Monday, May 31, 2010

Rape accusers provide incredible testimony, case tossed out of court

Bravo to the judge in this case. He made the right call. The girls' actions, both during the supposed "rape" and the trial, are very disturbing.  Read on about how depositions before trial -- which could reveal the accuser as a liar -- has been abolished in New Zealand.  A deposition of these girls would have avoided this farce and spared an innocent man much grief.

Judge says continuing trial against taxi driver would be "a farce"

A judge has thrown out sex charges against a Christchurch taxi driver, saying it would be "a farce" to continue.

In the Christchurch District Court yesterday, Mohammad Nadir Darwesh was discharged after Judge David Saunders ruled it would be unsafe for any properly instructed jury to find him guilty.

Darwesh had faced two charges each of detaining for sex and indecently assaulting two teenage girls.

It had emerged in court that the two complainants, both now aged 19, had attempted to extort money from the taxi driver just minutes after the alleged assaults in 2007.

Their conduct in the witness box – one girl attempted to storm out before questioning had finished and the other was unable to recall most details – was taken into account by the judge.The Crown case was that the girls had sent text messages to Darwesh and asked for a free taxi ride.

They said he took them to the Pioneer Pool car park and asked them for sex, while touching their breasts and legs and not allowing them to leave the car by locking the doors.

Darwesh contended the girls offered him sex for money, and that he declined.

Defence counsel Paul Norcross applied for the discharge under Section 347 of the Crimes Act after the prosecution finished its case about 12.30pm.

The judge agreed, saying only a jury returning a "perverse" verdict could convict Darwesh on the evidence given.

"It would be, frankly, a farce to continue at this stage."

To the jury, he said: "I see from the nods of some of you that you agree."

The judge said one of the girls had testified she could no longer remember being assaulted. The other was shown to be an unreliable witness, with a criminal record for dishonesty offending that had continued after the alleged incident.

The girls admitted sending Darwesh text messages demanding money or they would tell police he had raped them.

The judge said the alleged indecent assaults were nowhere near rape. Evidence from phone records showed one of the girls had sent five text messages in the time they were in the car with Darwesh, but they had not asked anyone for help.

Applying for the discharge, Norcross said at no time had either girl attempted to unlock the door and walk out, and they were happy to get a ride back to Barrington Mall afterwards.

Darwesh had no previous convictions and had been a police officer in Afghanistan before immigrating in 2004.

The judge told the jury that with the abolition of deposition hearings, the trial was the first chance to see the "true colours" of complainants.

The vice-president of the Canterbury branch of the New Zealand Law Society, Alistair Davis, said a committal hearing would not have helped as complainants in sex trials did not testify at depositions.

There was a "general feeling" in the profession that getting rid of depositions was wrong though, as many cases could be resolved at earlier stages.

Link: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/3613952/Sex-counts-scrapped-to-avoid-farce

Saturday, May 29, 2010

An illustration of how the American news media reports false rape claims as actual rapes

Would you like to see what sort of "rape culture" we find ourselves stranded in?  This is a chilling example of how an alleged rape that supposedly occurred in Lebanon, Ohio was reported earlier this week in American mainstream news outlets as a fact.  While some news outlets got it right, too many acted as nothing more than stenographers for police, as opposed to journalists who bother to do their own investigations.  Moreover, while many reporters couched their reports in terms of "police said" that an abduction and sexual assault occurred, it appears that police didn't actually say that. It appears that police actually said that a woman was found bound and gagged and claimed she was abducted and sexually assaulted.

This sort of reporting is typical of how rape claims are reported in this country, and this particular case illustrates the immense power of a false rape accuser to use the news media to advance and give legitimacy to her prevarications.  Women are too readily believed by the mainstream news outlets.  Some of them, looking both for sensational stories and to appear to be politically correct, almost seem to be rooting for the claim to be a fact, as awful as that seems, just because a woman said it happened.

(Thanks to Michael for the tip.)

EARLIER THIS WEEK:
 
From WDTN TV's website:

Lebanon Police are searching for an abductor who snatched a college student from her front yard.  Police said the victim was taking out the trash Monday morning in the 600 block of Franklin Road when two men approached her. The victim said they blindfolded and gagged her, tied her up, forced her into a car, and then drove to a wooded area where they assaulted her. There are no descriptions of either the suspects or their vehicle.

[Note the use of conclusory terminology that presented the "crime" as a fact.  The "abductor," not the "alleged" abductor, "snatched" a college student, not "allegedly" snatched a college student.  The report hides behind "police said" this or that.  "The victim" -- not the "alleged" victim or the "accuser" -- was approached by two men -- not "allegedly" approached" by two men, who, of course, did terrible things to "the victim."]

From WHIO radio's website:

Lebanon police are investigating the abduction of a 21-year-old woman who was later found bound and gagged. . . . . Authorities say the woman was abducted early Monday morning while taking the trash out at her home on Franklin Rd. when she was approached by two men and forced into their car where she was blind-folded, gagged and bound. Authorities say the men drove the woman to an undisclosed area where they held her there for approximately 15 hours and sexually assaulted her. At some point during the abduction, police say the men left her alone and she managed to escape back to her family's home where they found her still tied up and laying in the front yard.

[More of the same conclusory terminology that assumes a rape occurred.  Not once does the report say where the police obtained information about the alleged event -- was it based solely on the "victim's" word?]

From WHIO TV's website:

The Lebanon Police Department is investigating an abduction of a 21-year-old woman.The investigation began on Monday with a report around 2:40 p.m. by family members that the victim was missing. Officers said at approximately 10 p.m., officers and medics were dispatched to a yard on Franklin Road near Norman Lane where the victim was found bound and gagged. According to police, the woman took the trash out early Monday morning from her home and was approached by two men. The men then forced her into a car, where they blindfolded her, gagged her and bound her wrists. Sgt. Jeff Mitchell said, "Between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. Monday morning, she was taken from in front of her residence." Police said the men drove the woman to an undisclosed wooded area, where they held her for 15 hours and sexually assaulted her at times. Investigators said the men eventually left the woman alone, allowing her to escape and return to her home. Officers said the woman found by her family members lying in the front yard bound and gagged. She was taken to the Atrium Medical Center in Middletown. The name of the victim has not been released. Investigators said they are talking to witnesses and the victim to get more information about what happened.

[The same.  The accuser is a "victim" and the reporter is content to write down what "police said."  Joseph Pulitzer would be proud.] 

Here's one report that reported it the right way:

Woman, 21, found bound and gagged:  

LEBANON - Police are investigating after a 21-year-old woman was found bound and gagged in a residential yard late Monday.

The woman was found outside on Franklin Road near Norman Lane about 10 p.m. and taken to Atrium Medical Center in Middletown, police said. Her name and condition have not been released.

Police began searching for her earlier Monday after her family reported her missing about 2:40 p.m.

Police are talking with the woman and say they are working on developing leads in the case.
__________________________

Can anyone guess what really happened?  Again, from WHIO radio's site:

YESTERDAY:

UPDATED: College student lies about abduction and sexual assault

By Mike Ivcic
LEBANON, Ohio - Investigators said Thursday that a local 21-year-old pulled a hoax on local law officials. Police in Lebanon, though, aren't laughing.

Police said that Kristen Lamb of Lebanon admitted to making up the story of her abduction and sexual assault on Thursday.

Monday, police received a report around 2:40 p.m. by family members that Lamb was missing. Then, at approximately 10 p.m. Monday night, officers and medics were dispatched to a yard on Franklin Road near Norman Lane where Lamb was found bound and gagged by her family.

The University of Cincinnati nursing student originally told police that she was abducted by two men between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. while taking out the trash in front of her residence.

She then claimed to police that the men drove her to an unknown wooded area where they held her for 15 hours and raped her. Lamb said that the men eventually left her alone for a time, allowing her to escape and return home.

However, in an interview with investigators on Thursday, Lamb admitted that she fabricated the entire story. She said that she went to a wooded area and sat there for more than 15 hours after using zip ties from her father's tool box to bind her own wrists and using a pillow case from her room to cover her head.

Investigators said that Lamb took them to the wooded area north of her home, where they found the pillow case and one zip tie.

Lamb told police that she had no assistance or contact from anyone while she was gone.

Police say they attribute Lamb's actions to her family's attention to her brother's recent wedding.

Investigators are now talking with prosecutors about possible criminal charges against Lamb.

