Friday, January 31, 2014

Quote of the day

A civil-liberties lawyer once said this: "Some people regard rape as so heinous an offense that they would not even regard innocence as a defense." See here.

Two 18 year old females arrested for false sexual assault

HidalgoCounty Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded to Business Hwy 83 and Schuerbach Rd. on 1-23-2014 at 10:31p.m in regards to a sexual assault.

The investigation revealed that the two females, both 18 years old had agreed to have sexual relation with Jorge Suchil for pay.  After the sexual encounter, Jorge Suchil failed to pay the two females.  The two females pulled out knives, and overpowered Jorge Suchil and tied him up with a belt and a scarf.  Jorge Suchil was able to escape from the females. The females then drove off in Jorge Suchil’s vehicle and attempted to report the incident as a sexual assault.

Both females were arrested and will be arraigned before J.P Bobby Contreras at the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office Detention Facility at 2:00p.m today, January 24, 2014.

HidalgoCounty Sheriff’s Office investigation continues in attempt to discover other crimes to include the use of social media such as Facebook and Craig’s list as sex for pay sites and also an attempt to discover the identity of the individual that arranged the sexual encounter.

Both females confessed to the sex for pay encounter.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Streator rape report false

Missing a school bus. Add another excuse in the long line of excuses used to falsely cry rape/sexual assault. And while she's only 12 years old, it's obvious she knew that a claim of this nature would be believed, and it would likely keep her from other trouble. I don't think jail/prison would be needed, but some time spent advocating for the falsely accused might be an appropriate sentence.

A 12-year-old Streator girl could face punishment after making a false report Wednesday of an attempted sexual assault.

The girl reported Wednesday about 3 p.m. that she was approached by a white male as she was walking home from school near North Wasson Street. She said the man pulled down her pants and she ran several blocks to get away.

Police investigators searched the alleged scene, which showed now signs of an altercation.

Streator police reported the girl and her mother came to the police station Thursday morning to confess the report was made up by the girl, for fear of getting in trouble for missing the school bus.

Officials said the girl will be referred to the La Salle County State's Attorney's Office for making a false report of a felony.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A radical alternative in the war on rape: the truth

Eric Rosenberg, a Granville, Ohio attorney, has represented three male students in three different cases against their university. In his most recent case, he alleged all manner of impropriety by the university in expelling his client for sexual assault. The case settled, and Mr. Rosenberg spoke with a reporter and offered a little free expert advice to college men: “I’d like to convey to students the risk of being involved with women who have been drinking,” Rosenberg said, “because later she may say she was sexually assaulted.”

Despite the fact that there is an off-the-charts correlation between alcohol and sexual assault claims, Eric is treading on dangerous ground when he dares speak publicly about alcohol in connection with sexual assault. People who have the temerity to tell women to be careful when it comes to sex and drink, and people who have the courage to tell men to be wary of sexual encounters with women who drink, run the risk of being attacked as misogynists, victim blamers, and rape apologists.

Emily Yoffe once responded to a question about a woman who had a one-night stand after drinking too much, then lied to friends that the guy had put something in her drink, then decided to press charges for date rape. Yoffe was vilified for having the nerve to state that since the woman's "first version of the story" was that "she was ashamed of her behavior, . . . it sounds as if she wants to punish the guy at the bar for her own poor choices."

Roxanne Jones also was vilified when she imparted some motherly advice to college men: "Never have sex with a girl unless she's sent you a text that proves the sexual relationship is consensual beforehand. And it's a good idea to even follow up any sexual encounter with a tasteful text message saying how you both enjoyed being with one another -- even if you never plan on hooking up again." Why? "Make no mistake, no woman -- no matter how much she parties -- is asking to be raped," she wrote. "But too often when heavy drinking is involved, the meaning of consent can be misconstrued on both sides."

For the zealots who dominate the public discourse on sexual assault, alcohol is a red herring, a distraction, a detour from the real issue -- and make no mistake what the real issue is: maleness. The only acceptable focus when talking about sexual assault is on the need to transform diseased masculinity that oppresses women.

