Saturday, February 28, 2009
Two men were jailed for eight months on a false rape charge based on nothing more than the false report of one woman. Try to imagine the anxiety of not knowing if anyone would believe the truth -- not knowing if they would be imprisoned for decades. There was no other evidence supporting the accuser's story. Finally, police determined that, in fact, she was sending text messages to friends at the time she was allegedly raped. The claim was a lie. The story does not indicate why the investigation took so long.
The two men have been publicly humiliated because their names were published while she retained her anonymity. Her name still is not reported even now. Why? What salutary journalistic policy commends this vile double-standard -- destroy the lives of men accused by one woman of a sex crime by reporting their names, but do not dare to report the name of the woman even after her claim is revealed to have been false? Are not newspapers in the business of airing the truth? Or does this not apply in the politicized arena of alleged sexual assault? And please don't tell me it's because you wait to see if the police charge her. That is inane. You constantly report on all manner of alleged wrongdoing, airing the full story including the names of the wrongdoers, before police charge the wrongdoer. That's because it's news. No, this policy is a double standard of the sexual assault milieu, an area rife with double standards. http://falserapesociety.blogspot.com/2008/08/rape-double-standards-101.html
One of the men left his two-year-old son in the care of his sister while he was falsely jailed. The man said he is not angry, but his life has been marred, perhaps forever. "I've lost practically everything," he said. "I'm just glad I got to keep him."
Every claim of rape needs to be taken seriously and investigated with all due diligence. Why did this take so long? Why do we allow the presumed innocent to languish in jail for months on a "he said-she said" allegation where there is no other evidence? Why do we allow their names to be splashed all over the news based on one person's say-so?
Following the encounter at issue and the woman's accusation, either she committed a crime (false reporting) or they did (rape). Why are they alone jailed when there were competing allegations? Why is her allegation (and only hers) presumed to be true despite the purported presumption of innocence? And now that we know who committed the crime, why are we still treating her as if she's a "victim"?
In a bow to political correctness, we, as a society, have handed far too much power to rape accusers. As shown repeatedly on this Web site, and as confirmed in every serious study ever conducted on the subject, false rape claims are a significant problem. We must not allow them to use the power of the state to destroy presumed innocent men and boys -- many of whom turn out to be factually innocent -- prior to a conviction.
HERE IS THE NEWS STORY:
Cell phone records lead to dismissal of rape charges
By Greg Orear
Tue Feb 24, 2009, 01:12 PM CST
KIRKSVILLE — After spending the last eight months in jail accused of a crime he didn’t commit, Tim Rogers said he isn’t angry, even if he did miss what should have been a memorable moment.
“I’ve got a two-year-old boy that my sister raised for me,” Rogers said. “I missed out on his first words ... that is something that can never be replaced.”
Rogers and a friend, Glen Johnson, were arrested July 1 on rape charges based on the accusation of one woman, whom Rogers said he had just met June 12. She told police the men met her at a Kirksville gas station, drove her out to a gravel road outside of the city limits, and raped her.
Despite the lack of any physical or medical evidence, witnesses, or other corroborating evidence, the two men, who had never been convicted of a felony, were arrested within days. With cash-only bonds of $150,000 and $100,000 respectively, Rogers and Johnson remained in custody until Monday, when the charges were dropped by the State Attorney’s General office.
According to Johnson’s attorney, Ed Campbell, the state dropped the charges after releasing cell phone records that contradicted the accuser’s testimony.
“Bottom line is there was finally evidence produced to reflect she was actually text messaging people when she claimed she was being raped,” Campbell said.
Public defender Kevin Locke, who represented Rogers, said there were numerous inconsistencies in this case.
“Working with Ed Campbell’s office, we were able to develop some evidence that created several doubts about her claims,” Locke said. “From all appearances, she lied about this, and it took us this long to prove it.”
Campbell called it a very unfortunate situation.
“There needs to be something done that there is some physical evidence required to hold a person in jail,” he said. “For these guys to sit in jail for the amount of time they sat in jail with the evidence that was out there, is absolutely ludicrous.”
Adair County Prosecutor Mark Williams quickly turned the case over to the Attorney General’s office due to assistant prosecutor’s Kristin Coffman defense of Rogers on a previous rape charge in 2000, for which he was acquitted. However, the charges were still filed by an Adair County grand jury in August 2008.
“That’s the whole problem with the grand jury,” Campbell said. “They only hear one side of the story, her side. In my opinion, this is a terrible miscarriage of justice and it’s a terrible price these two had to pay.”
During his first night of freedom since July, Rogers simply tried making up for the lost time.
“I stayed home with my son,” he said. “I’ve lost practically everything. I’m just glad I got to keep him.”
Friday, February 27, 2009
In fact, his only "crime" was trusting his girlfriend not to destroy him by making up a vile allegation.
Professor Eugene Kanin's landmark study of rape claims in a Midwestern town over a nine year period found that the most common motivation for false claims is to serve as an alibi to "explain" an illicit sexual encounter. (And by the way, Kanin's was the most objective and authoritative study ever conducted on false rape claims. He found that of all the reported rapes covered by his study, 41% were not merely false but actually recanted.)
For what other alleged crime do we allow one citizen so much power over another -- that she can have him arrested based on no evidence other than her word? The physical "evidence" of the alleged crime is also "evidence" of the most common human act of love. It is just her say-so that causes police to arrest a hapless male, often holding him in a jail cell for months.
Does anyone wonder what has become of this boy's reputation in the community? Regardless of the fact that he committed no crime, there will always be some who will say "something must have happened."
And note at the end of the story, the school officials sent out a letter and an automated voice mail about a "crime" that had been reported against a juvenile. This, presumably, refers to the alleged rape. After it was determined there was no rape and that the only crime was the girl's false report, did the school officials send out another letter and automated voice mail to parents about that? Somehow, I highly doubt it. Boys, you see, don't need to be protected from the girls who would destroy their lives with one little lie, do they? (I would suggest that the school officials review the daily accounts of false rape claims reported on this Web site, and then send out that letter and automated voice message.)
This is a cautionary tale for young men about having sex with young women who would naturally have motive to cover up a sexual encounter. Some of these young women would just as soon destroy your very lives in order to spare themselves a lecture at home. (And note that this is in no way to suggest that women are more likely to lie than men -- in this situation, however, only one gender can successfully lie about rape.) Men and boys -- and, yes, this is victim blaming to some extent -- you need to be very, very wary of such situations.
16-year-old girl says she made up rape tale
San Bernardino police say a 16-year-old student at Cajon High School who claimed she was raped in the school parking lot Feb. 19 admitted she made up the story.
"She admitted that it was a consensual encounter," said San Bernardino Lt. Brian Koerner.
Police, who arrested the 16-year-old boy the girl accused of raping her during the lunch hour, said they will not pursue charges against the boy.
During an interview with detectives Wednesday, the girl admitted she made up the rape accusation because they were seen in the parking lot having sex, and she was worried she would get in trouble at home, Koerner said.