[FRS Note to reporter Mike Ivcic: We don't know if you wrote the earlier story about the alleged abduction and sexual assault that appeared on your news outlet's website, but did the authorities really say that the woman had been abducted, as your news outlet reported in the earlier story?  Or did the authorities tell your news outlet merely that the woman "claimed" she had been abducted, as you reported in the updated story?  Do you see the difference?  When a news outlet tells its readers that "police said" something happened, that is a hell of a lot different than reporting that police said that a lone accuser "claimed" something happened.  The former will be automatically believed as fact; the latter will be taken with a grain of salt.  But I suspect that reporters know that. And I suspect that some reporters -- I don't mean Mr. Ivcic -- are content with having their readers believe that a mere claim of sexual assault was an actual sexual assault.]

Friday, May 28, 2010

Rape Culture 101: The Patriarchy I Grew Up With

by Connie Chastain*

Perhaps by now, regular readers of The False Rape Society may be wondering about my adamant opposition to feminism. In the interest of disclosure, here's a bit of background.

I grew up surrounded by a sea of good, honorable, gentlemanly men (and very good women, too, despite their not being feminists) -- men of principle, high-minded men who exercised self-control and who had huge hearts full of love, men who continuously did good things for others, and not for praise or honor, because most of it was unknown and unacknowledged except to and by a few others.

These were ordinary men untouched by celebrity, unacknowledged by the world -- men who lived quiet lives in small towns in the South, who worked at a variety of occupations and earned various incomes. Among the hundreds upon hundreds of wonderful, loving men in the churches where my daddy preached when I was growing up, there were a few bad apples. I can count them on my fingers.

The eight or ten bad apples I knew personally are likely the only men feminism would acknowledge. It would try to smear all men with the deeds of those few. It's the same thing with patriarchy. All they have eyes for is the bad it "caused." But when it comes to good things, feminism basically ignores the good men have done, including things that greatly benefited women, things they would have gotten no other way.

That's why I have so little respect for feminism. I'm much more willing to acknowledge the few good things it has produced for women -- far more than feminists are willing to credit men's accomplishments. But just because some good things resulted from feminist efforts doesn't mean I have to swallow every chunk of bitter falsehood they're trying to cram down my throat.

Like claims of rape culture.

While I don't engage in male hero worship, I acknowledge and respect the differences between men and women and I don't denigrate men for being the way God made them. I do love, respect and honor men who are loving, respectable and honorable, and even some who aren't, when caught up in circumstances beyond their control. And I don't try to smear all men, or maleness itself, with the bad deeds of some, as feminism does.

Yes, patriarchy has its negatives; it's an institution of flawed humans and cannot help being flawed--but it is not the total evil feminism would have us believe. I will always be grateful to those wonderful, honorable men of my youth, who showed me the positive reality of maleness and manhood, and thus inoculated me against the virulence of radical feminism.

*Connie is a regular contributor to FRS. Her principal blog is http://conniechastain.blogspot.com/

The war against the presumptively innocent accused of rape: feminism can't move beyond misandry

This post deals with one of the most important issues the false rape community has encountered in recent years, the plan to grant anonymity to presumptively innocent men accused of rape.

Feminists who purport to advocate for rape victims were presented with a golden opportunity to demonstrate to the world that its movement had matured beyond its radical, gender-divisive "all men are rapists" and "men who are falsely accused can learn from the experience" epoch by embracing the new UK government's call for anonymity for the presumptively innocent who've been accused of rape.  They were given the opportunity to join hands with the false rape community to signal that the interests of victims of rape and victims of false rape claims are not in conflict but are, in actuality, allied.  This alliance is attested to by the rape victims who support our work at this site.

But instead, feminists who purport to advocate for rape victims chose to launch a broadside attack on the plan, incredibly branding it an "insult" to actual rape victims.  This response was punitive and grounded in emotion, and the rationale underlying it is baseless and in stark opposition to all the objectively verifiable evidence.

Leading the charge as the "go to" woman for juicy feminist quotes in the mainstream media is a specimen that goes by the name Ruth Hall, a spokeswoman for Women Against Rape (as opposed to -- what? -- "Men For Rape"?).  WAR is a typical rape advocacy group that uses outrageous statistics to shock. It's website includes the following gems: "98% of domestic violence is not reported to the police." And: "A third of women in Britain have suffered domestic violence." And: "One in three teenage girls has suffered sexual abuse from a boyfriend, one in six has been pressured into sex." And: "One in four teenage girls has experienced violence in a relationship . . . ."

Let us examine Ms. Hall's arguments in opposition to anonymity:

I.  It will prevent women from "coming forward": "Ruth Hall, a spokeswoman for Women against Rape, said the proposal would stop women coming forward to report rapes by propagating the notion that many allegations are false. They should pay attention to the 94% of reported cases that do not end in conviction rather than the few that are false. It will just support the idea that women are making false allegations."

This argument is posited with no authority beyond Ms. Hall's serene ipse dixit. The gaps, or more accurately, the chasms, in this argument are breathtaking.

First, the rationale supporting anonymity does not depend on an assumption that most rape claims are false (although that is certainly possible).  The rationale supporting anonymity is that some women and girls lie about rape -- the exact prevalence of false rape claims is neither known nor knowable -- but that the harm caused to those innocent men who are falsely accused, whatever the number, is severe.  Rape lies have caused innocent men and boys to be killed and to kill themselves (from The Scottsboro Boys to modern day); to be incarcerated often longer than their false accusers are legally permitted to be imprisoned when their lies are finally brought to light; to lose their good names, their jobs, their businesses, their life's savings, their wives, and their girlfriends; to be beaten, to be chased, to be spat upon, and to be looked upon with suspicion long after they are cleared of wrongdoing. It is often impossible for the falsely accused to ever obtain good employment once the lie hits the news: for the rest of his life, a falsely accused man will have prospective employers Googling his name and finding the horrid accusation. It is sufficiently horrible for a man to be accused of a false rape claim without having his good name destroyed with the accusation.

Second, there is no basis whatsoever to believe that women won't come forward if the men they accuse are anonymous.  None.  In fact, the opposite is more likely and would probably be preferable to actual rape victims.  When a woman accuses a male classmate of rape and his name is splashed all over the school newspaper, it often isn't very difficult to figure out who the accuser is.  The same is true outside college.  It is reasonable to assume that most rape victims looking for justice would prefer not to have their identities inferred when an intimate acquaintance of theirs is accused of rape.

Third, the overriding evidence suggests that false rape claims are a significant problem, and that the victims of false claims are not rarities.  Nobody knows for certain what the percentage of false claims is. A leading feminist legal scholar recently acknowledged: ". . . the statistics on false rape accusation widely vary and 'as a scientific matter, the frequency of false rape complaints to police or other legal authorities remains unknown.'" A. Gruber, Rape, Feminism, and the War on Crime, 84 Wash. L. Rev. 581, 595-600 (November 2009) (citation omitted). (It is well to note that feminist scholars are often out in front of sexual assault assault counselors, so Ms. Hall, take note.) Moreover, the UK's Stern Review recently refused to tie itself to any percentage: "The research that is available on false allegations gives a wide range of figures for how many there are . . . ." (Stern Review at 13.)

Any rape advocate who asserts that only a tiny percentage of rape claims are false is either grossly misinformed or a liar, because no one can make that assertion with any degree of certainty. Here is why: for every rape claim reported, as we've illustrated on this site time and time again, only a relatively small percentage can be definitively called "rape." This is beyond dispute. Fifteen percent end in conviction and of those we know that some innocent men and boys are convicted. We also know that some claims reported (the numbers vary depending on the study) are outright false. But in between the claims we are reasonably certain were actual rapes, and the ones we are reasonably certain were false claims, is a vast gray area consisting of a group of claims that cannot properly be classified as "rapes" -- because we just don't know. That's the nature of a rape claim. The claims in this vast gray middle area often suffer from evidentiary infirmities. For example, for some such claims, while the claimant herself might think a rape occurred, her outward manifestations of assent did not match her subjective disinclination to engage in sex, so it wasn't rape. Importantly, if we treated every "reported" rape as an actual rape, as some sexual assault counselors suggest, we would call each of those claims, and every false claim reported on this site, actual "rapes" -- but that wouldn't be accurate, or just.

Regardless of what the actual number might be, every impartial, objective study ever conducted on the subject shows false rape claims are a serious problem. As reported by "False Rape Allegations" by Eugene Kanin, Archives of Sexual Behavior Feb 1994 v23 n1 p81 (12), Professor Kanin’s major study of a mid-size Midwestern U.S. city over the course of nine years found that 41 percent of all rape claims were false. Kanin also studied the police records of two unnamed large state universities (without the use of polygraphs, I might add) and found that in three years, 50 percent of the 64 rapes reported to campus police were determined to be false (without the use of polygraphs).  In addition, a landmark Air Force study in 1985 studied 556 rape allegations. It found that 27% of the accusers recanted, and an independent evaluation revealed a false accusation rate of 60%. McDowell, Charles P., Ph.D. “False Allegations.” Forensic Science Digest, (publication of the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations), Vol. 11, No. 4 (December 1985), p. 64.  See also, "Until Proven Innocent," the widely praised (praised even by the New York Times, which the book skewers -- as well as almost every other major U.S. news source) and painstaking study of the Duke Lacrosse non-rape case. Authors Stuart Taylor and Professor K.C. Johnson explain that the exact number of false claims is elusive but "[t]he standard assertion by feminists that only 2 percent" or sexual assault claims "are false, which traces to Susan Brownmiller's 1975 book 'Against Our Will,' is without empirical foundation and belied by a wealth of empirical data. These data suggest that at least 9 percent and probably closer to half" of all sexual assault claims "are false . . . ." (Page 374.)