Writer Jessica Valenti, a purveyor of the maleness-is-broken crowd, summed it up: "Rape is part of our culture. It's normalized to the point where men who are otherwise decent guys will rape and not even think that it's wrong. And that's what terrifies me."  Self-proclaimed feminist Louise Pennington wrote that ours is a culture that "blames women for drinking alcohol rather than men for committing rape." (As if the sum total of society's efforts to reduce the prevalence of rape is to tell women to be careful.) Society needs to change, Pennington wrote, and "this change needs to start with a message to men: rape must stop. Men must take personal responsibility for their own perpetuation of rape culture and men need to call out other men who are engaging in sexually predatory behaviour."  Women, you see, have no responsibility.

Here's a radical alternative to attacking "men": the truth. Wouldn't it be helpful to tell both young women and young men that, as Dr. David Lisak points out, the typical rapist is a serial criminal who preys on drunken, unsuspecting women at parties?

Or are facts "victim blaming"?

Wouldn't it be useful for both young men and young women to be reminded that, as a matter of scientifically proven fact, men and women view casual sex differently? That there is a "regret asymmetry" that divides men and women when it comes to sex, and that it is is exacerbated by alcohol?

By shaming people of good will who try to keep our daughters and sons safe, the zealots put our daughters and sons at risk. We don't empower our daughters by insisting they are powerless, and we don't hate women by telling our sons to avoid one-night stands with drunk women. Some males are broken, but "maleness" is not. Rape is a serious problem in America because of a relatively small group of sexual predators who use both alcohol and unsuspecting women to accomplish their vile plans, and our children need to know that in order to be able to stop it.

To the extent we ignore the real problem and concentrate on the purported necessity to reconstruct masculinity, we do a grave disservice to our daughters, to rape victims, and to the young men we've reduced to gross caricature.

Kimberly Wheelhouse admits false rape claims

KIMBERLEY Wheelhouse, 20, told a taxi driver she thought she had been raped but admitted the truth after police investigated discrepancies in her story.

A SEX toys saleswoman falsely claimed she had been raped after going to a man’s house for “arranged sex.”

And two men went through the ordeal of being questioned by police because of 20-year-old Kimberley Wheelhouse’s lies.

Wheelhouse, an agent for Ann Summers, told her partner in September 2012 that she was going out to sell the firm’s products at a party in Inverness.

But she then went to another address for “arranged sex” with another man, the city’s sheriff court heard.

Prosecutor Kelly Mitchell said: “Afterwards, she became upset because she had misplaced her mobile phone.

“The man at the property contacted her mother before phoning a taxi to take her home.

“In the taxi, she told the driver she thought she had been raped. And when the driver got to her house, he told her partner.

“Wheelhouse gave a statement to police about the alleged sex assault and two men were questioned without charge.”

Mitchell said police continued to investigate the case because of discrepancies in Wheelhouse’s story.

The prosecutor added: “When she was interviewed by police, she admitted she had made it up.
“She couldn’t give a reason why she had done so.”

Wheelhouse, of Juniper Gardens, Inverness, denied wasting police time and was due to go on trial yesterday, but then changed her plea to guilty.

Sheriff Margaret Mitchell deferred sentence until February 13 for a background report and gave Wheelhouse bail.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The White House trivializes false rape claims

The White House Council on Women and Girls has issued a report titled "RAPE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT: RENEWED CALL TO ACTION"  that discusses, among other things, low arrest rates for sexual assault. It states that because "some" police officers believe the rape "myth" that "many" women lie about rape, this "may help account for the low [arrest] rates."

The report makes sure to add: ". . . in reality, only 2-10% of reported rapes are false." (Emphasis added.)

There are two clear and purposeful implications from this assertion that are as erroneous as they are dangerous to the rights of the presumptively innocent: first, that anywhere from 90 to 98 percent of all reported rape claims are actual rapes; and second, that there aren't enough falsely accused victims to worry about. It is troubling on a host of levels that the White House endorses these implications.

Put aside the fact that even taking the statement at face value, ten percent of reported rapes is a fairly significant number of  falsely accused citizens (what other group of victims would tolerate being trivialized with statements that there are "only" a certain number of them?), by declaring that "only" two to ten percent of all rapes are false, the implication is that 90-98 percent are actual rapes. That is simply not factual.

