Friday, December 30, 2011

Man jailed after falsely reporting sexual assault

A town man was sent back to Orleans County Jail on Thursday after falsely reporting a sexual assault at the facility, deputies said.

Joseph J. Motzer, 18, was jailed Monday after a disturbance at his home, said Undersheriff Steven D. Smith in a news release. He allegedly caused several thousand dollars' damage to the interior.

Motzer was charged with second-degree criminal mischief. He was released Thursday after posting $1,000 bail.

Upon release, Motzer went to Lakeside Memorial Hospital in Brockport and reported the assault, deputies said.

The resulting investigation determined the report was false, deputies said. Motzer allegedly admitted eventually the story was fake.

Deputies went to his house later that evening to arrest him for falsely reporting an incident. He allegedly resisted and was subdued with a Taser after a brief foot pursuit.

Motzer was additionally charged with resisting arrest. He posted $2,500 bail Friday morning and is to appear Tuesday in Albion Town Court, and Feb. 6 in Kendall Town Court.

His mother Jill J. Motzer, 48, allegedly interfered with deputies during Thursday's arrest. She was charged with second-degree obstructing governmental administration and was released on her own recognizance.

Link: http://thedailynewsonline.com/news/article_a01aab9b-a507-53b7-be7b-2ad258aae91c.html

Man jailed after falsely reporting sexual assault

A town man was sent back to Orleans County Jail on Thursday after falsely reporting a sexual assault at the facility, deputies said.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Navy issues guidelines on sexual assault, warns about making false claims

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) issued guidelines and tips on how individuals can report and prevent sexual assault crimes through NCIS' Crime Reduction Program. Among other things, it states:

"Sexual assaults are serious crimes, therefore, victims should not report false sexual assault claims.

"Regrettable sex, absent or late for muster with a rape excuse, caught cheating on your spouse or significant other, or becoming pregnant by someone you do not want to be the father of your child are not excuses to report rape and are unacceptable."

Link: http://www.military.com/news/article/navy-news/ncis-aims-to-prevent-sexual-assault.html

Navy issues guidelines on sexual assault, warns about making false claims

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) issued guidelines and tips on how individuals can report and prevent sexual assault crimes through NCIS' Crime Reduction Program. Among other things, it states:

"Sexual assaults are serious crimes, therefore, victims should not report false sexual assault claims.

"Regrettable sex, absent or late for muster with a rape excuse, caught cheating on your spouse or significant other, or becoming pregnant by someone you do not want to be the father of your child are not excuses to report rape and are unacceptable."

Link: http://www.military.com/news/article/navy-news/ncis-aims-to-prevent-sexual-assault.html

In cases where DNA evidence doesn't resolve questions of guilt or innocence, the innocent have a much tougher time being exonerated

All those DNA exonerations proved that our justice system is terribly flawed. As the DNA cases thin out, there are still likely innumerable cases where the innocent were convicted due to the same kinds of problems that plagued the DNA cases -- except that DNA evidence won't help resolve them.  In cases where DNA evidence doesn't matter, the innocent have a much more difficult time being exonerated.  http://www.dallasobserver.com/2011-12-29/news/beyond-dna-difficult-tests-for-the-justice-system/

In cases where DNA evidence doesn't resolve questions of guilt or innocence, the innocent have a much tougher time being exonerated

All those DNA exonerations proved that our justice system is terribly flawed. As the DNA cases thin out, there are still likely innumerable cases where the innocent were convicted due to the same kinds of problems that plagued the DNA cases -- except that DNA evidence won't help resolve them.  In cases where DNA evidence doesn't matter, the innocent have a much more difficult time being exonerated.  http://www.dallasobserver.com/2011-12-29/news/beyond-dna-difficult-tests-for-the-justice-system/

Christina Almanza, 17, 'pretended she was kidnapped by sex traffickers to hide her pregnancy from her parents'

While not a false rape/sexual assault case, the use of lying about being kidnapped by sex traffickers, to avoid the uncomfortable position of telling your parents you're pregnant, is abominable.

A teenager pretended she had been kidnapped by sex trafficking gang to avoid telling her parents she was pregnant.

Christina Almanza called her parents and suggested that there was also another girl being held against her will who had been killed.

An Amber Alert was issued for the 17-year-old after she called her parents and claimed she had been abducted.

In a series of text messages Almanza allegedly told her parents that she and other females were being imprisoned in a basement and that she believed one of the other females had been killed.

Her parents immediately contacted police who launched a multi agency search, including the FBI and US Marshalls, for the missing teen.

But the abduction was a hoax and police said the teen came up with the idea in an attempt to get sympathy from her family.

Local TV station Fox40 said Alamanza, who has a two year old child, may be pregnant and had been afraid to tell her family.

A family friend said she had hoped the abduction story would win her sympathy from her parents and make them less angry about the pregnancy.

Police in Suisun , California, are now considering making Alamanza foot the bill for their search.
Almanza told police that she did not expect law enforcement to get involved in the case when she sent the text messages to her parents.

After the Amber alert was issued last Friday local police, California Highway Patrol and US Marshalls became involved in the search.

Almanza was found unharmed at the house of a man she had been corresponding with on social networking sites.

She later confessed to making up the story about the abduction.

Almanza was arrested on suspicion of filing a false police report and issued a notice to appear before being released to her parents.

Two others contacted by police in the apartment where Almanza was located were detained and released after questioning, police said.

Link:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2073759/Christina-Almanza-17-faked-sex-trafficking-kidnap-hide-pregnancy-parents.html

Christina Almanza, 17, 'pretended she was kidnapped by sex traffickers to hide her pregnancy from her parents'

While not a false rape/sexual assault case, the use of lying about being kidnapped by sex traffickers, to avoid the uncomfortable position of telling your parents you're pregnant, is abominable.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Time to elevate the public discourse about sexual assault

The public discourse about sexual assault in the blogosphere rarely rises above puerility.  Gender-related blogs typically are little more than places to rant and to ridicule those who don't share the ranter's views. Missing from almost all of them is the critical balance that is at the heart of every serious jurisprudential effort to deal with this thorny crime that is rarely committed in public: the need to punish offenders while insuring that the innocent are not punished with them. Every serious voice on these issues recognizes that achieving this balance is critical.

While it is simply not worth anyone's time to read, much less respect, smug, extremist bloggers who have no regard for this balance, we should gladly engage in public discourse persons who recognize both sides of the balance even when we largely disagree with them. Respect for this balance needs to be the litmus test for whether to take someone seriously on these issues.  Some examples:

▲Attorney Brett Sokolow, founder of the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management, helps colleges across America mold their sexual assault policies to enhance the rights of alleged victims. I fundamentally disagree with many things Mr. Sokolow advocates, because, in my view, he is moving the pendulum too far from the center to the detriminent of presumptively innocent students accused of sex crimes. But while Mr. Sokolow has both a finanical and philosophic interest in enhancing the rights of putative victims, he is not a screeching radical who fails to appreciate the critical balance between punishing offenders and protecting the innocent.

Mr. Sokolow recently testified in court in an important case as an expert witness against a college on behalf of a student accused of sexual assault. Trust me: he doesn't need the money. He obviously did it because he thought it was the right thing to do. Mr. Sokolow wrote: "At the trial, I said, 'When colleges don’t do the right thing by victims, it has been my job to say so. To be principled, I also have to be willing to say so when I believe that a college did not do right by a student accused of sexual misconduct.'” Mr. Sokolow also said this: "My career has been marked by an insistence on elevating the rights of victims, yet I must be equally insistent when the rights of an accused student are trampled."  http://atixa.wordpress.com/2011/10/14/the-important-lessons-of-john-doe-v-the-university-of-the-south-sewanee/ 

▲Prof. Aya Gruber is among the most vibrant voices of feminism in America. She believes that feminism needs to reshape gender dynamics, and that women aren't empowered. Interestingly, she also believes that the criminal justice system is incapable of adequately addressing the critical issues. "Criminal law's structure is to look for right and wrong with no gray area, and to hold individual's accountable for their actions. It doesn't take into consideration larger social issues-such as why the accused rapist aggressively pursued sex, or the perceived passivity of women." Gruber said. She believes that "the obsession with the criminal justice system has led to such absurdities as a fourth degree sexual assault conviction and compulsory registration as a sex offender for a man who squeezed the back side of a female while they were on a dance floor in a bar."  Moreover: "Feminists can counteract the rape-permissive gender norms largely enforced by women instead of relentlessly focusing on the criminality of men," she said. "And feminists must talk to young men about their attitudes as people, not just seek to incarcerate them as criminals."  http://news-releases.uiowa.edu/2010/january/012210gruber.html I don't necessarily need to buy into Prof. Gruber's views to appreciate the nuance in her arguments and to believe that her views can help advance the discourse.