II. Being falsely accused of rape is no different than being falsely accused of any other crime: "Hall said that, while false allegations were rare, they tended to attract a great deal of publicity. "Being falsely accused of rape is a terrible ordeal, but the same could be said of being falsely accused of murder or fraud," she said."

Anyone who suggests that the false claims of other crimes are just as harmful as false rape claims is either a fool or a liar. Significant numbers of men and boys have been lynched for alleged rapes they never committed. Rape is widely considered the second most serious criminal offense aside from murder, and murder is far more difficult to lie about than rape. I challenge anyone to cite examples of false claims involving crimes other than rape that have harmed innocent people in significant numbers. The fact is, false accusations of other serious crimes are exceedingly rare, they are usually easily and immediately disproved, and they hardly ever carry the awful stigma of a false rape claim. That is a fact, irrefutable and not open to question. In contrast, when it comes to rape claims, one need not look back to the Scottsboro boys or even Duke lacrosse: I can cite for you hundreds of recent false rape cases that have hurt innocent men and boys, sometimes in the most terrible, even fatal, ways.  And most false rape claims are never reported by the news media.

III. Anonymity will hinder police investigations. Hall said: "We don't want to see men accused of rape getting special protection that people don't get for other crimes. Anonymity for men has already been tried, but then police said it hindered their investigations, because they could not put out calls for women who had been raped by the same man."

Would anonymity for men accused of rape hinder police investigations any worse than anonymity for rape accusers hinders police (not to mention innocent men) from learning that a rape accuser has made false rape allegations in the past?  The question scarcely survives its statement. Yet, we grant anonymity for women who accuse men of rape because it is thought to serve other useful purposes, just as anonymity for men would serve important purposes, even if police might prefer to have more information.  The interests of police should not trump the interests of innocent men from having their good names destroyed by rape lies.  Ms. Hall would not tolerate a suggestion that the interests of police should trump women's interests, and her disinterest in protecting the innocent members of the opposite sex suggests an inclination to punish an entire gender, the good with the bad, in the name of waging the war on rape.  Innocent men are just collateral damage whose pain is to be tolerated to serve the "more important" interest of fighting rape.  But why should the victimization of our daughters be more worthy of our protection than the victimization of our sons?
 
Who is Ruth Hall?

It is well for our readers to know about the person making the statements in question.  Ms. Hall has been at it for a long time.  Back in the 70s, the high water mark for lunatic feminism, her "militant group" was reported to have "disrupted court sessions and broken into the Defense ministry to 'serve summons' on Minister Fred Mulley" in its advocacy against rape. 

Ms. Hall doesn't seem to think all that much of the male gender in general.  Take the case where a woman testified that she was too drunk to remember if she consented to sex.  That didn't stop Ruth Hall from saying the case should have been sent to the jury anyway: "Some, like Ruth Hall, of Women Against Rape, argue that the judge at Swansea Crown Court should have allowed the jury to reach a verdict. 'We know that in certain circumstances, where drink is involved, a man will often take advantage of a woman,' she said." 

You see, a man "often" takes advantage of a woman who has been drinking, so it is perfectly fair to send this case involving a particular man to the jury for a possible conviction, even though his accuser could not say if she consented. Never mind little things such as, oh, the absence of evidence. The man should be tried and convicted based not on the evidence in his case but on the supposed sins of his gender. 

And, oh, those cunning men, they can be damn clever about how they plot out their rapes, Ms. Hall once revealed:  "Ms Hall agreed some rapists were trying new tactics - for instance briefly chatting a woman up so they could later claim it was consensual. 'Certainly some rapists think they stand a better chance with so-called date rape, because it is often regarded as less serious. So that does give them the go-ahead to commit more crime."

Ms. Hall doesn't seem to think much of the police, either: "Ruth Hall from support group Women Against Rape said that, while some officers really did want to get convictions, . . . rape cases were not a priority for police as a whole.  'The police are often very careless when handling evidence, they lose evidence, or they don't recognise evidence when it's put in front of their faces or they misinterpret facts,' she said."  And this:  "Ruth Hall, from Women Against Rape, said: 'Until people are held to account and sacked for not doing their job properly cases like this will continue to happen. The sexism and hostility to women who suffer rape and sexual assaults runs so deep officers will continue to sabotage rape cases, because this is what they are doing.'" And this:  "Evidence backs up what women say but is often left uncollected by police."

And she doesn't think much of prosecutors, either: "Ruth Hall, from the support group Women Against Rape, welcomed the new moves but said sexism was the real barrier to more prosecutions. 'There are people in positions in the criminal justice system who are supposed to be protecting us, there are people in power stopping cases getting through and blocking changes being made,' she said. 'The sexism runs very deep - it won't be changed until a few have to actually be sacked or disciplined so the others know it now is being taken seriously.'"

Ruth Hall is a rape victim's advocate. Since newspapers thrive on conflict, she is the proper person for reporters to seek out for a good, juicy quote to denigrate the call for anonymity for men.  But her interest and bias disqualifies her from setting policy on this crucial issue.  Based on the above, she does not seem at all interested in helping men falsely accused of rape.  That view is both heinous and sadly common among feminists, who have not matured beyond their "all men are rapists" stage.

Plymouth woman on cry rape charge

A WOMAN has appeared in court accused of making a false rape allegation to the police.

Melissa Handy, aged 38, is charged with intentionally doing an act which tended to pervert the course of justice. Handy, of West Malling Avenue in Ernesettle, faced Plymouth magistrates for an initial two-minute hearing. She did not enter any plea to the allegation of making a false allegation of rape on October 30 last year.

Smartly-dressed Handy only spoke to confirm her personal details.

Magistrates heard that the case was so serious it had to be sent to Crown Court.

Handy was released on unconditional bail to appear at the senior court on August 2.


Link:

http://www.thisisplymouth.co.uk/news/WOMAN-38-RAPE-CHARGE/article-2053844-detail/article.html

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Feminists tap into America's tradition of overreacting to rape in order to wage war on a gender

Feminist rape activists have dominated the public discourse on rape for the past thirty years.  More and more, rape, as defined by law or in college handbooks, has become a game of "gotcha!" with the intention of branding a male (usually a young man or boy) as a rapist for doing what most people would think is not rape. Common sense is sacrificed for robotic adherence to harsh, bright-line rules. 

A boy who is engaging in consensual sex delays withdrawing for five to ten seconds (by the girl's own admission) and he's a rapist, convicted of a felony that will forever brand him as a the most serious criminal aside from murderer. 

A college couple engages in sex after drinking: he, and he alone, is a rapist, because the one drink she had interfered with her ability to consent with 100 percent crystal clarity, and only the male is deemed to be responsible for sexual transgressions. 

A young couple has had sex dozens of times without words being spoken: he's a rapist if he proceeds in the same manner they've repeatedly done it in the past if she decides to complain about it because she does not give enthusiastic verbal assent. Even though he didn't use force; even though she never said "don't"; and even though she's been perfectly happy with this kind of sex many, many previous times.
 
Gotcha!  He's a rapist!  He goes to prison for many years, or is expelled from college after a hearing in a decidedly anti-male kangaroo court.  War has been declared on an entire gender, and persons of goodwill stand by and allow it.  Why?  One reason is because America has a long, painful tradition of overreacting to rape, so this form of overreaction seems par for the course.

The Martinsville Seven: seven lives were the price for one rape

On Friday morning, February 2, 1951, four young black men, none of them old enough to legally buy a drink, were put to death for the gang rape of a white housewife.  The following Monday, three more black men were executed for the same rape.  Today, the "Martinsville Seven" are largely forgotten, but their case was significant.  The men were tried, convicted, and sentenced to death by all-white, all-male juries.  Before the youngest was executed, he said: "God knows I didn't touch that woman, and I'll see ya'll on the other side."  It was the biggest mass execution for rape in American history.  The case was rife with racial tension as activists protested because only black men received the death penalty in Virgina for rape. 

