Saturday, January 23, 2010

Police: Teen lied about sexual assault

FRS comments will be interspersed.

Police don’t know why 14-year-old made up story of being abducted.

A 14-year-old girl lied about being sexually assaulted Jan. 14 near a school bus stop on Steam Mill Road, Columbus Police Chief Ricky Boren said during a news conference Friday.

Glaring inconsistencies in evidence collected by investigators from the scene of the alleged crime as well as a confession from the East Columbus Magnet Academy student led police to charge her with falsely reporting a crime. She has been released to the custody of her mother. The charge is a misdemeanor and will be handled by juvenile court because of the girl’s age, Boren said.

FRS Comment: A misdemeanor and juvenile court. Which means that all proceedings are private, and the public will never know what the outcome is. And, since she is anonymous, she is free to do this again, because no one will ever know what she did.

Boren said the 14-year-old admitted around noon Thursday that she had fabricated her story. The chief said he did not know why the girl lied.

FRS Comment: Did the chief ever think to maybe ask?

“The mother expresses regret that it happened and was very apologetic to the police investigators as well as the city of Columbus and the east Columbus neighborhoods,” Boren said.

The student had told investigators she was walking to a bus stop on Steam Mill Road when a heavyset man with a lazy eye grabbed her near the intersection of R.C. Allen Drive, dragged her west into the woods and assaulted her.

Her report caused additional alarm because it came less than two weeks after a 12-year-old girl was abducted Jan. 6 while walking to East Columbus Magnet Academy and assaulted in a restroom at Belvedere Park.

FRS Comment: Would it have possibly caused less alarm if the police had investigated the claim first, before they decided to publicly announce something that was determined to be false?

Investigators arrested 20-year-old Marcus Louis Wade in that case, and they are following up on other reports they believe involved Wade, Boren said. But since Wade’s arrest, police have received no fresh, credible reports of someone stalking school children, he said. Wade still is being held in the Muscogee County Jail on multiple charges, including child molestation, aggravated child molestation, aggravated sodomy, kidnapping and armed robbery.

During a 3 p.m. news conference Friday at the Columbus Public Safety Center, Boren urged residents to consider some of the “positives” of the situation.

The chief said neighbors in southeast Columbus are working together to protect their children, with residents watching for suspicious people and churches offering to protect students on their way to school. And just the fact that the assault did not happen was a relief to investigators and to parents fearing a predator was prowling that part of town, he said.

FRS Comment: Lets also look at the negatives. Every single person who wasn't from this neighborhood was looked at with suspicion, people were living with a fear that was unecessary, and could have been prevented. People were protecting their children from something that didn't exist. Those are just a few that come to mind.

Still, residents always should be wary of crime, Boren said.

“I think that you always have to take care of your children,” Boren said. “I think that we live in a society today that demands that we take care of our children ... And I do not think that we should drop our guard anytime we’re dealing with a child.”

One reason police did not earlier announce the girl had recanted her story was that they did not want to give a false sense of security to residents attending a meeting Thursday night at St. James Missionary Baptist Church, where ministers asked neighbors to work together to protect children.

FRS Comment: You didn't announce it because you didn't want to give a false sense of security? Seriously? So you supported a lie and kept people in a state of fear, and that is how you give a sense of security?

“We see a neighborhood that’s now closer together,” Boren said.

Julie Rose, a licensed psychologist who has worked with and researched sexual abuse victims and sexual assault, said the very fact that the police poured investigative resources and manpower into what turned out to be a fictional account of a sexual assault could have negative psychological effects on true victims of such crimes.

FRS Comment: Hang on to your hats. Lets see if this makes any sense. The police took a rape accusation serious, put who knows how many resources and manpower into the investigation, and that is going to have a NEGATIVE effect on real victims of rape? After hearing people such as Miss Rose constantly state that victims don't come forward because police don't take their claim seriously, now it is the fact that police do take the claim seriously, that will have a negative affect. Talk about trying to have your cake and eat it too.

Rose said stories like this do discourage rape and sexual assault victims from filing police reports and seeking help, because they doubt authorities will believe them.

FRS Comment: Again, the police believe the story, take immediate action to investigate the claim, and Miss Rose states that people are afraid they won't be believed. Sorry, but the actions taken by the police show that they WILL be believed, and that Miss Rose's statements are pure garbage.

“Any time somebody falsely accuses someone ... victims out there feel betrayed and they get very upset, because they feel that this was a horrific type of trauma that happened to them, and now this other person’s duplicating it out of whatever motivation she has.”

Rose encouraged all victims to get help as quickly as possible after an assault because “time is definitely of the essence.”

“About this particular case, people should keep in mind that this is a 14-year-old, and there are all sorts of reasons people make false accusations, and I’m sure the situation is more complicated than any of us will understand. But the primary thing for most people to know is that it’s not a reason to not go forward, that it only keeps perpetuating the cycle of violence and sexual assault when someone does not go forward.”

FRS Comment: Please note the part in italics. Seems to me, that several studies have come to the same conclusion. Glad to have a bit of confirmation from someone within the "Rape Industry". And no Miss Rose, what keeps the cycle going, is that there is no real concerted effort to get to the root causes of violence and sexual assault, and actually fix the problem. And this is a case of a false allegation, which does a disservice to those falsely accused first, and those who are ACTUAL victims of these types of things, second. Perhaps, if you were to advocate for stricter punishments for false accusers, who do more to damage the credibility of true victims, we wouldn't see so many false accusations. But the focus on a completely different crime than the one this girl committed, does a very large disservice to those who are falsely accused. And it is shameful.