▲Alwina Bennett, assistant provost for graduate student affairs and a public contact for the Rape Crisis Hotline at Brandeis University, is someone who believes that rape is a serious and underreported problem at the school. Yet, here is what she said about the school's shift from the “clear and convincing" standard of proof to the “preponderance of the evidence" standard required by the Department of Education for alleged sex offenses: “The [new] standard is too low for something that can be so life-changing,” Bennett said. “We need to be a little more sure.” http://thebrandeishoot.com/articles/10828  There is nothing magical about the "clear and convincing" standard; the problem with the Department of Education's April 4 "Dear Colleague" mandate is that it failed even to discuss its effect on insuring the innocent aren't punished.

▲Naomi Wolf, whose feminist credentials can't be questioned, wants to scrap anonymity for rape accusers because, among other things: ". . . justice systems – at least in democracies – typically demand that the accused be able to face his or her accuser. Why, for example, in a case that is so dependent on public opinion – and on which so much depends – must Assange face allegations that may have grave consequences for him, while his accusers remain hidden?" And: "It is wrong – and sexist – to treat female sex-crime accusers as if they were children, and it is wrong to try anyone, male or female, in the court of public opinion on the basis of anonymous accusations."

Ms. Wolf also decried the rush to judgment regarding Dominique Strauss-Kahn. She openly questioned how "New York City police spokespeople . . . made uncharacteristic and shockingly premature statements supporting the credibility of the [alleged] victim’s narrative — before an investigation was complete." She wrote: "Whatever happened in that hotel room, Strauss-Kahn’s career, and his presumption of innocence, was effectively over — before any legal process had even begun."

▲Feminist Susan Estrich, speaking on a television show about the unsubstantiated sex allegations about Al Gore, did not advocate that we should just "believe the victim" as so many screeching voices have done. ". . . the problem is we just don't know and there's no way to determine," she said. "I'm the mother of a son and a daughter. And I would hate like heck for my daughter ever to be in a position where she faces an unwanted sexual advance. . . . . But I'm also the mother of a son. And you and I both witnessed, for instance, in the Duke case, a number of young men whose lives were — for all intends [sic] and purposes ruined by a false accusation."

▲And it has to work the other way, too. In 2006, Joe Paterno was asked about a sexual assault accusation against a Florida State linebacker before a bowl game.  Paterno said this:  "There's some tough -- there's so many people gravitating to these kids. He may not have even known what he was getting into . . . . They knock on the door; somebody may knock on the door; a cute girl knocks on the door. What do you do? Geez. I hope -- thank God they don't knock on my door because I'd refer them to a couple of other rooms. But that's too bad. You hate to see that. I really do. You like to see a kid end up his football career. He's a heck of a football player, by the way; he's a really good football player. And it's just too bad."

At the time, many of us readily dismissed criticisms of Paterno's words. I have come to appreciate more and more that words do matter, especially for people in positions like Paterno's. It strains credulity that Paterno could have meant that when "a cute girl knocks at the door" the only viable option for a man is to rape her. By the same token, his comments seemed to rule out the possibility of wrongdoing on the part of the player even before an investigation, and that is problematic.  Paterno would have done well to acknowledge the critical balance between punishing wrongdoers and protecting the innocent by saying something along these lines: "Allegations of this nature need to be taken very seriously and carefully investigated, and while that is occurring, it is important to keep in mind that the player is entitled to all the protections of due process and the presumption of innocence." 

NOW called for Paterno's resignation back in 2006, saying his comments took sexual assault too lightly. That call was all too predictable from an organization that is less than selective about making such pronouncements.  In hindsight, it is fair to wonder if Paterno's comments in 2006 were indicative of a lax attitude about sex offenses. It recently came to light that Paterno waited to alert his superiors about allegations that Jerry Sandusky had raped a boy because, Paterno told a grand jury, "It was a Saturday morning and I didn’t want to interfere with their weekends.”  http://www.suntimes.com/sports/colleges/9529089-419/paterno-waited-to-report-sandusky-because-i-didnt-want-to-interfere-with-their-weekends.html 

That bespeaks an insensitivity that is appalling, and those of us concerned about the critical balance referenced above need to be able to say it is appalling without being attacked for speaking the truth.

Time to elevate the public discourse about sexual assault

The public discourse about sexual assault in the blogosphere rarely rises above puerility.  Gender-related blogs typically are little more than places to rant and to ridicule those who don't share the ranter's views. Missing from almost all of them is the critical balance that is at the heart of every serious jurisprudential effort to deal with this thorny crime that is rarely committed in public: the need to punish offenders while insuring that the innocent are not punished with them. Every serious voice on these issues recognizes that achieving this balance is critical.

While it is simply not worth anyone's time to read, much less respect, smug, extremist bloggers who have no regard for this balance, we should gladly engage in public discourse persons who recognize both sides of the balance even when we largely disagree with them. Respect for this balance needs to be the litmus test for whether to take someone seriously on these issues.  Some examples:

Woman, 21, made false rape claims, court told

A WOMAN falsely claimed she was raped outside a Bury nightclub when out celebrating graduating from a beauty course, a court heard.

Amie Lever, aged 21, is charged with perverting the course of justice, which she has denied.

At a trial at Bolton Crown Court, which started on Monday, a jury heard that she phoned her mother at 2.30am on July 3, 2009, and was in a “hysterical” state.

She told her parents she had been raped, and the police were called. Lever, of Saltram Close, Radcliffe, told officers that an Asian man, aged about 23 or 24, raped her outside the Sol Viva nightclub.

Rachel Widdicombe, prosecuting, said: “She claimed he dragged her by the arm behind Sol Viva, pushed her up against a wall near some bins by Marks and Spencer.”

But the jury was told that she did not answer some questions and was vague on some of the details.

Officers wanted to collect evidence from the scene to help catch the alleged rapist, but she was unable to give further details about the exact location. She was examined but did not have any injuries physically or intimately.

Her clothes were analysed and samples were taken, but there was no scientific evidence to support her rape claim.

Officers later became concerned that she might not have been telling the truth.

She was later arrested on suspicion perverting the course of justice and she said she lied about the location and that it happened in the ladies’ toilets.

But officers went through CCTV footage inside the club and found that no man went into the toilets at the time of the alleged incident.

Link: http://www.burytimes.co.uk/news/9434803.Woman__21__made_false_rape_claims__court_told/

Woman, 21, made false rape claims, court told

A WOMAN falsely claimed she was raped outside a Bury nightclub when out celebrating graduating from a beauty course, a court heard.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Atrocity: Young Man's Life Destroyed By Unreliable Rape Claim

The Duluth News Tribune has a  follow-up to a very disturbing three part story it reported last March. It was a story that furnished a rare, microscopic look at the unfathomable power women have to cause men and boys to be arrested just on their say so whenever they cry "rape." It was a frightening tale about what a 34-year-old woman did to a 17-year-old boy, and one that is sure to get your blood boiling if you care a whit about justice.

The latest follow-up news report tells us that the uncertainty still hangs over the young man's life. The latest story doesn't do an adequate job describing what really happened. It makes it look as if there really may be two sides to the story. There aren't. There is an unsubstantiated and unreliable claim that has destroyed a boy's life on the one side, and a boy's denials on the other.  The evidence supporting the accuser's claim makes gossamer look like armor plate.  The unreliable accuser is still cloaked in anonymity while the boy's good name has been destroyed. Neither the police nor the Duluth Tribune News should be treating this as a legitimate claim at this stage, and the police ought to come out and say that there is no reliable evidence that young Andrew Lawrence committed a crime, because there isn't. If that sounds too harsh, too anti-"victim," too un-PC, read the latest story and the earlier three-part report yourself, and you decide. Don't trust me. All of the stories are linked below. Based on the information contained in the news reports linked below, the boy is the likely victim here.

All of the dates referenced below refer to 2010. To recap: A 34-year-old woman, who, it turns out, claimed she had been raped some years earlier when she lived in Florida, alleged that on July 20, 2010, two men broke into her home, and that one put a gun to her throat and raped her. Police arrested 17-year-old Andrew Lawrence without bothering to corroborate the alleged victim's story, or his alibi.

Listen to this litany of horrors and tell me whether you think an injustice has been done to a 17-year-old kid. And don't just rely on me: read the three-part horror show linked below.