Indeed, between 1930 and the early 1970s, 405 black men were executed in Southern states for rape.  While it is impossible to say what percentage of the convictions that led to these executions were based on actual guilt, it is fair to say that it was very difficult, perhaps nearly impossible, for black men to get a fair trial for the alleged rape of a white woman in the old South.

While activists in the Martinsville Seven case protested the unfairness of executing only black men for rape, no one thought to protest the inherent and blatant injustice of taking the life of a male of any color for the rape of a female. 

Rape historically punished more severely than the crime deserves

Throughout history, rape has often elicited a visceral reaction of outrage exceeding the actual harm inflicted by the crime.  Whether by "legal" sentences (executions or excessively lengthy prison terms), or illegal lynchings and other vigilante "justice," men traditionally have often sought to punish rapists in a manner that is, by any rational measure, not proportional to the actual crime.  Meting out excessive punishments for rape also means that the innocent are often punished severely for crimes they didn't commit.

Given its pervasive law and order attitudes, America has a long and shameful history of rape hysteria, predating the feminist revolution.  President Theodore Roosevelt's December 3, 1906 State of the Union address spent an inordinate amount of time discussing a problem peculiar to black men: lynchings for allegedly committing rape that too often took the lives of innocent men.  In that speech, Roosevelt declared without equivocation (and without explanation) that rape is a crime "even worse than murder" that deserves the death penalty.

The death penalty for rape finally outlawed 

Until the U.S. Supreme Court's 1977 decision in Coker v. Georgia, 433 U. S. 584 (1977), states were permitted to punish the rape of adult women with the death penalty.  It is interesting that outlawing the death penalty for the rape of women coincided with the height of the feminist revolution.

After Coker, the death penalty was still permitted for the rape of children.  Six states still punished the rape of a child with the death penalty at the time it was ruled unconstitutional less than two years ago in Kennedy v. Louisiana, 2008 U.S. LEXIS 5262 (June 25, 2008).  In that case, Justice Kennedy (no relation to the convicted man), writing for the majority, explained that the practice imposing the death penalty for child rape violated "evolving standards of decency," the yardstick the court uses to decide whether a punishment is cruel and unusual.  overreacting

Importantly, in Kennedy, the court expressly noted that one of the bases for its holding that the death penalty is unconstitutional for child rape was the risk of false claims. The Court explained: "The problem of unreliable, induced, and even imagined child testimony means there is a 'special risk of wrongful execution' in some child rape cases. . . . . This undermines, at least to some degree, the meaningful contribution of the death penalty to legitimate goals of punishment. Studies conclude that children are highly susceptible to suggestive questioning techniques like repetition, guided imagery, and selective reinforcement."

A significant footnote to the Kennedy case, which underscores the Court's concern about false claims, is that the victim in that particular case made a false accusation before the real rapist was arrested. Specifically, after the victim was raped by her stepfather, the victim and her stepfather both claimed that the girl was raped by two neighborhood boys. "She told the psychologist that she had been playing in the garage when a boy came over and asked her about Girl Scout cookies she was selling; and that the boy 'pulled [her by the legs to] the backyard,'. . . where he placed his hand over her mouth, 'pulled down [her] shorts,' . . . ." This, of course, turned out to be a false accusation.  What might have happened if that boy had been put to death for a rape he didn't commit?

Feminism capitalizes on America's overreaction to rape

During the oral argument of the Kennedy case, Justice Ginsburg noted that imposing the death penalty in rape cases stems from a tradition "when a woman was regarded as as good as dead once she was raped; and the crime was thought to be an offense against her husband or her father as much as it was to her."  Treating rape as akin to murder, and thus warranting the death penalty, did "no kindness to women" she noted.  See oral argument transcript at pages 23-24.

The "legal" executions of men for rape, and the illegal lynchings for rape that President Theodore Roosevelt decried, were carried out almost exclusively by men. Indeed, as we relate on this site, the killings, beatings, and other physical atrocities perpetrated against men falsely accused of rape are almost always carried out by men.  This, of course, does not excuse the false accuser, who is almost always female, of her responsibility for the harm, but it does belie modern feminist assertions that men don't take rape with sufficient seriousness.  If anything, men have time and time again overreacted to rape out of a deeply ingrained sense of chivalry.

Modern feminism, unfortunately, has turned overreaction to rape into an art form.  Too many devotees of this strange cult do not want to punish actual rapists so much as to wage war on an entire gender by turning rape into a symbol of oppression of all women. Modern feminism has transformed rape into a "gotcha" crime by engorging its definition to include garden variety sexual conduct. Among other innovations, through feminism's advocacy, the requirements of force, resistance, and corroboration were eliminated. And who suffers because of this? Innocent men and boys who never committed rape, but who are easily charged because the garden variety sexual conduct they engaged in is turned into "rape" by virtue of a simple accusation. 

Modern feminism, with its twisted and misandric take on rape, dominates the public discourse on the subject precisely because its punitive attitudes toward "rapists" are acceptable to chivalrous men, who haven't paid much attention to the details of feminism's war on rape.  If they did, perhaps they would realize that modern feminism doesn't much care if innocent men and boys are snagged along with the guilty, and that even chivalrous men are at risk of being falsely accused.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Portsmouth police say report of teen rape is false

Notice that it was her friend who called police. It does make one wonder if the teenager had sex with someone her friends and family wouldn't approve of, so when they found out, she cried rape. I guess until more information comes out, we are left to guess.

Rape in parking garage believed to be false, say police.

PORTSMOUTH — Detectives investigating a report of an attempted rape in the High-Hanover parking garage say the allegations from the teenager appear to be false.

The report occurred on Sunday night, April 11.

According to the city's public police log, a friend of the alleged victim called police at 11:28 a.m. Monday morning to report that the victim was "possibly sexually assaulted at the parking garage sometime last night."

Allegations from the reporting party involve the teenager being dragged into a van by two men who then tried to sexually assault her before she somehow escaped and fled the scene.

Police Capt. Corey MacDonald said detectives spent many hours investigating the case since it was reported. Police now believe the report was false.

"Based on hours of investigation, we don't believe a sexual assault or any attempted sexual assault occurred," said MacDonald. "We don't believe a sex assault occurred in the parking garage, or anywhere else."

The rape report remains under investigation, he said.

Link:
http://www.fosters.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100419/GJNEWS_01/704199968/-1/fosnews

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

SWAT team invades home, arrests men falsely accused of rape

Below is a news story that illustrates what we frequently say on this site: innocent men falsely accused of rape are treated as collateral damage in the "more important" war on rape. Here, police SWAT teams stormed the home of two young men, who were arrested on the say so of two young women. The victims of the false claim were later released when one of the false accusers recanted. So storm and arrest first, ask questions later. The most disturbing part? They'd do it all over again. According to the prosecutor: "Investigators took this seriously from the moment it was called in," he said. "We take all rape allegations seriously, it just turned out that this one wasn't true." A hell of a lot of them aren't true, sir, for your information. You really need to rethink this awful policy about storming the homes of the innocent, sir.  Go watch the short news video here.

The print news story follows:

Mother Apologizes for Daughter in Fort Smith False Rape Accusation

The mother of a Fort Smith woman that claimed she was raped over the weekend now says she knows her daughter lied to her.

19-year-old Heather Erin Smith and her roommate, 21-year-old Jeni Lea Melton, were arrested Saturday after police say they claimed Smith had been raped. Two men, 23-year-old Thomas McDaniel and 30-year-old Steven David, were arrested after SWAT teams stormed their home on South 24th Street but were later released when police say Smith recanted her accusation.

Smith's mother, Ericka Church, told 5NEWS on Monday that at first she had completely believed her daughter's story. She even began posting messages on the Facebook page of the man Smith accused, and called him to ask why he had hurt her daughter.

"I went onto Facebook and I left messages all over his Facebook (page), and two people that he knows," she said. "I want to apologize for saying those things, to his friends and for calling him, I shouldn't have done that, I reacted out of anger."

Police say Church now faces charges of harassing communications, and Deputy Prosecutor Joey Self says her daughter may face additional charges as well.

"That's because the false police report led to a SWAT team being called out, it led to an invasion of a home and two men being arrested," said Self.

Self said that police worked diligently to investigate the rape allegations, which turned out to be false. When asked if this case may discourage actual rape victims from coming forward for fear they wouldn't be believed, he disagreed.

"Investigators took this seriously from the moment it was called in," he said. "We take all rape allegations seriously, it just turned out that this one wasn't true."

Smith and Melton have currently bonded out of jail, and could face formal charges later this week.

