Friday, January 23, 2009

Woman makes detailed false rape claim -- for reasons known only to her

Woman fined for false rape claim

A 41-year-old woman who claimed she was raped in a carpark in Mandurah more than six months ago pleaded guilty in the Mandurah Magistrates Court on Monday to creating a false belief.

Sharon Theresa Moon told police she had been sexually assaulted about 9pm on June 1 this year.

But the incident never happened.

Police prosecutor sergeant Jim Scott said Moon reported hearing footsteps behind her as she walked to her car near the foreshore on the Foundation Day long weekend.

Moon told police an unknown male pinned her against her car while trying to kiss her before he straddled her on the ground.

She said the man raped her and bit her on the shoulder before fleeing the scene.

The next day Moon attended a Bunbury hospital where she underwent tests and had x-rays but it was not until 10 days later that she reported the incident to police.

On June 19 she gave a detailed, nine-page statement to police describing the alleged events.

Investigations by Peel detectives found inconsistencies in Moon’s version of events.

Internet activity and text messages sent by Moon at the time of the alleged offence placed her in a different area than where she said she had been.

Further investigations revealed Moon had been communicating with a man on an internet dating site and she had driven from her home in Boyanup that evening to spend the night with him.

The court heard the pair met at a Mandurah address and drank alcohol before engaging in sexual intercourse.

Counsel for Moon said his client had no memory of the events of the night and was distraught about what she had done.

The court heard more than 58 police hours went into investigating the claim at a cost of $1877.30.

An application by Moon’s lawyer for a spent conviction was dismissed by Magistrate Terence McIntyre who said Moon could provide no valid explanation as to why she filed a false complaint.

Mr McIntyre said Moon had made “extremely serious and detailed allegations” that were “utter fantasy”.

Moon was ultimately fined $1250 plus costs and must pay compensation of $1877.30.