Saturday, September 26, 2009

Hofstra false rape case: Justice not served by failing to charge the false accuser

This is a follow-up to my post from yesterday, The real lesson of Hofstra: We can't empower our daughters by pretending they are powerless. The events of late Friday, when the Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice decided not to charge Danmel Ndonye with a crime, only underscored my point.

There is much utility in having a high profile false rape accuser sign off on a sworn statement admitting she falsely accused young men of rape. The cackling false rape "denialists" will have a difficult time spinning the clear words of this document. And even if Ndonye had been charged, there was no guarantee of a conviction, and even less of a more substantial punishment than she voluntarily agreed to.

But ultimately that is no substitute for a criminal charge. Criminals get charged with crimes. Powerless, troubled, angelic-like beings do not. Ndonye committed a very serious crime that generally isn't treated very seriously for the reasons I discussed yesterday, and this high-profile case provided a perfect opportunity to send a powerful message that the criminal justice system does not favor one class of victims, rape victims, over another, false rape claim victims. Bronx attorney Victor Daly-Rivera, who represents one of the young false rape claim victims here, said it best: "We feel that the law was broken and she should be made to answer for that," Daly-Rivera said. "People are prosecuted all the time for filing false insurance claims and things like that . . . When you compare that to accusing four men of rape, it sort of pales by comparison." The step-mother of one of the young men agreed: "He still gets flashbacks," she said. "It's not fair. She has to pay for that. All the family got hurt because of her."

Rice issued a statement justifying her decision not to charge Ndoyne with a crime: "There exists no perfect solution to this case, only our best attempt at holding her accountable while encouraging real victims to come forward and accusers to tell the truth, so that we can avoid incarcerating an innocent person for even one minute."

That is code-speak for the following: "We mustn't do anything to interfere with the real war, the war on rape. Victims of false rape claims be damned." Rice threw four innocent young minority men under the bus in the interest of appeasing the politicized sexual grievance industry.

And Rice's timing was perfect, Simple Justice explained: "Timing is key to the success of this maneuver. By Monday, when people get back to paying attention to the news, this will be an old story. The Saturday paper is the least read paper of the week. Over the weekend, nobody will know. By Monday, nobody will care."

Rice isn't the only culprit here. The lenient statutory laws of New York that treat this sort of misconduct as practically non-criminal are also the problem. As Ellis Hennican said: "Even if the young woman were charged, Rice added, state law only allows for a misdemeanor. Is New York law really that weak? A person can accuse another of a horrible felony without facing any serious charge? Maybe that's where this discussion should turn next."

The bottom line about Rice's statement? Simple Justice sums it up: "It does . . . have a strong connection to encouraging false accusations, since the conditions of counseling and community services offer little disincentive to not take the risk." As I explained yesterday, we live not in a rape culture but in a false rape culture "where it is far more important to protect our daughters than our sons, so even far-fetched allegations of rape, even the possibility of rape, are not endured for one moment, but false rape claims that destroy our sons are not merely tolerated, they are tacitly encouraged."

But, hey, at least The New York Times ran an AP story that not only printed the false accuser's name but explained how it is pronouced (en-DAHN'-yeh). Now if only the Times would explain how an entire class of victims continually are forced to watch as the persons who harmed them walk away unpunished, well, maybe then the Times would be making a worthwhile contribution to issues related to gender crimes instead of being just a mouthpiece for misandrists.