Link: http://www.kfsm.com/news/kfsm-news-false-rape-allegation-folo,0,6565514.story

Lorain police rule reported kidnapping/rape as false

Based on the detailed information the two boys gave, it sounds like they were trying to get someone specific in trouble. Sounds like a revenge type of accusation, to me at least. This isn't our usual kind of story, but based on the statement by the boys that the girl was screaming "Help! Rape! Rape!", I decided to post this.

And sad to say, I left the misspellings of the word "juveniles" as they appeared in the story. Haven't news organizations ever heard of spell check?

2 boys falsely claim they witness a kidnapping.


LORAIN
— Lorain police say an abduction reported by two juvenilles on Friday was made up.

According to Lorain Police Detective Sgt. Mark McCoy, two boys told police they saw a 14-year-old girl yell “Help! Rape! Rape!” and then run from a vehicle. They told police she was chased by a man with a gun and forced back into the vehicle.

The juvenilles also told police the man began chasing them, according to a police report.

McCoy said police were put off by an extraordinary amount of detail the two witnesses were able to remember, including a description of rings the suspect was wearing, specific tattoos, a scar on the victim’s cheek and the car’s missing a muffler.

“We all kind of thought this was an incredible amount of information,” McCoy said. “It was very unusual from our perspective.”

The two boys admitted to fabricating the story when called back for a second interview with police, McCoy said.

No charges have been filed against the boys yet, but McCoy said charges are likely.

See Wednesday’s edition of The Morning Journal for more on this story.

Link:
http://www.morningjournal.com/articles/2010/04/20/news/doc4bcdd307ec800360376150.txt

Monday, May 24, 2010

An open letter to feminists opposing anonymity for men accused of rape

You were presented with a golden opportunity to show the world that your movement had matured beyond its man-hating "all men are rapists" and "men who are falsely accused can learn from the experience" period by embracing this announcement as a positive step for the falsely accused. Exactly how did you respond?

Dear feminists:

Please excuse me as I dispense with the pleasantries and polite introductions. Some of you, no doubt, will be finding this site for the first time. You will discover that it is among the few sites in the world devoted to advocating for persons who've been falsely accused of rape. The forgotten. The flotsam. The collateral damage in the war on rape. Many of you will think you know all about this site just from reading about our mission. You will assume we are angry, middle-aged men who are most likely divorced from women we've physically abused, and that we started this site to cling to our undeserved white male privilege. You will assume we think women should be barefoot, pregnant, and that men should be free to rape them with impunity.

We will not bother to dignify your hate, your foul prejudices, your childish metanarratives, with the truth.

We are frequently told by persons sympathetic to your mission that we are rash to judge feminism based on the hate screeds of their supposedly more radical sisters, "All men are rapists" and the like. We are told by some young women that feminism helps men, too. And some even insist that feminists don't approve of false rape accusations.

But here, in 2010, my dear sisters, we have seen the true face of feminism, and, when it comes to rape, it is downright evil. That is a fact, irrefutable and certain. And please excuse my bluntness.

How do I know this for certain? Late last week, the UK announced it would grant anonymity for men accused of rape. This will go a long way toward protecting men falsely accused of that awful crime, because false rape accusations destroy men as no other crime is capable of doing. This site chronicles the horror stories of men falsely accused, and our feminist sisters would do well to spend several weeks reading through this site to see how our present system destroys innocent men and boys. Anonymity will help alleviate much of their pain.

You were thus presented with a golden opportunity to show the world that your movement had matured beyond its man-hating "all men are rapists" and "men who are falsely accused can learn from the experience" period by embracing this announcement as a positive step for the falsely accused.

I have not seen a single feminist speak out in favor of this announcement. Not one.

I have seen innumerable feminists speak out with misplaced rage about it. Much like the rage they expressed when it was announced that the three Duke lacrosse players were innocent of the crime of rape.

You can try to rationalize your anger all you want with self-righteous prevarications with statistics. Spare me. I know the stats a lot better than you do, and I don't lie about them. The fact is, you are angry that any help is being given to the falsely accused because the falsely accused are almost entirely male, and your goal -- let us be completely up front -- is to shame and punish an entire gender, even the innocent men and boys falsely accused of rape, because of what a tiny percentage of evil males do. Many of you would have preferred to see Crystal Gail Mangum brutally raped than to see three "privileged" white boys declared innocent. And please don't deny it.

You are practicing a cult of man-hating and have declared yourselves our enemies. You can help prove me wrong by embracing anonymity for the presumptively innocent accused of rape. I am sure you won't. Hatred this strong isn't so quickly remedied.

But men and the women who care about them must declare war on this cult of hatred.

McCalla teen charged with making false rape report

Comment at the end of the article.

Brittany Krider arrested over false rape claim.

A McCalla teen is under arrest after authorities say she made up a story that she was raped to avoid getting in trouble for being out past her curfew.

Her tale of being attacked at a service station made its way onto the internet and grew to the point where rumors spread that the same type of incident had occurred two other times over the past week, said Jefferson County Chief Deputy Randy Christian.

"At the very least it caused serious concerns and some panic in that area and also had the potential to damage the reputation of area businesses," Christian said.

Brittany Krider, 18, is charged with giving false information to law enforcement. She was booked into the county jail Tuesday and released on $5,000 bond.

The investigation began April 13 when Bessemer police responded to the report of an 18-year-old woman being treated at a hospital for a reported rape. Krider, authorities said, told police that just after 9 p.m. she was returning to her car after paying for gas when she was forced into the back seat by a masked man and sexually assaulted.

Sheriff's deputies took over the investigation on April 15, Christian said. They reviewed surveillance video from the service station and couldn't find the victim or an alleged offender on tape. When questioned about that, Krider changed her statement to say that it happened at a home, Christian said.

Further questioning revealed the entire report was fabricated and the alleged rape case has been closed.

"I am sure this young lady never dreamed her story would get so out of hand and she sincerely regrets it. We are happy to let the good people out in McCalla know that there isn't a serial rapist on the loose out there as described," Sheriff Mike Hale said. "Hopefully Ms Krider has learned a valuable lesson about how a lie can take on a life of its own and dramatically affect many people."

[FRS COMMENT] - Based on everything we have seen since this site began, it is reasonable to assume she knew exactly what would happen, based on her story. She would get attention, everyone would bend over backward to help her, and, based on the last sentence of the story, I would guess that she actually pointed the finger of guilt at someone, but that person isn't named because it was proven false. It will be interesting to see what punishment, if any, she receives.

Link:
http://www.allvoices.com/s/event-5655451

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Rape Culture 101

By Connie Chastain*

There is no epidemic of rape, no rape culture, just as hatred of women is not pervasive in the USA. That's what I believe, based on observable evidence. Rape is a crime, well-defined in most statutes, as are the penalties for it. It is an awful crime and to mythologize it for socio-political purposes is to show little or no sympathy for the actual victims of rape.

Judging by what we can learn from the cases documented on this blog, people who falsely accuse someone of rape (usually a woman accusing a man) do so for extremely selfish reasons, and without regard for (a) truth and (b) the consequences of their lie on the falsely accused, and others.

But "rape culture" is something else entirely. While there's a certain element of selfishness in the victim mentality, rape culture is a construct fabricated for one primary purpose: the stereotyping of both sexes to the advantage of one. Women are victims, men are victimizers. The brutal rapist serving thirty years in a penitentiary is everyman. He differs from the fellow who passes you on the street only because the latter either hasn't had the opportunity yet, or hasn't been caught.

The reason I don't buy into the rape culture is because it engages in the blanket evilization of men, just as its overarching philosophy, feminism, does. That's why there is such resistance in feminist circles to acknowledging anything good about men.

Look at a typical feminist website. The ones that acknowledge this fact--that the vast majority of men are not rapists--are few and far between. Do these feminists not know that most rape laws designed to protect women were written by men, enforced by men, and the crime of rape is largely prosecuted by men? That throughout history, when women were protected from rape, men were doing the protecting?

In the United States, the number of men who rape is probably vanishingly small. I say probably because an actual figure is difficult to pin down with on-line searches. Oh, you can find all kinds of statistics, particularly those expressed as percentages (such-and-such percent of rapists are repeaters, thus-and-so percent knew their victims, etc., etc., etc.).

But if you want to know how many of the 144 million men in the USA are rapists, good luck trying to pin it down. The search for the figure has been so maddening for me, I've thrown in the towel and I'm issuing a challenge to the readers of The False Rape Society. If you know of, or can find, a reasonably reliable web source with this figure, please post it in the comments.

I'm not hopeful you'll have any more luck than I did because true believers in the rape culture aren't interested in realities like data and statistics. My guess is that the number of male rapists is a small fraction of the number of men in the United States and the fraction is not threatening enough to besmirch the vast number of American men who do not rape. Therefore, others ways must be found to besmirch them. One of them -- voila!-- is rape culture, which can encompass whatever a feminists decide to build into it, up to and including, the kitchen sink.

