Friday, August 29, 2008

Travesty: victim of a false rape accusation serves jail time, his false accuser does not

The story below is a follow-up to a horrible story we previously reported. A 19-year-old woman, upset over an unfounded rumor that her 20-year-old ex-fiance kissed another girl, dumped him and waited several months before making a false rape claim against him. The next day officers came into the pub where the young man worked as a bartender and arrested him. "I was arrested at work in front of colleagues and customers. It was awful," the young man said. Police held him for questioning for almost 24 hours. Solely on the basis of a vindictive lie.

Now the young woman has been sentenced, and she will serve no jail time.

You read that right. No jail time. None whatsoever.

Once again, the victim served more jail time than his false accuser. This is one of the rape double standards we've previously written about.

The victim's mother had this to say about his false accuser: "I'm livid. She should never have got away with it. She should have been put inside. It was vicious and vindictive and the sentence has made a mockery out of the justice system. It sends the message that false accusers can get away with it."

The wrong message, indeed.

How is this sentence proportional to the false accuser's crime? Let's talk about proportionality for a second. It is a fundamental maxim of our jurisprudence that the punishment should fit the crime. For most crimes, it is difficult to discern what is a proper punishment. What sentence does a punch in the nose warrant? American jurisprudence does not generally sentence the criminal to be subjected to the same harm as he or she inflicted on the victim (or else a criminal would receive a punch in the nose for having inflicted a punch in the nose); for serious crimes, our jurisprudence opts for incarceration instead. The reason it is usually difficult to say what sentence is appropriate for a particular crime is because generally the harm inflicted to the victim (e.g., the punch in the nose) and the sentence to the criminal for inflicting that harm (incarceration) are proverbial apples and oranges -- jail time for a punch in the nose -- so there is never an exact match.

But in this case, it's not apples and oranges. Among other things, the harm inflicted on the victim, the young man, was jail time – the same punishment that the criminal, the young woman, could have received. The harm to him and the possible punishment to her are apples and apples. Yet she doesn't even serve a day in jail. (The fact is, the harm to him was far greater than the time he served in jail -- there were numerous other direct harms flowing from the false accusation – the psychological torment, the damage to his reputation, being rendered an outcast among his friends and family -- the list goes on and on. But at a minimum, for starters, it would have been proper, and fair, to assume she should serve at least as much jail time as her victim -- and then tack on more time for the other harms she caused -- right? Apparently not to the judge in this case.)

How will she and others be deterred from doing it again? Answer: She and they won't be deterred.

What a terrible, terrible result. This tells you much about our culture that tolerates false rape claims for reasons that have nothing to do with justice in individual cases.

HERE IS THE NEWS STORY:

Woman who made false rape claim against her ex-fiancé walks free from court

By Paul Sims
Last updated at 3:21 PM on 27th August 2008

A woman who cried rape against her former fiancé walked free from court today to the fury of the innocent man's family.

Gemma Capon, 20, invented the allegation after her turbulent six-month relationship with Graham Tysoe came to an end.

She told detectives he had forced his way into her home and then sexually assaulted her on the living room sofa.

Mr Tysoe, also 20, was immediately arrested by police in front of colleagues at the pub where he works as a chef, and was held for almost 24 hours.

He was interviewed, had his DNA, fingerprints and mugshot taken and, most cruelly of all, was subjected to intrusive forensic examinations.

When police confronted Capon with discrepancies in her story a day later she confessed that she had made it all up and was later charged with wasting police time.

District Judge Tim Daber said her behaviour had undermined the 'credibility' of genuine complaints.

Yet, instead of a six-month maximum jail term, Capon was given a 12-week suspended sentence and ordered to pay just £95 in legal costs.

Mr Tysoe's mother, Sharon, a 42-year-old staff nurse, condemned the sentence and claimed it sent the wrong message to those who think of crying rape in future.

She said: 'I'm livid. She should never have got away with it. She should have been put inside.

'It was vicious and vindictive and the sentence has made a mockery out of the justice system. It sends the message that false accusers can get away with it.'

Mr Tysoe started dating Capon in November last year. They had known each other from school but had lost touch by the time they were reunited over the internet, Southend Magistrates Court heard.

On New Year's Eve, after a whirlwind romance, Mr Tysoe proposed. But in April this year the relationship faltered after Capon falsely accused her boyfriend of kissing another woman.

He told her that he had been on 'a boys' night out' and had air-kissed a female friend who was helping him plan a surprise engagement party. Within weeks the couple had split up, the hearing was told.

At the beginning of June Mr Tysoe returned to the flat the couple shared in Shoeburyness, Essex, to collect his belongings.

But days later, on June 5, he was arrested on suspicion of rape.

Capon, who has twice auditioned for TV's X Factor, accused him of barging into her home a day earlier, locking the door and raping her on the sofa.

Mr Tysoe said: 'I was arrested at work in front of colleagues and customers. It was humiliating.

'They said my ex-girlfriend had accused me. I just thought, "Oh God, no, this can't be happening."

'I was put in a cell and told to take off my earring, chain and belt and leave my shoes outside. I had an intimate swab taken, DNA, fingerprints, a cheek swab and a photo.

'I felt like a criminal. I thought I was going to be locked up for something I didn't do.'

He added: 'I was in there for 23 and a half hours before they released me on bail. I just kept thinking, "What's going to happen to me?"'

Police even searched his parent's home in the middle of the night for a piece of clothing which did not exist, he said.

Mr Tysoe, who was elsewhere at the time of the alleged attack, was eventually released on bail on June 6.

Later that day Capon, a fast-food waitress, admitted lying to the police.

She pleaded guilty to wasting police time on June 26.

Police spent 156 hours investigating the false claims, the court was told Alan Hurst, mitigating, said his client was 'genuinely sorry'. He added: 'She has made an early mess of her life but she doesn't say it has to continue that way and she's determined to continue to turn it around.'

Speaking after the hearing, Mr Tysoe said the case had left him suffering from stress and with trouble sleeping.

He said: 'I hate her. I don't think she realises what she's done.'

Link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1049854/Woman-false-rape-claim-ex-fianc-walks-free-court.html

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Horrific story: A completely innocent man, nowhere near the scene of the alleged rape, is arrested due to a woman's rape lie

The story below is "must reading." It underscores the single most horrific reality of false rape claims: a completely innocent man or boy who is nowhere near the scene of an alleged rape can be falsely accused, arrested at his home, humiliated to the point that he must leave the country for a time -- all because a false accuser picked him at random. This is a fact we do not like to think about: virtually no man or boy is safe from a false accuser's random lie.

In this story, a young woman falsely accused a cab driver of raping her. If there was a motive at all, it might have stemmed from a desire for revenge over a fare dispute that occurred the week before. She was charged with perverting justice and refused to recant until the trial had started.

Of course the identity of the victim of this foul crime is splashed across the newspaper and the Internet for the world to titillate to the details of his humiliation. Why no anonymity for him?
One especially repugnant aspect to this case is the rationale of defense counsel in arguing that the young woman should not be given a jail sentence:

"The prospect of a custodial sentence is frightening for her," said Miss Morris. "She has put herself in the position where her child will be without the mother. Of course, many people would say well, tough, that is your doing. You have brought this on yourself and must face the consequences. What she did was thoroughly reprehensible. But it has not been every case where a woman who has cried rape has gone into custody."

Did you get that? Let's examine it carefully:

Jail would be "frightening for her."

As if it were not frightening to other criminals? Um, Miss Moore, perhaps that's the idea? You know, to punish this false accuser and to deter others from doing this again to some other innocent man or boy? If jail were not "frightening" to her -- and to everybody else -- what would be the point?

She's a mother.

As are many false accusers. This is, after all, a crime predominantly committed by young women. And many rapists are fathers, but the state has no problem sending them away to prison for decades to protect society, to punish the wrongdoer and to deter others, even though it means the wrongdoer's children will be without a parent that every study on the subject says is crucial to a child's well-being. So why is this particular crime, where a woman falsely accused a man of rape, any different?

"But it has not been every case where a woman who has cried rape has gone into custody."

Oh, I see why it's different -- because society often gives false accusers a free pass for their crimes. And that is correct -- we do not punish false rape claims with anywhere near the severity they deserve. But that doesn't make it right, and there are many of us trying to change it.

One must suspect that a primary reason for the jail sentence imposed on the young woman here was her refusal to recant early on. Early recantations are encouraged with lighter sentences and often no charges brought. The fact that this young woman waited so long justifies a significant jail sentence. Eight months is less than she deserves but is sufficient to punish her and to deter other liars.