▲The accuser claimed she would remember forever the horror of her rape -- the day it happened and the events. Yet, in her very first interview with the police, she told them she was raped one week earlier than the day it supposedly happened. Specifically, she told them she was raped on July 13, not July 20.

▲She said she told no one about the alleged rape until July 31 — 11 days later — not even her boyfriend. What prompted her to tell was a supposed nightmare about the assault. She was yelling in her sleep and woke up screaming. Her boyfriend convinced her that it would be safe to go to the police, he said, “to protect others from this.”

▲The woman initially described her attacker as someone with “long, brown, wavy hair (surfer type or moppy),” according to a police report. When he was arrested, Andrew had short brown hair. A photo taken of him earlier that summer showed . . . he had short hair.

▲The woman initially identified someone else as her attacker, saying she was “70 percent sure” that a friend of Andrew’s was the person who attacked her. That person had long, surfer-style hair, and he doesn’t resemble Andrew. 70 percent sure it was someone other than Andrew.

▲Andrew was arrested despite the fact that the woman never identified him in a photo lineup. When she did identify him, it was from at least a half-block away at 8 p.m. She saw him skateboarding outside and said, "That's the guy."

▲Andrew was nervous during a four-hour police interrogation in which a cop with a spotty record yelled and swore at him and accused him of lying. During the interrogation, the police asked Andrew about his whereabouts on July 13, Andrew claims, the day the woman first claimed she was raped. (The police claim that they didn't mention July 13, but won't release the tape of the interview.) Andrew told them his whereabouts in detail for the 13th. The police checked with his mother's partner, who told them a different story. It turns out the police asked the mother's partner about Andrew's whereabouts on July 20.

▲Despite inconsistencies in the woman’s story, police did not interview potential witnesses about the inconsistencies, nor did they perform a background check on the woman, according to reports and interviews.

▲Before they arrested Andrew, police apparently did nothing to corroborate the woman's story. They never interviewed the woman’s boyfriend about the alleged assault to corroborate her story. Police also never questioned her neighbors or a friend the alleged victim said she called the night she was raped.

▲Police waited for more than a week before they bothered to check out Andrew’s alibi after he was arrested. By that point, he had already been released on $2,500 bail. Andrew corrected his initial interview and told police that on the evening of July 20 he played video games with his longtime friend, Steven Brown, who lives across the street from the woman who accused Andrew of rape. Brown, along with his brothers, Daniel and Mark Haworth, confirmed Andrew’s story to both police and the Duluth News Tribune, saying they played a video game with him. After their interviews with Steven Brown and his family about Andrew’s alibi, Superior police did no further investigating, records show.

▲The alleged victim didn’t get a rape exam until four days after she reported the assault, saying that’s when Superior police directed her to do so. That exam, performed 15 days after the alleged rape, found no evidence of an assault.

▲Though the alleged victim said two people were involved in the rape, there’s no indication that police searched for a second suspect. For people concerned about public safety, that seems like a major gaffe, doesn't it?

▲The woman told police and later testified to a judge that she clearly saw her attacker holding a gun. Though police found no gun in Andrew’s possession or at a search of his home, they found a skateboard wrench in his room. An officer wrote: “I believe the wrench could easily be mistaken for a small pistol.” (The fact is, cops could find something that supposedly could be mistaken for a gun in almost anyone's home.)

▲On Oct. 7, police received the DNA report from the Wisconsin Crime Lab. Samples they had taken from the living room where the alleged victim said she was raped showed no match to Andrew. Samples taken from Andrew’s clothes and the wrench that police theorized might have been used as a weapon didn’t contain the alleged victim’s DNA. Results of the rape exam showed no evidence of a sexual assault, according to records, though the exam was taken about three weeks after the assault was alleged to have occurred.

▲After receiving DNA test results that failed to tie Andrew to the crime scene, the district attorney’s office waited two months to drop charges. Two more months of hell for Andrew.

▲In retrospect, the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office charged Andrew with rape based on two pieces of evidence: the woman’s eventual identification of him as the suspect (the identification made from a distance, after she had described someone who didn't look like Andrew, and and after she was initially 70 percent sure it was another young man), and the fact that Andrew’s first account of his whereabouts on the night of the alleged assault (when they asked him about the wrong day) differed from his stepmother’s.

▲Before charges were dropped, the alleged victim was granted a restraining order against Andrew, claiming he repeatedly harassed her and that she feared for her safety. The restraining order is still in effect despite charges being dropped, and it will last for four years, requiring Andrew to vacate any home or building the woman is in. Andrew denies ever harassing the woman. In her request for the order, the woman wrote that she saw Andrew drive by her home on Aug. 2. Records show, however, that Andrew was in jail that day. On Sept. 30, she wrote that she saw Andrew sitting in the back of a vehicle at the Superior library parking lot. Again, a contradiction: One of Andrew's teachers signed a statement saying that he was under her direct supervision at that time. The woman said that her sexual assault advocate, who filled out the restraining order application on her behalf, probably made the mistakes. (Who is Andrew's advocate in all this?) Police records make no note of the discrepancies.

▲Former Duluth Police Lieutenant of Investigations John Hall questioned why police never worked to corroborate the alleged victim’s story by interviewing the woman’s boyfriend or neighbors. Those are “the sorts of things sex crime investigators do routinely,” he said.

▲Andrew's mother's partner, shocked about what happened, rhetorically asked a newspaper reporter: “Does that mean I can say that you came in and touched my breasts, I’m putting you in jail, dammit?” she said. “I don’t know you. But if I said you raped me … all I would have to say is you did it, and not prove anything?”

▲Andrew, who works as a line cook at a local restaurant, said he’s forgiven the woman who accused him of rape, but he is still angry with her and with the police. Since he was arrested, Andrew said he’s dropped about 20 to 25 pounds. Andrew will probably move away. "Even if my name is wiped clean, I think this will always be an area where people see I’ve been charged,” he said. “I just hope it doesn’t give me a bad reputation wherever I go.”

▲The case, which was the only reported home invasion and sexual assault in the city in 2010 is classified as still open. And while Andrew isn’t a suspect, when charges were dropped they were done without prejudice, meaning he could be investigated again.

Links:
-http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/218211/

-http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/193114/publisher_ID/36/

-http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/193191/publisher_ID/36/

-http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/193258/publisher_ID/36/

Atrocity: Young Man's Life Destroyed By Unreliable Rape Claim

The Duluth News Tribune has a  follow-up to a very disturbing three part story it reported last March. It was a story that furnished a rare, microscopic look at the unfathomable power women have to cause men and boys to be arrested just on their say so whenever they cry "rape." It was a frightening tale about what a 34-year-old woman did to a 17-year-old boy, and one that is sure to get your blood boiling if you care a whit about justice.

The latest follow-up news report tells us that the uncertainty still hangs over the young man's life. The latest story doesn't do an adequate job describing what really happened. It makes it look as if there really may be two sides to the story. There aren't. There is an unsubstantiated and unreliable claim that has destroyed a boy's life on the one side, and a boy's denials on the other.  The evidence supporting the accuser's claim makes gossamer look like armor plate.  The unreliable accuser is still cloaked in anonymity while the boy's good name has been destroyed. Neither the police nor the Duluth Tribune News should be treating this as a legitimate claim at this stage, and the police ought to come out and say that there is no reliable evidence that young Andrew Lawrence committed a crime, because there isn't. If that sounds too harsh, too anti-"victim," too un-PC, read the latest story and the earlier three-part report yourself, and you decide. Don't trust me. All of the stories are linked below. Based on the information contained in the news reports linked below, the boy is the likely victim here.

How law enforcement forces confessions to alleged crimes the confessors didn't commit

http://www.indystar.com/usatoday/article/52236364?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CIndyStar.com%7Cp

How law enforcement forces confessions to alleged crimes the confessors didn't commit

http://www.indystar.com/usatoday/article/52236364?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CIndyStar.com%7Cp

Stigler woman accused of falsifying a rape report

A Stigler woman has been charged in Pittsburg County District Court with false reporting of a crime.

Katheryn Marie Louise Clark, 21, is accused of falsely reporting “that she had been raped by her soon to be brother-in-law,” court documents indicate.

On Dec. 16, Pittsburg County Deputy Jack Suter was dispatched to Longtown and took a report from Clark that she had been raped, according to a police affidavit. Clark accused the man of dragging her by the hair and forcibly having sex with her while she was screaming and biting him, according to the affidavit.

A medical rape kit was performed on Clark, according to the affidavit, and the nurse performing the rape kit told authorities that “there was not any evidence of sexual assault.”

Clark was arrested Dec. 17 and on Dec. 19, she was charged with false reporting of a crime. If convicted, Clark faces up to 90 days in jail. She is due back in court Feb. 7 at 9 a.m. to face this charge.