Photo by C. Ward

Well, okay, I'm being a smartaleck. I haven't found a feminist site that includes kitchen sinks as an element of rape culture. But what is included is quite breathtaking. And what it all boils down and adds up to is the slander of men.

Regardless of the talk about empowerment, choice, rights, opportunity for women and other window dressing, ad nauseum, misandry is the heart and soul of feminism, and the motivation behind the rape culture construct.

*Connie is a regular contributor to FRS. Her principal blog is http://conniechastain.blogspot.com/

Friday, May 21, 2010

Woman jailed for lying about rape

A follow up to our story HERE. It appears she was jailed due to the false allegation, not for not showing up for the court hearing. And not only did she get 9 months in jail, she has 18 months probation after.

Lyndsay Gorman gets 9 months for FRA.

A 20-year-old woman who falsely claimed she had been raped in a Belfast park has been jailed for nine months.

Lindsay Gorman, originally from Lake Glen Avenue in west Belfast went to police two years ago, after claiming she had been raped in Botanic Gardens.

It caused widespread alarm among female students in the university area.

An 18-year-old man was charged with the rape, but was later freed after Gorman admitted she had concocted the story.

Belfast Crown Court, sitting in Antrim, heard that Gorman had had consensual sex with two different men on the night she claimed she had been raped.

Her lawyer Denis Moloney said that Gorman was deeply ashamed of what she had done and for subjecting "an innocent man" to the full rigours of the law through a totally despicable allegation".

Judge Geoffrey Miller said Gorman had not only wasted police time, but more importantly, could have destroyed the life of a completely innocent man by her bogus claims.

Gorman, who pleaded guilty to perverting public justice, agreed to serve 18 months probation upon her release from prison.


Thanks to one of our readers for the follow up story.

Link:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/8632863.stm

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The UK grants anonymity for the presumptively innocent accused of rape, and the sexual grievance industry has a conniption

In the best news we've ever reported on this site, the UK's new Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition said today that it would extend anonymity in rape cases from putative rape victims to the presumptively innocent accused of rape. Although officials said details of the change had yet to be decided, it is likely the ban will be lifted once a suspect is convicted.

The move to end the asymmetrical anonymity that currently exists between rape accusers and rape accuseds is enlightened, just, and long overdue, and it should be applauded from the rooftops. The reputational harm to persons accused of rape who turn out to be innocent is among our greatest concerns on this site, and anonymity for the presumptively innocent will go a long way toward protecting men's good names and preventing other terrible harm that is visited on them because of rape lies.

But immediately, and as if on cue to underscore what we have always known, the sexual grievance reaffirmed its policy of unmitigated callousness and indifference to the men suffering the ravages of a false rape accusation. Ruth Hall, of Women Against Rape, declared the government's decision to grant anonymity to suspects was an "insult." She stated: "More attention needs to be paid to the 94% of reported cases that do not end in conviction rather than the few that are false," she said. "If men accused of rape got special rights to anonymity, it would reinforce the misconception that lots of women who report rape are lying."

I know nothing more about Ms. Hall than is written above, as reported by the BBC. But these attituds are hateful, unjust, and do not advance the interestes of actual rape victims. It is astounding that rape advocates pit the victimization of actual rape victims against the victimization of men falsely accused of rape, as if we are engaged in a zero-sum game. Ms. Hall's principal concern seems to be that the problem of false rape claims is not worthy of attention, given the scale of the problem of actual rape. That concern, in fact, seems to lie at the heart of our entire struggle: it is politically incorrect to advocate for the men and boys falsely accused of rape because that we have been told time and time again that the false rape problem pales in comparison with the rape problem.

Again, that purported concern is both unfounded and hateful, and in the days ahead as this matter is debated in the press, we must be willing to call hatred and lies for what they are. We've demonstrated time and time again that the false rape problem is significant. Anyone who asserts that they know how many rape claims are true or false, and how many actual rapes are unreported, is either grossly mistaken or a liar. But by any measure the false rape problem is significant, and it poses grave, sometimes fatal, problems for those men and boys affected by it.

More importantly, it is both astounding and hateful that members of the sexual grievance industry feel the need to engage in a sort of twisted Oppression Olympics, where it is politically incorrect to exhibit the slightest sympathy for the falsely accused. It would be akin to persons who fight cancer opposing any aid for the victims of heart attacks. When it comes to false rape claims, we are instructed to stand by and cavalierly watch as men and boys are killed, or kill themselves after having been falsely accused. We must blithely look the other way as they are beaten, spat upon, and chased. We must happily tolerate it when they lose their wives, their girlfriends, the love and support of their families, their jobs, their businesses, their life's savings, and their sanity over a false rape claim. We must insist it is perfectly acceptable that a falsely accused man's name is permitted to be splashed all over the news so that any time, for the rest of his life, that anyone -- from lovers to prospective employers -- "Googles" his name, they will learn of the awful accusation. By the way, examples of each of the above are found in news stories reported on this site.

Just as a bell can't be un-rung, just as toothpaste can't be put back into the tube, a false rape claim sticks forever. It is impossible to completely disprove it.

Anyone who suggests that the false claims of other crimes are just as harmful as false rape claims is either a fool or a liar. I challenge anyone to cite examples of false claims involving crimes other than rape that have harmed innocent people. The fact is, false accusations of other crimes are rare, they are almost always easily and immediately disproved, and they hardly ever carry the awful stigma of a false rape claim. That is a fact, irrefutable and not open to question. In contrast, when it comes to rape claims, one need not look back to the Scottsboro boys or even Duke lacroose: I can cite for you hundreds of recent false rape cases that have hurt innocent men and boys, sometimes in the most terrible, even fatal, ways.

It is well to note as an indicia of the unfairness in this area that many times the names of falsely accused men are used in news stories while their false accusers are not named. By any measure, that is not just.

At the core of the sexual grievance industry's objection to this decision, I suspect, is something that goes beyond feminist advocacy. It is something that goes beyond trying to help actual rape victims. At its core, I think, is something downright evil: the insistence that no concern be shown to falsely accused men is a sort of cruel payback against an entire gender. Women who are being raped aren't being helped sufficiently, they assert, so it is improper to show even the slightest concern for the falsely accused, since they are usually of the same gender as women's rapists.

That last paragraph is something I have been loathe to come out and say but for a long time have known in my heart to be true. I have long believed that it is the reason the sexual grievance industry opposes our efforts here and refuses to extend any -- and I do mean "any" -- symptathy to the falsely accused. By any measure, that attitude is morally grotesque.

Prosecutors need to be held accountable for overzealous charging policies

We don't need to look back to Duke lacrosse to make the point suggested by the headline of this post. Several dramatic recent posts on this site, see, e.g., here and here, have underscored the crucial importance that prosecutors' charging policies play in the false rape milieu. In both of those cases, and in many others, a decision not to charge easily could have been justified.

A prosecutor is the gatekeeper of justice who should only bring charges, as Prof. Bennett L. Gershman has described it, when he or she is convinced to a moral certainty of both the defendant's factual and legal guilt. To bring charges when there is any less certainty does not fulfill the prosecutor's duty to do justice, but invites miscarriages and the possible conviction of an innocent defendant.

We recently saw a thoughtful application of a rational charging policy when Georgia district attorney Fredric D. Bright announced that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would not face charges for sexual assault. He explained that the duty of a District Attorney is to seek justice, and not merely to convict. He said that the sexual allegation "cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt."

Abbe Smith, the former deputy director of the Criminal Justice Institute at Harvard Law School who now teaches legal ethics at Georgetown University said this: "The charging decision is a critical decision. You should not prosecute every case."

Nancy J. Diehl, head of the felony trial division at the Wayne County Michigan Prosecutor's Office, suggested a helpful guide: "In cases where there is a motive, we take an even harder look," Diehl said.

"He said/she said" cases, without any other evidence, and where both sides are plausible, should not be prosecuted. Prosecutors should not look to "get lucky" in doubtful cases, hoping to get the "right" jury that might send a male away for decades for a crime the prosecutor isn't confident to a moral certainty he committed.

Most prosecutors, of course, are not overzealous in bringing rape charges. Those who are, however, have destroyed lives and have cost many men their life savings. We need to call them out when we see overzealous charging.

Dwayne Dail Case

Let's recall one case where charges were brought when they didn't have to be. Remember the Dwayne Dail case? Mr. Dail, then 19-years-old, was wrongfully convicted of rape based on the say so of a twelve year old girl. Mr. Dail served 18 years in prison where he was subjected to prison atrocities and repeatedly victimized by the crime that he did not commit but was convicted for.