It might just "frighten" her enough never to do this again.

HERE IS THE NEWS STORY:

Binge-drinking mother jailed after crying rape against devout Muslim taxi driver

Last updated at 9:42 AM on 25th August 2008

A binge-drinking mother has been jailed after falsely accusing an innocent taxi driver of raping her.

Joanne Rye, who kept up the lie for 20 months, was told by a judge her behaviour was despicable and was handed an eight-month prison sentence.

The mother-of-one caused great shame and disgrace to devout Muslim Sherekhan Kali and his family after claiming that he dragged her down an alleyway and assaulted her.

Maidstone Crown Court heard Rye, then 18, was known as a troublemaker and had been banned from using the All Night Car Hire in Dartford, Kent where Mr Kali worked.

The court also heard the week before she made the rape allegation, she had used racially insulting language to Mr Kali.

Valeria Swift, prosecuting, said Rye was very drunk and was taken to hospital claiming she had suffered an asthma attack on the night of October 21, 2006.

Ms Rye became aggressive and police were called and it was then she made the rape claim, giving a detailed account of the attack.

She claimed she was waiting for taxi in Dartford when she was grabbed and a pellet gun was fired into her kneecap.

She said her attacker then dragged her into an alley and raped her.

But she said there would not be any DNA because he had used a condom.

She also told how she had recognised Mr Kali because he had taken her in his taxi a week before.

The part-time cabbie was arrested at his home and taken to the police station where intimate samples, DNA and fingerprints were taken.

His boss Nicholas Morris confirmed that Ms Rye had been banned from using the firm's cabs because of racist abuse to drivers.

Miss Swift revealed a check of the satellite navigation system in Mr Kali's cab showed he had been nowhere near the area where Rye said she was attacked.

CCTV footage of her drunken behaviour on the night she said she had been raped also proved it could not have happened in the way described.

The prosecutor said the only motivation for the false allegation was the incident a week earlier when the fare was disputed.

Rye continued to maintain she had been raped up to the first day of her trial in June, accused of perverting the course of justice.

Miss Swift said of Mr Kali: 'This case has had a very profound effect on him indeed.'

Sarah Morris, defending, said Rye, now 20, would go out and get drunk, smoke cannabis and behave in an anti-social manner.

But she had since settled down with a boyfriend and had a child, now aged five months.

'The prospect of a custodial sentence is frightening for her,' said Miss Morris.

'She has put herself in the position where her child will be without the mother.

'Of course, many people would say well, tough, that is your doing. You have brought this on yourself and must face the consequences.

'What she did was thoroughly reprehensible. But it has not been every case where a woman who has cried rape has gone into custody.'

Miss Morris said Rye, who worked in catering for the elderly, knew her boyfriend was not equipped to deal with a young baby. Her mother would have to give up her job to care for the child.

But jailing Rye for a 'modest' eight months, Judge Crawford Lindsay, QC, said he had no doubt the matter was so serious there had to be an immediate prison sentence.

'I consider this to be a despicable offence,' he said. 'You made an allegation that this entirely innocent taxi driver had raped you.

'It was fully investigated with the consequences that police time and doctors' time was wasted in the investigation.'

It was not until the first day of her trial in June this year that she 'faced the inevitable' and owned up.

'This is a case where the victim is a strict Muslim, who regularly attends to his beliefs and prays regularly,' said Judge Lindsay.

'At the police station, intimate samples were taken. Having another female touch a part of his body is forbidden. It would bring shame on his family. As a consequence, he left this country for a period.'

When he returned to work, Mr Kali was frightened of having women in his cab and would go home.

'So we have a man of blameless character who is subjected to your dishonesty and trumped up allegation,' said the judge.

'It is clear when you are in drink, you are loud-mouthed. You have a young child but that is a matter which does not in my judgment prevent a penalty for an allegation that is easily made and had a serious effect on the victim.

'He suffered the suggestion there is no smoke without fire.'

Link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1048754/Binge-drinking-mother-jailed-crying-rape-devout-Muslim-taxi-driver.html

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Woman falsely cries rape to cover up illicit sexual relationship

In the news story below, a woman falsely cried rape when she believed the men she lied about were going to tell her family about their illicit sexual relationship. This is probably the most common motive for a false rape claim.

This is consistent with Professor Kanin's landmark study of false rape claims. Kanin determined that the majority of false rape claims in his study "served the complainants' need to provide a plausible explanation for some suddenly foreseen, unfortunate consequence of a consensual encounter, usually sexual, with a male acquaintance."

While motive is not an element of the crime of false reporting of rape, it is helpful to underscore motive to demonstrate that, indeed, women do have reason to lie about rape -- just as people do have reason to lie about everything under the sun. Motive does not excuse the lie, but it helps explain it, and it helps refute the disingenuous assertion that false rape claims are a myth.

HERE IS THE NEWS STORY:

Woman is held over 'fake rape'

A BAHRAINI woman has been arrested for reporting a false rape case to police in Isa Town.

The 28-year-old married woman claimed that three of her friends, also Bahraini, kidnapped her and raped her, a Public Prosecution spokesman said yesterday.

"She said that she has been in a relationship with one of the defendants for the past 14 years, but he and his friends took advantage of her and then stole two of her mobiles after they raped her," said the spokesman.

She later changed her story, saying she was out with one of the men, when the other two turned up and all three raped her. But the told prosecutors during questioning that the woman had actually been in a relationship with all three of them and that they never had sex with her against her will.

"When the woman was confronted by the men's statement, she later confessed that she had reported the incident to the police because she was afraid that the defendants were going to speak to her family when they stole her phone," said the spokesman.

Two of the men confessed to stealing her phone, but the rape allegations have been dropped.

"Apparently the woman was said to have been seeing the men for money but there were no charges filed as there was no evidence against them," sources told the GDN.

The woman has currently been detained on charges of reporting a false case to the police, while two of the men have been charged with theft. All defendants will remain in custody until their case goes to court next week. sara@gdn.com.bh

Link: http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/Story.asp?Article=226985&Sn=BNEW&IssueID=31155

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Girl's false rape claim targets innocent man but she gets no jail time

An innocent man was targeted by a false rape accuser and forced to give a DNA sample, but when the accuser's lie was exposed she was given no jail time.

How will future false rape accusers be deterred if persons like this are not punished more severely?

And the judge wants to know "why" she lied.

With all due respect, your honor, would you care to ask a 16-year-old boy who rapes someone
"why"? I think not. Because we really don't care "why." Nor should we here. Her lie had the capacity to do more damage to an innocent person than a real rapist might have done. Her motive is irrelevant, it is not an element of the crime. The terrifying effect of her lie on an innocent person is all that matters.

HERE IS THE NEWS STORY:

Girl gets probation for fake rape report

A 16-year-old girl who gave police a detailed but fake rape report got 18 months probation Thursday in Sarnia youth court.

She pleaded guilty to mischief by making the July 15 false report.

She lied to police and hospital officials about the rape she had claimed occurred on Sarnia’s waterfront.

“It’s entirely shocking,” said assistant Crown attorney Richard Weatherston.

Following about a week of investigation police determined there had been no rape.

Many hours were spent by investigators, hospital staff and crisis workers that could have been used on legitimate cases, said Const. Bill Baines following the girl’s arrest.

The rape investigation included numerous witness interviews and the collection of DNA from a man. The girl had identified him as the rapist.

He could have faced “serious consequences” due to the girl’s claim that was “all untrue,” said Justice Deborah Austin.

Her false report undermines public confidence in legitimate sexual assault accusations, said Austin.

“The only unanswered question is why,” she said.

Her mother told the court “we don’t understand either.”

Link: http://www.theobserver.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1166965

Monday, August 25, 2008

Woman who used false rape claim to cover up her own illegal conduct to stand trial

The following news story illustrates that false accusers are well-aware of the power of a false rape claim. False rape claims are intended to cast the liar as victim. The liar, of course, does not care about the effect of her vile falsehood on the men and boys who are victimized by it.

Disproving these lies is often very difficult, but the police department in the following case is to be commended for doing exactly that.

Now the false accuser herself will go on trial, despite the protests of her attorney that she's learned her lesson.

You don't get it, sir. This woman needs to be punished because only a jail sentence will cause other false accusers to think twice about using this horrid, hateful weapon as a means to cover up their own misconduct.

HERE IS THE NEWS STORY:

Woman to stand trial for falsely claiming rape

By ADAM BENSON, Press staff
08/19/2008

BRISTOL - A Southington woman, who last year was "bullied" by family to accuse a police officer of raping her in his cruiser, will stand trial on charges she made false statements.