The White House cites the Lisak study, found here, in support of its assertion. In fact, if you actually review the numbers used in the Lisak study, you will find that 58.8% of all claims fall into a vast gray area where the researchers simply could not say whether it was a rape, a non-rape, or a false claim. It is most unlikely that all of those were actual rapes.

In addition, Lisak, et al, used a fairly exacting standard to determine whether a claim was false -- "if there was evidence that a thorough investigation was pursued and that the investigation had yielded evidence that the reported sexual assault had in fact not occurred." They did not use as exacting a standard to determine whether a rape actually occurred. The study found that 35.3% of rape claims were referred for prosecution or disciplinary action. Lisak et al did not offer any opinion as to the propriety of any of these referrals, and did not reveal the outcome of the prosecution or disciplinary action for any of them. Our work on behalf of the wrongly accused has revealed many wrongful claims that had been improperly or incorrectly referred for prosecution or disciplinary action. In short, of the claims comprising Lisak's 35.3%, it is most unlikely that all were actual rapes.

In short, the Lisak report simply cannot be read to support the proposition that 90-98 percent of all rape claims are actual rapes. The White House report needs an asterisk to explain this because it is creating an erroneous impression.

Why does this matter? Because "facts" such as this that are used to trivialize the prevalence of false claims, and to maximize the prevalence of rape, are frequently cited to support efforts to roll back the due process rights of the presumptively innocent accused of sexual assault. It is astounding to us that there aren't a lot more people, especially our friends in the progressive camp, challenging these assertions, given their deleterious impact on the presumptively innocent accused of sex offenses.

The public discourse about sexual assault needs two distinct sets of  voices: those that strive to eradicate heinous criminality by punishing offenders, and those that insist the innocent not be punished with the guilty. Given the politicized nature of sexual assault, the latter voices not only are absent from the public discourse but those of us who attempt to raise these issues are shamed often into silence. See here.

Before he became president, Barak Obama was one of the very few national politicians who called for a Justice Department criminal investigation of Mike Nifong. The president has taught Constitutional Law at a law school level, and he understands the issues we speak about. Even though it won't bring his party a single vote in the 2014 elections, we implore the President to give voice to the concern that the innocent not be punished with the guilty -- if only to underscore that the all-important balance between punishing the guilty and protecting the innocent must always be struck.

Woman admits false rape claim

A WOMAN who made a false rape claim after attending a house in Inverness for arranged sex, admitted wasting police time at Inverness Sheriff Court today.

Kimberley Wheelhouse (20) of Juniper Gardens, Culduthel, told her partner she was attending an appointment as an Ann Summers agent in Inverness.

But depute fiscal Kelly Mitchell told Sheriff Margaret Neilson that Wheelhouse in fact left her home at 7pm on the evening of September 15, 2012, to have arranged sex at an address in the city.

The fiscal said she went to the address and became upset when she lost her mobile phone. A man at the property called her mother and advised her that her daughter was upset and he had called a taxi for her.

"While in the taxi she told the driver she thought she had been raped by an unknown person."

Ms Mitchell said the taxi driver advised Wheelhouse’s partner of this when he arrived at her home.
Wheelhouse was interviewed by police which in turn led to two men being interviewed.

The fiscal said they weren’t charged and due to discrepancies in Wheelhouse’s story she was interviewed and cautioned and  admitted making up the allegations.

Ms Mitchell said Wheelhouse could give police no explanation for making up the allegations.

"I understand a substantial amount of police time had been spent investigating these allegations and two persons were brought in for questioning."

Wheelhouse had originally denied the charge but changed her plea to guilty before trial yesterday (Monday).

She admitted on September 15 at her home address wasting police time by making false allegations of rape at an unknown address by two unknown males, an allegation which she knew to be false and rendered people liable to suspicion.

Sentence was deferred until February 13 for community justice social work reports.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Birmingham student who lied about being raped told by judges she deserves prison

The following quote, is exactly why we are here:

“The effects on an innocent man of the false allegation were not intended, but must have been devastating for him."

