Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Teenager escapes jail after false rape claim

"On rare occasions where false rape allegations are made, it wastes not only the police's time, but causes untold grief for the accused, having the potential to ruin their reputation forever. In these instances we will seek to prosecute those who make false claims, as these people undermine the courage of real victims who seek justice."

The above quote was from the following article:

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kol08/article/default.asp?article_id=47303

A teenager who falsely accused a man of dragging her into his home and raping her has been told she has escaped jail because of her age.

The 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was instead given a 12-month referral order which will include counselling sessions to stop her reoffending.

The chair of the bench at Maidstone Magistrates told the girl, who pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice, she would have been sent to jail had she been 18.The court heard how the girl had concocted the story of rape after having consensual sex with the young man she accused while she had a boyfriend.

She told the court she did so because she was "panicking so much, which turned to confusion."
The prosecution read out a victim statement from the man she accused.

It said: "This has really affected my life. People look at me like a rapist. That sort of accusation sticks."

A police spokesman said the allegation had been one of a number of recent cases in Maidstone and they were sending out the message that it must stop.

Detective Inspector Susie Harper comments: "Rape is a very serious offence which can have a huge impact on the life of the victim.

"It often takes considerable bravery for a rape victim to come forward to report the crime and we always sensitively and thoroughly investigate all reported rape allegations.

"On rare occasions where false rape allegations are made, it wastes not only the police's time, but causes untold grief for the accused, having the potential to ruin their reputation forever. In these instances we will seek to prosecute those who make false claims, as these people undermine the courage of real victims who seek justice."