On Tuesday, Judge Joseph W. Doherty backed a prosecutor's claim that the severity of Michelle Ladd's allegations disqualified her from applying for an accelerated rehabilitation program that would wipe the charge off her record if completed successfully.

"The underlying facts in this case are just too serious. Why should this defendant, who made this type of claim, be able to just walk away," said Senior Assistant State's Attorney Ronald Dearstyne.Ladd, 22, of 33 Darling St. faces misdemeanor charges of falsely reporting an incident, two counts of making a false statement and interfering with police for her July 2007 claims.

On July 17, 2007, Ladd was at a party with friends when she left to allegedly buy crack cocaine.

"She didn't make it back to the party and received a phone call wondering where she was," police spokesman Sgt. Lowell DePalma said at the time.

"When she finally arrived at the party with no money and no crack, she said she was scared and told the people she was stopped by police."According to testimony given in court, Ladd told investigators a Southington patrolman, who caught her trying to buy drugs, said he wouldn't arrest her if Ladd agreed to have sex with him in his cruiser.

She also said the officer forced her into several sex acts with him. Ladd repeated her assertion to investigators on July 24, 2007 before recanting it in mid-January.Matthew Dyer, Ladd's public defender, told Doherty the woman was "bullied" into making the claim by family and friends who wanted her to cover up the group's drug use by insisting she was sexually abused.

"She is terrified of running into the system again," he said. "She's going to choose the pressure of the law over the pressure of her family the next time.

"While Ladd's charges fall under the scope of crimes eligible to be addressed through accelerated rehabilitation, Dearstyne said Ladd's claims had a profound financial and social impact on the Southington Police Department.

During the course of the investigation, more than 30 officers fitting a description Ladd gave were interviewed, and officials from the state police's Major Crimes Unit assisted local authorities.

It all added up to a major financial and professional drain on resources, Dearstyne said.

"The claim was made, and to some degree remnants of that claim remain out there, whether it's in the Southington Police Department or the community," Dearstyne said. "These are accusations that stayed within the Southington community for months. ... Each and every one of those patrol officers and detectives in Southington were affected."

Dyer pointed to Ladd's lack of a criminal record and decision to own up to her false claims as reasons for leniency."I think the point has been made to her," he said.

Doherty disagreed."I think this is a matter that should be tried," he said.Ladd is slated to appear in court again Oct. 1.

Adam Benson can be reached at abenson@bristolpress.com or by calling (860) 584-0504, ext. 256

Link: http://www.bristolpress.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=20081741&BRD=1643&PAG=461&dept_id=665528&rfi=6

Friday, August 22, 2008

Horrifying case of a man wrongly convicted of a rape charge that should not have been tried

Read the story below: it is downright frightening that this case ever got to trial.

The man was actually convicted even though "the alleged assaults took place in a tiny space occupied by three people, and that while the complainant testified she screamed, the friend heard nothing." This 'made it very unlikely, almost impossible,' that the rape happened the way the complainant said it did."

Yet the case was brought to trial, and the man was convicted!

Sometimes the outcome of the trial depends on whether the jury happens to like or dislike the defendant or the accuser. Hence the necessity for the prosecutor to weed out legitimate cases from those that aren't.

Fortunately the appellate court quashed the conviction, and the man is now suing because -- of course -- his reputation has been destroyed.

Virtually any male can be falsely accused of a rape charge; virtually any male can be wrongly convicted of a rape charge. A false conviction can be overturned, but the damage to the man's reputation is often beyond repair.

Crown defends rape case

Argues prosecution of accused, who is now suing for $1M, was anything but reckless
Karen Kleiss, The Edmonton JournalPublished: 2:02 am

Police and Crown prosecutors named in a million-dollar lawsuit say the investigation and prosecution of an accused rapist was impartial, professional and conducted without malice.

In a statement of defence filed last month, Crown prosecutors John Hnidan and David Marriott say they had enough evidence to believe Curtis Evans was guilty of sexual assault when he was tried and convicted in 2004.

The Alberta Court of Appeal later quashed the conviction and Evans sued, claiming his reputation was ruined.

"Mr. Hnidan and Mr. Marriot conducted themselves in a competent, professional, fair, objective, impartial and ethical manner, in good faith, in the honest discharge of their duties," the statement of defence says.

Det. Carol Glasgow also says her investigation was "reasonable, skilful, careful and proper in every respect.

"At all times, Det. Glasgow's actions were motivated by her desire to diligently, faithfully and to the best of her ability fulfil her duties and obligations as a police officer," the statement says.

In April, Evans launched a $1-million lawsuit claiming his reputation was wrecked by false allegations, a negligent police investigation and a malicious, reckless prosecution.

"(The) defendants maliciously, recklessly, and intentionally abused the process of the court by proceeding with the prosecution ... with reckless indifference to the guilt or innocence of the accused," the statement of claim says.

As a result, he said he has suffered mental anguish and humiliation.

Statements of claim and defence have not been proven in court.

The case stretches back to spring 2002, when a 19-year-old woman claimed Evans raped her twice in an apartment they shared with a friend.

In November 2004, Court of Queen's Bench Justice Delmar Perras convicted Evans of raping the woman and sentenced him to nearly three years in prison.

Evans admitted to having sex with the woman, so the issue at trial was consent.

In his ruling, Perras acknowledged weak points in the evidence.

Two years later, the court of appeal quashed the guilty verdict and ordered a new trial.

In their statement of defence, the Crown prosecutors say the Court of Appeal ordered a new trial because there were gaps in the judge's reasoning, not because the verdict was not supported by the evidence.

The appeal court said the alleged assaults took place in a tiny space occupied by three people, and that while the complainant testified she screamed, the friend heard nothing.

The court ruled the friend's evidence "made it very unlikely, almost impossible," that the rape happened the way the complainant said it did.

"But the (judge's) reasons said nothing further about (the friend's) evidence, or the exculpatory effects of large parts of her evidence.

It was the gap in reasoning the caused the court of appeal to order a new trial.

A different Crown prosecutor stayed the charge against Evans.

The charge can be brought forward within one year of the stay if new evidence is found.

kkleiss@thejournal.canwest.com

Link: http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/cityplus/story.html?id=5cf9ad85-7c94-44bd-8d23-e0a64031b6e5

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Another motiveless false rape claim exposed

Another in a seemingly endless cavalcade of false rape claims. Once again, the accuser is young -- a teenager. And once again, it seems she didn't want the lie to go as far as it did.

False rape accusers are often oblivious to the fact that sometimes a rape lie is akin to opening proverbial Pandora's Box. Or to put it in modern terms, it's like trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube. As shown repeatedly on this Web site, even when the accuser doesn't mean for the lie to go as far as it does, men and boys victimized by such falsehoods are often targeted as persons of interest; it is not uncommon that they are arrested and held in a terrifying jail cell for hours, days, weeks or months; and sometimes they are wrongfully convicted. Often, their lives are destroyed to the point that they will never be returned to the way things were before the lie.

To underscore how serious this particular kind of lie is, sentencing for false rape claims needs to be tougher. Much tougher. Only then will the liars be deterred.

HERE IS THE NEWS ACCOUNT:

Police: Lynnwood rape report was a hoax

The woman who told Lynnwood police a man broke into her apartment and raped her lied about the entire incident, department spokeswoman Shannon Sessions police said.

Detectives noticed inconsistencies in several subsequent interviews, and the woman admitted she lied.

The 18-year-old told detectives she didn't want the story to go as far as it did, police said.

The woman claimed the incident happened in an apartment in the 18500 block of 36th Avenue West in Lynnwood. The Seattle P-I and other local news media reported the case.

"Detectives are unclear as to why she made up the story," Sessions said. "We have forwarded the case to the Snohomish County Prosecutor's Office for review to see if they want to file a false reporting charge against her."

In this case, the charge would be a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and $5,000 fine, police said.

Link: http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/seattle911/archives/146555.asp

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Inexplicable, senseless rape lie

In some ways, a motiveless false rape lie is of greater concern than a lie with a clear motivation -- such as a desire to cover up an illicit sexual relationship or revenge. It is akin to a senseless murder, psychotic in nature and completely baffling.

Innocent persons are wholly incapable of conforming their behavior to guard against such lies. A victim of such a lie is targeted at random, so there is nothing that can be done to prevent it.

Thankfully, no innocent person was victimized by the false rape claim that is the subject of the following story. But many victims of false rape lies have been unjustly targeted as suspects in cases where lies were every bit as senseless, and some such victims have been charged and convicted.

