Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Woman admits to false report on sexual assault

Get the subtitle of the report. "Police considering charges." Considering? We now have people who break the law in this country and the police only 'consider' pressing charges?

Police considering charges

A woman who reported to police that she had been the victim of a sexual assault in her Southeast Waynesboro home on Monday is now admitting that she made the story up.

The woman, whose name has not been released by Waynesboro Police, could face charges for filing a false police report.

The admission came during an interview with police investigators this morning, Waynesboro Police Sgt. Kelly Walker said.

“There were some inconsistencies in her story and some things that she was putting forward that could not be corroborated in any way,” Walker told AugustaFreePress.com.

Police combed the immediate area around the woman’s home between the Waynesboro Country Club on Meadowbrook Avenue and Lyndhurst Road in the hours after the 4:30 p.m. Monday report to police. The report was quite specific, describing the assailant as a 6-foot tall white man with dark hair, dark eyes and wearing khakis and a white T-shirt. The report included the detail that the suspect had fled the scene of the alleged crime in a green 2002 Ford Explorer.

A story in Tuesday’s News Virginian reported that police stopped a vehicle matching that description and conducted interviews with the vehicle’s occupants. Walker told AugustaFreePress.com today of another part to the backstory to the incident.

“We had gotten some calls during the day about some vacuum-cleaner salesmen. Because of that happenstance, we began putting some of that together with this case,” Walker said.

“Four or five men” associated with the vacuum-cleaner sales team were brought in for questioning, Walker said.

None of the men brought in for questioning met the physical description of the suspect, “but we didn’t know that until we rounded them all up, obviously,” Walker said.

Tips called into police in the days following the alleged assault included questions from people claiming to know the accuser that raised issues for investigators concerning the veracity of her story, according to Walker.

“The questions started to build. It wasn’t something immediate. It just built over time,” Walker said.

Walker could not give a time frame on when a decision on possible false-report charges could be made.

“We look at the state of mind of the person making the report. The histories - medical, mental health, whatever. In the end we try to make a decision that serves justice and also accounts for the resources that the city poured into the accusation,” Walker said.

“The nature of the alleged crime, the location, all of that contributed to an atmosphere of fear. I can tell you that I received calls from several citizens about, What should we do, Should we go about our daily routines, Should we lock our doors? It did raise a sense of angst in the community. That has to be considered as well,” Walker said.

Link:
http://augustafreepress.com/2009/12/10/woman-admits-to-false-report-on-sexual-assault/

Second Story (Please note the comments interspersed)

STAUNTON — Investigations into two alleged rapes this week that reportedly occurred in Waynesboro and Staunton have been closed as unfounded, police departments in those cities said Thursday.

Some who comment on this blog equate the "unfounded" with the false category. This is an example of how that stat is skewed. This is a FALSE accusation, not just an unfounded accusation. We are reasonably certain it is false, just as we would be reasonably certain a rape occurred when a man is convicted in the face of clear evidence. She lied about the whole thing. But this is now classified merely as "unfounded." What percentage of those that are false end up classified this way? Likely, we will never know.

On Tuesday, a 36-year-old Waynesboro woman told police she was raped during a break-in at her home located between Lyndhurst Road and the Waynesboro Country Club. On Thursday morning, Sgt. Kelly Walker of the Waynesboro Police Department said the woman admitted she lied about the attack after police questioned her about inconsistencies in her story. Walker said a charge of making a false report is pending against the unidentified woman.

In Staunton, police received a report of an alleged rape Wednesday at a 23-year-old woman's residence on Greenville Avenue. On Thursday, Capt. Leslie Miller of the Staunton Police Department said the case also was closed as unfounded. No charges were filed against the woman who reported the rape.

A second false report, a second classified as "unfounded" instead of false, and again, we see the person filing the false report is allowed to walk away with absolutely no punishment.

Walker said false reports are a waste of police resources, and said bogus statements by alleged victims tend to put an unneeded fear in the public, especially in neighborhoods where crime is typically low such as the area where the alleged rape took place Tuesday.

"It's not a crime-prone neighborhood at all," Walker said.

False rape reports in general, Walker said, can be detrimental down the road when an actual rape has occurred, and he said victims may be reluctant to step forward in the future for fear of not being believed. Regardless, Walker said the Waynesboro Police Department will pursue a rape allegation with fervor.

Ok, I must admit, I'm getting so tired of hearing how an FRA will affect some hypothetical, possible, imaginary rape victim down the road. What about those who are falsely accused? Can we maybe focus on the actual victim of the crime that has been committed?
"It doesn't matter on our end," Walker said. "When we receive a rape report, we go at it full bore."

Miller said police never go into a rape investigation with preconceived notions and said they strive to remain objective. She said investigators are careful not me make rash decisions during such an investigation.

But wait a minute, I keep hearing that law enforcement doesn't take rape reports seriously, and that they tend to have their minds made up before they even start investigating. You mean the people who keep saying that aren't telling the truth? They wouldn't happen to be making an emotive issue out of it, you know, to keep the hysteria running, would they?
"If you have a real incident, it's not something you want to rush through. It's very sensitive and it can be very embarrassing," she said. "It's a serious crime."

And so is falsely accusing someone of rape, Sgt. Walker. And yet, in one of those above, the criminal was allowed to walk away without even being charged. So tell me exactly how it is that your department takes crime seriously? The citizens of your area should be asking some very uncomfortable questions of their police.


Link: http://www.newsleader.com/article/20091211/NEWS01/912110335



UPDATE:

She has been charged with filing a false report. And she is now named.

WAYNESBORO — The Waynesboro Police Department announced this morning that a woman has been charged with making a bogus rape report.

Wendy M. Earney, 36, of Waynesboro is charged with knowingly making a false police report.

Police said Earney reported Dec. 8 that she was raped during a break-in at her home located between Lyndhurst Road and the Waynesboro Country Club.

Last week, Waynesboro police Sgt. Kelly Walker said the rape was listed as unfounded after a number of inconsistencies in Earney’s story were uncovered.

Earney was arrested Wednesday on the misdemeanor charge. She is free on a personal recognizance bond.

Link:
http://www.newsleader.com/article/20091217/NEWS01/91217009/1002/Waynesboro+woman+charged+in+false+rape+report