Link:
http://mcalesternews.com/local/x1750825474/Stigler-woman-accused-of-falsifying-a-rape-report

Stigler woman accused of falsifying a rape report

A Stigler woman has been charged in Pittsburg County District Court with false reporting of a crime.

Katheryn Marie Louise Clark, 21, is accused of falsely reporting “that she had been raped by her soon to be brother-in-law,” court documents indicate.

On Dec. 16, Pittsburg County Deputy Jack Suter was dispatched to Longtown and took a report from Clark that she had been raped, according to a police affidavit. Clark accused the man of dragging her by the hair and forcibly having sex with her while she was screaming and biting him, according to the affidavit.

A medical rape kit was performed on Clark, according to the affidavit, and the nurse performing the rape kit told authorities that “there was not any evidence of sexual assault.”

Clark was arrested Dec. 17 and on Dec. 19, she was charged with false reporting of a crime. If convicted, Clark faces up to 90 days in jail. She is due back in court Feb. 7 at 9 a.m. to face this charge.

Link:
http://mcalesternews.com/local/x1750825474/Stigler-woman-accused-of-falsifying-a-rape-report

Monday, December 26, 2011

Oakham woman to serve probation after false rape claim

A 44-year-old Sunday school teacher from Oakham pleaded guilty yesterday to lying to police, telling them she’d been raped, and she was sentenced to 2 years’ probation.

Christine Drolet went to Spencer Police Detective Michael Shea earlier this year and reported that William Domey, a paramedic who worked with her husband, had raped her.

She went to a hospital for treatment, called police several times to check on the status of the case and never recanted until Detective Shea questioned her version of what had happened, prosecutor Courtney Sans told the judge in Western Worcester District Court yesterday.

Mrs. Drolet, who was estranged from her husband and had been living with Mr. Domey in Spencer, used social networking websites to “have a made-up conversation with herself,” that appeared to involve him, Ms. Sans said.

In one email, she told Mr. Domey she was pregnant and sent an ultrasound image of a fetus that Detective Shea determined was a stock photograph she’d gleaned from the Internet.

In an interview after court, Mr. Domey said Mrs. Drolet told the state Office of Emergency Medical Services that he had raped her and the state looked into revoking his paramedic license. He also said Mrs. Drolet had contacted his ex-wife, who had their custody agreement changed so he could no longer see their children.

Ms. Sans said in court that Mrs. Drolet had “decimated his life” and the false charge was “following him to the point where his livelihood was affected.”

“It’s very hard to unring a bell,” she said.

Mrs. Drolet, Ms. Sans said, formulated the story so her husband would “feel bad for her” and would reconcile, which he did.

Mrs. Drolet’s lawyer, Christopher G. Monroy, said with the exception of this incident, Mrs. Drolet is a model citizen, herself an EMT.

He submitted letters of support from her pastor and friends who said she is a Sunday school teacher at Oakham Congregational Church, a singer in the choir and was a member of the town’s cultural council.

“This is conduct that goes without explanation,” Mr. Monroy said.

Judge Timothy M. Bibaud sentenced Mrs. Drolet to one year concurrent sentences at Framingham state prison on the charges of filing a false crime report, criminal harassment and witness intimidation. She was sentenced to two years on a second witness intimidation charge. All of the sentences were suspended for two years, during which time she will remain on probation.

Mr. Domey said after court that while Mrs. Drolet’s sentence will end in two years, he anticipates having problems for much longer as a result of her actions.

He said he is able to see his children again, but has been turned down for jobs because the emergency medical services community is small, and word of the rape allegation, though false, is still spreading.

As a paramedic for eight years with a total of 20 years in the field, he said, he’s hoping that, with Mrs. Drolet having been sentenced, he’ll be able to find work closer to home. He lives in Western Massachusetts and travels to Boston.

Link:
http://www.telegram.com/article/20111221/NEWS/112219884/1003/NEWS03

Oakham woman to serve probation after false rape claim

A 44-year-old Sunday school teacher from Oakham pleaded guilty yesterday to lying to police, telling them she’d been raped, and she was sentenced to 2 years’ probation.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas, you've been falsely accused

Despite our fondest aspirations, Christmas is marked less by peace on earth and goodwill toward men than by bruised feelings, horn honking, and at least a vague feeling of dread. Both emotions and alcohol tend to flow a little too freely on the run up to the big day, and all our modern day angst is magnified under the Christmas snow globe. In short, it is the perfect season for the nastiest of human dramas, like suicide, assault, and false rape claims.  This blog, of course, is dedicated to giving voice to victims of false heinous sex allegations, and we call our holiday offering, "Merry Christmas, you've been falsely accused," only because we couldn't come up with anything better.

Regardless of your troubles this holiday season, they probably can't compare to those of some of the men featured here:

▲On another Christmas Eve not long ago, an innocent man and a woman named Michelle Anne Taruka Grafton, 19, a student, had a brief liaison but spent most of the evening watching television with the man's flatmate. Later, the police came for the man to question him about an alleged rape.  Grafton had claimed the man forced into a car, tied her up, and repeatedly raped her. While the police were investigating, and while the innocent man's life was left in a state of terrified anxiety over a pending rape charge, Grafton hopped on a plane and went away on holiday to Australia for a month.  When she finally bothered to come back, she admitted her lie.  When the story was reported, the newspaper interviewed Director of Rape Prevention Education, Dr Kim McGregor, who said: "We treat people who have made false allegations with compassion because there's always a question mark over other issues being played out."

▲Another Christmas Eve, police were given a false tip that a rapist was hiding in a certain home. The tip was a lie. The police got their signals crossed and broke down the front door.  In the confusion that followed, they accidentally gunned down the innocent 84-year-old man who lived in the home with his elderly wife. He, of course, hadn't raped anyone. The wife was taken to the hospital in shock and later died of a heart attack.

▲On another Christmas, John Chalmers, 47, was beaten by a man who was under the wrong-headed belief Mr. Chalmers had raped his sister.  Mr. Chalmers suffered brain damage and had to relearn how to do everything.

▲Another Christmas, Northern Ireland footballer Jonny Evans was arrested, held in custody, and accused of raping a woman at a boozy Christmas party his team held at a posh hotel. Jonny was cleared, but it forced him to grow up fast. "It made me a lot more wary of people," Jonmy said.  The experience showed him how men can easily become victims of false allegations.  Jonny said it was "scary" how anyone could be arrested based solely on someone's false allegation.

▲Another Christmas, Gail McMahon, 25, a mother of four, had gone to a bedroom with a 23-year-old man after asking him for a Christmas kiss. Afterwards, she alleged he seduced and raped her. Eight days later, she withdrew the claim, saying she had done it "for a good laugh and giggle." The judge told McMahon that her false cry of rape led to an innocent man being arrested, interrogated and made to give intimate samples.

▲Another Christmas, Diane Kay Sharping, 44, told police a man attacked and raped her while she was looking at Christmas lights.  A university nearby sent out an alert to students. When police questioned Sharping a second time, she admitted that it had not happened.

▲Another Christmas, Sharon Donohue lied that she was raped after she was abducted in a shopping center parking lot where she was doing Christmas shopping.

▲Another year, the best Christmas gift then 25-year-old Andrew Bond got was the surveillance video that proved his rape accuser was a liar.  Months earlier, a woman with whom he'd had a one-night stand cried rape, and when police got to her, she was a mess. Her makeup was running, her clothes were dishevelled and her underwear had been ripped to shreds. 'I've been raped,' she said in a voice that reflected her distress.  The police came for Andrew at 4:50 a.m. He was arrested, stripped, made to wear a disposable white paper suit - his clothes were taken away for examination - and locked in a cell. "I felt embarrassed and degraded," he said. "All I could think of is: 'Who is going to believe me?' Whenever I read about such cases in the paper I always thought: 'It must be true.'  It never crossed my mind that a 'victim' might be lying, until now." Being locked in that cell was very traumatic. "I kept pressing the buzzer and saying 'let me out.'  I was very distressed and in tears. I think I was having a breakdown." By now, the police had broken the news to his parents.  When he was charged with rape, the young man broke down and cried. Andrew's life was torn to shreds -- he was forced to leave the university where he was studying.  He had to sell things to stay afloat financially. For months, the police didn't bother to check CCTV footage taken where Andrew lived. Then, just before Christmas, Andrew himself remembered a video camera in his building. Police watched it. The tape revealed that Andrew was the victim, not a brutal rapist. Andrew was filmed entering the building with a female companion with shoulder-length hair and knee-high boots.  They chat and cuddle in the lift on the way to his 11th-floor apartment.  About an hour later, the woman leaves the flat. She looks composed and relaxed. She is neither crying nor fleeing in terror. Next we see her getting into the lift. The security camera is behind her. In the reflection of the elevator's metal walls, she can be seen pulling something out of her handbag. She begins to tear at it with her hands. It is a pair of knickers, in fact. The same ones she claimed had been ripped during the struggle. Police dropped the charges against Andrew. The young woman was not charged, and she retained her anonymity. Merry Christmas, Andrew.