HERE IS THE NEWS STORY:

Lynnwood rape victim recants story

By KOMO Staff

LYNNWOOD, Wash. -- Police here said the woman who claimed she was raped by an intruder on Monday has recanted her story.

Investigators said they discovered inconsistencies in the story of the 18-year-old woman, who later admitted she had not been sexually assaulted.

The woman told detectives she did not intend for things to get this far and that the incident had not taken place. It is not known why she made up the story.

The woman initially told police she woke up early Monday morning and saw a man standing inside her apartment. She was sexually assaulted moments later, she said.

After the attack, the victim said her attacker "spent a significant amount of time in her apartment before he left" after the sun came up.

The case has been forwarded to the prosecutor's office for review of a false reporting charge.

Link: http://www.komonews.com/news/local/27038449.html

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

False rape accuser imprisoned for one year after causing stranger to be wrongfully arrested

The story below is a horrifying example of the power of a false rape accuser to deny virtually any man or boy of his liberty.

In this case, a complete, random stranger was arrested and held in a cell for 22 hours because of a false accusation of rape and the liar's vague description of her.

The false accuser's motive: to make her family feel guilty following an argument.

Think of it: we allow one class of our citizens to use the state to deprive virtually any member of another class of our citizens of his liberty and to subject him to a mental torment of often unbearable measure.

And that tells us everything we need to know that something is terribly, terribly wrong with the system.

In the case below, the false accuser's punishment is warranted. All false accusers need to be punished sufficiently to deter such vile misconduct.

The following story is "must" reading:

Woman jailed for making false rape claim to get back at family after row during night out

A woman was jailed yesterday after her false claim of rape resulted in an innocent stranger being arrested.

In an attempt to make her family feel guilty following an argument, Kerry Saunders invented a story that she had been sexually assaulted after a night out.

She was overheard making the allegation by a passing police community support officer.

Instead of admitting it was just a story, she told the officer that her attacker was a black man driving a blue car.

Within hours, Oladepo Otesile, a student, was picked up by police near the scene of the alleged attack.

He was held in a cell for 22 hours, where he was interviewed under caution and given an intimate forensic examination. Samples of his DNA and fingerprints were also taken.

Only after Mr Otesile was bailed to return for an identity parade did his 'victim' contact police to admit the allegations were false.

Sentencing 26-year-old Saunders to a year in prison after she pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice, Judge Michael Brooke said 'it was something she brought on herself'.

'She is not a baby, she could have said at any time it was not true and she had been hysterical,' he added.

The judge also said that Mr Otesile had been put through an unnecessary ordeal.

The false claims not only deprived him of his liberty, but cost the police £4,500 in wasted time, Basildon Crown Court in Essex heard.

Judge Brooke said: 'A total stranger found himself locked up for 22 hours having samples taken, he was interviewed under caution and accused of the most serious of crimes - stranger rape in a public place. He must have passed an absolutely ghastly time.'

As Saunders sobbed in the dock, he added: 'She knew very well where things were going and things ratcheted up and she did nothing to stop it.'

The allegation was made in the early hours of December 2 last year when Saunders was out celebrating a birthday with family and friends.

After a row broke out in the limousine the group was sharing, the driver dumped her on the A13 in Purfleet, Essex.

Minutes later, she called her family and told them she had been raped - an attempt to make them feel bad.

Barry Hargreaves, prosecuting, said: 'An offduty PCSO saw her by the side of the road in a distressed state and she said she had been attacked in the street by an unknown assailant and had been dumped by his car.

'Police were called and told she had been claiming she had been raped. The description she gave was of her attacker being black and driving a blue car.'

Of Mr Otesile, he added: 'The victim is black, and happened to have a blue car which was spotted by police in the area where the alleged rape took place.

'It fitted the description of the car and he fitted the description of the attacker and he was arrested. He then spent 22 hours in custody where Miss Saunders still maintained the allegation that she had been raped.'

After more than a day had passed, Saunders, from Ilford in Essex, contacted police and admitted the claims were false.

Before the incident, Mr Otesile, of Purfleet, had never been arrested before. Describing him as a man of good character, Mr Hargreaves added: 'The whole experience was horrible and very frightening, especially as he knew he had not done anything wrong.'

The court heard that Saunders had a drugs problem and had been taking crack cocaine on and off since she was 17. She had been drinking on the night of the attack.

In mitigation, her lawyer said she was ' emotionally immature' and the lies were a ' kneejerk reaction to get attention from her family' which spiralled out of control.

Link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1046530/Woman-jailed-making-false-rape-claim-family-row-night-out.html

Monday, August 18, 2008

Rape lie prompts "house-to-house enquiries"

A common reaction of people stopped for a minor traffic offense is "don't the police have more important things to do?"

As in "more important" than to enforce a law against them.

A claim of stranger rape, most everyone would agree, would and should jump to the top or near the top of the police force's "more important" list. Every rape claim must be taken seriously. Even the ones that later turn out to be false.

But the next time you are tempted to ask if the police have "more important things to do," think about this false rape accuser whose lie prompted "a full-time extensive investigation" with "house-to-house enquiries." And think about the other similar cases recounted on this Web site.

Do the police have "more important" things to do than chase after a false rape claim like that?

That was a rhetorical question.

If legitimate, serious crimes were neglected because of this lie, well, you can't blame that on the police. But it underscores the necessity to punish the liar to deter this sort of vile prevarication.

And we won't even discuss what might have happened if the police had zeroed in on a hapless, falsely accused victim of the lie, as we've seen so many times in this Web site. And sometimes the victim of a false rape claim is charged and even convicted. Almost always such victim's life badly damaged, sometimes destroyed, because of the lie. Thankfully that didn't happen here.

HERE IS THE NEWS STORY:

Woman admits lying over rape claim

A WOMAN who lied about being raped by two strangers in a car faces jail for wasting police time.
Ann-Marie Gough, 33, of Manchester Drive, Leigh, yesterday admitted making a false statement at Leigh police station which led to a costly and time-consuming investigation.

Gough told police she had been out in Southend on July 11 and had a row with her ex-partner on the seafront.

When walking home, she said two unknown men forced her into a car in Hamlet Court Road, and then raped her in nearby London Road.

Prosecuting Lesley Chipps said: “A full-time extensive investigation was launched.

“There were house-to-house enquiries and a doctor examined her. Sixty hours of CCTV footage were viewed by officers. It’s been extremely costly to Essex Police.”

Gough, who has no previous convictions, admitted in later police interviews she lied about the rape and only left the house once that evening to have a cigarette.

However, Michelle Breindel, defending, said Gough still claimed she had been raped by two men that day, but said it took place inside her home.

Because she did not want to upset her four young children by having a forensic team search the house, she told police the attack took place in the town centre instead.

After she admitted she had lied about the rape, police asked her to make a formal statement about the alleged rape in her home. But she declined as she said she wanted no further action taken.

Miss Breindel said: “This is a very unusual case with some history to it.

“Her ex-partner has been harassing her over the past year and her children have been targeted.”

Gough will be sentenced on Monday, September 8, at Southend Magistrates’ Court. She is on unconditional bail until then.

Link: http://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/3598117.Woman_admits_lying_over_rape_claim/

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Flashback: Keep this quote in the back of your mind while reading this Web site

Remember this famous quote, from a 1991 Time Magazine article by Catherine Comins? Ms. Comins was then a vice president at Vassar. She was discussing men who are victimized by false allegations of rape. The misandry is breathtaking beyond words:

Comins argues that men who are unjustly accused can sometimes gain from the experience. "They have a lot of pain, but it is not a pain that I would necessarily have spared them. I think it ideally initiates a process of self-exploration. 'How do I see women?' 'If I didn't violate her, could I have?' 'Do I have the potential to do to her what they say I did?' Those are good questions."

Imagine if we suggested that we wouldn't necessarily spare women from the pain of a rape, for one reason or other. One would think we were insane -- and correctly so -- not to mention misogynists of the first order.

Based on this quotation alone, without knowing anything more about her, is Ms. Comins both insane and a misandrist?

The question scarcely survives its statement.

Friday, August 15, 2008

One million dollars for victim of wrongful rape conviction won't make him whole

Inmate freed by DNA test could collect $1 million

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 3:19 AM
By Randy Ludlow

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

As a prison inmate, Robert McClendon earned $18 a month at his recreation job in the Chillicothe Correctional Institution.

As a wrongfully imprisoned man, McClendon could become a millionaire.

Freed yesterday after serving 18 years for a rape he did not commit, McClendon appears to be in line for a seven-figure payout of public dollars.