The 21-year-old woman's rape claim resulted in a 14 month police investigation costing thousands of pounds

A Birmingham student whose false rape claims resulted in one of Britain’s most expensive sex attack investigations has been told by judges that she deserved to be sent to prison.

The 21-year-old woman, who cannot be identified, cried rape after friends found her looking dishevelled upon her return from a night out. She told them she had been attacked.

Although the student, who was on a course at the University of Reading, did not point the finger at anyone, the ensuing police investigation led to a man being arrested.

He was entirely innocent but spent the night in police cells until he was able to prove he was elsewhere at the time of the spurious rape.

The Thames Valley Police probe continued for 14 months, and became one of the force’s most expensive investigations. Costs included £20,000 on forensics and nearly £7,000 on gathering and analysing CCTV footage.

The Birmingham student eventually confessed she had lied, and was jailed for 15 months at Reading Crown Court in November last year, after she admitted perverting the course of justice.

But last week she challenged her jail term, with her lawyers arguing that it should be suspended in light of her troubled history, and new evidence which has recently surfaced.

Her appeal was dismissed by judges, who said that, barring “exceptional circumstances”, anyone committing an offence involving a false allegation of rape must go to prison. They explained that such lies undermined justice, wasted police time and risked innocent people being prosecuted.

Describing the case as ‘tragic’, Sir Colin Mackay told the court that the young woman was seen by a group of friends walking alone as she returned home from a night out in late 2011.

The court heard that they were concerned by her appearance and, when they asked what was wrong, she told them she had been raped on the university campus.

Her allegation triggered a huge police investigation and the judge said that, in addition to the money spent on gathering potential evidence, a large number of police man hours were wasted.

The investigation also resulted in an innocent man being arrested as a result of forensic material found close to where the student claimed she had been raped. He was never charged but spent a night in police cells before he was able to demonstrate he had been nowhere near the scene at the time of the alleged incident.

Lawyers for the woman urged the court to suspend her sentence, saying there was evidence which had recently surfaced which meant she could be spared the pain of remaining behind bars.

But, dismissing her appeal, Sir Colin said such offences had to be treated seriously and would result in a jail term in all but the ‘most exceptional’ cases.

Sitting with Lord Justice Jackson and Mr Justice Simon, he added: “The effects on an innocent man of the false allegation were not intended, but must have been devastating for him.

“There is also the fact that such allegations operate so as to reduce the confidence of the public and the criminal justice system in rape victims, who have a genuine allegation to be investigated and dealt with.

“Thirdly, there is the massive waste of police resources and manpower, needed elsewhere for the investigation of genuine crimes.”


Friday, January 24, 2014

CATHY YOUNG: "The White House Overreaches on Campus Rape"

By Cathy Young

Wednesday's announcement of a White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault is the culmination of the Obama Administration's years-long efforts in support for the feminist crusade against campus rape. It is too early to tell what new remedies for sexual assault on campus the task force will propose. So far, however, the initiative relies on the same old approach: wildly inflated numbers, the rhetoric of female victimhood, and complete disregard for any rights that the accused may have.

The report from the White House Council on Women and Girls, "Rape and Sexual Assault: A Renewed Call to Action," asserts that one in five female college students are sexually assaulted during their college years, with one 12% of these victims reporting the assault to law enforcement. These figures draw on the Campus Sexual Assault Study, conducted in 2005-2007 at the request of the National Institute for Justice, and a 2007 federally sponsored national study of rape from the National Crime Victims' Research and Treatment Center.

I analyzed the CSA and its numbers nearly three years ago when the administration launched its first initiative to combat campus sexual assault in April 2011, with the "Dear Colleague" letter to college and university presidents from the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights. The vast majority of the incidents counted as assault involved what the study termed "incapacitation" by alcohol (or, rarely, drugs). But "incapacitation" is a misleading term, since the question used in the study also measured far lower degrees of intoxication: "Has someone had sexual contact with you when you were unable to provide consent or stop what was happening because you were passed out, drugged, drunk, incapacitated, or asleep?" This wording does not differentiate between someone who is unconscious or barely conscious and someone who is just drunk enough to go along with something he or she wouldn't do when sober. The questions related to sexual assault by physical force--particularly attempted sexual assault--are also worded so ambiguously that they could refer to a clumsy attempt to initiate sex, even if the "attacker" stops at once when rebuffed.

