Friday, October 30, 2009

Criminal law expert says false rape problem is real, and that there are a significant number of false claims

Prof. Samuel Pillsbury, Loyola Law School, has published a new book, and here is an excerpt:

"In the 1970s and 80s, rape reformers argued that the percentage of false claims was very low and certainly no higher than other crimes of violence. . . . . Reformers argued that the disincentives to claiming rape, both legal and cultural, were so great that few if any women would make a false claim.

"More recent studies suggest that the problems of false claims -- at least at the initial investigation stage -- is real. There are a significant number of claims that, on police investigation, appear to be false. Some of these claims may be made to avoid bad personal consequences from consensual sexual activity. Fortunately, the great majority of such claims never result in formal criminal charges."

Samuel H. Pillsbury, How Criminal Law Works: A Conceptual and Practical Guide, Pages 272-73 (2009).