"I am counting my blessings, not my money," the 52-year-old Columbus man said yesterday.

State law provides for $44,204 in compensation for each year behind bars for exonerated inmates -- about $796,000 in McClendon's case.

He also is entitled to damages for lost wages, attorney's fees and other costs that could raise the total to more than $1 million.

McClendon was released after a DNA test of semen on the victim's underwear proved he was not the man who abducted and raped a 10-year-old Columbus girl in 1990.

His case was one of 30 that The Dispatch highlighted in its "Test of Convictions" series in January as a prime candidate for DNA testing.

McClendon is the first inmate featured in the newspaper's series to be freed.

The court action that led to McClendon's release did not include a finding that he was wrongfully imprisoned. So he and his attorneys will have to go back to court to obtain such a determination.

Once that ruling is in hand, McClendon could go to the Ohio Court of Claims, where a judge will calculate how much money he is owed on top of the state compensation formula of $121.11 a day.

His lost wages would be calculated, and potentially adjusted for inflation, after determining how much he made as a construction worker, recreation worker and singer with a band before imprisonment.

The state has paid nearly $12.2 million in damages to 35 wrongfully incarcerated inmates since 1984, according to records.

Two Columbus men wrongfully convicted of killing an elderly guard during a 1976 bank robbery in Bexley received the two highest awards after being released from prison in 2003. Timothy Howard, who died last year, received $2.5 million in compensation and legal fees; Gary James received $1.5 million. They were imprisoned for 26 years.

Columbus lawyer James Owen, who represented the two men, said money alone is far from adequate compensation for denial of freedom. "The damage that it does to some of these people is incalculable," Owen said.

"I spoke to Gary James" yesterday, he said. "He's still suffering the consequences. … Adjustment is unbelievably difficult for these men. What they get is a pittance of what they deserve."

Link: http://www.columbusdispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2008/08/12/wrongful.ART_ART_08-12-08_A1_I7B0ICN.html?sid=101

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Three victims of false rape claims are wrongfully arrested

In the story below, three victims of false rape claims were deprived of their liberty when they were incarcerated on the basis of a lie. The accuser subsequently recanted, and the victims were released.

No motivation for the lie is provided in the story.

The false accuser could receive a sentence of up to eight years imprisonment on the false statements alone.

HERE IS THE NEWS STORY:

Lame Deer woman admits stabbing and lying about rape

By CLAIR JOHNSON Of The Gazette Staff

Krista Rae Little Head, 23, of Lame Deer, pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to indictments charging her with making a false statement and with assault with a dangerous weapon.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lori Suek said Little Head reported to Bureau of Indian Affairs police Feb. 23 that she was raped by three men the previous night. She identified the men and provided details. Little Head made the same report to an Indian Health Service doctor and a Bureau of Indian Affairs criminal investigator.

Investigators arrested the three men Little Head identified and held them in the tribal jail, Suek said. Later, Little Head called and asked how to drop the charges because the rape didn't happen, she said. Little Head admitted she made up the allegation, and the men were released from jail.

The assault happened March 15, when Little Head and her boyfriend, the victim, were drinking in Lame Deer with friends. Little Head and her boyfriend argued and Little Head hit him in the face, then stabbed him four times in the chest with a 6-inch knife, Suek said.

Little Head faces a maximum 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the assault and eight years in prison and a $250,000 fine for making false statements.Senior U.S. District Judge Jack Shanstrom set sentencing for Nov. 19. Little Head remains in custody.

Link: http://www.billingsgazette.net/articles/2008/08/13/news/state/20-assult_indictments.txt

The falsely accused as collateral damage

A principle so fundamental to our jurisprudence, to our sense of fairness, to our morality as a people -- is sometimes tossed onto a scrapheap of indifference when it comes to those falsely accused of rape. That principle was aptly expressed by William Blackstone: "It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."

Those who agree with that statement likely will understand what we are attempting to do on this Web site. Those who don't will denigrate this site. Those who deny false rape claims as a "myth" are also among the first to reject this principle when it comes to those falsely accused of rape.

In a multitude of ways we allow the victims of false rape accusations to be treated as nothing more than unfortunate collateral damage in the war on rape. We minimize the extent of false claims; we focus more on the potential injury caused by a false rape claim to hypothetical, phantom, even unborn rape victims than on the injury to the falsely accused who are the direct victims of the lie; we excuse false claims with little or no punishment (and often the falsely accused serve more jail time than their false accusers) in order to encourage more legitimate rape claims, but such leniency also encourages more false claims. In short, the victims of false rape claims are told in bright-line, unmistakable terms that their rights are not as important as the war being waged on real rapists. We have allowed justice to be turned on its head. For no other crime -- even for crimes more rampant -- do we harbor such contempt, such inhumane notions toward the innocent.

We have lost our moral compass as a people when we allow the rights of the innocent to be disregarded in the name of garnering more convictions. Such thinking is common in brutal, backward third-world dictatorships.

Here are some chilling examples of persons who disagree with Mr. Blackstone on this issue, at least when it comes to those falsely accused of rape:

*A comment on a Web site dealing with rape: ". . . how in the world is it 'worse' for a wrongfully accused person to go to jail than it is for a victim to see their rapist go free?"

*From a recent editorial from a Washington state newspaper: "The state Supreme Court ruled recently that school districts in Washington do not have to disclose names of teachers who have been accused of sexual misconduct against students if the allegations have not been substantiated. . . . . Yes, public knowledge of the allegation could lead to the end of a teacher’s career even if it were proven to be false. But we’re not talking about a witch hunt. A few teachers being unjustly accused is far less important in the long run than the outing of a school district that hides evidence of patterns of misbehavior by teachers."

*A comment on a radical Web site, calling for rape to be defined at the whim of the accuser, and for the accused to be castrated: "Victims will decide whether a crime has occurred, and defendants will not. This might frighten men, some of whom will claim that women will use the law to punish men out of vengeance. That might happen once in awhile . . . ." A comment to this suggestion chimed in: “I think the central point that the dudes ‘don’t get’ is that the majority of [advocates of this bizarre proposal] genuinely don’t care if [the] proposal is ‘not fair’ to the hypothetical falsely accused rapist of the post-revolution future.”

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Off-topic: Great post at Feministing.com

You may recall reader James Landrith's account of being raped.

By societal consensus, claims that males are raped are not taken seriously. In the case of prison rape and the statutory rape of boys, rape is a punchline.

Kudos to Ann at Feministing.com who takes Time Magazine to task for making light of a rape -- Time presumably treated the story in a flippant manner because the genders were reversed from the norm: read it here.

Viral e-mail spreads false rape claim

As reported in marshallnewsmessenger.com:

Story of attack on girl in Hallsville nothing but a lie

By PHIL LATHAM

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I get viral e-mails all the time, just like you, I'm sure. You know the kind of talking about. This season they are mostly political and about Barack Obama being from Mars or Venus, or both.

But I got one just the other day that was all about Marshall. Really. I wouldn't be surprised if you haven't gotten it yourself.

Just looking at two of these sent to the newspaper, there are about 100 different people on the e-mail list.

If those 100 each sent it to another 100, well there's 10,000 people right there.

The title of the e-mail will certainly get your attention: An actual attack near Marshall, TX — this is real!

Not only did the e-mail mention Marshall, also The Marshall News Messenger, although we were just referred to as the "Marshall paper" and there was an implication that we hadn't done our job properly.

If you've been one of the many recipients of the e-mail you know it is all about a purported incident on FM 449, during which a 17-year-old girl was returning home from a babysitting job.

One thing I know is correct is that the girl in question is indeed 17 years old — that is important.

On her drive home down the winding road, the e-mail says, the girl was stopped by a car completely across the road.

Immediately two other cars came up behind her and blocked her from from getting out in any direction. Of course, all the cars were driven by black males.

The e-mail says the men literally pulled her out of the driver's side window, forcing a "date rape" pill down her throat and "visciously tried to assault her."

The men then became spooked, the e-mail says, and they ran off, but not before they had pulled her shirt and bra off, broken her arm and pulled out patches of her hair.

The e-mail continues: "She drove herselve to the hospital in Marshall, still without her clothes. What a tough little cookie she was!"

The e-mail concludes by advising women to be careful — which, of course, is never a bad idea — and the writer says she is going to be "packing" from now on. I think that means carrying a gun, not taking a suitcase.

"Say a prayer for the young girl, her mother and family, as I am sure they've been very traumatized."

Yes, say a prayer for the girl and family, but not for the reasons you think.

Because the girl in question is not one "tough little cookie" she is one lying little cookie.

Because this event never happened.