▲Melanie Duell called police in the early morning hours one Christmas, claiming she'd been raped.  The man she named was arrested and held for ten hours. He was finally cleared weeks later when she admitted he wasn't the man who attacked her. Duell's attorney said Duell was an inadequate and vulnerable young woman who found if difficult to cope and who had been put under pressure by her family at the time.  She said Duell did not commit the offence out of revenge or because she was bitter and twisted but added: "I acknowledge this was a grave, grave error of judgment and she knows that."

▲A 21-year-old told police that three men dragged her into a car and one raped her on the back seat one Christmas day. It was a lie.

▲Another year, Jan Falkowski, a 46-year-old successful London psychiatrist, was brought to his knees by Maria Marchese, a deluded stalker who launched a four year hate campaign - with thousands of anonymous texts, phone calls and emails, and dozens of death threats.  Finally, she was arrested, but then, the police decided there was not enough evidence to proceed and the case was dropped. Falkowski was furious. At his office Christmas party, it all came to a head. The phone rang. It was her, treatening to kill him. Once again he reported her to the police.  That's when she fabricated rape claim against him. She told the police that Falkowski had drugged and raped her years earlier. To support her claim, she produced underwear supposedly soaked in his DNA.  Falkowski was arrested, charged with rape, and in accordance with standard practice, suspended from his job while police investigated. Marchese alerted radio and newspapers who headlined the case: "Top doctor charged with rape." Even Falkowski's friends abandoned him. Then, it was discovered that Marchese's underwear sample contained not just his DNA but the DNA of one of Falkowski's women friends whom Falkowski hadn't even met until a year after the rape supposedly occurred. The police realized they'd been conned. Marchese had rifled through Falkowski's dustbins and stolen a used condom.

▲Another Christmas, Austen Donnellan was cleared of raping a fellow undergraduate, with whom he had previously said he was besotted, after a drunken Christmas party. During his trial, Austen told the court that his accuser had kissed him passionately on the dance floor and undressed him when they returned to her room at the halls of her residence. She claimed she was raped. The judge told the jury that a woman who is drunk can still consent unless she was so drunk that couldn't understand what is happening to her.  The jury took just 35 minutes to acquit Austen.

On behalf of Steve and Pierce, FRS wishes the community of the wrongly accused and all our readers a very Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas, you've been falsely accused

Despite our fondest aspirations, Christmas is marked less by peace on earth and goodwill toward men than by bruised feelings, horn honking, and at least a vague feeling of dread. Both emotions and alcohol tend to flow a little too freely on the run up to the big day, and all our modern day angst is magnified under the Christmas snow globe. In short, it is the perfect season for the nastiest of human dramas, like suicide, assault, and false rape claims.  This blog, of course, is dedicated to giving voice to victims of false heinous sex allegations, and we call our holiday offering, "Merry Christmas, you've been falsely accused," only because we couldn't come up with anything better.

Regardless of your troubles this holiday season, they probably can't compare to those of some of the men featured here:

Friday, December 23, 2011

Man pleads guilty to two charges in bizarre story

Judge White decided to order a pre-sentence report for an accused after hearing a story involving a false sexual assault and an alcohol filled night that ended in parties engaging in a threesome while being filmed. Timothy D. Bergstrom, 30, pleaded guilty to a charge of public mischief and failing to comply with undertaking conditions in Leduc Provincial Court.

Court heard on Aug. 18, Bergstrom attended the local RCMP detachment to lodge a complaint he was sexually assaulted by his neighbour's wife. He told police, one night, he allegedly woke up on his neighbour's couch with his pants down and his neighbour's wife performing oral sex on him. He also told police she began "grinding her pelvis on him." Despite the claim by Bergstrom, the officer did not entirely believe the claim and further questioned the accused about the incident. Court heard, after more questioning, Bergstrom's story began to change and during one questioning period, he became frustrated and stormed out. Eventually, Bergstrom admitted he was never sexually assaulted by his neighbour's wife, but was allegedly involved in a consensual threesome with his neighbour's wife and husband, while another couple filmed them. Bergstrom's lawyer told court Bergstrom consumed around 12 beers and two T3 Tylenols the night the incident occurred, and said he doesn't fully remember what exactly happened. Bergstrom was charged with public mischief and released on an undertaking, with one of the conditions being not to come in contact with any of the parties involved in the incident. On Sept. 6 around 5:30 p.m. the police learned Bergstrom got involved in an argument with his neighbour and the two ended up getting into a fight, with Bergstrom receiving several punches to the face. Bergstrom was subsequently charged with failing to comply with undertaking conditions. Judge White was hesitant to sentence Bergstrom in court due to the circumstances, the option of a jail sentence and some of the difficulties Bergstrom is facing in his personal life. A pre-sentence report will be prepared for Feb. 23 in Leduc Provincial Court.

Link:
http://www.leducrep.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3406244

Man pleads guilty to two charges in bizarre story

Judge White decided to order a pre-sentence report for an accused after hearing a story involving a false sexual assault and an alcohol filled night that ended in parties engaging in a threesome while being filmed. Timothy D. Bergstrom, 30, pleaded guilty to a charge of public mischief and failing to comply with undertaking conditions in Leduc Provincial Court.

Statutes of limitations: Vital to the integrity of our legal system

"Imagine what would happen if a person decided, decades after the fact, to accuse a person of heinous crimes that never actually occurred. The motive could be money, it could be revenge, it could simply be the result of a misguided trip to the therapist who coaxes false memories out of a troubled mind. If our legal system allowed that person to file a lawsuit long after witnesses had died and evidence disappeared, we would be making a mockery of the phrase 'due process.'"

Read it here: Christine M. Flowers: Let's honor statute's limitations (Phila. Daily News)

Statutes of limitations: Vital to the integrity of our legal system

"Imagine what would happen if a person decided, decades after the fact, to accuse a person of heinous crimes that never actually occurred. The motive could be money, it could be revenge, it could simply be the result of a misguided trip to the therapist who coaxes false memories out of a troubled mind. If our legal system allowed that person to file a lawsuit long after witnesses had died and evidence disappeared, we would be making a mockery of the phrase 'due process.'"

Read it here: Christine M. Flowers: Let's honor statute's limitations (Phila. Daily News)

'The law's willingness to expose kids to adult criminal penalties is downright disturbing, considering how likely kids are to be wrongfully convicted'

From the Chicago Tribune:

Keep teens out of adult criminal court

Still work to be done to protect children from hazards of adult criminal penalties

Any parent knows that teenagers want to be older than they are. They want to stay out as late as possible, they want to hang out with whomever they choose — and they don't want anyone to tell them what to do.

But despite what teenagers might think, the law recognizes that they generally aren't responsible enough to be treated like adults. Teenagers under the age of 18 can't sign legal contracts. They can't get married in some states. They can't vote or enter the military. They can't buy cigarettes or alcohol. In some states, they can't even get into a tanning bed without being accompanied by an adult, for crying out loud.

The oddball exception is criminal law, which treats teenagers like adults far too often. In Illinois, children as young as 13 can be tried as adults. If convicted, they receive stiff adult sentences, up to and including life without the opportunity for parole.

The law's willingness to expose kids to adult criminal penalties is downright disturbing, considering how likely kids are to be wrongfully convicted — and in particular, how likely they are to falsely confess. The U.S. Supreme Court has found that the risk of false confession is "all the more troubling — and empirical studies show, all the more acute — when the subject of custodial interrogation is a juvenile." Those empirical studies have found that teens are up to three times more likely than adults to falsely confess under police interrogation to crimes they never committed.

Take Robert Taylor, one of the recently exonerated Dixmoor Five. In 1992, 15-year-old Taylor was accused of participating in the rape and murder of schoolmate Cateresa Matthews. He was interrogated alone for hours by police until he agreed to sign a short confession that didn't match the facts of the crime. Taylor was initially charged in juvenile court, but Cook County prosecutors sought to transfer him to adult criminal court, where he would face a life sentence. The juvenile court judge, to his credit, noted that Taylor's confession was nonsensical: He appeared to have gotten the date of the victim's death wrong by more than two weeks. Hinting that his confession could be false, the judge refused to transfer him to adult court.

