Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Another college rape hoax put to rest

For all the hand-wringing on our our college campuses about the supposed under-reporting of rape, the so-called campus "rape culture" that disrespects women, and the purported trivialization of sexual assault, there are a hell of lot of phony rape claims reported by college women, aren't there? 

Heather MacDonald succinctly summed up the campus rape crisis in four words: ". . . the crisis doesn’t exist."

Last week we reported that an alleged rape at Seton Hall rape didn't happen the way the accuser claimed.  Laura Siegel said she had been assaulted on campus by a stranger -- a young black man, 20 or 21 years old, approximately 6-foot, 2-inches tall, with a muscular build and short hair.

We figured it was a lie because a scary stranger rape on campus is incredibly rare (and in this case, "scary" is a code word for "an allegation of rape involving a big, frightening black guy" -- yes, believe it or not, these false rape cases frequently have an element of racial animus).

Eventually, after panicking the college community, she changed her story and said that it didn't happen on campus after all, and it was an acquaintance who assaulted her.  She said she "went with a man willingly off-campus, where a sexual assault took place. That's what the police are investigating."

That didn't stop some students from plowing ahead with a planned protest over campus security. After all, why let a little good old-fashioned rape hysteria go to waste? 

Funny, no one seemed especially concerned about the security of innocent 20 or 21 year-old black males, given that one of them might have been arrested and had his life effectively destroyed over Ms. Siegel's lie.

In any event, we figured that Ms. Siegel's story about the off-campus rape was a lie, too. After all, why would a woman who actually was raped by an acquaintance initially lie to police and say she was raped by a stranger somewhere else? (And presumably the description of the stranger did not match the acquaintance?) Answer: she wanted everyone to think she was raped (perhaps to "explain" an illicit sexual hook-up that she feared might lead to a pregnancy) but obviously didn't want the police to catch the man with whom she had sex.

The latest: the police have now stop investigating the alleged rape and have charged Ms. Siegel with fabricating a sexual assault.  Here is the news story:

Police Charge Seton Hall Student with Fabricating Sexual Assault

18-year-old charged with making false claim

A Seton Hall University student, who said she was sexually assaulted in campus parking lot F on Nov. 16, has been charged with filing a false police report, according to the Essex County Prosecutor's Office and a South Orange Police Department release dated Nov. 30.

South Orange police have charged Laura Siegel, 18, of Williamsburg, Va., with making a false report of a sexual assault. Siegel claimed the alleged assault happened in lot F, near Ivy Hill Park on the South Orange campus, the prosecutor's office said.

Siegel's original statement to police said that at 11 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16, she left Walsh Library on the university's campus for her residence hall. She was then approached by a clean-shaven black man, 20 or 21 years old, approximately 6-foot, 2-inches tall, with a muscular build and short hair. She claimed he led her to a car parked outside the parking deck. The alleged assault took place next to a car, according to authorities.

On Friday, Nov. 19, Siegel recanted her story and said the assault occurred off campus. Meanwhile, students and faculty challenged security measures on campus and students held a Nov. 22 protest on the university lawn to voice displeasure about what they felt were security flaws at the university.

The woman’s name was released by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office and is considered public record. The prosecutor’s office also confirmed the investigation into the matter has ended.

According to Siegel's Facebook account, she's currently a freshman at Seton Hall and enrolled in the criminal justice and international relations program.

Filing a false police report is considered a disorderly persons offense, according to the SOPD, who consulted with the prosecutor's office on the case. Siegel is expected in court on Dec. 6.

Siegel could face up to six months in prison and fines, according to authorities.