The girl was issued a misdemeanor citation for making a false police report.
School officials sent a letter home to parents and sent out automated voice messages to let parents know a crime against a juvenile had been reported and stressing the importance of staying in class and following school rules, said San Bernardino City Unified School District spokeswoman Linda Bardere.
Lawsuit over false accusation.
SPOKANE, Wash. - A man has filed a lawsuit against Gonzaga University for kicking him out of its law school because of what he calls unproven date rape drug allegations against him.
The lawsuit filed in the United States District Court of Eastern Washington identifies the victim only as John Doe and claims breach of education contract and violation of the consumer protection act against Gonzaga. It also claims negligence against Gonzaga and Gonzaga's Associate Security Director Robert Cepeda.
Monday afternoon Gonzaga University spokesman Dale Goodwin said the school could not comment yet on the lawsuit because school officials were not available due to the Presidents' Day holiday.
The man said in the complaint that he invited a female Gonzaga Law School student over to his apartment for dinner and a movie in December 2005. He said they both drank the same amount of wine over several hours and she did not show any signs of intoxication.
The lawsuit states the woman "initiated sexual advances toward plaintiff, which he reciprocated." It states she became ill at some point, the sexual activity stopped, and she slept on the man's couch at his apartment overnight.
The next morning the lawsuit states that she did not remember what happened the night before so the man told her. The lawsuit states she went back to sleep at his apartment and later went to a hospital emergency room.
The lawsuit then states she reportedly told emergency room personnel that she thought she had been drugged and asked to be tested as she had drank the same amount of alcohol in the past and not gotten sick. She asked to be tested for GHB, or gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, which is sometimes referred to as a "date rape" drug.
The lawsuit states the test came back to show a level of GHB in her body that is within naturally occuring limits.
The woman filed a complaint with Gonzaga and law enforcement authorities. A Spokane County detective asked the man to take a polygraph test, which he later did. The lawsuit says the man passed the polygraph test and that the Spokane County Sheriff's Office closed its investigation. The man was not charged with any crime.
The lawsuit states Gonzaga convened a Discipline Board to hear the woman's allegations. The man felt the board's initial hearing did not handle his case fairly. The lawsuit says that Cepada acted as a member of the panel and that he represented that the amount of GHB in the woman's test was indicative of a date rape drug and too high of a level to be naturally occurring in her body.
The lawsuit says the man appealed the board's decision and got a second hearing where he presented toxicologist testimony that refuted the woman had been drugged. The board agreed, but still found the man guilty of sexual assault because "a reasonable person would have known that [Jane Doe] was not competent to give consent to sexual activity because of the large amount of alcohol she consumed in a relatively short time." The man says he was expelled from school based on this ruling.
The man states in the lawsuit he tried to apply to four other law schools, but was rejected because he truthfully explained the reason behind his explusion from Gonzaga Law School. The man later found work in Alaska that had no legal ties.
The lawsuit does not ask for a specific amount of damages, but states the man had more than $60,000 to repay in student loans from his time at Gonzaga Law School. The lawsuit filed Friday also demands a jury trial within six weeks.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Did you get that? Like a light switch: she is sufficiently sober to go with him of her own free will, but once they're having sex, she loses all agency. And he should go to jail for years.
The rape charges were dropped, but the D.A.'s reputation is likely damaged and possibly forever. The young woman, of course, is not named in the story, despite "the lack of credible specificity in [her] private criminal complaint, and significant evidence which contradicts the allegations of the complaintant." She alone is afforded anonymity; his name is splashed all over the news for the world to titillate to the details of his humiliation, and his family's.
This gender asymmetry -- where only the male's reputation is destroyed even though it was the female who likely lied about rape -- is what we call "male privilege." (And, no, please don't try to minimize the harm to this man by invoking unnamed other men who are not charged with hypothetical rapes. It is a favorite parlor game of certain feminist groups to minimize the harm to the falsely accused with unsupported broadsides about "underreporting." We have come to the conclusion that "underreporting" is vastly overstated; despite this, it is constantly invoked to inappropriately justify instances of gross inequity in the treatment of the presumed innocent charged with rape.)
HERE IS THE NEWS STORY:
A.G. Drops Case Against Higgins
Reported by: Tessa Mentus
Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 @12:46pm EST
BEDFORD, BEDFORD COUNTY -- A spokeperson for the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office has confirmed the rape case against Bedford County District Attorney Bill Higgins has been dropped.
Spokesperson Kevin Harley confirmed the decision to WTAJ News on Thursday. This is the end to a six month investigation. Harley released this statement:
"We have disapproved the private criminal complaint filed by the complaintant based on the absnece of sufficient evidence to support the existence of probable cause to believe that a crime has occurred, and it is also based on the inprobability of obtaining a conviction in this case."
"We have made this determination on the basis of lack of physical evidence, the absence of a prompt complaint, the lack of credible specificity in the private criminal complaint, and significant evidence which contradicts the allegations of the complaintant."
"This was a very lengthy and thorough investigation by the A.G.'s office."
The woman filed the private criminal complaint in August. She claimed Higgins raped her in his courthouse office on the night of July 11, 2008. The alleged rape took place after a Bedford County Republican Committee fundraiser. The woman said she willfully went to Higgins' office but had been drinking and was too drunk to stop the sexual incident.
Higgins admitted to having sex with the woman, but said it was consensual. He apologized to his family and the citizens of Bedford County. Higgins said what he did was wrong but said there was nothing criminal about it.
WTAJ News first reported the possible drop in the case Thursday morning after talking with Higgins. He said prosecutors let him know the decision, but the A.G.'s office wouldn't return our phone calls.
The woman who filed the complaint and her attorney, Thomas Crawford, said they hadn't heard anything official Thursday morning. Harley returned our call Thursday afternoon and confirmed the decision and issued the statement above.
Higgins said this is an unfortunate event made worse by the woman's false allegations. He went on to say it still doesn't excuse the decision he made to do a terrible thing to his family.
Crawford said his client will appeal the A.G.'s decision in Bedford County Court. If that happens the proceedings will be open to the public. Harley said that's when the details of the A.G.'s office will be released.
Keep watching WTAJ News for more updates in this case.
Just in: Woman gets nine months for "mystifying" false rape claim that caused a man to be jailed for 24 hours
The woman has been sentenced to nine months in prison for her lie.
For what other allegation could one citizen so easily deprive another citizen of his liberty and subject him to untold anxieties of not knowing if anyone will ever believe the truth? Of not knowing if his reputation might be forever destroyed because of a woman's lie? Of no knowing if he might serve years and years in prison?
When it comes to rape accusations, we treat the presumed innocent far too harshly -- because too many of the presumed innocent turn out to be factually innocent.
Innocent man's rape charge ordeal
February 26, 2009
A woman who falsely claimed she was raped, resulting in an innocent man being subjected to a humiliating police body search and a month of worry, has been jailed for nine months.
Mary-Jane Entwisle of Iveagh Court, a block of flats in in Harmans Water, Bracknell, claimed her neighbour, David Elsdon, raped her on September 18 last year.