It isn't true.

Not a single word of it.

Zippo. Nada.

Mind you, that is what the girl reported to the Harrison County Sheriff's Office, which then expended time and effort to investigate the case thoroughly.

I said earlier that it was important that the girl is 17 years old, because at that age in Texas you are no longer a juvenile when it comes to crime.

The girl has been charged with making a false report to a law enforcement officer.

It apparently is the only law she broke, but the damage she caused and the ruckus she stirred up goes far beyond that little misdemeanor.

It starts with using up the time of a sheriff's deputy.

You may not have noticed that our sheriff's office isn't exactly overstaffed.

Everytime someone makes up a story like this, hours that could have been spent working on real matters are wasted.

Then, of course, is all the unnecessary worry that has been generated in the community about it.

That worry and the suspicions aroused aren't going to go away immediately.

Some people will continue to believe the story.

I can almost assure you that the e-mails with fake information are going to continue to circulate.

Why did the girl fabricate all this? No one but she can say.

Often making up such stories is nothing but a way of getting attention.

Be careful what you wish for.

As far as the criticisms of the "Marshall paper" for not doing enough to report the story, the family thinks the little we did was too much. The girl's parents were in our offices Friday complaining story was the reason their daughter got arrested.

In effect: Our printing their daughter's lies to the sheriff's office was the problem, not the lies themselves. Go figure.

Like the e-mail said, pray for the daughter and her family. I'm sure their traumatized.

Link: http://www.marshallnewsmessenger.com/news/content/news/opinion/2008/08/06/080608_WEB_latham.html?cxtype=rss&cxsvc=7&cxcat=7

Monday, August 11, 2008

Twenty-five years behind bars for a rape he didn't commit

As the news story below illustrates, treating innocent men as collateral damage in the war on rape is morally grotesque. The purpose of this Web site is to help inject discussion of false and wrongful rape claims into the public discourse about rape so that the rights of the innocent and the presumed innocent are balanced with the goal of eradicating rape.

Sadly, the knee jerk reaction of some misguided ideologues is to assume that any discussion about the rights of innocent men wrongly accused of rape is prompted by misogyny -- a much over- and improperly-used word. It is wholly inapplicable in this case.

On the contrary, every wrongful claim not only hurts the men and boys whose lives are often destroyed by it but also the women and children who love and, in many cases, depend on them. False claims also hurt true rape victims because they feed into a long and preposterous urban myth of assuming women are predisposed to lie about rape.

Whether the man is behind bars due to mistake or a lie doesn't much matter. Innocent men who find themselves behind bars for a rape they didn't commit, of course, don't especially care if the claims that put them there were wrongful or false.

As the following story illustrates, when a rape does occur, the system needs to do more to insure that the right man is arrested. And as we've examined elsewhere on this Web site, when a rape hasn't really occurred but a woman or girl lies that it has, we need to do more to punish the liars. And just as we need to educate our young men about what "consent" really means, we need to educate our young women that lying about rape is always wrong, that is a crime, and that it can destroy innocent men and boys and their families (to see how men and boys are destroyed, young women could start by reading the real-life accounts on this Web site instead of assuming that we are misogynists). And they need to know they are hurting real rape victims with their lies, too. It seems unfathomable why radical feminists pretend false claims are a "myth" or a "bugaboo" when that only gives false claimants license to lie more -- they need to be taught to stop it.

The story below illustrates the laudable work of the Innocence Project in protecting the rights of the innocent wrongfully convicted of rape (by the way, that organization's board of directors includes such "women haters" as Janet Reno!).

HERE IS THE NEWS ACCOUNT:

Wrongfully convicted Dallas County inmate is exonerated

By MAX B. BAKER

DALLAS — As an attorney cut through the band of Steven Phillips’ leg monitor, his family shouted "Hallelujah!"

His 25-year nightmare of being wrongfully convicted of rape had finally come to an end.

On Tuesday, Phillips, 50, became the most recent Dallas County inmate to be cleared by DNA evidence since 2001. He was convicted in 1982 and 1983 for sexual assault and burglary, but new tests linked the crimes to another convict.

"What a great day!" Phillips said from the stand in a Dallas courtroom as his mother and other relatives looked on and said "Amen" from the audience.

Phillips spent 25 years in prison but was released in December after additional DNA testing last fall revealed that he had been wrongfully convicted.

He was wearing a GPS leg monitor as a condition of his release.

His exoneration was postponed to allow the conviction integrity unit of the Dallas County district attorney’s office to investigate nine other charges Phillips pleaded guilty to so he could avoid a life sentence.

Dallas County state District Judge Lena Levario ruled that Phillips’ record should be cleared. It will now be up to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the state’s highest criminal court, to rule on Levario’s recommendation.

Barry Scheck, an attorney and co-director of the Innocence Project in New York, said Phillips’ case represents one of the "worst cases of tunnel vision" by authorities during a criminal investigation.

He said police seized on Phillips as a suspect and refused to acknowledge mounting evidence that Sidney Alvin Goodyear, a serial sex offender with a record of similar crimes in other states, had actually committed the crimes.

Goodyear died in prison in 1998.

Truth 'slipped away’

Phillips was convicted of rape and burglary in two trials in 1982 and 1983 for charges stemming from the same crime. He was eventually linked to nine similar crimes that took place in spring 1982 in the Dallas area, according to the Innocence Project.

The crimes were committed by someone wearing a hood who forced women — sometimes in large groups — to strip and perform sexual acts at gunpoint.

Although Phillips argued that the victims had misidentified him — and his former wife provided an alibi — the juries convicted him anyway, giving him two 30-year sentences. Afraid of getting a life sentence for the other crimes because he was getting "smashed in court," Phillips said he took a plea bargain in the other cases.

"Once they got it started, they could not turn off the machine," Phillips said. "The truth had already slipped away."

Phillips’ request to have the DNA retested was denied by the Dallas DA’s office in 2001. But current Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins agreed to re-examine the scientific material in 2007.

Subsequent investigations found that Dallas police ignored or even concealed evidence that may have indicated Phillips’ innocence. While Dallas police were investigating the rapes, Goodyear was a suspect in similar crimes in Kansas City, the Innocence Project said.

Going fishing

Members of Phillips’ family were ecstatic to see him finally freed, and they cheered the removal of the ankle monitor — which kept beeping during the short court proceedings.

"I’m ready for him to come home," said Jerry Lively, his 71-year-old mother.

His 25-year-old son, Army Spc. Zachary Phillips, who served two tours in Iraq, met his father for the first time Monday. Steven Phillips went to prison just before Zachary was born.

"I’m just glad he’s out," Zachary Phillips said.

Steven Phillips — who now works at a Christian publishing firm — said he plans to go fishing, go squirrel hunting with his stepfather and spend time with his girlfriend.

He credits his faith for helping him survive the last 25 years.

"I don’t feel any anger. I just don’t have time for that anymore," he said.

New integrity unit to meet Prompted by the growing number of exonerations, the 12-member Texas Criminal Justice Integrity Unit will hold its first meeting today in Austin to investigate and address weaknesses in the criminal justice system.

Why is it needed? Since 1994, more than 30 men have been exonerated in Texas after DNA testing. They have collectively served more than 400 years in prison, according to a watchdog group.

What will be examined? The unit will look at the quality of counsel for poor criminal defendants, ways to improve eyewitness identification, and changes in the standards for the collection, preservation and storage of evidence. The group will also look into the cases of current inmates who may have been wrongfully convicted.

Fixing a broken system Barry Scheck, co-director of the Innocence Project, said leaders in the Texas criminal justice system need "to come up with some reforms that can not only prevent these kind of wrongful prosecutions but enhance the capabilities of law enforcement to find the real people" committing the crimes.

State Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, a member of the integrity unit, said: "These compounding exonerations are clear and convincing evidence that our criminal justice system is broken and it’s time we took the necessary steps, find out why it’s broken, and what we need to do to fix it."

MAX B. BAKER, 817-390-7714

Link: http://www.star-telegram.com/crime_courts/story/811579.html

Sunday, August 10, 2008

When the innocent become victims -- the Dwayne Dail story

The following story is an example of why we have this Web site. We are not interested in protecting rapists, but one innocent man imprisoned for a rape he didn't commit is one too many.

When The Innocent Become Victims: Lives tremendously impacted by egregious injustice

KAREN L. BUNEVictim Specialist Contributor

Imagine going about your life in a normal way and then, without warning, and to your utter disbelief and shock, it is suddenly turned upside down and inside out with consequences that are so horrific you sometimes wonder if you would live to tell about it. That is precisely what happened to Dwayne Allen Dail who was unjustly incarcerated for 18 ½ years for crimes he did not commit.

