Sunday, July 4, 2010

College woman who lied about rape gets probation. Is it time for men to get a "buddy system" to provide alibis?

A follow-up to this story: a college rape liar named Laura Gruver has been given probation for a fabrication that might have sent an innocent man to prison for many years and completely destroyed his life.  The news story reporting this is set forth at the bottom of this post.

I think the words of columnist Bevin Theodore, who wrote about this liar after her fabrication came to light, need to be taken seriously:

Women receive all sorts of advice on how to keep themselves safe from would-be attackers -- don't walk alone in dark alleys, lace your car keys through your fingers so you're ready to strike an attacker, don't be afraid that someone will think you are mean because you refuse to help them.

While it is always wise to be prudent and keep oneself out of harm's way, perhaps it is time to talk about the men who need to protect themselves from women like Gruver. Men need to be aware that there are women twisted enough to make up such a story. It is time to tell sons, brothers, male friends, anyone we care about, that men need the buddy system just as much as women, if only to provide an alibi.

What if someone had actually been arrested in this case? Gruver, in her obviously mentally disturbed state, probably would have fingered any suspect to keep the attention on herself. And her "attacker" would have been hit with much more than a misdemeanor charge, while I bet Gruver won't spend a day behind bars. While she must have a severe psychological imbalance to concoct such a horrible tale, that doesn't exculpate her.


I agree with the sentiments expressed above that men need to devise ways of protecting themselves, but I don't think a buddy system would work.  The woman would just accuse the male and his buddy of rape, and the police would automatically believe her and arrest them -- unless they could produce corroborating evidence of their innocence (because when we scrapped the requirement that she corroborate her rape claim, too many in law enforcement took that to mean the rule had been flipped on its head, requiring the male to produce corroborating evidence in order to keep from being arrested and tried for rape).

Here is the news story:

Woman who lied about ESU rape sentenced to probation

Laura Gruver, 23, of Bethlehem, was sentenced Thursday to one year of probation after admitting she lied to police about being raped Aug. 13 on East Stroudsburg University campus.

Gruver, who since has written letters of apology to ESU and police, also was ordered to continue with mental health counseling and perform 50 hours of community service.

Gruver told police she was walking to her car in the parking lot behind the Dansbury Commons cafeteria when a man grabbed her from behind, put a knife to her throat, forced her into the woods, raped her and then fled the scene. She described her attacker as young and white with brown hair, brown eyes and a tan and wearing a blue rain slicker.

She then reported the incident, saying her underwear and glasses were missing and that she believed they were still in the wooded area. Police found a pair of glasses and a pair of women’s underwear at the location where she said she had been raped.

Police went on to generate a sketch of the suspect based on her description before she finally admitted lying about the whole thing. She said she had made up the story to have something to take the focus off the personal problems she had been having.