Mr Elsdon was arrested and held for 24 hours. His clothes were taken away and he was given a paper suit to wear before police gave him a full body search.
It was almost a month later that police realised the allegation was false and withdrew charges against Mr Elsdon.
On Friday, February 20, at Reading Crown Court, Judge Anthony King sentenced Entwisle to nine months in prison saying: “You falsely accused a wholly innocent man of the grave crime of rape.
“I remain totally mystified as to why you did it.”
For more on this story don't miss this week's Bracknell Forest Standard
This is typical of far too many cases where rape is used as a tool for revenge to destroy a man or a boy for some alleged wrong he's perpetrated on the accuser. It is arguably the most powerful tool short of murder to destroy another human being. It is so powerful because the false accuser is typically successful in enlisting the state as an unwitting co-conspirator to destroy an innocent male.
Jail for 'cry rape' mum
A mother who falsely cried rape against her former partner after her children were taken into care has been jailed for eight months.
Mandy Whittle, 38, told police her ex-boyfriend tore her clothes and raped her after she passed out.
But Bristol crown court was told Whittle plotted to frame him while she was high on anti-depressants.
He was held for several hours before being freed.
Whittle, from Pill, near Bristol, admitted perverting the course of justice.
Thankfully there was a prosecutor who not only gets it, but is willing to publicly state that regret isn't the same as lack of consent.
Woman given 5 month sentence for false rape claim.
A HAMPSHIRE teenager who told “outright lies” and falsely claimed she had been raped has been locked up.
Charlotte Lane told police that she had been raped by a stranger at an unknown address in July last year.
In a police interview the 18-year-old said she had felt “tipsy” after sharing three bottles of wine with friends in Southampton city centre.
She claimed that she decided to go on alone to another bar in the city centre to see a friend when she was accosted by a man in a taxi.
The teenager said she was then pulled from the car and taken to the side of a house where she claimed she was raped on a patio table.
After inquiries were made with the taxi driver police arrested a 19-year-old man who said he had consensual sex with Lane.
Carl Anderson, prosecuting at Southampton Crown Court, said that as the police investigation progressed “significant doubt” emerged about Lane’s version of events.
He said numerous witness statements, CCTV footage and mobile phone records all confirmed the account given by the initial suspect.
Lane, of Chadwick Road, Eastleigh, pleaded guilty to one charge of perverting the course of justice.
Alistair Wright, mitigating, said that Lane had a “disturbed history” growing up, including the death of her father in a road traffic accident.
He said that she made up the allegation as an “expression of regret” for having had sex with the man, failing to see that regret was not the same as a lack of consent.
He added: “She (Lane) appears to recognise part of the impact on the community but not the levels of seriousness.”
Judge Derwin Hope sent Lane, who has a previous conviction for battery, to a young offenders’ institution for 20 weeks.
“An enormous amount of police time was taken up with the police investigation while you persisted with the lies,”
“I am in no doubt that this matter is so serious only a custodial sentence will do.”
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Here is the news account:
Jail for woman who cried rape
A woman who falsely cried rape has been jailed for eight months.
Mandy Whittle called police to what appeared to be a convincing crime scene, Bristol Crown Court heard on Tuesday.
Her alleged attacker was arrested and detained for some six hours but a police investigation found his alibi authentic and the alleged rape invented.
Whittle, aged 38, of Park Walk, Pill, pleaded guilty to perverting the course of public justice.
Imposing sentence Judge Martin Picton told her: "Two aspects of this case make it serious.
"Firstly, the case from the perspective of the person against whom you made a false allegation, who was in custody for five or six hours, suspected of one of the most awful offences and for a month did not know how it was going to resolve itself.
"Secondly, the damage to the general process of justice that false rape allegations represent."
Jonathan Stanniland, prosecuting, said Whittle called 999 and 45 minutes later police attended at her home and she gave a brief account of what happened.
Mr Stanniland told the court: "She said she heard banging and (the alleged offender) forced his way into her home.
"He tore her clothing and physically overwhelmed her. She passed out and she had been raped."
The court heard police found torn underwear, vomit in a washing up bowl and a fresh cut on Whittle.
Initially, Mr Stanniland said, she appeared to be a genuine complainant.
Later on she told police she wasn't able to pursue the allegation because of the strain it caused, and she never submitted herself for a medical examination.
Mr Stanniland said: "The alleged offender was arrested and interviewed and he was submitted to a medical. He was detained for five or six hours and he provided a full and convincing alibi.
"He said he had been to a pub, a bookshop and then returned to his accommodation. His 'defence' was that it was an utter fabrication from start to finish."
The court was told witnesses confirmed the man had gone where he said he had gone.
In due course his case closed and Whittle's case opened and, on the day of a planned trial, she admitted wrongdoing.
Catherine Spedding, defending, said her client had been a drug user who was "extremely upset" when her children were taken from her.
She said Whittle had a background of depression, for which she was medicated, and at the time of the allegation had taken too much medicine as well as some drink and was in a poor state of health.
Ms Spedding said: "She was not in a very good frame of mind at all and that is why she made the allegations she did. She regrets it. Eventually she accepted it was a false allegation and she avoided a trial."
Ms Spedding told Bristol Crown Court that the hope was for her client to detoxify from alcohol and reduce her methadone prescription.
At 16, girl is already a serial false accuser.
All charges were recently dismissed against a Gilroy magazine founder who faced six counts of sex crimes stemming from the alleged assaults of a 16-year-old girl and a woman older than 50.
Though the case was originally set for trial last September, Monterey County Deputy District Attorney Glenn Pesenhofer said there was not enough evidence to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.
Sunny Pappu Kavil came to the fore in Gilroy last year when he launched the Gavilan Post, a glossy monthly magazine. Kavil's first issue featured Mayor Al Pinheiro on the cover.
Kavil pleaded not guilty to six counts of false imprisonment, child molestation, assault and sexual battery and was released on $100,000 bail. At his preliminary examination, a judge ruled that there was enough evidence to warrant a jury trial. But further investigation of the allegations turned up shaky evidence.
"From the outset, we felt the younger woman's accusations were suspect," said Eugene Martinez, Kavil's defense attorney. Martinez said the older woman's accusations were "outlandish" and "an unlikely case on its own."
On May 19, 2007, a then-16-year-old girl was working at Sunnyline Clothing, a store owned by Kavil in Pacific Grove, near Monterey, according to court documents. Though the girl had only been working in the store two days, she had on multiple occasions felt uncomfortable with Kavil, Pacific Grove police officer Angelo DeMarco testified in a preliminary hearing held Nov. 5, 2007.
The girl told police that Kavil attacked her that evening when the two were alone in the store but that she managed to break free and call her mother.
Kavil was arrested three days later by Pacific Grove police.
The defense called into question the verity of the girl's accusations by pointing to her past accusations of sexual assault. In March, Superior Court Judge Terrance Duncan approved a discovery motion from the defense granting access to prior accusations of sexual assault filed by the girl.