In 1987, a 12-year-old girl in Goldsboro, North Carolina was raped. The following day a detective was knocking on Mr. Dail's door questioning him about his whereabouts on the day of the rape. Mr. Dail told the detective that he was probably asleep. After Mr. Dail returned from work to have dinner with his mother on May 13, 1988, he learned that he was charged with first-degree burglary, first-degree rape, first-degree sex offense, indecent liberties, and lewd and lascivious actions. "I was absolutely floored," says Mr. Dail, who was 19-years-old at the time. He spent 4 ½ days in jail and was released on $5,000.00 bond.

How was Mr. Dail targeted for blame in this incident? Three weeks after the rape occurred, the mother of the victim observed Dwayne drive by her home in a van and thought she saw him look up at the apartment complex and stare at the window for too long a period of time. As a result, she called the police and provided his name. Weeks later, the victim saw Mr. Dail walking and stated he was the perpetrator. In the child's mind, he became the rapist. Signs of false exposure, surrounding this accusation that pointed to Mr. Dail, included the early morning hour, the young victim, little lighting, and a short interval of exposure.

His trial began March 27, 1989. An offer was made for him to plead no contest to the misdemeanor and be placed on 3 years probation. Mr. Dail declined the offer because he knew he did nothing wrong. The charge of lewd and lascivious act was dropped before the charges went to the jury. He was subsequently convicted of first-degree burglary, first-degree rape, first-degree sex offense, and indecent liberties on March 29, 1989. On March 30, 1989, he received a sentence of two life terms plus 18 years. Mr. Dail was sent to Central Prison on March 31, 1987. "I tried not to cry," says Mr. Dail when he was taken to the first youth prison, Polk Youth Institute, and went through the orientation process. He had not been there 15 months when he was threatened and raped. Not understanding what it was, he signed himself into protective custody where he remained for several months. "It was a lot less threatening but no less terrorizing," says Mr. Dail.

While in prison, Mr. Dail wrote to numerous magazines and newspapers about his situation claiming his innocence. When he had a custody review, he was asked if he wanted to remain in protective custody, which he did, and he had to sign for this request. From Polk, he was sent to Blanch prison and placed in a single cell where he remained for eight months. "I've never been so confined in my life," says Mr. Dail. He continued his letter writing campaign. "I began reading everything I could while I was in there," says Mr. Dail. While at Blanch, he turned 21 years old.

From Blanche he was sent to Eastern Correctional Institute. In comparison to Pope and Blanch, Mr. Dail says, "It was a new building, very soothing, freshly painted, floors waxed, inmates older." He took classes there and became comfortable. "I was so deceived by the appearance of the place. I let my guard down. As a result of that, I was raped and beaten and that was just the beginning of a long road." The word was out among the prison population that Mr. Dail was a child molester and, as a consequence, he was victimized in the correctional system. "I was convicted for raping a 12-year-old Black girl, and everyone in prison knew that," says Mr. Dall.

Throughout his 18 ½ years of incarceration, he was transferred 17 times. Mr. Dail continued his letter writing campaign and wrote the governor daily about his innocence. He had read about DNA and contacted his attorney and requested a DNA test. He also noted he did not want the evidence destroyed. "I knew the power of DNA," says Mr. Dail. In 1995, his family inquired about the evidence and they were told that it had been destroyed in 1994. "I felt then that with the evidence destroyed, my life was actually over," says Mr. Dail.

Mr. Dail was informed that the Center for Project Innocence accepted his case for investigation. In 2004, the Center informed Mr. Dail there was nothing they could do for him because the evidence had been destroyed. They contacted the victim who was not interested in speaking about the matter. "We ran into so many brick walls," says Mr. Dail.

Mr. Dail and his family searched for ways he could possibly make parole. When he did receive a parole hearing, he was informed that in order for him to make parole, he would have to take a sex offender course and express remorse to the parole board. "I just could not do that," said Mr. Dail. He indicated he would have to die, but he would not admit guilt for a crime he did not commit.

One day, when he was taken to the visitation area, there stood a woman, Christine Mumma, an attorney with the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence. Ms. Mumma informed Mr. Dail that evidence had been found in his case. "I fell out of my chair and burst into tears. Evidence meant I was going home, and I knew that," said Mr. Dail. He immediately told Ms. Mumma, "Test anything and everything you can find."

Fortunately for Mr. Dail, the evidence in his case had mistakenly been placed on a shelf where evidence in murder cases is held, and it remained there for 18 years. Consequently, the rape kit had not been destroyed. If the kit had been placed on the shelf where rape evidence was held, it would have already been destroyed. The evidence proved that semen found in the nightgown of the victim excluded Duane as the perpetrator.

The Innocence Center receives 1200 innocence claim inquiries per year with a 95% rejection rate. According to Ms. Mumma, there were several things about Mr. Dail's case that caused them to pursue it - he refused attractive offers that were made to him; he was dragged from the courtroom by his ankles while he continually proclaimed his innocence, and the evidence was weak.

Ms. Mumma explains that preservation, property collection, storage, and notice of destruction are critical elements for working cold cases and cases that involve victims of violent crimes. She emphasizes these areas must be a priority relative to investigation of such cases. "In many of these cases, it is pure luck that results in exoneration," says Ms. Mumma.

In October 2007, Mr. Dail received a pardon from North Carolina Governor Mike Easley. "It's a whole different world than in 1989. You can't imagine how stupid a person feels when you can't pump gas," says Mr. Dail. "A lot has changed in the last 20 years. My son was born seven months after I was locked up, and my mother is a little old lady now. It's difficult to get to know my family again," says Mr. Dail who acknowledges his family was always close. "They suffered immensely," he adds.

Mr. Dail is currently receiving compensation from the state of North Carolina but, most importantly, he is rejoicing in having his freedom and innocence back. "What is most important to me is that I survived. I hope to think I am on my way back. I am blessed," says Mr. Dail.

The victimization he endured was an ordeal that captured, what could have been, many productive years of his life. The dedicated efforts of Christine Mumma, a tenacious attorney who believed in his innocence, greatly assisted with this successful outcome. "I've seen other cases where I believe people were factually innocent and evidence has been destroyed. For me, this case was just a small reward for all the pain we've had on those other cases," says Ms. Mumma. She shares Mr. Dail's happiness and is unrelenting in her support. "I'm with him every step of the way," she says.

Link: http://www.officer.com/web/online/Investigation/When-The-Innocent-Become-Victims/18$42593

Friday, August 8, 2008

Woman falsely cries rape to provide alibi for cheating on her boyfriend

Here is another case where a woman falsely cried rape to cover up an illicit sexual relationship from someone -- in this case, her boyfriend. This is probably the most frequent motivation for rape lies.

Lies of this type that don't identify specific men often are not intended to hurt innocent men; however, such lies are inherently dangerous because sometimes they mushroom out of control, and eventually an innocent man or boy may be targeted as a suspect and even charged and convicted -- sometimes destroying his life beyond repair.

It is for this reason that even lies that don't specifically name individual men or boys need to be punished. If a recantation occurs quickly before a male is targeted as a person of interest, the punishment should not be severe. After all, prompt recantations are to be encouraged at all costs.

HERE IS THE NEWS ACCOUNT:

Investigator's follow-up catches 'victim' out

A Tembisa woman has been arrested for bringing a false rape charge against four men, Gauteng police said on Friday.

Constable Tebogo Sesing said the 20-year-old woman, of Moteong Section, laid the case in July.

"She told the police that she was walking down the street late in the evening when she was approached by four unknown men."

They forcefully took her to an unknown house at Seotlana section. The four men took turns raping her. She managed to run away the following morning while the four men were still sleeping," he said.

However, when a police investigator questioned the woman a second time, she confessed to having brought a false rape case.

She told the police she had been afraid to tell her boyfriend where she had slept, as she had spent the night with another man.

Sesing said the woman was immediately arrested and was being detained at the Tembisa police station holding cells. - Sapa

Link: http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=15&art_id=nw20080808130221568C534397

Another rape lie

Pathetic: police thanking people for tips about a rape that never occurred. What have we come to?

Women are told to be wary and on alert -- told to fear because of a liar. And if some hapless male had been nabbed because of the lie, he might have gone to prison for the rest of his miserable existence.

Absolutely deplorable.

HERE IS THE NEWS STORY:

Vicious rape never occurred

Police say allegations of rape untrue
Posted By Rosalind Raby, Midnorth Monitor
Posted 7 hours ago

An alleged rape did not occur in Espanola last month.

