Friday, February 29, 2008

False Police Report Worries Sexual Assault Counselors

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By Charmayne Brown

Police at Clemson University took the complaint so seriously that students at the school were alerted that a sexual assault had taken place on campus. Now, they have learned that the student lied about the rape and that raises even more concerns for everyone.

Eighteen year old sophomore Krutika Mediwala was arrested Thursday and charged with filing a false police report. Back in January she told police two guys knocked her down and assaulted her from behind in a dark parking lot on campus.

But according to the police, her story did not add up and she was arrested for the lie.

Students say they remember the alert and the extra patrols on campus, and now that it was all for nothing, they say Mediwala should be punished. And rape crisi counselors say lies like that make it bad for real rape victims.

"Technically it can silence the person to report," said Kelly Scurry of the Foothills Alliance. "That compels fear which is a greater concern."

Mediwala was released on a five thousand dollar bond. There has been no word yet on what additional disciplinary action she may face from the school.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Woman in jail for lying to police

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False report of assault results in 90-day sentence

REDWOOD CITY — A San Mateo woman who lied about being sexually assaulted at gunpoint after her car supposedly broke down in Foster City was sentenced Tuesday to 90 days in jail for filing a false police report.

Karen Galila, 24, was immediately ordered into custody by a San Mateo County commissioner and handcuffed, prompting the convicted woman to sob openly in court. Prosecutors were surprised by the severity of the verdict.

"Remanding someone into custody is pretty dramatic for a misdemeanor and conveys how bothered the commissioner was with this woman's conduct," Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Galila had told police she was assaulted on the night of June 12 by three men who saw her stranded in her Jeep Liberty after it broke down on northbound Foster City Boulevard over state Highway 92. She said that the men first offered to push her car, then threatened her at gunpoint, struck her on the head and raped her at a nearby office park.

One week after reporting the bogus attack, Galila admitted to police that she had lied about the whole thing, Foster City police Capt. Jon Froomin said.

Authorities concluded that Galila had invented the story after forensic evidence from the woman's car led to a 25-year-old San Mateo man already wanted on outstanding warrants.

Officers tracked the man down, questioned him about the night of the attack and learned that he had a solid alibi: a dinner date with Galila herself.

The pair had met recently in an online chat room and spentthe night at a restaurant, according to Galila's probation report. The time of their date coincided with the time frame of the alleged sexual assault, authorities said.

What led the woman to invent the sexual assault? Her marriage, authorities said.

"Our belief all along was that the motive for this lie is that she needed an explanation as to why she came home to her husband at midnight," Wagstaffe said.

Galila lied first to officers and then to a licensed sexual assault counselor about the crime, prompting prosecutors to charge her with two counts of filing a false police report. She pleaded no contest to one count in December in exchange for no more than 90 days in jail.

Galila was sentenced to serve the maximum penalty Tuesday and ordered to pay nearly
$5,000 in restitution to the Foster City Police Department to cover its bill for investigating the fake crime.

Defense attorney Earl Jiang asked the commissioner to show Galila leniency, arguing that his client could not tend to her 2-year-old child in jail. But prosecutors argued that Galila's lies — which almost landed an innocent man in jail — deserved a more severe punishment.

"The greatest fear in the criminal justice system is the conviction of an innocent person," Wagstaffe said. "We go to the greatest lengths to avoid that."

Galila will not necessarily spend all 90 days in the county jail. She has the option of applying to the Sheriff's Office to serve her sentence in a work-release program.

Staff writer Michael Manekin can be reached at 650-348-4331 or by e-mail at mmanekin@bayareanewsgroup.com.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Mom ‘relieved’ imprisoned teacher will be freed

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BALTIMORE (Map, News) - Nearly three years after he was accused of an unthinkable crime, Dana Bankins’ son is coming home.

“I’m feeling a lot better,” Bankins said from her East Baltimore home Friday. “I’m relieved.”

The road to freedom hasn’t been easy for Bankins’ son, Charles Carroll, 31, who won acquittal on rape charges in August but remained locked behind bars awaiting a parole hearing.

Prison spokesman Mark Vernarelli said Carroll will be released sometime next week, because a parole commissioner ruled Thursday he violated parole, but had accumulated enough good time credits to be freed.

In 2005, Carroll was a teacher at an East Baltimore private school, Community Initiatives Academy, where a 13-year-old girl claimed he raped her on a classroom floor. Two other girls said he sexually assaulted them, according to police.

Carroll was acquitted of the rape of the 13-year-old in August, and prosecutors dropped the two other cases.

Yet, Carroll remained locked up awaiting a commissioner’s ruling on whether the arrest, itself, violated his parole.

An ex-convict guilty of second-degree murder at age 17, Carroll turned himself into the police in 1993 and served a seven-year sentence, then pursued education and got a job, his family said.