According to the motion filed by Martinez, the girl filed sexual assault reports in Kern County after supposedly being raped three to four times by her brother and stepbrother. She also filed a sexual assault report with the Salinas Police Department that was investigated. However, no one was arrested and the cases were closed, according to the motion.
In addition, the girl quit her job at Longs Drugs previous to being hired at Sunnyline Clothing because the girls said she had been harassed and touched inappropriately by male co-workers, the motion continued.
During interviews, police said the girl remarked, "I don't know how I keep getting these problems."
Pesenhofer refused to comment on whether the charges were dropped because of the girl's history of sexual accusations. He also refused to say if the girl would be charged with filing a false police report.
"There was significant evidence that made it appear that these were false accusations," Martinez said. "We were unaware of the other accusations at the time of the preliminary hearing."
Kavil has four young children and a wife of 13 years, according to court documents. His family is active in the Gilroy chapter of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since at least 2000, according to the court file.
"I have interviewed (Kavil) for his honesty, keeping the Ten Commandments and I can swear that he can be trusted for what he says," wrote Ben Griffin - Kavil's bishop for three years - in a character reference. "He honors his marriage covenants to his wife and children. Sunny Kavil is a good man."
Kavil could not be reached for comment.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Slap on the wrist for false rape claim.
COEUR d'ALENE -- The woman who reported a rape at North Idaho College last week has been ticketed by the city police department for filing a false report.
She was charged with the misdemeanor offense after detectives re-interviewed her Tuesday.
"We discovered that her report did not match the facts that we uncovered," said Coeur d'Alene Police Sgt. Christie Wood. "At this point we'll let the court process take place."
Police received a report Thursday alleging that a male dressed in women's clothing waited for her in the first floor bathroom of the Meyer Health Science Building and raped her there on the morning of Jan. 30.
The victim told police she knew the assailant from a past dating relationship. But, she could not provide police, nor campus security with a real name for possible suspect.
Police are not releasing the name of the woman who filed the false report.
Monday, February 23, 2009
If a man actually did steal a small sum of money, chances are he would receive a very light sentence, most likely probation. If, in contrast, he were convicted of the rape described by these women, he would go to prison for many years. His life would be destroyed over a lie
The crime of making a false rape report is a crime of power. When false rape claims are used as a weapon with the purpose of hurting men, they need to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. This is not to excuse other motivations for false rape claims, but this particular motivation -- revenge -- occupies a special place in the sphere of vileness.
Two Women Charged With Falsely Reporting Rape on East End
After finding money missing from her wallet, a Shirley woman accused a man of rape and her friend from Mastic who was with her corroborated the allegedly false accusation, an investigation revealed on Friday, Feb. 20, Southampton Town Police say.
Caitlin Bolte, 23, called in the rape from outside the Speonk home where she was visiting friends and upon the officers' arrival, she was found sitting in a car parked out front with Kelly Kling, 22. Bolte told investigators that one of the men in the house took her to his bedroom, raped and sexually assaulted her and she then identified the man she accused, according to Southampton detectives. Kling told investigators the same account and Bolte was evaluated at Peconic Bay Medical Center, authorities add.
Detectives say that the investigation found that the two women left the house, realized Bolte left her wallet behind, and upon returning found cash missing from her wallet. That’s when she called in the rape, investigators say. Bolte and Kling were both charged with falsely reporting an incident and were released with a court date pending in Southampton Town Justice Court.
Breaking news: prosecution halts rape trial of man who supposedly raped his wife 'virtually every day' -- due to lack of evidence
So, even though the prosecution claimed that the young man raped this woman a thousand times or more (a figure I've arrived at given the length of their marriage and the fact that he raped her "virtually every day"), and even though the jury heard about the alleged atrocities inflicted on the woman from the woman's own mouth, the prosecution stopped the trial. Not because of insufficient evidence, apparently, because the jury theoretically could have believed the woman's story if it had chosen to do so, but likely because either the tale was simply too incredible or the woman had second thoughts about possibly lying under oath.
How will this be chalked up by those who claim that the rape conviction rate is too low? Will they add a thousand unpunished rapes to their tally, consistent with their practice of regarding each and every rape claim as a "rape," regardless of whether the evidence can sustain it? And wouldn't be just as fair, or more fair, to consider these claims as false reports?
The better question that few will bother to ask is, will the prosecutor consider charging her with a thousand counts of false reporting? But how dare I even suggest that a woman might have lied under these circumstances.
HERE IS THE NEWS STORY:
Chapelfields bride rape trial halted
By Emma StoneCrime Reporter
THE TRIAL of a Coventry family accused of beating and raping a young Pakistani bride following an arranged marriage has been dramatically halted after the prosecution said it would be offering no more evidence.
At a hearing at Coventry Crown Court yesterday, Judge Peter Carr instructed the jury to find the alleged victim's husband, mother-in-law and her three sisters-in-law not guilty of all charges before they were released.
The 25-year-old alleged victim moved to Coventry from Pakistan after an arranged marriage to a city man in 2004. She claimed she was beaten, raped and kept locked in a house in Chapelfields by her husband and his family for three years.
Her 26-year-old husband was charged with rape, assault, false imprisonment and threats to kill.
Her mother-in-law was charged with false imprisonment and assault and her sisters-in-law, aged 28, 19 and 16, were charged with assault and false imprisonment.
But following yesterday's hearing on day four of the trial, no further action will be taken against them.
Addressing the jury yesterday, prosecutor Simon Phillips said: "We have considered the state of the evidence of this case, as it stands, and in summary we take the view there is no realistic view of a conviction in light of the evidence. No further evidence will be offered."
In directing the jury Judge Peter Carr said: "The prosecution has a continuing duty to keep the evidence under review."
U.Va. Innocence Project and child advocacy group trying to free teen they say was wrongfully convicted of rape
By PAMELA GOULD
A team of attorneys is asking the Department of Juvenile Justice to release a former Aquia Harbour teen they say was wrongfully convicted of rape and is listed on the state's sex offender registry.
The effort by the Innocence Project of the University of Virginia Law School and JustChildren, a child-advocacy group, is supported by the alleged victim's mother, who wants to correct what she considers a miscarriage of justice.
"We just need to make things right," Michele Sousa said in a recent interview.
Sousa said she returned home from work on June 4, 2007, to find the 15-year-old boy inside her Aquia Harbour home and her 14-year-old daughter getting dressed in the girl's bedroom.
Sousa initially believed her daughter had been sexually assaulted and immediately contacted the Stafford County Sheriff's Office. But three months after the boy was convicted of rape and breaking into her home, her daughter said she had lied about the incident because she feared getting into trouble.
As soon as Sousa learned that--on Thanksgiving weekend in 2007--she contacted a lawyer, who advised her to contact the boy's attorney. His attorney asked her to provide a notarized statement from her daughter, which she did.