Three quarters of the female students who were classified as victims of sexual assault by incapacitation did not believe they had been raped; even when only incidents involving penetration were counted, nearly two-thirds did not call it rape. Two-thirds did not report the incident to the authorities because they didn't think it was serious enough.

When feminists first began to draw attention to the problem of date rape thirty years ago, they argued that many women don't realize forced sex is rape if it happens in a dating situation. Even if it was true in the early 1980s, it is very unlikely to be true today, in the age of mandatory date rape awareness workshops on college campuses.

Moreover, the government's numbers are wildly at odd with actual crime records. Several years ago, Carnegie Mellon business professor Chad Hermann analyzed the number of sexual assault reported at Pittsburgh's three major campuses (the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon, and Duquesne) and concluded that even if 90 percent of such assaults go unreported, a woman's annual risk of sexual assault at these schools ranges from 1 in 3,700 to 1 in 650. Spread out over four or five years of college attendance, that still adds up to somewhere between 1 in 130 and 1 in in 925. There is little doubt that records from other campuses would yield similar results.

There is no doubt that sexual assault on college campuses--sometimes involving physical aggression, sometimes assaults on genuinely incapacitated women--is a real issue. But the chase for the phantom rape epidemic can only trivialize this issue, redefining sexual assault to include sex under the influence or due to "verbal pressure"--and cast suspicion on male students, believed to have an army of rapists walking among them.

Already, many have expressed concern that excessive zeal in the campus "war on rape" is creating a "presumed guilty" mindset toward accused men. One thing you will not find in either the official White House statement or the council's report is any recognition that protections for victims must be balanced with fairness to the accused, or any acknowledgment of that such concerns legitimately exist. Instead, the focus is exclusively on "survivors." The only mention of false accusations in the report is a passage decrying the "myth" that "many women falsely claim rape." Cited in rebuttal is a 2010 article by University of Massachusetts psychologist David Lisak and his colleagues, which analyzes several studies (and a sample of its own) and concludes that "only 2-10% of reported rapes are false."

Of course, the upper range of that estimate is hardly a trivial rate. But there is another issue, too. Lisak's numbers refer to cases in which a rape allegation is more or less definitively proven to be false. Given how difficult it is to prove a negative, the existence of these confirmed false allegations suggests that a certain percentage of unresolved charges--in which there is no conclusive proof one way or the other--are likely false as well.

The orthodox feminist position, apparently endorsed by the Obama administration, is that unless a charge of rape is clearly demonstrated to be false, it must be true. That is the very definition of "presumed guilty."



Monday, 28 February 2011 12:35 PM Written by Chad Hermann
(or, how the numbers in pittsburgh just don’t add up)

I’ve been wanting to get to this one for two weeks now, but a few other projects, and then that damned and damnable arbitrator’s decision, got in the way. Let’s not keep it waiting any longer.

Two Mondays ago, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review published a piece about the new state law that requires colleges and universities to provide sexual assault prevention programs on campus. While there is much to discuss (like PA Rep. Scott Conklin’s claim that some people believe when you go to a university, nothing bad can happen) and to deride (like Pitt freshman Dominique Benzio’s insistence that some people don’t even understand if they have been sexually assaulted or not) in the piece, I want to focus, clearly and simply, on the numbers it presents. And the contradictions it, and almost everyone else, ignores.

You can not have an article on sexual assault in college, of course, without a solemn invocation of that infamous, oft-repeated, almost-as-oft-debunked One-in-Four statistic. The Trib does not disappoint:

The National Sexual Violence Research Center in Enola, northwest of Harrisburg, estimates 20 percent to 25 percent of women are victims of forced sex during their time in college.

But where the Trib, like everyone else who uncritically accepts this uncritical notion, does disappoint is in its failure to acknowledge that the numbers do not add up. And, in fact, that they do not even come close.