Christina Phillips Holtsclaw, the principal who hired Carroll at Community Initiatives Academy, said she hired him to teach because he deserved a second chance.

Carroll’s attorney argued through his August trial that his main accuser was motivated by money and had filed a civil suit against Carroll and the school.

Bankins said she’s planning a “welcome home” party for her son.

“You’re supposed to be innocent until proven guilty,” Bankins said. “He was guilty until he was proven innocent. It's been very close to three years based on a false story.”

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Girl charged with false rape claim

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By Joe Johnson joe.johnson@onlineathens.com Story updated at 11:46 PM on Thursday, February 21, 2008

Athens-Clarke police have charged two Clarke Central High School students after one of them claimed she was raped in a school rest room Tuesday afternoon.

Investigators charged the 14-year-old girl on Thursday afternoon with falsely reporting a crime and charged a 16-year-old boy with statutory rape, according to police. Both were charged as juveniles.

Police would not say why the girl made the false claim.

"Her mother told us today she hired an attorney, so I'm not going to get into any of that," Athens-Clarke police Capt. Clarence Holeman said Thursday.

Investigators immediately questioned the girl's allegation that she'd been raped after they saw a school surveillance video that shows she willingly followed the boy into a third-floor rest room, police said.

The girl reported that she was in a hallway on a lower floor when the boy pulled her upstairs and into the rest room and forced her to have sex, according to police.

The girl didn't tell anyone at school that she'd been raped, and she made the claim hours later, after she ran errands with her mother and broke down crying at home, police said.

The girl wouldn't tell her mother why she was crying, but later told a cousin that she'd been raped, according to police.

Both students face school discipline, Clarke Central High School Principal Maxine Easom said.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Teenager's rape claim found to be false

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By Sarah Cosgrove

A TEENAGE girl who said she was raped by two men made the story up, according to police.

The 16-year-old claimed she was dragged into bushes near Walthamstow Express petrol station, close to Walthamstow Stadium in Chingford between 9.30pm and 10pm on February 7, and attacked by a pair of white men in their 30s.

Police cordoned off the area and sent forensics crews down to investigate.

They also issued an appeal for witnesses.

But less than a week later, a police spokeswoman said that Inquires had revealed the allegation was false.

It is not yet known if the girl will face a prosecution for wasting police time.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Woman made up rape claim against husband

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by Liz Keen, South Wales Echo

A WOMAN has been jailed for falsely accusing her estranged husband of rape.

Charmaine Honeywill, 26, told police that husband Andrew, from whom she had recently separated, had lain in wait for her in a darkened lane and attacked her.

“She told her mother he surprised her when she had to walk down the dark alley after leaving the Claude pub and that he pushed her against a wall and raped her,” Chris Lewis, prosecuting, told Cardiff Crown Court.

“But she later admitted she had made it up because she was angry with him and she wanted to hurt him as much as she had been hurt in the past.”

Despite pleas that she had been making a cry for help because of troubles in her background, Judge John Curran said he had no option but to jail her.

He said her husband had been kept in custody for 12 hours, had to give samples and had the prospect of a trial for rape hanging over him for several weeks.

“For a woman to make a false allegation of rape against a man is a very serious matter indeed,” Judge Curran told Honeywill, of Bronwydd Avenue, Penylan, Cardiff.

“It also has the unfortunate side effect, because of considerable public disquiet, of casting doubt on genuine complainants.”

Two police teams were put on the case that night, one to deal with Honeywill and the other to arrest her husband.

In all, 10 officers and two doctors were involved and almost 100 hours of police time were wasted.

The allegation was made in September and the following month Honeywill said she wanted to withdraw it but still insisted it was true.

It was not until November that she admitted lying.

In 2004 she had received a police caution for making a false “threats to kill” allegation against another man.

Defence barrister Lawrence Jones said of the latest offence: “It was a cry for help which snowballed and she’s thoroughly ashamed.”

Honeywill, who admitted perverting the course of justice, will serve six weeks in jail before being released on licence.

liz.keen@mediawales.co.uk

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Jail for young mother who cried rape to cover up her secret one-night stand

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A young mother who tried to frame a secret lover for rape after her boyfriend found out about their one-night stand has been jailed for four months.

Stacey Challoner, 20, falsely claimed John Mullholland had attacked her in woodland before forcing her into intercourse.

Police later arrested Mr Mullholland, a 27-year-old married father-of-two and he was given a grilling about the incident.

But officers began investigating Challoner herself after he insisted he had a fling with her and described fully the inside of her house.

Manchester Crown Court heard Challoner of Moorfield Avenue, Denton, had told her long-term boyfriend she had been raped by Mr Mullholland after he suspected she had been cheating on him.

