Friday, April 1, 2011

New law would impose mandatory seven year sentence for proven false rape claims

WASHINGTON - The House has passed a bill that would get tough on persons who make false claims of sexual assault and rape.

The measure would impose a mandatory seven year prison sentence on proven false rape claims.

Terry O'Neill, president of the National Organization for Women (NOW), said that the bill represented "a giant step back for women who are raped at the rate of one every twenty seconds in this country. Women already are afraid to report their assaults, and this law would only insure that women will suffer the shame of rape in silence."

And if you are still reading this, by now you've probably figured out that the bill referenced here is too good to be true. You would be right: it's April Fools' Day.  But if you saw the headline and felt it was a leap forward for justice, but then quickly told yourself that it'll never happen (perhaps you learned your lesson from the false hopes raised last year in connection with the UK plan to grant anonymity to men accused of rape -- that plan was scrapped when women protested it), then this particular April Fools' Day hoax only serves to illustrate how fouled up our system is, where a perfectly sound and logical proposal could never become law because the entire rape milieu is so terribly politicized.