As a supplement to that same article, the Trib published a Campus Safety sidebar that provided a list of reported sexual assault offenses for eight local colleges over the past three years. All told, there were 65.

65. At 8 colleges. Among tens of thousands of female students. Over 3 years.

That’s a long way from 1-in-4. And thus a complete repudiation of the now-boilerplate statistic claimed in the article.

Those numbers, however, only represent reported assaults that occurred in student housing. Surely the numbers would be much higher, and much more alarming, once you counted sexual assaults that occurred elsewhere on campus and in the community at large. Surely that would get us much closer to the canonical 1-in-4 wisdom.

I decided to test that theory by examining the sexual assault statistics at Pittsburgh’s three largest residential universities: the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, and Duquesne University.

Thanks to the Clery Act, all higher-ed institutions must publish and distribute an annual campus security report, complete with full crime statistics from the past three years. These documents are easily found online. You can check them yourself, and follow along with the numbers, here:

The University of Pittsburgh. Carnegie Mellon University. Duquesne University.

At the University of Pittsburgh, there are roughly 14,800 female students. If their chances of being sexually assaulted are 1-in-4, there should be about 3,700 sexual assaults each year. In 2009, the most recent year for which full statistics are available, Pitt students reported 4.

At Carnegie Mellon University, there are roughly 3,900 female students. If their chances of being sexually assaulted are 1-in-4, there should be about 975 sexual assaults each year. In 2009, CMU reported 6. (That figure was a three-year high.)

At Duquesne University, there are roughly 5,700 female students. If their chances of being sexually assaulted are 1-in-4, there should be about 1,425 sexual assaults each year. In 2009, Duquesne reported 3.

Just to be clear, and so those numbers stand out, here are the total number of reported sexual assaults for each of the three campuses in 2009, followed in parentheses by the numbers those universities should have suffered, according to the 1-in-4 figure:

PITT: 4 (3,700)
CMU: 6 (975)
DUQ: 3 (1,425)

Which means that, instead of 1-in-4, their chances of being sexually assaulted in 2009 were:

PITT: 1-in-3,700.
CMU: 1-in-650.
DUQ: 1-in-1,900.

There is, of course, a widely reported (if virtually unverifiable) statistic that says 90 percent of sexual assaults go unreported. The Trib piece took note:

90 percent or more of those victims do not report the assault.

If we grant that claim and adjust the numbers, then here are the total number of sexual assaults that occurred in 2009, followed in parentheses by the numbers those universities should have suffered, according to the 1-in-4 figure:

PITT: 40 (3,700)
CMU: 60 (975)
DUQ: 30 (1,425)

Which means that, even if we grant the 90%-are-unreported figure, women’s chances of being sexually assaulted while attending those universities in 2009 were not 1-in-4 but:

PITT: 1-in-370
CMU: 1-in-65
DUQ: 1-in-190

Even after adjusting for the possibility that 90% of sexual assaults on those university women went unreported, to get to 1-in-4, sexual assaults on those campuses in 2009 would have to be increased (and unreported) to the tune of:

PITT: 9,150%
CMU: 1,525%
DUQ: 4,650%

Is it possible that these numbers are just anomalies? That they represent a down year for sexual assaults on these local campuses, one that is not indicative of a typical year?

Not according to the crime statistics published for the past three years.

In 2009, Pitt reported 4, CMU 6, Duquesne 3. For the period 2007-2009, Pitt averaged 3.33 per year. CMU averaged 4 per year. Duquesne averaged 1.33 per year.

Which means that, in each case and on each campus, the three-year average was lower than the 2009 figure.

If we use those three-year averages, women’s chances of being sexually assaulted while attending those universities from 2007-2009 were not 1-in-4 but:

PIT: 1-in-4,444
CMU: 1-in-975
DUQ: 1-in-4,285

If you combine all of the crime statistics for Pitt, CMU, and Duquesne — again, the city’s three most populous urban campuses — and run an average for 2009 (which, as we’ve already seen, is above the most recent three-year average), here’s what you get:

# of Female Students: 24,400
# of Reported Sexual Assaults: 13
Chances of Being Sexually Assaulted: 1-in-1,877.

If you accept the claim that 90% of college sexual assaults are not reported, you get:

# of Female Students: 24,400
# of Reported Sexual Assaults: 130
Chances of Being Sexually Assaulted: 1-in-188.

To get to 1-in-4, you still need 47 times — not 47 more, but 47 times more — sexual assaults.

