Monday, February 13, 2012

Pro athlete to sue rape accuser he claims was paid by the government for lying

Scottish footballer David Goodwillie, 22, has had enough.

Mr. Goodwillie was accused of rape early last year by a 24-year-old single mother who told cops that the Blackburn Rovers striker attacked her on a night out.

"I know what happened that night and I know that I did absolutely nothing wrong. I know all the evidence and it backs me up in everything."

Prosecutors dropped the charges last July, but Mr. Goodwillie is incensed that the woman was awarded 11,000 pounds in criminal compensation, and now he wants to take legal action against her.

If Mr. Goodwillie's allegations are correct, he should have the support of all persons of good will, including the feminist community.

In the UK, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) furnishes a monetary incentive to lie about rape. Under the Compensation Scheme, Britain pays crime victims, including women who claim they’ve been raped, substantial sums of money as “compensation.” The alleged rapes need not have involved violence to trigger the payments.

The compensation system has been subjected to rampant fraud, and women have falsely cried rape in order to collect. In one well-publicized case, a false accuser was compensated a substantial sum of money for her lie.  In contrast, Britain does not compensate men for the harm they suffer after being falsely accused, no matter how egregious. The double-standard is stark, and morally grotesque. It tells us much about how our society regards the victims of false rape claims.  See our report: Women Are Paid To Lie About Rape

In the Goodwillie case, the evidence includes witness statements and CCTV footage, which the 22-year-old claims shows the woman's story is a web of lies.  The star athlete said he was on a night out with a pal when he met the woman on January 1. Goodwillie claims the pair knocked back booze before they headed to a house party. But the following day, the woman claimed to have possibly been drugged and attacked. Goodwillie and St Johnstone star pal David Robertson, 24, were both arrested.

No charges were ever brought against Robertson. The case against Goodwillie was based on the woman's claim that she had no memory and was not able to consent to sex.

But Mr. Goodwillie has alleged that fresh access to legal documents prove that the woman willingly went with him to the house bash. He said the evidence includes statements from the taxi driver who drove them there. And he also said the documents disprove her claims she'd no memory of sending a text message late at night, because CCTV cameras spotted her on the mobile.

Goodwillie explained: "The woman claims to have no recollection of events after 10pm on January 1, 2011. She denied sending a text message from her mobile phone to her mother around midnight, telling her not to have her brother come and collect her.

"She said the message must have been sent by me or a friend who was with me that night.

"But there is high-definition, time-coded CCTV footage which shows her sending a message from her phone outside the club where we were close to at midnight. Her phone records have been examined by the Crown Office and they show that message was sent to her mother's phone.

"The CCTV also shows her talking and walking normally and in control of her actions."

Mr. Goodwillie also said that a neighbour at the house where the alleged attack occurred claimed he heard the star and the girl joking about sex.

And he alleged official papers also show the woman lied about her whereabouts the morning after.

"In the morning, she took a mobile phone call from a member of her family who wanted to know where she was. Unknown to her at the time, her relatives were making the call from her house and she was not where she claimed to be. It was only at this time that she claimed to have suffered a memory lapse and the allegations were made. Then, on January 3, she tried to withdraw the allegations, I have been told."

Mr. Goodwillie said he had not "taken the decision to speak out lightly." He said: "I had to endure seven months of utter hell. The prosecutors studied CCTV images, examined phone records and text message traffic. These contradicted the woman's version of events. And everything I said was backed up."

Four of the most senior Crown Office staff — including the Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland and Derek Ogg QC, the head of the National Sex Crimes Unit — read all the case notes.

"I find that although the most senior prosecutors refused to take the case to court I am now being tried in the court of public opinion for something of which I am innocent.

"This woman and her lawyer seem determined to undermine me.

"My reputation has been tarnished by a catalogue of lies and untruths. Enough is enough. I have now instructed my legal team to take all the necessary steps to look after my interests, including a defamation action to protect my name," he said.

"I could have been in a jail cell for several years due to a false allegation. My life, my reputation, my career would all have been lost," he said.  "I will do whatever is required to prevent my reputation being sullied any further."

For her part, the accuser is now upset because Mr. Goodwillie appeared to know details of a ­private meeting she had with prosecutors. She says she only denied sending a text message before the alleged attack in a private conversation at the Crown Office and it was not included in her police statements.