Wednesday, April 6, 2011

False rape report had a substantial impact on the community

In the following article, not one mention is made of the innocent men targeted by false allegations. Once again, it is the hypothetical, future rape victim that is deemed to be the one more affected by a false allegation. Even the community at large is considered to be more affected than those falsely accused.

CBS 21 News found the damage from false reports spread throughout the legal system.

On Monday, charges were filed against a woman for filing a false rape report in Lower Paxton Township. And while the people filing the claim usually only face misdemeanors, it is the damage that is done to victims overall that prosecutor’s say is the biggest affect.

"As a prosecutor it’s frustrating to me when someone comes forward with a false allegation," said Sean McCormack from the Dauphin County DA's office. "It really hurts the victim."

What victim, Mr McCormack? The one falsely accused, or the "victim" that never was, who lied?

In cases like the one in Lower Paxton, where a woman reported an unknown assailant raped her in the back of a car parked in a popular shopping center parking lot, residents sat up and paid attention. So when authorities discovered her claims were false they felt they had to act.

"That's a serious step for law enforcement," said Lt. Gary Seefeldt of the Lower Paxton Township police. "This case affected so many people. There was so much coverage over it."

Take popular New York City weather caster Heidi Jones, who told police that a man had attacked her and tried to rape her as she was jogging in Central Park in September. Police say she lied, and charged her.

Stories like that and the Lower Paxton one got big attention because they sent fear into the community. Dauphin County Chief Deputy District Attorney Sean McCormack says it not only prevents victims from coming forward it affects cases in the courtroom.

Could that be, contrary to the SGI's claims that rape accusations are never taken seriously, because such a big deal is made in rape cases, that the police and media over-hype the initial allegation, before even determining if a reported rape ever actually took place?

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