Thursday, January 29, 2009

Jail for woman who owned up to false rape allegations

"A MOTHER who claimed she was the victim of a brutal rape, sparking a manhunt involving up to 40 police officers, has been jailed after admitting she made up the allegations."

"Emma Louise Goodwin, 25, was sentenced to eight months in prison after a court heard the claim was a cry for help when she feared her relationship with her boyfriend might be over."

So to try to fix what appears to be a broken relationship, you make up a story about being raped? This seems like an idea doomed to failure from the start. Unfortunately, someone unrelated to either Ms. Goodwin or her boyfriend was caught up in the fabrication.

"Goodwin provided an e-fit of the suspect, leading to the arrest of an innocent man who was held in custody overnight and released on bail."

Interestingly, the man who was arrested was not named. And to his good fortune, he was released the next morning. However, what terror did this man endure during the night, wondering why he had been arrested for something he did not do? This, sadly, is one of the things that dispassionate outsiders bother to talk about when contemplating the subject of false rape -- the mental and emotional toil that the falsely accused must suffer, not knowing if the truth will prevail.

The judge in the case, James Barry, while acknowledging the less-than-ideal life of the accuser, made the following statement:

"Everyone must know that this sort of sabotage of the justice system, the squandering of public resources and endangering the liberty of an innocent man results in imprisonment."

While 8 months may seem like a light sentence, owing the the quick recantation by the accuser, its seems an appropriate and fitting sentence.

The true victims, in this case, are an innocent man, and an equally innocent 7 year old girl, Ms. Goodwin's daughter.