Don Strickland, the attorney who prosecuted the Dail rape case, justified bringing the case as follows: "I didn't have the strongest case in the world, but nor did I have the weakest."

Let us stop. If we are going to destroy a man's life, don't you think we should insist that the prosecutor have a strong case?

Strickland explained that his prosecution of Dail hinged on two things -- the victim's identification and the "microscopically consistent" hair found on the rug in her room (which just meant that the hair had the same characteristics as Mr. Dail's hair). Strickland said: "The strongest thing I remember about it was the way she identified him. She was walking in an apartment area and she just froze and said 'Mom, that's him.' She was an excellent witness. She was almost a prosecutor's dream. She positively (identified) him." (A "prosecutor's dream" -- because she seemed so believable. Never mind whether she really was telling the truth.)

As for the hair: "The science of that hair match was not the greatest in the world, but in those days we didn't have DNA. It was the best we had. I thought it was better than nothing, but it turned out it wasn't."

And a pubic hair found at the scene did not match Mr. Dail.

They had other "evidence," too -- useless evidence -- a vaginal swab, but they weren't able to make an accurate determination whether the semen had come from Mr. Dail or not.

What about the police investigation? "It wasn't the greatest police work in the case. That detective was no Sherlock Holmes."

Accordingly, the Dail case combined junk science with the "consistent" hair that the prosecutor now admits was the same as nothing, evidence that was inconsistent with Mr. Dail's involvement, evidence that everyone accepted showed nothing (the vaginal swab), and a mediocre police investigation.

So what was left? A twelve-year-old girl who was very believable. It was that a twelve-year-old girl who sent a 19-year-old man to prison for 18 years -- because a district attorney and the jury believed her over him.

As the prosecutor said: "The girl said that he was the guy who did it. I couldn't dismiss that," Strickland said.

Read that last sentence again and again and again. Let it sink in. A man's liberty, his life, was completely in the hands of a twelve-year-old girl. Thanks to a prosecutor willing to roll the dice with a man's life. His life was destroyed because of a twelve-year-old girl.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, tells us that there is something very, very wrong with any system that allows that.

Clarksville Police charges woman with lying about sexual assault

A Sunset Drive woman was charged Friday with lying about a sexual assault she said occurred April 10.

According to an arrest warrant filed by Clarksville Police Det. Tina Slaven, Leah Anne-Elizabeth Hall, 19, who gave a 238 Sunset Drive address, went to Gateway Medical Center on April 10 and reported she had been sexually assaulted by a white male in the early morning hours.

On April 14, Hall told Slaven via text message that there had been no sexual assault in the 2300 block of Raleigh Drive.

Hall was charged with filing a false report and held on a $5,000 bond.


Link:
http://www.theleafchronicle.com/article/20100417/NEWS01/100417003/Clarksville+Police+charges+woman+with+lying+about+sexual+assault

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Portsmouth police: Parking garage assault report was false

PORTSMOUTH — Four days after a teenager reported she was sexually assaulted in a downtown parking garage, police believe the report was false.

"Based on our investigation, we don't believe there was any sexual assault or any attempted sexual assault," said Capt. Corey MacDonald. "We don't believe a sex assault occurred in the parking garage, or anywhere else related to the allegation."

The rape report remains under investigation, said MacDonald, adding he could not elaborate "at this point."
According to the city's public police log, the teen reported being dragged into a van by two men who tried to sexually assault her before she made an escape and fled from the scene. The crime was alleged to have occurred Sunday night in the High-Hanover parking garage.

MacDonald said detectives vigorously investigated the allegation since it was first reported.

From the trenches: police frequently investigate false claims of sexual assault, but they're rarely prosecuted

To properly understand the false rape epidemic, it is well to listen to the persons in the trenches who confront false rape claims more than anyone, law enforcement officials. A 20-year veteran detective sergeant in a suburban police department writes about his experiences, and he recently had this to say about false claims of sexual assault:

Police frequently investigate reports that turn out to be false. False police reports are generally motivated by a desire to escape responsibility for one's actions, a need for attention, or vindictiveness.

Most of the fake reports I've seen have been claims of sexual assault and robbery or theft. The robbery and theft reports were made to account for money spent on gambling, women, drugs or booze (in that order). I'm not talking about people making a false report to conceal a crime that they committed--I'm talking about people making a false report as part of an elaborate excuse for their own weakness.

I've seen false allegations of sexual assault made out of shame or religious conflict--"I'm a good girl, I couldn't possibly have had 9 Jager bombs and a few Long Island ice teas and gone home with a stranger, I must have been raped!" I've seen sexual assault allegations made to get attention from parents and boyfriends. We've also investigated more than a few cases that involved people who made reports because they needed treatment for an STD or physical injuries they'd sustained during consensual sex, and were too embarrassed to go to the family doctor.

Most of the time, people who make these false reports don't get prosecuted. In some cases it's an obvious mental health issue, and to prosecute would seem like piling on to an already deeply troubled person. It helps if we catch the lie early enough that we don't have to spend time and energy investigating it. If the investigation expands, generates media attention, and creates public alarm, it's more likely the false reporter will be charged.

A good example would be the case of Audrey Seiler. In 2004 Seiler, a University of Wisconsin student in Madison, claimed she was abducted at knifepoint. The investigation cost the Madison Police Department nearly $100,000.

Link: http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/arresting-tales/2010/05/gary-hunninghake-false-police-reports-and-desperate-people.html

FRS COMMENT: The loose criteria mentioned by the officer for whether or not to charge the crime of false reporting nowhere mentions the single most significant factor: whether an innocent person was harmed by the the lie. Was an innocent man or boy targeted, or arrested?

In addition, the comment about "piling on" is perplexing. Would a police officer say that about the perpetrator of a crime that almost exclusively hurts women? The answer is "no." And that is irrefutable.

We've noted on this blog repeatedly that law enforcement officials generally do a wonderful job of weeding out the vast majority of false rape claims before they become an issue. But it would greatly help end the false rape epidemic if police stopped viewing themselves as chivalrous protectors of frail women. Only when false rape claims are treated as what they are -- serious crimes -- will the epidemic cease being an epidemic.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Earnest Feminism

This is a guest post by Snark, cross-posted at his blog Remasculation.

I have noticed an uptick, in the last few weeks, in the clamoring by feminists to tell us all that feminism is not what we think it is.

They are doing this on our home turf - on MRA blogs and websites, leading me to believe that they are getting a little concerned that the party might well and truly soon be all over.

They typically phrase their objections in the form of incredulous (and leading) questions - you guys don't really think this is what feminism is, do you? You don't actually think that feminists believe that, do you? What, you mean to tell me that the sky is actually blue? Get outta here!

When Professor Lionel Tiger debated the insufferable Amanda Hess regarding the legitimacy of Male Studies, he remarked that earnest feminism cannot provide the answers so desperately needed for the problems facing men today.

His use of this phrase got me thinking. It describes so perfectly the close encounters of the earnest kind that hives of counter-feminist activity are becoming increasingly prone to.

Acquaintance 'rape' double standards

An excerpt from a post on Cathy Young's blog:

Some years ago while researching an article on the date-rape controversy, I interviewed several people on various college campuses who had some connection to the handling of sexual assault policies and complaints — mostly university officials and counselors. As a litmus test of sorts, I showed them an article someone had sent to me from a campus newspaper in which the author recounted an experience of “rape” by a girlfriend, consisting of non-forcible but persistent advances to which the author finally gave in. (The girlfriend began to make sexual overtures after the author told her, while in bed together, that perhaps they should end the relationship.) Rather to my dismay, almost every person I interviewed agreed that this story was in fact a rape. (By contrast, every single person to whom I showed it outside academia thought it was ridiculous, and several thought it was a parody.) The exception was one Women’s Center counselor who looked quite annoyed at first when she was reading the article, and made a comment about how the author was obviously trying to make a point. Then, as she read on, her expression changed and she said, “Oh … it’s a woman.” The author was indeed a woman; the counselor had mistakenly thought it was a man, and assumed that this man was trying to make the point that, by some current definitions of rape, women routinely rape men too.

FRS COMMENT: First, to consider this incident "rape," based on these facts alone, is absurd regardless of the gender. Second, if it's not rape when women do it, it's not rape when men do it. Persons who assume it must be rape when males are the "aggressors" but not the other way around only serve to underscore how politicized the entire issue has become.

Tracee Marie Deane Jailed Over False Allegations

The sentence was too harsh. That is what this lady's husband thinks. Gee, would the years that the falsely accused would have gotten been "too harsh," sir?  To falsely accuse someone who is mentally impaired is about as low as I've seen in this arena.

What I do find very surprising is the length of the sentence. New Zealand isn't known for very harsh punishments towards women. I would hazard to guess that if it were just the false sexual assault allegation, the sentence would have been less severe.

