Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Eastern Michigan University student recants frathouse rape allegations

Comment: The young woman in the following news story says she may have consented, but the police are still investigating if her level of intoxication might have negated valid consent.

Pardon me, but who would know better than the subject? If she says she gave consent, how on earth will law enforcement personnel be able to say she couldn't?

At least in this case, the young woman is taking responsibility for the fact that she was drinking (voluntarily); and when she leveled the claim, it was because she couldn't remember. (Of course, if she couldn't remember, how can she state unequivocally that she was raped? )

This is a perfect example of a case that ought to be dropped because proceeding to trial on these facts would be guesswork. Should a young man's liberty, his entire life, be put at risk on a D.A.'s gamble to try to notch another conviction -- as if this were a game of Russian Roulette?

In addition, if the individual she had sex with does turn out to be a juvenile, will she be charged with statutory rape?

Alcohol a factor in false rape charge

An 18-year-old woman who told police she was raped during a fraternity party last week is changing her story as her memory returns, and is now saying she may have consented to the sex, police said this morning.

Ypsilanti Police Lt. Craig Annas said the woman has admitted she was intoxicated when she went into a bathroom at the Kappa Phi Alpha house in the 100 block of North Normal Street and found four men smoking marijuana inside.

Annas said the woman's memory is returning now, and she will be interviewed again today.

He said that she now remembers dancing with several of the men inside, including one with whom she had earlier been "affectionate." Two of the men have told police similar stories, and said they left the room when the woman and one of the four began to have sex.

Annas said police talked over the phone with that male, and plan to interview him today.

But Annas said that person is apparently not an Eastern Michigan University student, and may turn out to be a juvenile.

Annas said the incident could still be criminal, if Washtenaw County prosecutors determine the woman was too intoxicated to give legal consent to have sex. Eastern Michigan University has suspended the fraternity during the investigation.