As I noted at the top of this post: the numbers in reality don’t come anywhere close to matching the numbers in the claims.

Is Pittsburgh just 47 (or, without a guess of an adjustment, 470) times safer than any other city, suburb, exurb, or small town in the country? Are Pitt, CMU, and Duquesne (plus all those other colleges on the Trib’s PDF) just terrific anomalies, just unexplained and uncharacteristic outliers in the data?

If so, and either way, there must be some city, some university, some collection of colleges somewhere for which the real, actual, federally mandated crime statistics — even bumped up to account for 90% of non-reports — work out to that 1-in-4 figure. Or at least come close. Right?

In fact, there ought to be a lot of them. Right?


If not, then the people who insist on advancing those dramatic claims while also ignoring these decidedly less dramatic realities would seem to have an awful lot of explaining to do.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The White House's own numbers prove that nowhere near one-in-five women are sexually assaulted on campus


The White House is once again taking aim at sexual assault on college campuses and is talking about instituting yet more "prosecution reforms" to stem what it is describing as an epidemic of rape on campus. The problem is that the White House is using dubious statistics to justify chipping away at the due process rights of presumptively innocent college students (almost exclusively men) accused of sexual assault.

You don't believe they are using dubious statistics? Fine. Don't believe me. Use the numbers cited by the White House itself and do your own math. This is from the news report about the White House's initiative:
A new report published Wednesday by the White House Council on Women and Girls states that one in five women are sexually assaulted while in college. But only about 12 percent of victims report the assault, and perpetrators are often repeat offenders.
There are two different numbers used by the White House Council: (1) one-in-five women will be sexually assaulted in college; and (2) only 12 percent of all victims report their victimization (88 percent do not report).

So what, you say?

The problem is that the two sets of numbers the White House uses don't work together. If you look at virtually any university in America and take the number of reported sexual assaults, and use that number in conjunction with the White House's underreporting percentage, you don't get one-in-five. Nowhere near.

As I say, do the math yourself. I will cite a demonstration for you. In this demonstration, we use the actual number of sexual assaults reported on college campuses under the Clery Act. We use that number even though it is almost certainly inflated. Under the Clery Act, many anonymous reports of sexual assault are accepted as actual sexual assaults and are included as reported sexual assaults. Why is this a problem? Because we know that when sexual assault is actually reported and tested against competing claims of innocence, when the evidence surrounding the incident is actually examined, a significant percentage of claims are deemed to be unfounded (not necessarily false) even using a preponderance of the evidence standard. So anonymous reporting almost certainly inflates the rape problem on campus.

In any event, take the number of reported sexual assaults on virtually any college campus, then assume 88 percent of sexual assault victims aren't reporting their victimization (that's the White House's own number), and you can tell the percentage of women who are sexually assaulted. It ain't one-in-five.

Writer Chad Hermann carefully debunked the sort of "math" the White House employs by looking at the reports of sexual assault at three universities in Pittsburgh. He proved that even using CLERY ACT reporting stats, and using the sexual grievance industry's own underreporting percentages, the number of women sexually assaulted isn't one-in-four or five; it isn't one-in-ten; and it isn't even one-in-fifty. It's more like one-in-188. Mr. Hermann actually used a higher underreporting percentage (90 percent) than the White House. Here is the conclusion he reached (found toward the end of his article, here):
If you combine all of the crime statistics for Pitt, CMU, and Duquesne — again, the city’s three most populous urban campuses — and run an average for 2009 . . . , here’s what you get: 
# of Female Students: 24,400 
# of Reported Sexual Assaults: 13 
Chances of Being Sexually Assaulted: 1-in-1,877.
If you accept the claim that 90% of college sexual assaults are not reported, you get:
# of Female Students: 24,400
# of Reported Sexual Assaults: 130
Chances of Being Sexually Assaulted: 1-in-188.
There are several points that all reasonable people should agree on.:

We should all agree that sexual assault is an unacceptable problem.