But prosecutors got the appellate court to overturn that decision, and Taylor was sent to adult court. While awaiting trial, prosecutors tested DNA taken from the victim's body and learned that it did not belong to Taylor or any of his codefendants — but prosecutors pressed forward anyway. In short order, Robert Taylor was tried, convicted and condemned to spend 80 years in prison.

Almost 20 years later, Taylor and his co-defendants were finally released after the DNA was matched to the real perpetrator: a much older convicted rapist.

It's a travesty that the system treated Taylor like an adult — and allowed him to receive adult time — when the only evidence against him was a patently unbelievable confession that was a product of his youthful vulnerabilities.

Illinois needs to change the law so that children and teenagers cannot be charged as adults when the only evidence against them is an unreliable, uncorroborated confession. And when DNA evidence is available, it should be tested before any juvenile is transferred to adult court. These are basic changes that our justice system can easily accommodate — and they would have made 20 years' worth of difference to Robert Taylor.

We adults work hard to protect our children in so many arenas, from buying alcohol to getting married to, yes, even tanning without a note from Mom. But there's work left to be done to protect innocent children from the hazards of adult criminal court. As Taylor's case shows us, exposure to the adult criminal system is one coming-of-age ritual that no innocent teenager should have to endure.

Laura H. Nirider is co-director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth at Northwestern University School of Law. Nirider has represented several defendants in cases involving false or coerced confessions, including members of the Dixmoor Five and the West Memphis Three.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/ct-oped-1223-court-20111223,0,1933793.story

'The law's willingness to expose kids to adult criminal penalties is downright disturbing, considering how likely kids are to be wrongfully convicted'

From the Chicago Tribune:

Keep teens out of adult criminal court

Still work to be done to protect children from hazards of adult criminal penalties

Any parent knows that teenagers want to be older than they are. They want to stay out as late as possible, they want to hang out with whomever they choose — and they don't want anyone to tell them what to do.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christine Flowers has no use for false accusers

Must reading:

When victims lie

As I was saying . . .

Raping the benefit of the doubt

Christine Flowers has no use for false accusers

Must reading:

When victims lie

As I was saying . . .

Raping the benefit of the doubt

Feminist legal scholar explains need for statutes of limitations in sex cases

Statutes of limitations in criminal cases are designed to protect the innocent. The longer an accuser waits to bring a charge from the date it allegedly occurred, the more difficult it is to fairly defend against it.  The horror stories of the repressed memories witch hunts are examples of what can occur. In rape cases, there is a national trend to lengthen or eliminate statutes of limitations entirely. This is a concern to the criminal defense bar, the ACLU, and many others. We write about it from time to time -- see e.g.: http://falserapesociety.blogspot.com/2011/03/oregon-bill-would-eliminate-statute-of.html; and http://falserapesociety.blogspot.com/2008/07/alarming-trend-states-extend-statutes.html.

Aya Gruber is a legal scholar whose feminist credentials can't be questioned. See here. Her views on these issues are complex and surprisingly nuanced. She is someone to be taken seriously even when you disagree with her. Read what she says about the reasons for statutes of limitations in sex cases.

Why Are There Statutes of Limitations in Child Rape Cases?
by Jessica Grose/Slate

On Tuesday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that former Philadelphia Daily News sports columnist Bill Conlin had been accused of molesting four children in the 1970s. Because of the statute of limitations on sexual assault prosecutions in Pennsylvania, Conlin’s alleged victims cannot bring him to court. Kelley Blanchet, who is Conlin’s niece and one of his alleged victims, told the Inquirer that she went public with the accusations in part to draw attention to the inadequacies of these statute of limitations laws (she was also inspired to come forward by the Jerry Sandusky revelations at Penn State). Former Slate-ster Chad Matlin asked, “Is there a rationale for statue of limitations in sexual assault cases?”

Though child molestation is a monstrous crime, there are good reasons for a statute of limitations in sexual assault cases—mainly that the longer you take to prosecute any crime, the more stale the evidence gets and the less reliable it is. Aya Gruber, a professor at the University of Colorado Law School, says that when the charge is based on the word of the victim, timing can be especially important. “For example, if a person comes forward with a claim of sexual assault when he was a 7-year-old, 20 years after the fact, arguably the charge is suspect from the beginning,” Gruber points out. “The person’s memory has been subject to change and influence, essential witnesses might have forgotten the events or even be dead, it may be impossible to get physical evidence in the case, and the like.” Furthermore, Gruber says, a long-delayed charge lessens the retributive and deterrent value of a conviction.

Historically, only murders were exempt from statute of limitations laws, but there’s been a general trend in the U.S. toward increasing the statute of limitations on sexual assaults in almost every jurisdiction. Pennsylvania is a good example of the wider trend: Before 1991, child sexual assault victims had two years to report inappropriate touching and five years to report a greater abuse, like sodomy or rape. As the Inquirer explains, the statute of limitations law in child sexual assault cases has been extended three times since then. Now, child victims have until they turn 50 to report sexual assaults—but that’s only for victims who turned 18 after the law went into effect, in 2002, so that still leaves Conlin’s alleged victims without legal recourse.

Source: http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2011/12/21/bill_conlin_alleged_sexual_assault_the_tational_behind_statutes_of_limitations_in_child_rape_cases_.html

Feminist legal scholar explains need for statutes of limitations in sex cases

Statutes of limitations in criminal cases are designed to protect the innocent. The longer an accuser waits to bring a charge from the date it allegedly occurred, the more difficult it is to fairly defend against it.  The horror stories of the repressed memories witch hunts are examples of what can occur. In rape cases, there is a national trend to lengthen or eliminate statutes of limitations entirely. This is a concern to the criminal defense bar, the ACLU, and many others. We write about it from time to time -- see e.g.: http://falserapesociety.blogspot.com/2011/03/oregon-bill-would-eliminate-statute-of.html; and http://falserapesociety.blogspot.com/2008/07/alarming-trend-states-extend-statutes.html.

Aya Gruber is a legal scholar whose feminist credentials can't be questioned. See here. Her views on these issues are complex and surprisingly nuanced. She is someone to be taken seriously even when you disagree with her. Read what she says about the reasons for statutes of limitations in sex cases.

Why Are There Statutes of Limitations in Child Rape Cases?
by Jessica Grose/Slate

On Tuesday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that former Philadelphia Daily News sports columnist Bill Conlin had been accused of molesting four children in the 1970s. Because of the statute of limitations on sexual assault prosecutions in Pennsylvania, Conlin’s alleged victims cannot bring him to court. Kelley Blanchet, who is Conlin’s niece and one of his alleged victims, told the Inquirer that she went public with the accusations in part to draw attention to the inadequacies of these statute of limitations laws (she was also inspired to come forward by the Jerry Sandusky revelations at Penn State). Former Slate-ster Chad Matlin asked, “Is there a rationale for statue of limitations in sexual assault cases?”

Though child molestation is a monstrous crime, there are good reasons for a statute of limitations in sexual assault cases—mainly that the longer you take to prosecute any crime, the more stale the evidence gets and the less reliable it is. Aya Gruber, a professor at the University of Colorado Law School, says that when the charge is based on the word of the victim, timing can be especially important. “For example, if a person comes forward with a claim of sexual assault when he was a 7-year-old, 20 years after the fact, arguably the charge is suspect from the beginning,” Gruber points out. “The person’s memory has been subject to change and influence, essential witnesses might have forgotten the events or even be dead, it may be impossible to get physical evidence in the case, and the like.” Furthermore, Gruber says, a long-delayed charge lessens the retributive and deterrent value of a conviction.

Historically, only murders were exempt from statute of limitations laws, but there’s been a general trend in the U.S. toward increasing the statute of limitations on sexual assaults in almost every jurisdiction. Pennsylvania is a good example of the wider trend: Before 1991, child sexual assault victims had two years to report inappropriate touching and five years to report a greater abuse, like sodomy or rape. As the Inquirer explains, the statute of limitations law in child sexual assault cases has been extended three times since then. Now, child victims have until they turn 50 to report sexual assaults—but that’s only for victims who turned 18 after the law went into effect, in 2002, so that still leaves Conlin’s alleged victims without legal recourse.

Source: http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2011/12/21/bill_conlin_alleged_sexual_assault_the_tational_behind_statutes_of_limitations_in_child_rape_cases_.html

Brown University suit settled

The lawsuit filed by William McCormick III and his parents against Brown University, Marcella Dresdale (the student who accused McCormick of raping her), and Richard Dresdale (the accuser's father), has been settled on undisclosed terms.

