Monday, February 14, 2011

The Dark Side of Valentine's Day: When 'True Love' Turns Into Rape Lies

While callow and haughty college women all over America transmogrify a day synonymous with male-female love into a “consciousness-raising” day about how men allegedly assault women, it is well to do a reality check.

This Valentine's Day, untold numbers of innocent men and boys, certainly numbering in the thousands, rot in jail cells for sex crimes they did not commit. Scared, hopeless, often abused behind bars, most of the males serving time landed there following allegations made by women or girls they knew; in many cases, the false accuser and her victim had been intimate.

So, while young couples dance in Cupid's garden to the music of true love on this most romantic of days, it is well to remember that one false rape story after the next involves couples who also once danced there.

Here's a Valentine's Day story that isn't exactly a Hallmark moment. Sally Henderson met her husband, Richard Cooke, a lorry driver, through an internet dating agency in October 2003. The couple married on, of all romantic days, Valentine's Day 2004. Mr Cooke financially supported Henderson while obtained her college degree. 

But, alas, Mr. Cooke suffered injuries in a car accident that made his performance in the bedroom less than Henderson desired. He was quote in the Daily Mail: "Because of the problems I was having, I was unable to fulfil my wife. She had a very healthy sexual appetite."She became increasingly unhappy with him, and the marriage deteriorated. Mr Cooke eventually left.

It was only then that Henderson reported that Cooke rape her -- not just once, but repeatedly during their year-long marriage.  Three or four police officers came to arrest Mr. Cooke, manhandling him for good measure. He was taken to the police station and held in a cell for 36 hours. 

But, fortunately, the police discovered a curious thing: Henderson's claims were almost identical to false allegations she had made five years earlier against a previous boyfriend.  Henderson also made the previous claim after the boyfriend left her her. (Mr. Cooke was fortunate that police discovered the prior offense because, until then, Henderson had been anonymous and there was little chance the prior boyfriend would have heard about Henderson's later claim.)

Henderson was convicted of perverting the course of justice, and was given a one-year sentence.

Perhaps if young men keep in mind that many a happy Valentine's Day later devolved into a nightmarish false rape claim, they will take measures to reduce the chances of that happening to them.  Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!