In the May 23, 2008, handwritten statement, the girl states: "[The boy] didn't rely rape me in fact we did it befor. [He] was a friend of mine befor this even happend. Me and [the boy] where good friends, but now it just seems that I lied about [him]. Now I will never forgive myself. [He] didn't realy come in by himself, I let him in."
The Free Lance-Star is not naming the boy or girl because of their ages and the nature of the charges. Their parents' surnames are different from theirs. Both families have since moved from Stafford.
The parents agreed to discuss the case publicly in an effort to clear the boy, who has been in state custody for at least 17 months.
Neither Stafford Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Eric Olsen, who prosecuted the boy, nor Denise Rafferty, who was the court-appointed defense attorney at trial, would discuss the case.
Olsen said he was aware of pending action in the case. He agreed to answer only general questions about juvenile prosecutions and the Stafford office's policies.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
A detective inspector explains the process involved in a rape investigation
By Nicola Davies
DOUGIE Shaw has been a detective inspector for 11 years and takes managerial responsibility for investigations of stranger and acquaintance rapes in Warrington.
“Stranger rapes are very rare, there have only been two in the last 12 months to my recollection,” he said.
“The vast majority is committed by people who know their victim – most predators don’t jump out from behind bushes, they will take you for a drink.
“There are five considerations with any investigation. Firstly, there is a victim that needs to be dealt with properly in terms of forensic issues, statements, after care and support.
“Then there is the forensic examination of any scenes, followed by a trawl for witnesses and that may be via house to house enquires, from CCTV or relatives.
“Fourthly, there is an offender who needs to be dealt with appropriately – when he is arrested he will be swabbed and interviewed by properly trained officers.
“Lastly, resources need to be matched to these to make sure they are all completed and I will open a policy book so all my decisions are recorded for transparency.
“It is important to have a swift police response as the critical part of a rape investigation is gathering forensic evidence and from the time the rape takes place evidence is immediately being lost.
“We have anything up to four or five reports of rape every weekend but a large number of complaints turn out to be something else with some not thinking about the consequences of false allegations but we always take allegations of rape seriously and do everything we can to gather evidence.
“Most weekends we also have a report from somebody saying their drink has been spiked with rohypnol – while we have had cases where women have been drugged these are extremely rare.
“We actually have significantly less genuine rape cases than those reported so it is important to consider the percentage of bona fide reports when looking at conviction statistics, which appear low because they encompass all reports.
“We then report the facts to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for a prosecution review. They will look at the evidence to see if there is a realistic prospect of a successful conviction and there can come a point we can’t do anything if there is insufficient evidence.
“Likewise, if a victim decides to withdraw their complaint we cannot prove the issue of consent, which is central in a rape allegation so it is vital victims have confidence that they will be supported and dealt with properly.
“There are a large number of rapes that have not yet been reported. I would implore those people to come forward – especially male victims who we see infrequently – as there is every chance we can gather the evidence to successfully prosecute their attacker.”
Friday, February 20, 2009
A British tennis star, going to school in the Bible Belt, is locked up soley on a young woman's claim of rape. He contemplated suicide. Even after it was over, he's not sure he can ever trust a woman again.
This is, perhaps, the greatest problem for men when alcohol is a factor in this type of incident. And when the laws absolve women of any responsibility for the choices they make, it adds up to a disaster waiting to happen -- for men. The woman said that the act was "not forced, but without her consent," but she had also specifically asked if she could sleep with Chris Doerr. Everyone agrees women should have equal rights, but this woman, and many others we've profiled on this Web site, does not want equal responsibility. Perhaps, when more women demand equal responsibility for their actions, this site, and others like it, will no longer be needed.
Man fears life will never be normal again.
Mississippi (ChattahBox) - Mississippi has long since been criticized for it’s religiously motivated laws, especially those on rape, which allow a young woman to cry “rape” if a man has sex with her, with clear consent, after she had been drinking. A startling case of such a circumstance has many wondering it maybe it isn’t time that Mississippi joined the rest of the country in modern times.
Chris Doerr, a tennis star from Britain, had been at a University of Mississippi party, with around 50 other people, all drinking, having a good time, and more or less acting like college kids do. His attentions were focused on a pretty brunette who had come to the party with two men, some beer, and some vodka.
“She started flirting with me and she was by my side all night,” the 21-year-old recalled.
“I had my arm around her and we were kissing. She was quite nice looking. She knew I was a tennis player and laughed at my jokes. Then she asked if she could sleep with me. It’s rarely in Mississippi that girls say that to a guy. But she was extremely forward.
“When we had finished, she cuddled against me and fell asleep. I woke up at about eleven the next morning and she had gone.”
It was only a few hours later when a Sherriff arrived at the door, and Doerr’s nightmare began.
“He said she was claiming she was raped, and asked me to go to the station for questioning. I was freaked out, but to me rape meant violence, holding a girl down, and I would never, ever do anything like that. I had nothing to hide so I gave him a statement.”
He was locked up, and told that any woman could claim rape if she had been drinking when she had sex. It is a common occurrence, especially in the ‘Bible Belt’, where religion still heavily influences both laws, and social behavior.
“When they told me I could go to prison for life, I considered suicide,” he admitted later.
“I got a Facebook message saying, ‘I hope you rot in jail and get raped in jail.’”
He couldn’t understand how this could happen to him, his perception of rape being of violence, force…after all, she had been the one to ask if they could sleep together, and she had stayed the entire night.
The entire case was made around the alcohol, after the girl admitted in an affidavit that the act was ‘not forced, but without her consent’, and ambiguous statement, at best, and apparently too much for the courts to handle. After a frightening battle, and evidence he didn’t supply the alcohol, Doerr was released without charge.
He plans to stay in the US, hoping to move to Florida to become a coach, but his experience has effected him greatly.
“I worry there will always be a stain on my reputation and that life will never be normal again. I don’t know when I will date again. How can I ever trust anyone?”
Thursday, February 19, 2009
This is why false accusations must have some form of punishment -- for the effects they have on the lives of innocent persons.
False rape claim ruined my life
A man falsely accused of raping a woman in Lincolnshire has spoken out about his devastating ordeal.
Gordon Frow (28) is trying to rebuild his life after he was acquitted of rape at Lincoln Crown Court.
The doorman from North Greetwell, near Lincoln, said he was shunned by some of his friends after being charged with rape.
And he said that even some family members were unsure of his innocence.
The ordeal led him to contemplate suicide – although now he says there is an enormous sense of relief at finally being cleared.
"It's a terrible thing to be accused of," he said.
"I thought people would look down on me. Even my family were in two minds. It was traumatising."
He spent seven months in prison before the case went to trial.
"Being in prison, you are depressed, beside yourself pretty much. There's no-one to talk to."
The 28-year-old faced a five-day trial at Lincoln Crown Court which ended last week.
Mr Frow admitted that sex did take place, but insisted that the woman had consented to what happened.
He was acquitted of two charges of rape, but admitted one charge each of criminal damage, driving while disqualified and having no insurance.