“The McCormicks and the Dresdales have resolved all of the disputes between them which are the subject of the lawsuit to their mutual satisfaction,” J. Scott Kilpatrick, a lawyer for the McCormicks, said in a statement over the telephone. “The McCormicks and the Dresdales have agreed to not make any further statements or comments on the matter.”  Apparently, the University was not part of the settlement. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-12-21/suit-dropped-against-brown-university-over-rape-accusation.html

The lawsuit claimed that the university falsely accused William McCormick of sexual assault and that the Dresdales libeled him and caused him to be expelled from the college. The McCormicks claim that Richard Dresdale is “an alumnus of Brown and has raised very substantial sums of money for Brown.”

Mr. McCormick has every right to settle his case on whatever terms he deems appropriate. His suit sought redress for a harm to him, not a harm to the community at large. Still, the community of the wrongly accused is disappointed that Brown University -- which uses a standard of proof that's even lower than "preponderance of the evidence" for sex cases, and that is famous in these parts for suspending Adam Lack on the flimsiest of evidence -- is not being called to answer for its alleged wrongdoing.

Libertarian media gadfly John Stossel left an indelible impression of Brown in a book he wrote. Stossel described how he went to Brown some years ago to cover the Adam Lack case for 20/20. What awaited Stossel surprised even him -- he discovered that debate on the issue was not welcomed. At a rally against Mr. Lack, Mr. Stossel sought to question to protest leaders about their definition of "rape." Stossel described the scene in words that are a stinging indictment on the intoleance of activists who have politicized rape: "I've covered race riots in Portland, a birth-control riot in Mexico City, yet these privileged students at an Ivy League university were louder, and more intense." They shouted Stossel down, began chanting at him, and made it clear that there was only one side to the issue--theirs. In their world, Stossel explained, "any challenge to their thinking must automatically be hate-filled and sexist (or racist, classist, or homophobic)." J. Stossel, How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media at 275-77.

Brown University suit settled

The lawsuit filed by William McCormick III and his parents against Brown University, Marcella Dresdale (the student who accused McCormick of raping her), and Richard Dresdale (the accuser's father), has been settled on undisclosed terms.

Officers: Woman filed false rape report against husband’s friend

A Fort Myers woman is accused of filing a false rape report against her lover at the request of her husband.

Jody Mary Ryan, 18, was arrested by Fort Myers police Saturday at her home. She is facing charges of making a false report.

Officers say Ryan and her husband, Mahmoud Koush, 27, filed the report on Saturday.

Koush told officers he received a call from his wife saying a friend of his had touched her inappropriately, according to an arrest report.

Later that day officers responded to the couple’s home to assist EMS. Ryan was taken to Gulf Coast Hospital where reports said she told officers the friend raped her at a motel on Cleveland Avenue, but she was afraid to tell the whole story earlier because she did not want her husband to find out.

Officers spoke with the hotel clerk who told them Ryan did not seem to be in distress when she rented the room.

Hospital employees said Ryan made no statements about being raped. She was only concerned about being pregnant, reports said.

Officers then spoke with the man Ryan accused of rape. According to reports, he and Ryan had been having a consensual affair for about two weeks and he had given her a ring. After going to the hotel, Ryan came to his work and threw the ring at him because Koush found out about the affair, reports said.

Detectives viewed video footage which showed Ryan throwing the ring.

Ryan eventually confessed that her husband found out about the affair and told her to lie about being raped so he could get back at his friend.

Link: http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2011/dec/12/officers-woman-filed-false-rape-report-against-hus/

Officers: Woman filed false rape report against husband’s friend

A Fort Myers woman is accused of filing a false rape report against her lover at the request of her husband.

Jody Mary Ryan, 18, was arrested by Fort Myers police Saturday at her home. She is facing charges of making a false report.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Another high profile sex crime that didn't happen

Another high profile sex case was dropped, and this one affirms, yet again, that when it comes to supposed sex offenses, it's all too easy to arrest and to charge men for criminality in-the-air; in this case, a high profile "grope" that never was. Still, for the better part of two months, an American football player was put through hell for doing nothing more than making fleeting contact with a woman's hand in a nightclub. This story is a wake-up call to all young men in the bar and nightclub scene.

Last Halloween, Julian Edelman of the New England Patriots was arrested for groping at night club. In a police report, his still unnamed accuser stated that "she felt the suspects (sic) hand come in contact with her vagina in what she described as 'a purposeful squeeze or swipe.'" She said he groped for two seconds. The woman informed nightclub staff about the incident and requested that Edelman be removed from the club.

According to Prof. KC Johnson, whose chronicling of the Duke lacrosse case helped expose the accused players' innocence: "Early press coverage, especially from the tabloid-ish Boston Herald, presumed if not guilt at the least a demonstration of extremely poor character."

You can watch an actual video of the incident here. You will need to avoid blinking when the alleged "grope" occurs. Edelman, wearing shorts as part of a Reno 911 costume, does not appear to make contact with the woman for the two seconds she alleges. Although the video is difficult to see, you can see Edelman reach out his hand, then look back.  Prosecutors say that Mr. Edelman took her hand briefly, that the physical contact between the two was fleeting and did not meet the elements of any crime.

In the video, the woman's face was blurred by the Suffolk County District Attorney's office to protect her identity.  The DA issued a statement: "[A] review of both witness statements and video surveillance has revealed that the Commonwealth would be unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intentionally engaged in a harmful or offensive touching of the complainant that would be regarded by society as immodest, immoral, and improper."

According to David E. Frank, writing for the news blog of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly: "Edelman’s lawyer, Amy McNamee, said that his client has maintained from the beginning that he is innocent. Today’s court action, she added, confirms that he was telling the truth. 'Everyone was very quick to immediately accuse him of being some kind of pervert,' McNamee said. 'It’s not easy to have to walk around holding your head up when you know you didn’t do it.'” The video, according to Mr. Frank, "seriously called into question the alleged victim’s account of the incident."

Prof. Johnson noted that the newspapers covering the story have declined to reveal the woman's identity:  "Perhaps, as occurred initially when the New York Times refused to identify [Duke lacrosse false accuser] Mangum after the exoneration, the papers didn’t want to do anything that might deter false-grope accusers from coming forward in the future."

Another high profile sex crime that didn't happen

Another high profile sex case was dropped, and this one affirms, yet again, that when it comes to supposed sex offenses, it's all too easy to arrest and to charge men for criminality in-the-air; in this case, a high profile "grope" that never was. Still, for the better part of two months, an American football player was put through hell for doing nothing more than making fleeting contact with a woman's hand in a nightclub. This story is a wake-up call to all young men in the bar and nightclub scene.

Last Halloween, Julian Edelman of the New England Patriots was arrested for groping at night club. In a police report, his still unnamed accuser stated that "she felt the suspects (sic) hand come in contact with her vagina in what she described as 'a purposeful squeeze or swipe.'" She said he groped for two seconds. The woman informed nightclub staff about the incident and requested that Edelman be removed from the club.

According to Prof. KC Johnson, whose chronicling of the Duke lacrosse case helped expose the accused players' innocence: "Early press coverage, especially from the tabloid-ish Boston Herald, presumed if not guilt at the least a demonstration of extremely poor character."

You can watch an actual video of the incident here. You will need to avoid blinking when the alleged "grope" occurs. Edelman, wearing shorts as part of a Reno 911 costume, does not appear to make contact with the woman for the two seconds she alleges. Although the video is difficult to see, you can see Edelman reach out his hand, then look back.  Prosecutors say that Mr. Edelman took her hand briefly, that the physical contact between the two was fleeting and did not meet the elements of any crime.

In the video, the woman's face was blurred by the Suffolk County District Attorney's office to protect her identity.  The DA issued a statement: "[A] review of both witness statements and video surveillance has revealed that the Commonwealth would be unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intentionally engaged in a harmful or offensive touching of the complainant that would be regarded by society as immodest, immoral, and improper."

According to David E. Frank, writing for the news blog of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly: "Edelman’s lawyer, Amy McNamee, said that his client has maintained from the beginning that he is innocent. Today’s court action, she added, confirms that he was telling the truth. 'Everyone was very quick to immediately accuse him of being some kind of pervert,' McNamee said. 'It’s not easy to have to walk around holding your head up when you know you didn’t do it.'” The video, according to Mr. Frank, "seriously called into question the alleged victim’s account of the incident."

