Monday, April 13, 2009

Jacqueline Owens could have been sentenced to two years but was granted immediate parole for false rape report

Comment: Jacqueline Owens could have received two years for her rape lie but instead was immediately paroled. We previously reported on Ms. Owens here and here. She recently pleaded guilty in Crawford County, Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas to charges she falsely claimed she was raped. Before her lie was uncovered, the woman's claims led police to charge an ex-boyfriend with rape and unlawful restraint.

At sentencing she said "I'm very sorry for what I did," but then the newspaper goes on to quote someone by the name of Rowden (there is a defense attorney in Meadville, Pennsylvania named Rowden) who continued to maintain that, in fact, she had been raped, but it wasn't a burglary-rape, "it was more an acquaintance rape."

Excuse me? Even when a woman pleads guilty to making to a false rape charge, the man she falsely accused is still called a rapist.

Lest anyone doubt the stigma that remains for the man falsely accused (whose identity is easily discerned), look at this comment under the story by some anonymous reader:

"And how do you know that 'this guy' is innocent of anything ? Did you read the info and understand that rape was involved...just not burglary? The issue was that she claimed to be burglarized not that she was not raped. I'm betting that he is that neighbor or co-worker that beats his kids, doesn't pay his taxes and sucks up our tax dollars with his social security 'disability' and is sitting there laughing as you people who are defending him and his rights. Try talking to someone who works as a probabtion officer or as a case- worker and you'll soon discover that things are not always as they seem to be."

There you have it. If you ever want to know how strong is the stigma of a rape claim -- even after charges are dropped and a woman pleads guilty to making a false police report -- just reread that comment. The claim will trail the accused man like a ghost for the rest of his life. It is virtually impossible for a man to completely "clear" himself of an "acquaintance" rape claim. There will always be doubts in the minds of some people that he "must" have done "something." For everyone the man meets for the rest of his life, he'll probably be wondering, "Does this person know I'm the one Jacqueline Owens accused?" And that is not fair, by any measure.

HERE IS THE NEWS STORY:

Immediate parole for woman who made false rape charge

A Meadville woman facing a maximum of two years in jail and a $5,000 fine was granted an immediate parole and ordered to pay a $150 fine Monday after pleading guilty to a charge of making a false report to law enforcement.

“I’m very sorry for what I did,” Jacqueline Owens, 21, of 473 Arch St., told Judge Anthony Vardaro before he handed down the sentence during an afternoon session in Crawford County Court of Common Pleas. “All I’m trying to do is make my life better.”

Vernon Township Police Department filed charges against Owens in February, alleging she lied to authorities when she claimed she was raped by someone she knew at a township location in January. As part of a plea bargain with the Crawford County District Attorney’s office, charges of false alarms to public safety agencies and disorderly conduct were withdrawn.

“She had been raped,” Rowden explained to the judge before the sentencing took place. “When she reported it, she reported it as burglary-rape,” he continued. “It was more acquaintance rape. She had invited him in.”

Link: http://www.meadvilletribune.com/local/local_story_096173715.html