Mr Frow was given a six-month jail sentence for the offences he had admitted, but he was released immediately – having already served seven months in prison while preparations were being made for the case to go to court.
Now, after the relief of being cleared of the two rape charges against him, he is ready to move on with his life.
"When I walk down the street it feels like everybody is looking at me. I know they aren't, but it feels that way," he added.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Women are hard-wired to send out mixed messages -- another recipe for miscommunication that sometimes leads to false rape charges
The following story is about a study that shows women are hard to read when it comes to how they feel about men. They send mixed signals. Sometimes a man might misinterpret these signals as consent -- and that just might be a reasonable interpretation, too. And sometimes the man proceeds further than the woman secretly desires -- and then, she regrets having gone there -- and blames the man for misreading her.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a fundamental difference between the sexes in the crucial area of communication when it comes to sex -- but only males will serve prison time if they "get it wrong." Both sexes need to be taught to understand the other.
HERE IS THE NEWS REPORT:
Everyone Agrees: Women Are Hard to Read
A new study backs up what men have said all along: Women are difficult to read. And the women agree.
Researchers at Indiana University showed video clips from 24 different speed dates and asked male and female participants two simple questions: “Do you think the man was interested in this woman?” and “Do you think the woman was interested in this man?” Their answers were then compared with the responses of the speed daters themselves.
The results, published in the January issue of the journal Psychological Science, show that both men and women are able to gauge a man's interest in a woman, but are equally baffled when it comes to figuring out if a woman is interested in a man.
In fact, a flip of a coin would be almost as accurate in predicting a woman's romantic interest on a date.
Skyler S. Place, who headed up the study, says that the biological drive behind dating — finding an optimal mate for gene promotion — gives women reason to be elusive.
"Being coy forces the men to spend more time interacting with the woman, because they are unsure if they have successfully courted her," Place said. "Therefore, the woman has more time to gather information about her date."
Ultimately, women have more at stake while dating because they face higher "sunk costs" — a woman can carry the child of only one man at a time, while a man can impregnate many women.
Video clips taken from the middle and end of dates provided the most accurate assessments, Place said, suggesting that the daters' true feelings became more evident as they collected information throughout their encounter.
The speed dates were conducted in Germany as part of Humboldt University's Berlin Speed Dating Study. None of the Indiana University study participants understood German, and were using only visual cues and tone of voice to determine daters' interest.
The findings might be sound, but what about the old dating adage to just be yourself?
"From an evolutionary perspective, there is nothing wrong with a woman being 'open' and 'honest' about who she is — it is simply in her best interest not to present herself as actually interested immediately," Place said.
Getting to the second date, however, is still a good sign.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Rev. Sharpton, have you ever apologized to these boys who were put through hell by people like you -- bigots looking to crucify them solely for having the audacity to be born white males?
BILL O'REILLY: Why are we standing up for the girl if there is the possibility, based upon evidence, that the girl may have fabricated the story? Why don't we all pull back and let the authorities investigate and let the legal system work?
REV. AL SHARPTON: Well, first of all, the authorities have charged there was a crime, so they are not saying that at all. Second of all, people on any side of an argument have the ride to advocate on behalf of who they believe. Thirdly, I think that when the prosecutors went forward, they clearly have said this girl is the victim, so why would we be trying the victim and not the...
. . . .
I know this DA is probably not one that is crazy. He would not have proceeded if he did not feel that he could convict.
MEADVILLE -- A city woman was jailed Friday on charges that she made up a story about being raped.
Jacquelyn Owens, 21, of the 400 block of Arch Street, was arraigned before Vernon Township District Judge Michael Rossi on Friday morning on misdemeanor counts of false alarms to agencies of public safety, false reports to law enforcement authorities and disorderly conduct.
Vernon Police Chief Randy Detzel accused Owens of making up a story about being held against her will and raped at a Cussewago Road residence on Jan. 10.
The woman's claims led police to charge 38-year-old Charles B. Denardi with rape and unlawful restraint.
Police withdrew the charges against Denardi on Friday.
Rossi placed Owens in the Crawford County Correctional Facility on $20,000 bond and set her preliminary hearing for Feb. 4.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Her word against his. One them is a victim, the other is a liar and a criminal. Either he is a rapist or she has made a false criminal report. Yet, of course, only he is charged. He was tried and cleared of rape.
Who wants to wager on whether she will be charged for making a false report?
For what other crime can a young man be deprived of his liberty and put through the anxiety of not knowing if he will be imprisoned for many years based on one young woman's claim?
Rape accused not guilty
A BAKER has been cleared of raping a 20-year-old woman in a park after they left an Evesham nightclub together.
Daniel Wilmot, who was attacked when the woman made a complaint to passers-by, insisted they had sex by consent.
A jury at Worcester Crown Court today unanimously found him not guilty of two counts of rape and an alternative third count of attempted rape.
Mr Wilmot, aged 21, of Clevedon Green, South Littleton, near Evesham, shouted "thank you so much" from the dock as the verdicts were announced at the end of a four-day trial.
The woman gave evidence that she and the defendant were "bumping and grinding" on the dance floor at Inuendo on January 13 last year.
They also kissed passionately and she touched him sexually.
A CCTV film showed her leading him out of the club in the early hours in the direction of Abbey Park.
The jury heard she knew 15 minutes after meeting Mr Wilmot for the first time that he wanted sex.
Mr Wilmot, who works for a supermarket, claimed she kissed him passionately in the park, voluntarily performed a sex act on him and then pulled him down on top of her.
Defence counsel Adam Western said: "The idea that she went outside for anything else but sex defies common sense."
She was unsure of some events that night because of alcohol consumption.
Mr Western said she may have made a false complaint because she didn't want her friends to find out she had gone for sex with a stranger.
He also suggested that she wanted to resume a love affair with an ex-boyfriend and if he had found out "it would scupper a reconciliation".
Mr Wilmot was hit in the face by a man before police were called to the scene.
Prosecutor Nicolas Cartwright insisted the woman had no grudge against Mr Wilmot and had nothing to gain from her allegation.
He added: "There may been provocative dancing in the club, but that doesn't mean it was a green light for what happened later."
The woman had bruises on her arms and a scratch on Mr Wilmot's back bled significantly. Damage was also found to his shirt and waistcoat.
Teacher rapes student, then falsely accuses that student of rape.
There is a false notion among people that all rapists are men and that women can never rape men or commit sexual crimes on men. This article intends to educate the society about the darker side of the truth and to get men shed their false ego that men alone can rape.
A glaring example of reverse case is that of an Indian origin female teacher and director at an exclusive Manhattan private school who was, a couple of years ago, charged with statutory rape and sodomy of two male pupils.
Lina Sinha, 40, began having sex with one of the pupils at the private Montessori International School of New York, which encourages pupils to learn and develop their creativity at their own pace, when he was 12, assistant district attorney Florence Chapin told the court.
Sinha began sexual liaisons with the other boy, now a New York City police officer, when he was 13 and she was 29, the prosecutor said, adding that the liaison lasted for years.
