Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Every Community Burned By a False Rape Scare Looks at Rape Claims With a Jaundiced Eye

A story in the news today underscores the following: If the sexual grievance industry is so terribly concerned that false rape claims garner too much publicity, they need to tell police to stop panicking communities every time a troubled young woman wanders in the police station looking for her 15 minutes of fame with a cockamamie rape tale.

Because every time police panic a community by telling newspapers that a rape occurred on the basis of nothing more than a girl's say so and it turns out that no rape occurred (and that is incredibly common), the community seethes, and citizens remember it the next time. 

With the epidemic of false rape claims we're seeing, how long will it be before every community has been panicked by a sensational false rape claim?

And how easy is it to get a truly impartial jury for a rape claim in a community that's been burned by a rape lie?  Seriously?

Today's news gives us yet another example (and it seems we have one of these stories every day): The Ottawa Citizen ran a headline on January 22: "Barrhaven schools on high alert after brazen sex attack on teen."  The story said this: "Police are looking for a middle-aged man after the teenager, who was walking alone on Tartan Drive at about 9:45 a.m., was approached by an unknown man driving an older red four-door SUV with winter tires and no hub caps, similar to a Ford Escape or Explorer. It had two front bucket seats, but the rear seats had been removed. The vehicle had no front licence plate. Police said the SUV may have been registered in Quebec or the suspect could have removed the front plate to avoid being identified by the victim. The man asked for directions, then forced the young woman into the vehicle at gunpoint. He sexually assaulted her before dropping her off at the Fallowfield Park and Ride, police said. . . . ." The story proceeded to describe the man with great particularity.

The Ottawa Citizen's coverage of this particular rape claim was typical. An teenager's allegation was treated as 100% Gospel. It was a sensational rape claim that panicked an entire community.

Alas, as is so incredibly common in these cases, police now say it didn't happen.  And the community isn't happy about it.

The Toronto Sun today reports: "Teen's false rape claim upsets neighbours."  The locals are "seething," and some want the girl to apologize because there needs to be repercussions. Unfortunately, the young woman won't be charged, even though law enforcement admitted what she did was a crime.  No explanation is provided, but isn't that a wonderful message to be sending to other would-be false rape accusers?  Rape is treated as the second most serious of all criminal offenses, but abusing the power to cry "rape" is not punished.  This is fair, how?

Here is the story in today's Toronto Sun:

Teen's false rape claim upsets neighbours

OTTAWA - Residents in a west-end neighbourhood are seething after learning a rape claim by a local teen turned out to be bogus.

Police announced Monday they have closed the books on the sexual assault investigation, saying rape claims made by the girl are "unsubstantiated" and "unfounded."

The 16-year-old won't face charges after she told police she was abducted at gunpoint and sexually assaulted in broad daylight on the morning of Jan. 18.

The two-week investigation had police canvassing the quiet neighbourhood and scouring footage from a Park and Ride lot where the teen claimed she was dumped after the assault.

"It's our belief the incident did not happen," said Sgt. Jeff Webster, who declined to comment on the investigation, saying it remains a "private" matter.

The girl provided police with a detailed description of her attacker and of the getaway vehicle in a case that sent shockwaves through a community still reeling from the 2005 murder of local teenager Jennifer Teague.

"That was the first thing I thought of when I first heard," said Tom Stone, 55, outside the Mac's convenience store on the corner where Teague was last seen alive.

"We believe we live in a quiet neighbourhood and all of a sudden, holy smokes, what's happening here? And in the middle of the day," said Stone, who has two young daughters and a teenaged son.

James Gilliland, president of the West Barrhaven Community Association, said residents are expressing both relief and frustration.

"On one hand, I'm relieved that it is a hoax and that means we don't have a predator trolling around our streets. On the other hand, it's frustrating that police resources were wasted on a hoax," said Gilliland, who said there was a heightened sense of concern in the community since the allegations first made headlines.

"With what happened to Jennifer Teague, it certainly had everyone on edge. I had some people calling for self-defence seminars, and I know parents were making sure their teenagers were keeping their cellphones on them at all times. We were concerned even with (a teenaged family friend) taking the bus here ... It certainly serves as a reminder that bad things can happen in good communities."

Galliland is among the many residents calling on the girl to issue an apology for duping police and the community.

"There should be some repercussions," he said.

Police said they considered charging the girl with public mischief, but declined to pursue criminal charges after consulting with the Crown Attorney's office.

"It is a crime to make a false police report, and in this case we've looked at that and, given all the circumstances, we're not going to lay a charge," Webster said.