Comment: An innocent man was jailed for 24 hours, his clothes taken from him, and he was subjected to a full body search -- all because his neighbor falsely accused him of rape. The charges were not cleared up for one month.
The woman has been sentenced to nine months in prison for her lie.
For what other allegation could one citizen so easily deprive another citizen of his liberty and subject him to untold anxieties of not knowing if anyone will ever believe the truth? Of not knowing if his reputation might be forever destroyed because of a woman's lie? Of no knowing if he might serve years and years in prison?
When it comes to rape accusations, we treat the presumed innocent far too harshly -- because too many of the presumed innocent turn out to be factually innocent.
Innocent man's rape charge ordeal
February 26, 2009
A woman who falsely claimed she was raped, resulting in an innocent man being subjected to a humiliating police body search and a month of worry, has been jailed for nine months.
Mary-Jane Entwisle of Iveagh Court, a block of flats in in Harmans Water, Bracknell, claimed her neighbour, David Elsdon, raped her on September 18 last year.
Mr Elsdon was arrested and held for 24 hours. His clothes were taken away and he was given a paper suit to wear before police gave him a full body search.
It was almost a month later that police realised the allegation was false and withdrew charges against Mr Elsdon.
On Friday, February 20, at Reading Crown Court, Judge Anthony King sentenced Entwisle to nine months in prison saying: “You falsely accused a wholly innocent man of the grave crime of rape.
“I remain totally mystified as to why you did it.”
For more on this story don't miss this week's Bracknell Forest Standard