Earlier, Sinha was charged with crime against just one boy. Later, Chapin disclosed the case of the second boy during a hearing in Manhattan’s state Supreme Court, in which she told Justice Carol Berkman that Sinha was now charged with 81 crimes. Chapin had asked the judge to set the teacher’s bail at $ 100,000.
Prosecutors had said Sinha had family ties in India and could possibly flee. Chapin said Sinha, on administrative leave from the school on Manhattan’s East Side, began a sexual relationship with the first pupil in June, 1996, when he was a 13-year-old, an eighth-grader. She was charged in October 2005, with raping him.
When he had tried to end the affair in 2004, Chapin said, “Sinha tried to ruin his life by making up heinous allegations that he raped a young girl and then made separate allegations that he also brutally assaulted the defendant (Sinha).”
Sinha assumed another person’s identity on at least 10 occasions in 2004-05 to file rape charges in person, by telephone and by e-mail, claiming the policeman had raped her niece, the prosecutor had said. Investigators found the person whose identity Sinha had assumed and that person said she did not have a niece, had never reported any rape and did not know the victim or the defendant, the prosecutor said.
The officer reported his former relationship with Sinha to police after the teacher tried to frame him and about a week before the five-year statute of limitations on her sex crimes would have expired, the prosecutor said. Prosecutors said Sinha could not be charged with improper sexual contact with her former pupil after he turned 17 because that is the age of consent in New York State.
Meanwhile, in January 2001, Sinha began a sexual liaison with the second pupil, who was 12 and in the seventh grade, Chapin said.
Besides rape and sodomy, Sinha was charged with criminal impersonation, bribing a witness, tampering with physical evidence, endangering the welfare of a child and falsely reporting an incident. If convicted on the rape or sodomy charges, she would face up to 25 years in prison.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Women's groups work with law enforement to 'trick' men accused of rape into confessing: A serious problem for men falsely accused
California Criminal Defense Blog had this to say:
This self-incriminatory tactic is often used by California police early on in rape cases, and you need to know how to protect yourself against the dreaded pretext call.
What is a pretext call? It may be from a friend, stranger, child, adult, or old acquaintance. Generally, the person will call and start asking questions about old accusations or events in an attempt to get you to say something self-incriminating. For example, the person might be an old girlfriend who brings up a situation that could be construed as date rape. If you apologize or acknowledge the incident on tape, even if it’s an incident you did not feel guilty of or involved in, the tape could be used as evidence at trial. Pretext calls are an extremely controversial police tactic, but uninformed people are often sitting ducks for this form of self-incrimination.
If you receive a suspicious phone call you believe may be a pretext call, be polite but firm. Refuse to answer questions or engage the caller in a conversation. Hang up as soon as possible and call your criminal defense attorney. The right criminal defense lawyer can help defend you against self-incriminatory statements recorded during pretext phone calls.
The National Center for Women and Policing published the following guideline for investigating acquaintance rape. It makes no pretense -- the goal is to get the suspect to make incriminating statements. The "victim" is prepped by police and helped during the call. The goal is to catch the suspect off-guard, without any preparation or warning, so that he blurts out an admission. This manual gives the victim and police extensive help to trap the accused into blurting out an admission. The excerpt is extensive:
SEX OFFENDERS: DYNAMICS AND INTERVIEW TECHNIQUES
Another useful piece of evidence can be the transcript from a "pretext phone call," also knows in some areas as a "confrontational call" or "monitored call." Although they are not legal in some states and strictly limited in others, investigators in those states where they are allowed should always consider using a pretext phone call in cases where the suspect and victim know each other. The recording obtained from a pretext phone call can be very helpful in determining facts and admissions of actions, and it can be useful in subsequent interviews with the suspect and for impeachment purposes. Techniques for conducting a successful pretext phone call are presented later in this module.
Using Pretext Phone Calls in Sexual Assault Investigation
. . . a pretext phone call is simply a tape-recorded telephone call between the victim and the suspect. The call is usually initiated by the victim, under the supervision of a law enforcement officer — preferably the lead investigator or case agent. The suspect is unaware that the call is being recorded. This technique may be referred to by different terms, including “confrontational calls,” “pretense calls,” “taping,” “consensual taping,” “monitored calls,” etc.
The purpose of a pretext phone call is to elicit incriminating statements from the suspect. A suspect will frequently talk to the sexual assault victim about the incident if he believes the victim is alone and no one else is listening. The tape recording resulting from an effective pretext call gives the investigator leverage during the subsequent interview of the suspect because the investigator can confront the suspect with the statements the suspect made during the pretext phone call — statements which were recorded on tape.
Evidence and statements obtained as the result of a pretext call can be powerful evidence in court, and are sometimes key in linking the suspect to the crime. However, depending on the victim and the circumstances, a pretext call can amount to a second victimization, if the victim cannot handle the emotional consequences a pretext call can create.
Some states have laws that make it illegal to record phone calls. However, some of these states exempt law enforcement officers from these laws when the officer is acting within the scope of his or her official duties. Some states require that court authorization be obtained before recording a call. Investigators must be aware of the legal issues governing such calls in their state.
Depending on state laws and local policies, an investigator may want to consider having the victim sign a consent form prior to making the pretext call. This form can also include language to protect a law enforcement agency from potential liability in relation to any later claims by the victim, such as claims relating to emotional injury.
. . . .
Determine Whether the Pretext Phone Call is Appropriate
It is imperative that the investigator interview the victim in detail before making a pretext call. The information gained from the interview will help the investigator formulate questions for the victim to ask the suspect. The information will also help the investigator analyze the statements made by the suspect during the recorded call. The investigator should be familiar with all aspects of the case, including witness statements.
An effective pretext call can only be conducted if the victim is willing to cooperate. Keep in mind that it may be too traumatic or embarrassing for some victims to converse with the suspect effectively. And, as noted above, when deciding whether to make a pretext call, investigators must consider the emotional effect the pretext call might have on the victim. If the victim is willing to make a pretext call, it might be advisable to have a counselor or victim advocate available to help the victim immediately after the call.
Depending on the circumstances, the investigator might consider having an undercover police officer (or a friend of the victim) pose as the victim for purposes of the pretext call. Obviously, if the suspect knows the victim well, the suspect may detect a difference in the voice — and this could undermine the effectiveness of the pretext call. However, the undercover agent (or friend of the victim) might be able to "explain this away." For example, the undercover officer (or friend of the victim) might “explain” that she has been upset, has been crying, and/or has not been sleeping well.
During the undercover pretext call, the suspect may request the victim’s phone number so that he can re-contact the victim. In planning the undercover pretext call, consideration must be given as to what phone number, if any, to give the suspect.
A note of caution: If someone poses as the victim for the purposes of the pretext call, the implications to the victim and the victim’s safety must be carefully considered, discussed with the victim, and addressed. For example, after the pretext call, the suspect may attempt to re-contact the actual victim; the victim must be prepared for this possibility.
