Friday, April 17, 2009

Salustia Ogarrio-Munoz admits rape lie that caused 'an immense amount of public concern,' but she won't go to jail

COMMENT: In the news story below this comment, a woman lied that she was raped to wreak vengeance on two men she claims cheated her in a sales transaction . The lie "prompted a huge police response and an immense amount of public concern." But "investigators found many holes in Ogarrio-Munoz's story and eventually she recanted." The police said: "Ms. Ogarrio-Munoz did more than attempt to use law enforcement for her own vengeful purposes. She also damaged the credibility of a system designed to investigate violent sexual assault and to protect rape victims."

And despite the fact that her lie was targeted at two specific men, the story doesn't mention whether the men were arrested. It is at least likely they were detained for questioning.

The prosecutor said that phony rape reports are a serious issue because -- can you guess? "It can have a chilling effect on victims who are concerned they may not be taken seriously by law enforcement," he said.

Excuse me? What about the actual victims of this crime -- men and boys falsely accused of rape? Even when males are not specifically named by the false accuser, police often target, and sometimes arrest men and boys who match the description of the imaginary rapist. Some of these men and boys are even convicted. Although false reporting of rape is a crime whose victims are almost exclusively male, it has become so embroiled in the feminist sexual assault milieu that discussing it as a potentially significant problem for men and boys is verboten because such view does not conform to the feminist rape metanarrative.

HERE IS THE NEWS STORY:

Santa Cruz woman who cried rape pleads guilty to filing false police report

By Jennifer Squires - Sentinel Staff Writer

Posted: 04/16/2009 06:08:48 PM PDT

SANTA CRUZ - A woman who last summer told police she'd been kidnapped, robbed and raped while shopping at the Ross store on River Street pleaded guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor charge of falsely reporting a criminal offense and will repay Santa Cruz police for the cost of the investigation, the District Attorney's Office reported.

Salustia Ogarrio-Munoz, 36, of Santa Cruz will also perform 100 hours of community service, but will not serve any jail time, Judge Ariadne Symons ruled.

Filing charges against someone for making up a crime is rare, prosecutor Trevor Barna said. In this instance, the DA's Office chose to prosecute Ogarrio-Munoz to prevent future abuse and to protect the integrity of the procedures put in place to combat actual sex crimes.

Barna said phony rape reports are a serious issue.

"It can have a chilling effect on victims who are concerned they may not be taken seriously by law enforcement," he said.

Ogarrio-Munoz called police in June and told a harrowing tale. She said she had been taken from the store at gunpoint, forced into her car and driven around the county for hours before she was locked in a room in a house and raped. The men also robbed her before dropping her off the next day near the intersection of highways 1 and 9, not far from where she said the kidnapping started.

The report prompted a huge police response and an immense amount of public concern.

However, investigators found many holes in Ogarrio-Munoz's story and eventually she recanted.

In reality, she had been duped by two men, who sold her a painted metal bar that she believed was solid gold. There was no kidnapping or rape.

"Ms. Ogarrio-Munoz did more than attempt to use law enforcement for her own vengeful purposes," Barna said. "She also damaged the credibility of a system designed to investigate violent sexual assault and to protect rape victims."

No one was ever prosecuted for scamming Ogarrio-Munoz.

Ogarrio-Munoz was ordered to pay Santa Cruz Police more than $3,000 in restitution, which covers 25 hours of officer time and some of the investigation techniques used in the case, including the sexual assault examination. Barna said she has paid about $800 of that debt.

Link: http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_12159860#article_comments