No man is safe from an inexplicable false rape claim.
Rodney Peters, 42, works for Party City. He was at the Westwood, Ohio store on March 12 as it was being switched over to Party City from a Factory Card Outlet store. A woman half his age, Kimberly St. Charles, was one of the temporary workers hired to restock the shelves and change the décor to make it an official Party City store.
Peters didn't know St. Charles. Except for introducing himself to all of the temporary workers, Peters never spoke to St. Charles.
But then, something happened that is inexplicable. St. Charles left for lunch and did not return. A few hours later, police showed up at the store and started asking questions of Peters' boss. It seems St. Charles had gone to the police and falsely accused Peters of rape.
Peters found himself in a room with police who said they had to take him in for questioning.
Imagine the embarrassment? Peters' co-workers likely thought the worst.
At the police station, Peters' embarrassment turned to shock when a female officer told him he'd been accused of rape.
How could this happen? The man didn't even have a speeding ticket to his name. He offered his DNA and to take a polygraph, which police arranged. The female cop questioned him aggressively.
Rape charges hung over his head for three days. His employer suspended him.
But the female cop became suspicious of the allegations and pushed for St. Charles also to be aggressively questioned. On March 15, St. Charles admitted she made the story up.
Mr. Peters said: "I was absolutely devastated. I was sick for three weeks. I couldn't sleep. I didn't eat. It was something you don't even discuss."
"There isn't a day that I don't think 'Why?' " said Peters.
St. Charles can go to prison for up to a year but the charge carries the presumption of probation. She may have to pay for the investigation - 11 detectives investigated and interviewed witnesses over three days.
"My biggest thing," Peters said of St. Charles, "is for this young lady to get some help."