The mother-of-three broke down and confessed she had made up the rape and has since claimed to have produced a child due to the encounter with the victim.

Mr Mullholland later told police he'd been subjected to a hate campaign and considered killing himself.

He had been referred to as a rapist in the area and locals had spat at him in the street.
He has had to have CCTV fitted and he is considering moving away. His marriage is now under threat.

Challoner admitted perverting the course of justice.

Passing sentence, Judge Iain Hamilton told Challoner: "An allegation of rape is one which is very easy to make and can be difficult for anybody who is falsely accused to refute.

"Rape is a very serious offence and those who are accused of rape are often vilified or shunned by friends or acquaintances within their community.

"The reason that you made the allegation was to dispel any suspicion that your partner had that you had been unfaithful to him. The allegation you made is of such seriousness that any person should be put off making such a false allegation.

"Mr Mullholland is a married man with two children and the facts of the allegation created significant difficulties in his marriage.

"According to his statement, he even reached a stage where he had considered suicide. All these consequences came from the lie that you told."

Earlier, the prosecutor William Donnelly said the incident occurred in August last year after Challoner's boyfriend was freed from jail where he had been serving a sentence for an undisclosed offence.

"Stacey Challoner says she came under pressure from him when he challenged her about what she might have been doing while he was away. She says he is a man who has used violence against her and she was in fear of him.

"On August 17, a complaint was made to the police about a rape. That report was not made by her but by her partner. She says it was made in the course of an argument between them."
Challoner gave an hour-long formal statement by video telling of an incident when she went to her friend's house and had had rather too much to drink.

Mr Donnelly added: "She said that she'd had a full bottle of spirits. She said that she wanted to go home and took steps to do so. She went outside her friend's house and bumped into the man whom she later accused of rape.

"She said that this man held her against a tree whilst he raped her.

"She made it clear that she didn't want anything to do with him, she hit him and then it stopped. So she went into detail of where, when and how.

"She says that after the rape, she pulled her clothes back on. She told nobody about it and eventually felt pressure from her partner.

"She says she didn't expressly tell him that she'd been raped but he must have assumed that from the distress she was in when she confessed her infidelity to him.

"There is no question that an act of intercourse did take place between the two of them."

Mr Mullholland was asked to attend a police station and he believed it was in connection with a report he had filed saying two men - including Challoner's boyfriend - called him a rapist.

"When he arrived at the police station, it wasn't anything to do with that and he described his shock at being arrested for a complaint of rape and was described as being extremely upset. He said later on that he couldn't believe what was being alleged.

"He was interviewed and told them about the intercourse that did happen between them but denies any act of rape.

"The following day, August 22, the police began to investigate the allegation further. The police interviewed the woman whose house Stacey Challoner was at when she had too much to drink.

"The police then went to see Stacey Challoner. On August 23, Stacey Challoner told the police that her complaint of rape was false and there was no truth in it.

In mitigation defence counsel Miss Carolyn Smith said: "She was in a relationship with a man who is described by her mother as manipulative and a bully.

"Stacey Challoner has three children and she says that her fourth child is the victim's.

"She was very much under the spell of her partner who is a violent man. When he came out of custody in July of last year, he had suspected that Stacey Challoner had been unfaithful.

"She admitted that she had had a sexual relationship with Mr Mulholland and they had an argument. She was seriously injured as a result of that argument and fled to her mother's but she went back to him.

"Having gone back to him, the arguments resumed of her infidelity. Whenever the incident was brought up, she began to cry so he became suspicious and asked: 'Did he force himself on you?' and she accepts that when that question was put she didn't desist him from that.

"He called the police despite her asking him not to. She was too frightened to go back on the situation that she had created.

"Her three children were taken away from her in November of last year. She gave birth in November to her fourth child.

"The defendant is maintaining that the son she gave birth to is Mr Mulholland's child. She says that the only person she had sexual intercourse with whilst her partner was in prison was Mr Mulholland.

"The other three children are with the paternal grandmother. The court heard that Stacey Challoner does not now intend to get back with her partner who is the father of her three children.

Woman charged for false rape claim

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SALISBURY — A 33-year-old woman faces criminal charges after she allegedly made up being kidnapped and raped near Olive Street, police said this morning.

Anitra Marie Blue, of Salisbury, was charged with making a false statement to a police officer and obstructing and hindering an investigation for allegedly telling investigators that she was raped last month, Salisbury police said.

On Jan. 29, Blue reported to the Salisbury police that she had been supposedly abducted from the area of Olive Street, then transported to another area where she was repeatedly raped.

Detectives located and interviewed a number of witnesses that were not consistent with the account given by Blue.

Police said Blue then allegedly disclosed to detectives that the incident did not occur. City police served Blue with an arrest warrant yesterday. Criminal disposition for the woman was not available this afternoon.