Tracee Marie Deane sentenced to 2 years 8 months for false accusation, fraud and theft

Wellington, April 15 NZPA - A Nelson woman has been jailed after instigating false accusations of sexual assault against a mentally impaired man.

Tracee Marie Deane, a 39-year-old mother and stepmother of five, was yesterday sentenced to two years eight months in prison after admitting a number of charges, including conspiring to bring a false accusation, fraud and theft, the Nelson Mail reported.

The false accusation charge related to an incident in May last year when Deane and her daughter were at the library with a friend when they saw a mentally impaired man with whom Deane had bad blood.

They called police and said the man had grabbed Deane's daughter's breasts and groped her. The man was arrested and charged with indecent assault.

Police began to have doubts as security camera footage at the library failed to back up the story.

Deane's daughter and her friend, who was also mentally impaired, were re-interviewed and both said the woman had told them to lie.

Judge Tony Zohrab said the serious nature of Deane's offending meant a sentence of over two years was warranted.

Her dishonesty offences were against other vulnerable people and included stealing from a woman in a community home.

Deane's husband told the newspaper the sentence was too harsh.

Link: http://www.voxy.co.nz/national/woman-jailed-over-false-allegations/5/45142

Monday, May 17, 2010

DNA test clears American musician after 28 years in jail for rape

Sometimes, you just have to let the story speak for itself.

“You’re going to have to bear with me,” the judge said. “I know you’re anxious.”

For a man wrongly convicted of rape almost 30 years ago, Raymond Towler did not look anxious.

Perhaps it was because a few more minutes in custody made little difference after so long. Perhaps it was because he had a reasonable idea of what Judge Eileen Gallagher was about to say.

In an extraordinary scene, barely noticed in America this week amid coverage of the enormous oil spill and the New York bomb plot, Mr Towler, a 52-year-old musician, walked free from a Cleveland court after spending more than half his life in prison for a crime of which he always maintained his innocence and which DNA analysis proved he did not commit.

His case is not unique, but the way it ended was uniquely moving. It may serve to galvanise a national movement of lawyers and activists who have used DNA evidence to free more than 250 inmates since 1992, almost all of them black men, but who have so far lacked the resources to tackle thousands of other cases in which experts’ fear of “junk science” and racial bias have produced unsafe convictions.

The moment of truth came just after 9am on Wednesday. After a brief recap of his arrest, trial and conviction for the rape of an 11-year-old girl in 1981, Judge Gallagher turned to the results of DNA analysis of skin and semen samples that she ordered two years ago from a lab in Texas. Both samples came from the victim’s underwear. They did not match the girl’s DNA, but they did match each other.

“They are consistent with deriving from the same individual, the assailant of the victim,” Judge Gallagher said. “And that individual was clearly not Raymond Towler.”

Mr Towler, in a white shirt and black V-neck sweater, blinked and briefly lowered his head. “It’s been a long time coming,” Judge Gallagher noted. Her voice breaking, she then read to the court an Irish blessing more commonly heard at weddings: “May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm on your face, may the rain fall softly upon your fields. May God hold you in the palm of his hand, now and forever.”

Wiping tears from her face, the judge stepped forward to shake the hand of a man known to the state of Ohio for more than quarter of a century as Inmate A16468. “Good luck to you, Mr Towler,” she said. “You’re free.”

Mr Towler shook hands with his lawyers, a team of three from the Ohio Innocence Project at the University of Cincinnati, then hugged his brother and sister. Asked how he had been able to get up each morning knowing he had been wrongly convicted, he said: “You’ve got to get up, you know what I mean? Get up with God in your spirit and God will lead the way forward.”

Under state law, Mr Towler is entitled to $40,330 (£27,350) for every year of his wrongful imprisonment, not including lost wages and any damages he may win by suing the Ohio Department of Corrections. A previous inmate wrongfully jailed for a shorter period was awarded $1.4 million.

Mr Towler appeared to bear no grudge. “Evidently a crime was committed and I’ve got to respect that they tried the best that they could,” he said. “They had the wrong person. It took them a while to straighten it out but all I care about right now is that they did straighten it out.”

The authorities still have no idea who the culprit is, but the prosecutor, Bill Mason, said that the case was open and there would be a new examination of crime scene evidence.

Outside the court Mr Towler began taking in his new surroundings en route to a pizza restaurant. “Even though I was raised here I’ve still got to do a lot of sightseeing,” he said.

Despite pleading not guilty and offering a solid alibi, Mr Towler was sentenced to life without parole on the basis of a Cleveland police officer’s suspicion during a routine traffic stop that he resembled the man sought in a rape that had occurred two weeks earlier. He was later picked out by the victim from an identity parade.

“One of the leading causes of these wrongful convictions is witness misidentification, especially with crossracial identification,” Carrie Wood, one of Mr Towler’s lawyers, said. “There is still racial prejudice in our society. Anyone who tells you different just doesn’t have those interactions.”

Hat tip to AfOR
Link: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article7120167.ece

Woman who reported false rape waives court hearing

Covering up an affair, and possible pregnancy. Those are as good a reason as any to say you were raped. Chalk another one up to covering bad behavior.

Corl Lynn Keith to stand trial over false rape claim.

The woman who reported a false rape in March to cover up an affair, will stand trial after waiving her right to a preliminary hearing today.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

You heard about Lawrence Taylor's arrest for rape, but did you hear about this?

My guess is that you haven't heard of it. News that a famous athlete has committed rape is big news.  News that there's evidence the claim was false, not so much.  And isn't it nice of AP writer Colleen Long to call the accuswer "the victim"?  I left a comment under the story about that.  Here is the story:

Woman says Taylor did not have sex with teen

NEW YORK -- A woman has come forward as a defense witness in the sexual assault case against Lawrence Taylor, saying the 16-year-old girl who accused the NFL legend of rape never had sex with him, according to a statement from the woman confirmed Friday by Taylor's attorney.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Rape Culture 101 -- The Origins

By Connie Chastain*
So, how long has rape culture been around? Has it always existed? If not, when did it start and under what circumstances? Did folks just wake up one morning and there it was?

I surfed the net a bit trying to answer this question and finally found one post at a blog titled "Feminist Whore" (lovely) with a tad of information on the origins of the term, "rape culture."

It seems the phrase dates to a 1974 documentary film about ... prison rape.

There's a curious thing about this blog post, though. Feminist orthodoxy has claimed for decades that rape is not about sex, it's about power. The blog notes, however, that this was "the first documentary to establish the relationship between rape and our culture’s sexual fantatasies (sic)." How can that be, if rape is about power, not sex?

And besides, I'm looking for the origins of rape culture itself, not the terminology used to describe or identify it.

Thus far, it appears that the concept of rape culture did not exist before the 1970s. Its appearance coincides with the rise of second-wave feminism and begins to make itself known in the era of "Take Back the Night" extravaganzas.

Apparently, the idea behind "Take Back the Night" was that a woman alone cannot walk safely after dark. But I've always wondered -- take the night back .. where? When has the night ever been safe? Darkness has always been a cover for evil deeds, and it isn't just women who are menaced by the dangers lurking in the shadows. Nevertheless, these night-reclaiming organizations and activities assume the woman-as-perpetual-victim position that underlies feminism.

So did rape culture exist before second wave feminism and nobody realized it? Did it come into existence because women began to assert their independence about that time? Who created it? The patriarchy, which appears to be responsible for all that ails Planet Earth? Or have women themselves played a role in the creation and maintenance of said rape culture?

Tracking down the origins will comprise research for future essays. Interesting, though, that an idea so pervasive requires one to undertake research and inquiry in order to pinpoint its beginning. Considering the multitude of women's studies departments in academia, the feminist press and the influence of feminism on news and entertainment media, you'd think that the origins of something this important would be well-documented and easily located. A quick Google search should turn up everything you'd want to know about it.

Well, it doesn't.

By contrast, if false rape accusation can be termed a "culture", the first recorded instance of it can easily be traced to antiquity, to about 1500 BCE in Egypt. We all know the story that has come down to us, preserved in Scripture. Joseph, a good-looking young Hebrew slave in the service of Potiphar, officer of the Pharaoh, catches the eye of Mrs. Potiphar. She attempts to seduce him, he resists, she cries rape and Joseph gets thrown in prison....

It's a story as old as the sands of Egypt, as recent as today's news cycle. And Google will tell you all about it.

Links referred to in this post:
Feminist Whore:
http://feministwhore.wordpress.com/2009/12/13/the-origin-of-the-term-rape-culture/

Joseph: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+39&version=NIV
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_%28Biblical_figure)



*Connie is a regular contributor to FRS. Her principal blog is http://conniechastain.blogspot.com/