When to Make the Pretext Call
The "best" time to make a pretext phone call will depend upon the circumstances of the case. A pretext call does not have to be initiated immediately; indeed, it can be initiated days, weeks, or even months after the incident. In some instances, a long delay may cause the suspect to think he "got away with it," and he might be more willing to talk about the incident. Depending on the circumstances, multiple pretext calls may be appropriate.
In lengthy investigations, investigators should consider initiating the pretext call on a date that coincides with the “anniversary” date of the crime or on some other date on which the suspect might be thinking about the victim. For example, if the suspect knows the victim well, the victim might call the suspect on the victim’s birthday.
Preferably, a pretext call should be made before the suspect becomes aware of the investigation. However, even if the suspect knows of the investigation, a pretext call may be an appropriate tactic, especially in cases where the evidence is not yet strong enough to obtain a conviction.
When an attorney represents a suspect, the legal principles applicable to contacts with represented persons must be followed. Under such circumstances, no direct or indirect contact with the suspect should be undertaken by law enforcement -- or anyone working under the direction or control of law enforcement -- without the express authorization of a prosecutor.
If an investigator is concerned that the suspect would immediately think that a phone call from the victim must be some kind of trap, the call should be made on a weekend or late at night, when the suspect might be off guard and less suspicious.
If the resources are available, a surveillance team can be used to survey the suspect’s house and learn when he normally returns home from work. Then, on another day, the surveillance team can be in place when the victim is ready to place the call. When the surveillance team reports that the suspect has just returned home, the victim can then place the call. This procedure may minimize the stress and inconvenience of making a pretext call, only to learn that the suspect is not at home. Also, calling the suspect the moment he gets home from work might catch the suspect off guard. Finally, by using this procedure, the surveillance agents can testify that the suspect was home at the time of the call — and, thereby, provide additional evidence that it is the suspect’s voice on the tape.
Preparing for the Pretext Call
In sexual assault cases, the victim frequently knows the suspect and pretext calls can be effectively utilized. If the suspect is a complete stranger to the victim, however, a pretext call may not be possible -- the suspect may wonder how the victim got his phone number and become suspicious. However, if there is not yet enough evidence to obtain a conviction, investigators might decide that there is nothing to lose by trying. With creativity, moreover, many potential problems can be eliminated. For example, a victim that is unknown to the suspect may tell him that he is actually known to a "friend of a friend," who gave her his number.
Investigators should always prepare a list of questions and statements the victim can say to the suspect that will encourage the suspect to talk about the incident. This list should then be reviewed with the victim. The victim must always understand the purpose of the call, which is to obtain incriminating statements by the suspect. Questions and statements can then be developed in anticipation of what the suspect may say to the victim (e.g., admissions, denials, apologies, and evasiveness). These questions should be listed on paper so the victim can refer to them during the call; this is critical because many victims become nervous during the call and forget what to say. Victims should be reminded to let the suspect do most of the talking, and to avoid interrupting him.
To help prepare the victim for the possible responses by the suspect, investigators should practice or “role play” the questions with the victim. This will help the victim avoid sounding like she is reading from a script during the call. The practice sessions should be as close to the “real thing” as possible — even to the extent of having the victim call the “suspect” (the investigator) on a different line and the investigator responding in the different ways the suspect might respond. The more the victim practices under “battle conditions,” the better prepared she will be to effectively conduct the pretext call.
During the pretext call the victim should avoid harsh, accusatory questions like, "Why did you rape me!?" A suspect's usual answer to this type of question is, "I didn't rape you." A suspect may admit he took advantage of the unconscious victim, but he doesn't want to be associated with the likes of a "rapist" or a "criminal." Instead, the victim might ask the suspect something like:
"Why did you have sex with me after I pushed you away and told you to stop?"
"You knew I was out of it and didn't know what was going on, but you had sex with me anyway. Why?"
In some jurisdictions, the laws of evidence have a specific term to describe evidence which establishes that someone failed to deny an accusation under circumstances which called for a denial had the person been innocent. The term for that evidence is an “admission by silence.” See, for example, United States v. Aponte, 31 F.3d 86, 87 (2d Cir. 1994).
This type of question is more likely to elicit an incriminating statement. Victims should be advised to avoid nebulous questions like, "Why did you do it?" Rather, they should be more specific. A lack of denial by the suspect may be as incriminating as an admission.
Under the circumstances, it may be in the public interest for the victim to make misrepresentations to the suspect. For example, if the suspect asks the victim if she told the police what happened, she can tell him, "No." However, the victim should not make threatening statements like, "If you don't admit you raped me, I'm going to call the police and have you arrested."
When planning a pretext call, investigators should arrange to place the call from a location that is well suited for that purpose. For example, some law enforcement agencies have automatic answering devices on their non-undercover phone lines -- devices that, among other things, inform the caller that he has reached the law enforcement agency. Because some suspects use “Caller ID” and automatic return calling, such non-undercover phone lines should not be used. In most cases, the call can be made from the victim's residence.
Finally, the victim should not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs that could affect her judgment, thought processes, or emotional stability during the pretext call.
Making the Pretext Call
The following is a short checklist to consider when making the pretext call.
. . . .
When the victim contacts the suspect, the investigator should listen carefully to both sides of the conversation and assist the victim by pointing to questions on the list that the victim should ask the suspect. It is helpful for investigators to have a note pad handy to jot down additional questions that come to mind as the conversation develops — questions that the victim can pose to the suspect during the conversation.
Usually a pretext call will not last longer than thirty minutes. During this time, the victim should remain focused on talking about the incident. If the conversation drifts too much into other areas, the result may be a tape with little evidentiary value. Once the call is completed, the tape becomes evidence and should therefore be handled with the same care as any other piece of physical evidence.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
We had hired the best lawyer in the city. We were about to sell our home to pay for the trial. Thankfully we did not have to. We still owe considerable money to the lawyer and we will gladly pay it.
Our frustration like everyone on this site is that this girl will get off Scott free. My son passed a lie detector, the police and prosecution also know that:
1.she was stalking our son before the rape claim, calling us at all hours of the night and early am.
2.she once claimed she was pregnant by our son when that did not work was when she claimed rape
3.and she stalked him after the charge.
We decided to record the 3:00am calls she made to our son after the charges. In these calls she was providing my son with conditions / ultimatums for her to drop the charges such as couples counseling, not seeing any other women, no longer speaking to his parents - us, and dropping some friends that she deemed unsuitable. Our lawyer called it coercion. She even asked my son if he would still love her when it was over. My son had to choke out yes to keep the crazy talking.
Today our family is just relieved this horror story is over. At the same time we are very frustrated that we can do nothing about her actions and the harm she caused our son as well as the serious potential harm of going to jail and having a criminal record. By the way I am speaking Canadian law.
I read this site, during the year and a half of our ordeal as a way of giving myself some hope.
I am writing so perhaps others in similar situations will get hope from our story. My advice is keep good records - every detail can be important if you are dealing with a vindictive mentally ill female. And take a lie detector test, maybe not valid in court but it helped us.