Prof. Johnson noted that the newspapers covering the story have declined to reveal the woman's identity:  "Perhaps, as occurred initially when the New York Times refused to identify [Duke lacrosse false accuser] Mangum after the exoneration, the papers didn’t want to do anything that might deter false-grope accusers from coming forward in the future."

'Victims' urged to consider consequences of false rape claims

The thing that pisses me off the most about the following, is that there is not a shred of concern shown over the falsely accused. And that is just despicable.

A small number of sex attacks recently reported to police have proven to be false claims.

Now officers are urging those who may consider making up an allegation, for whatever reason, to think about the consequences of their actions. 

Supt Helen Chamberlain, Head of Nottinghamshire Police’s Public Protection Unit, said: “We fully investigate all reports of rape and sexual assault but lately we have experienced some cases where our enquiries have shown the ‘victim’ has either invented a story or regretted their sexual activity and claimed to have been attacked.

“There may be a host of reasons why someone would make this type of thing up; they could be in a difficult place in their personal lives, it could be cry for help for other emotional or psychological problems or they could need an excuse to explain their actions. We are sensitive to this, however false reports can have a detrimental effect on genuine victims.

“When an initial report comes in, resources are allocated to secure the scene of the crime, forensic searches and examinations are conducted and house-to-house enquiries are carried out. Extra patrols are allocated to reassure communities.

“Specially trained officers are utilised to investigate reports of rape and sexual assault and this often requires hours of time spent with the victim, speaking to potential witnesses, and viewing CCTV. We also link in with other services such as Victim Support, to ensure victims are offered the appropriate measures to help them cope.”

Earlier this year, 19-year-old Aisha Mather, of Stevenage, was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice, admitting she lied about being raped. Following her claim, a man was even arrested but was released without charge after it was proven she had made it up.

On average, a rape investigation costs around £80,000, this can increase up to £250,000, if it goes to court. However, the financial element is not the biggest expense of a false report.

Supt Chamberlain continued: “The impact that a false report can have on those who have genuinely gone through the experience is significant. It not only takes valuable resources away from helping the real victims of crime, but it can also undermine the trauma they have really had to endure.

“Genuine rape victims first have to come to terms with what has happened, and we find they often question whether people will believe them. It can be an extremely traumatic and distressing time.

“A number of significant jail sentences have handed down to offenders convicted of rape and sexual assault. Their victims have shown significant courage in not only coming forward, but in some cases having to face the person who violated them in court.

“I would urge those thinking of making a false allegation of rape or sexual assault to think twice; you could not only end up with a criminal record but you should spare a thought for those true victims who have actually been through such a distressing ordeal.”

Link: http://www.nottinghamshire.police.uk/newsandevents/news/2011/december/08/victims_urged_to_consider_consequences_of_false_rape_claims/

'Victims' urged to consider consequences of false rape claims

The thing that pisses me off the most about the following, is that there is not a shred of concern shown over the falsely accused. And that is just despicable.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Shutting down the fraternity at the University of Vermont is a 'social injustice'

Former president of UVM's Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter Alexander Haller calls it "a social injustice," because it is.

Mr. Haller was referring to the fact that his fraternity was shuttered indefinitely by the national fraternity, with the university's blessing, in the wake of the infamous rape survey.

We've previously reported that the fraternity neither sent out nor sanctioned the infamous question asking "who" the recipient(s) would like to rape. One new frat brother posed the query at issue to a limited fraternity audience. The person or persons to whom the survey was sent refused to answer the question and told the new member who sent it to change it immediately.

According to Vermont Public Radio, Haller says his home away from home, his former fraternity house, was besieged -- by the media, by women's rights groups, and by administrators.

Mr. Haller explained: "I don't know what's going on behind closed doors at UVM, but I feel like they're just looking for any reason to continue to make us look like monsters."

Haller has a good suggestion. Instead of "the whole world" telling the frat brother who wrote the query "in bad taste" that "they hate him because he doesn't get it," the guy could us "some sensitivity training."

Ah, but that's not good enough for the national fraternity, or the University of Vermont. Annie Stevens, director of student and campus life at the university, said she supports Sigma Phi's decision to close down its UVM chapter because of the survey.

If a rogue professor in a department at the university did something similar, no one would suggest shutting down the entire department or cleaning house and bringing in all new professors.  The same with a business in the private sector; a symphony orchestra; or an office of the federal government.

But fraternities are different. Why?  Dr. Warren Farrell explains why -- and he doesn't pull any punches. Mr. Haller is strongly urged to pay close attention to what Dr. Farrell wrote. And after he reads that, he's strongly urged to contact FIRE, because the university's possible role in shutting down the fraternity raises serious First Amendment questions that ought to be addressed.  Here's what Farrell said:

"The freshman male is likely to acquire a new feeling about himself: he is the designated potential perpetrator until proven innocent.

"This message will be reinforced by a barrage of gender courses, the attitudes of a good many faculty, and on many campuses, what Charlotte Allen calls 'the scorched-earth war against fraternities.' The anti-fraternity movement is ostensibly about wantonness and excess (binge-drinking, hazing, date rape), but in reality it’s about erasing the best-known male refuge from the suffocating political correctness on campus and its theory of the evil male.

"The only males likely to escape this pressure are gays, African-Americans, the transgendered, or the harmlessly hetero—docile guys who agree with the standard campus view that males are dangerous. The campus environment is so hostile toward men that it doesn’t allow hostility toward men to be considered a 'hostile environment.' Only established grievance groups get to detect hostile environments."

Sources:
http://www.mindingthecampus.com/originals/2011/10/chilly_world_of_the_campus_male.html

http://www.vpr.net/news_detail/92795/after-sigma-phi-epsilon-closes-bitterness-lingers/

http://www.sacbee.com/2011/12/15/4125637/fraternity-no-sign-vt-rape-survey.html

Shutting down the fraternity at the University of Vermont is a 'social injustice'

Former president of UVM's Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter Alexander Haller calls it "a social injustice," because it is.

Mr. Haller was referring to the fact that his fraternity was shuttered indefinitely by the national fraternity, with the university's blessing, in the wake of the infamous rape survey.

We've previously reported that the fraternity neither sent out nor sanctioned the infamous question asking "who" the recipient(s) would like to rape. One new frat brother posed the query at issue to a limited fraternity audience. The person or persons to whom the survey was sent refused to answer the question and told the new member who sent it to change it immediately.

According to Vermont Public Radio, Haller says his home away from home, his former fraternity house, was besieged -- by the media, by women's rights groups, and by administrators.

Mr. Haller explained: "I don't know what's going on behind closed doors at UVM, but I feel like they're just looking for any reason to continue to make us look like monsters."

Haller has a good suggestion. Instead of "the whole world" telling the frat brother who wrote the query "in bad taste" that "they hate him because he doesn't get it," the guy could us "some sensitivity training."

Ah, but that's not good enough for the national fraternity, or the University of Vermont. Annie Stevens, director of student and campus life at the university, said she supports Sigma Phi's decision to close down its UVM chapter because of the survey.

If a rogue professor in a department at the university did something similar, no one would suggest shutting down the entire department or cleaning house and bringing in all new professors.  The same with a business in the private sector; a symphony orchestra; or an office of the federal government.

But fraternities are different. Why?  Dr. Warren Farrell explains why -- and he doesn't pull any punches. Mr. Haller is strongly urged to pay close attention to what Dr. Farrell wrote. And after he reads that, he's strongly urged to contact FIRE, because the university's possible role in shutting down the fraternity raises serious First Amendment questions that ought to be addressed.  Here's what Farrell said:

"The freshman male is likely to acquire a new feeling about himself: he is the designated potential perpetrator until proven innocent.

"This message will be reinforced by a barrage of gender courses, the attitudes of a good many faculty, and on many campuses, what Charlotte Allen calls 'the scorched-earth war against fraternities.' The anti-fraternity movement is ostensibly about wantonness and excess (binge-drinking, hazing, date rape), but in reality it’s about erasing the best-known male refuge from the suffocating political correctness on campus and its theory of the evil male.

"The only males likely to escape this pressure are gays, African-Americans, the transgendered, or the harmlessly hetero—docile guys who agree with the standard campus view that males are dangerous. The campus environment is so hostile toward men that it doesn’t allow hostility toward men to be considered a 'hostile environment.' Only established grievance groups get to detect hostile environments."

Sources:
http://www.mindingthecampus.com/originals/2011/10/chilly_world_of_the_campus_male.html

http://www.vpr.net/news_detail/92795/after-sigma-phi-epsilon-closes-bitterness-lingers/

http://www.sacbee.com/2011/12/15/4125637/fraternity-no-sign-vt-rape-survey.html