Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Flashback: False accuser fined because she cost the state a lot of money, not to mention the four men she had jailed for four months

An oldie but a goodie -- a case that needs to be read because the prosecutor was so crass in suggesting the harm to the falsely accused was secondary to the cost to the state. Do prosecutors do this because they can't bear to admit the system played a crucial role in victimizing innocent men and boys?

Fined for false rape claim

JOHANNESBURG – A 16-year-old girl who lied about being raped by four young men in Dobsonville in April this year was fined R2 000 for defeating the ends of justice.

A further 12-month prison sentence was suspended for five years.

She was charged in the Roodepoort Regional Court after she changed her initial statement to police saying that she made up the story of being raped and that the four men, who were awaiting trial at that stage had, in fact, never touched her.

Magistrate Jonathan Ratshivhaumo said there were substantial and compelling circumstances to justify a minimum sentence.

Among these were the fact that the accused is 16, is a first offender and that there was evidence before the court that she was generally well-behaved.

However, he added, the court had to show in its meting out of justice that the offence was a serious one and that the sentence in this case had to set an example.

“You have caused serious damage with your accusations and because of your false statement, you have misled not only the SAPS, but also the justice system.

“It is the duty of the court to make an example of you. Enough time and money has been wasted,” Ratshivhaumo said.

State prosecutor Una van der Schyff agreed with the sentence.

“The accused made a mockery of the justice system and cost the state a lot of money, not to mention the trauma that she caused to the four men she put in prison while awaiting trial for four months,” she said.

It cost the State about R54 700 to house the four rape suspects for a period of four months. – CNS.