Monday, March 2, 2009

Girl lied about 'sex assault' out of loyalty to her family

In his landmark 1994 study on false rape claims, Prof. Eugene Kanin explained that a significant percentage of false rape claims stem from revenge. Before reading the news story below, it is well to keep Kanin's words in mind: "Because the suspect is always identified, the false allegations [motivated by revenge] potentially pose the greatest danger for a miscarriage of justice."

The news story:

Girl lied about 'sex assault' out of loyalty to her family

A MAN falsely accused of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl had his conviction quashed yesterday.

The girl admitted making up the allegation and said it was done out of "revenge and misplaced loyalty to my family" because of a dispute over land.

The Court of Criminal Appeal (CCA) heard yesterday the DPP was not challenging the man's appeal against conviction, and the court said, on that basis, it would quash the conviction

In 1999 the man, from the west of Ireland and now in his mid-30s, received a suspended four-year prison sentence at Galway Circuit Court. He had been found guilty of sexually assaulting and of assaulting the girl near her home in Co Galway in January 1997.

He had vehemently denied the charges.

The girl, whose family were in dispute with the family of the man over land, claimed he had sexually assaulted her, but later said she wanted to tell the truth, so his name could be cleared.

In 2006 the girl, who is now in her 20s and resides outside of the country, made statements to the gardai withdrawing her complaints against the man.

The girl also admitted that her original complaints were fabricated and false in their entirety.


She told gardai that none of the allegations against the man were true and that her motivation for making them was "revenge and misplaced loyalty to my family".

She also admitted that she had never come into contact with the man, nor had any conversations with him at any stage in his life, and that she was never coerced or coached by anyone.

The court yesterday had the man's application to have his conviction declared a miscarriage of justice adjourned to next month's list to fix dates.