statements to police, Martin said.

When challenged to explain these differences, Ibbotson admitted she'd lied about being raped, Martin said.

Then on July 24 12:24 a. m., Ibbotson again reported to police she'd been raped by a man of similar description. She said she'd been dragged from the catwalk along 10th Street West and was sexually assaulted. She said she escaped and wasn't followed.

She also told police she'd spoken with someone named Brian at the top of the catwalk before heading home, Martin told the court.

Police established another crime scene, searched for forensic evidence there and sent Ibbotson to the hospital for an examination. She declined to go, however, saying she was tired, Martin said.

But police interviewed a white 16- year-old male who said he and Ibbotson had been together all evening and they'd had sex just off the catwalk prior to her going home that night.

On July 29 she was charged with two counts of mischief for misleading police.

Defence lawyer Jill Gamble confirmed Ibbotson accepted the Crown could prove its case against her on both charges and so Justice Julia Morneau accepted her guilty plea.

Ibbotson breached a term of bail granted on the mischief charges when she failed to attend court Nov. 6. She pleaded guilty and the plea was accepted.

Gamble requested a presentence report for Ibbotson, who has no criminal record. Ibbotson left the courtroom wiping away tears as she headed back to jail.

Link: http://www.owensoundsuntimes.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1320401