Thursday, July 16, 2009

Retaliatory rape charges dropped -- man's reputation likely destroyed

In the news story below, rape charges were dropped against a man who claimed that his accuser, an 11-year-old girl, falsely made the allegation in order to retaliate against him. We are not reprinting the man's name -- it's been redacted here -- because enough damage has been done to him. In the news story, no reason is given why the charges were dropped, and the details regarding the man's defense that the charges were retaliatory are not provided. Of course, the girl's name is not printed by the news source -- her pristine reputation is intact, I am sure we are all happy to know.

You see, this is how it works: an eleven-year-old girl can falsely cry "rape" and cause a respectable adult male -- including a man with a loving family, close friends, a good job and bright future -- to be deprived of his liberty and be forced to endure months of anxiety of years and years of prison time. Even if the charges are dropped, the man is forever tainted as a potential rapist. Any time a prospective employer or anyone else wants to find out about him, all they need do is "Google" his name and they will see the horrid allegation. His good name is, for all practical purposes, destroyed because unlike the allegation of any other serious crime, a rape allegation is one that sticks -- and that's because it is often impossible to disprove a rape claim beyond any scintilla of doubt. That's just the nature of the claim.

And that is why it is a moral imperative that men and boys accused of rape need anonymity until convicted. Rape is different than any other serious crime. Our present system is not fair, and it's not just. But the reality is that because it's "just" men, it is unlikely to change any time soon, unless we start making noise about it.

Rape charges withdrawn against Greene resident

WAYNESBURG - A Greene County man who was charged with numerous sex-related counts in May stemming from allegations that he raped an 11-year-old girl had all the charges filed against him withdrawn during his preliminary hearing on Monday.

[The man], 35, of Waynesburg was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Lou Dayich on May 27 on six felony counts of rape, three felony counts each of statutory sexual assault and aggravated indecent assault, and three misdemeanor counts each of indecent assault and corruption of minors.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Dayich's office, the charges were initially filed after state police were called on Feb. 14 to investigate a report of an alleged sexual assault, in which an 11-year-old girl told authorities that [the man] had assaulted her on several occasions.

[The man] denied any wrongdoing and told police that the allegations against him were false and the girl was retaliating against him for various reasons, the complaint states.

He was released on $10, 000 unsecured bail following his arraignment.

During his preliminary hearing Monday before Magisterial District Judge Glenn Bates, however, all the charges filed against [him] were dropped after the commonwealth withdrew the charges, according to a representative from Bates' office.

As of press time, neither Bates' office nor the Greene County District Attorney's office, which prosecuted the case, provided details regarding why the charges were withdrawn.