Espanola Police Service Sargeant Steve Edwards said on Wednesday, July 9, the Espanola Police Service received a complaint of a serious sexual assault that occurred in the community of Espanola involving a young female victim being abducted and assaulted by two native males operating an older red pick-up truck. He added it appears the allegation is false.

“As part of the investigation, assistance was requested and provided by the Ontario Provincial Police Behavioural Sciences Section,” said Edwards. “It was determined during an interview of the complainant on July 6th that the abduction did not occur.

“The Espanola Police Service is no longer looking for the two native males or a red truck.

“It is important to get this message out to the community and surrounding areas that the allegation made at this time appears to be false.”

The complainant alleged she was abducted in front of the Espanola Royal Canadian Legion Branch #39 at around 10:30 pm on Tuesday, July 8. According to information released to media at the time, she said after a brief conversation, she was forced into an old beat up red pickup, taken to a remote location and sexually assaulted by men described by police as Native.

The first was described as having dark hair and a dark complexion, the other as in his late 30s, bald and also with a dark complexion.

Police canvassed the neighbourhood and launched an appeal to the media for public assistance the next morning.

Espanola Police Constable Ed Stortz had asked the public to keep an eye for the alleged red tuck, which was also described in great detail as being red with a black box line and no cap on the box, a signle bench seat and with automatic transmission. It was also described as being rusty, beaten up and full of Tim Hortson and McDonalds garbage, as well as hand tools including a hammer and wrench.

A warning was released to women in the small town to be wary and on alert. The Mid-North Monitor was also told at the time by Stortz, “a 13-year veteran of the police service told him he had never seen such a vicious assault in all hit time on the force.”

Edwards said there is a criminal charge pending.

Edwards added the public response was unusually high.

“Numerous tips had been received both directly from citizens and also through Crime Stoppers, this information and assistance was greatly appreciated.”

The investigation is continuing.

With Files from Craig Gilbert
Article ID# 1147363

Link: http://www.thesudburystar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1147363

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Man jailed for a year for rape clears his name after it turns out the claimant is a serial false accuser

A man jailed for a year for allegedly raping a 13-year-old has been cleared after new evidence is uncovered showing that the 13-year-old (who, of course, cannot be named for legal reasons) has made up false rape allegations in the past – in fact, one just months after those made against the man in this case.

Please don't tell me this man was convicted on the basis of nothing more than a swearing contest with a 13-year-old girl.

And why is there not a data bank where such false reports can be readily accessed? No man should serve a minute in jail on the basis of nothing more than the allegation of a teenage serial false accuser.

HERE IS THE NEWS STORY:

Man jailed for sex offence clears his name

1:10pm Wednesday 6th August 2008
By Gareth Dunning

A WESTY man has won a battle against a conviction of indecent assault that has lasted for almost four years.

David Thackeray was found guilty of an attack on a 13-year-old girl in December 2004 – but the Court of Appeal in London has now cleared his name.

Mr Thackeray, aged 46, was jailed for one year following his conviction at Warrington Crown Court and made to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years.

But after a marathon legal battle he has won the right to clear his name.

The Crown Prosecution Service did not offer any evidence after his legal team, led by John Banasko, presented new evidence before the court.

The court heard that the 13-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has made up false rape allegations before – one just months after those made against Mr Thackeray.

An initial appeal was lost in March 2005 but now, three years after his release and more than four since the false allegations, Mr Thackeray is a free man.

He said the whole episode has been a massive strain but was delighted to clear his name.

He added: “I had people coming up to me in the street, shouting at me.

“But my family and neighbours really stood by me.

“I want to thank everyone for their support throughout this whole situation.

“And I want to thank my legal team for all their hard work. Mr Banasko has put in such a lot of hard work.”

The full summary of the Appeal Court hearing, held in June, is due later this month.

Link: http://www.warringtonguardian.co.uk/news/3573611.Man_jailed_for_sex_offence_clears_his_name/

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Another woman charged with making a false rape claim

Woman arrested after claim of rape

Police have charged a woman in connection with a false rape claim made in Westcliff, Essex.

The woman had told police she was in London Road near its junction with Hamlet Court Road on July 11 when she was raped after getting into a car.

But after inquiries, police have charged a 33-year-old woman from Leigh-on-Sea with wasting police time.

Link: http://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/latest-east-anglia-news/Woman-arrested-after-claim-of.4352776.jp

Gut wrenching: Woman destroys physician's life with a false rape claim

Fear.

That is the most prominent emotion a man experiences while he awaits a police investigation to meander to a conclusion over a woman's false rape claim.

Complete and utterly helpless fear. Unspeakable fear. Fear that can't be consoled. And anxiety; and anger; and rage.

But it all stems from a terrible, ferocious fear.

Fear, because the man is not sure if the truth will conquer the lie; he's not sure if he will have his liberty snatched from him and whether he will be tossed into an inhumane prison cell where the innocent don't belong and where awful things happen to men who are not hardened criminals. The truth should conquer the lie, of course, because he knows he didn't rape anyone. But many men have been wrongly convicted for false rape claims when, indeed, the truth should have conquered the lie.

If one needs any proof that men can be and often are destroyed by a false rape claim, he or she need only read the story below -- another in a cavalcade of news stories about false rape claims. False rape claims not only hurt men and boys as much as anything possibly could (and, yes, if given the terrible choice they'd prefer to be raped themselves rather than live through this). Such lies also destroy families, careers, and everything a man holds dear. Nothing is normal, nothing is right after a false rape claim. Maybe someday, after a long, long time has passed. Maybe. But probably never like it would have been; never like it should have been.

And the lying woman suffers not in the least. Her anonymity is guarded by law or by news media agreement, and she is able to rest secure that she made the life of some hapless male pure, unadulterated hell because she was able to have the police and often the media work her will to hurt him. Badly.

In short, she was able to use his gender as a sword to destroy him.

And the most horrifying aspect of it all? It could happen to almost any innocent man or teenage boy.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is all you need to know to understand that there is something terribly, terribly wrong with our false rape culture.

HERE IS THE STORY:

Trainee GP's 'hell' over false rape allegation

A trainee GP has told of his "year of hell" after an allegation of rape made against him by a patient was thrown out.

By Nick Britten Last Updated: 6:15PM BST 04 Aug 2008

Dr Steven Ashenford said he had "lost everything", including his marriage and home, after the false claim.

He has been suspended by the GMC and said the ordeal had put him off working as a doctor forever. He said he was desperate now to "just get my life back on track".

Dr Ashenford, 33, was working at the Sutton Hill medical practice in Telford, Shrops, when he was arrested last October after the female patient made the allegation.

He said: "The police were in the house searching it. My belongings were taken away, my computer and my diary. I felt really violated."

He admitted he had "crossed the boundary" in terms of his personal relationship with the woman after he gave her his telephone numbers when she gave him advice about schooling for his three-year-old daughter, who has severe development problems.

But he said they never had a physical relationship and he was "shaken to the core" when officers turned up at his home.

He said: "In hindsight I should not have crossed that boundary and I guess she might have got the wrong impression. I was suffering from depression at the time and that affected my thinking.
"I accept I shouldn't have done it but I never expected anything like this. I thought I'd be taken to one side and told to sort it out.

"It was 8am and I was still in my pyjamas when the police turned up. They took me away and questioned me, although by the second time I was questioned I got the feeling they knew there wasn't much in it.

"But the waiting has been horrendous, it's been a year of worsening fear.

"I lost my old house. I felt like I was being watched all they time. You know you haven't done anything but I was scared to go out."

A month after the allegation was made, Dr Ashenford was given an 18-month suspension by the GMC, which runs until next May.

Officials will review the suspension in the light of the charges being dropped, but it is understood it covers his professional relationship with other patients, not just the allegation of rape.

In the last year, his contract with the medical practice has run out, leaving him without a job.

He has moved back to Aberdeen to live with his parents, while his former wife, who he said had been "hurt a lot" by the allegation, has remained in Telford.

He said he was "over the moon" at the allegations had been dropped but said he had paid a heavy price, adding: "It's torn my family apart. There was never any truth in it but you're never sure how it's going to end.

"Now, for my daughter's sake, I've got to just get my life back on track. Hopefully now we can all move on."

He now hopes to move into palliative care and work in a hospice.

West Mercia police confirmed Dr Ashenford will not face criminal charges, while Sutton Hill Medical Practice said it had "no comment whatsoever".

A spokesman for the GMC said it could not comment on individual cases.

Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2499573/Trainee-GPs-hell-over-false-rape-allegation.html