Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Prosecutor: We 'have to' depend on the credibility of the 'victim' to protect that 'victim' first and foremost when rape is charged

In Terre Haute, Indiana, Charles Wallace, 29, is a family man, the proud father of three young children.  But that family was taken away from him in January of last year when police arrested him on rape charges, a crime he says he never committed.

He says it was a consensual relationship with a woman who eventually lied to police and cried rape.  "All I did . . . was cheat on my girlfriend, and same thing the other girl did. Instead of admitting that to her husband, she comes out with an outlandish story like this, and I get my life ruined for it".

Charles was arrested, his mugshot was splashed across local television screens. He was fired from his job.  Then he spent three months in the Vigo County jail.

The Vigo County prosecutor's office and the sheriff's department investigated the case, but found no evidence to support it, so the charges were ultimately dropped.

But hold onto something when you read this next part, taken right from the news account: "Vigo County Prosecutor Terry Modesitt says they 'have to' depend on the credibility of the victim to protect that victim first and foremost, but he says often with domestic cases stories change, and charges don't hold, and sometimes that takes weeks or even months to prove. It's a lose-lose situation for police, the victim and ultimately those who are truly victims."

Read that again to make sure it sunk in:  our law enforcement personnel "have to" depend on the credibility of "victims"?  (He meant "accusers," but to some people they are the same thing.)

Sorry, Mr. Modesitt, but your job is to do justice, sir, not to knee-jerk believe every accusation that happens to land on your desk just because the accuser is female and the charge is rape. When you automatically believe an accuser before you even bother to evaluate the case, you automatically disbelieve the accused.  In this case, your automatic disbelief led to the accused being jailed for three -- count 'em -- three months.

That's "justice" to you, sir?  Seriously?

Modesitt explained: "It's frustrating to us if someone is lying cause it's a total waste of our time, of the police's time, and then the jury is skeptical because the jury remembers this story so it puts those people in jeopardy in not being able to obtain justice for the crime that was committed against them."

That comment is simply jaw-dropping. The problem with the false rape claim is that it wastes your time, sir?! You are serious, sir? YOU WEREN'T LOCKED UP IN A CELL FOR THREE MONTHS, SIR. 

I'll bet you that ordeal was pretty "frustrating" for Mr. Wallace, don't you think, sir?  I'll bet he felt that was "a total waste" of his time, don't you think, sir?

Or don't you even care?

After the charges were dropped, Charles Wallace was reunited with his family and given his job back. He says he's now working hard to make up for the thousands of dollars lost defending himself and for the lost time with his loved ones. 

Charles had a felony record at the time of this false accusation.  He thinks it's that old record that may have contributed to his quick arrest. 

See, "victim blaming" is perfectly OK -- when the victim is male, and the charge against him is rape.