We should all agree that government officials shouldn't exaggerate the problem or lie about it.

We should all agree that inflated statistics should never be used to chip away at cherished due process rights of persons accused of sexual assault on campus.

It's time to get the politics out of sexual assault and to stop pandering to women's groups for votes.

Military judge orders CBS, CNN to turn over un-aired interview with sexual assault accuser

A follow-up to our story here.

WASHINGTON (AP) - A military judge has ordered the release of unaired portions of interviews that CBS and CNN conducted with a woman at the center of a sexual assault case that involved three U.S. Naval Academy football players.

Attorneys for the one former player currently facing charges in the case sought the footage, arguing it is relevant to preparation for his trial set for March. Lawyers for the two networks argued in court last week, however, that the footage is irrelevant and duplicates already available material. They also argued that the journalists shouldn't have to turn over material gathered in the course of reporting.

The military judge overseeing the case, Col. Daniel Daugherty, ruled Wednesday that "the vast majority" of the unaired footage duplicates already available material and testimony by the woman. In a 7-page ruling he found both networks aired "the most news worthy segments," but un-aired portions include "specific, material information and a level of detail not present" in the woman's other statements.

"The Court has extensively reviewed the alternative sources and finds these limited excerpts unique in content," he wrote in saying those segments should be provided to defense lawyers. He later wrote "the press and public interests are best served by disclosing this limited but highly relevant information."

Prosecutors initially accused three Naval Academy students of sexually assaulting a female student in 2012 at an off-campus house in Annapolis, Md., where the school is located. The woman said she didn't remember being sexually assaulted after a night of heavy drinking but heard from others she had had sex with multiple partners at a party. The three men were all football players at the academy at the time.

Last June, the woman gave interviews to CBS and CNN. At her request, neither network showed the woman's face or used her name. The Associated Press is also not identifying her and generally doesn't name alleged victims of sexual assault.

At last week's hearing, the judge discussed providing 5 segments of material from CBS and 12 from CNN. The judge did not say how long those segments lasted. CBS aired about 5 minutes of a 45-minute interview, and CNN aired about 11 minutes of 55 minutes of interviews.

The judge gave lawyers for the two networks 72 hours to appeal his ruling before releasing the segments he determined were unique. A CBS News spokeswoman, Sonya McNair, said they're considering an appeal. A lawyer for CNN did not immediately return telephone messages Wednesday asking whether they would appeal.

The CBS and CNN interviews all aired around the same time that the U.S. Naval Academy's superintendent decided to move ahead with the military equivalent of a preliminary hearing or grand jury investigation in the case. Following those proceedings, the superintendent decided not to go forward with charges against one man, Tra'ves Bush of Johnston, S.C. He did proceed with charges against two others, Eric Graham of Eight Mile, Ala., and Joshua Tate of Nashville, Tenn.

The charges against Graham have since been dropped, leaving Tate as the only remaining defendant. He is set to face a court-martial, the military's equivalent of a trial, in mid-March. He is charged with aggravated sexual assault and making false statements.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014



PORT HURON — Sara Ylen will serve a minimum of five years in prison after falsely accusing two men of raping her and then using makeup to create the appearance of bruising to corroborate her story.

“This is a tormented and disturbed woman who will go to extraordinary lengths to wreak havoc upon other individuals, potentially subjecting them to life imprisonment in order to gain sympathy and notoriety for herself,” said St. Clair County Circuit Judge Daniel Kelly.

Kelly sentenced the 38-year-old Lexington woman Friday to two to four years for filing a false felony report and three to 10 years for tampering with evidence to run consecutively.

During her sentencing, Ylen sat quietly in orange clothing, wearing shackles around her wrists and ankles. She declined to give a statement.

“I feel that this was justice in its best form,” said Suzette Samuels, Wayne County assistant prosecuting attorney.

Kelly departed from Michigan sentencing guidelines — which recommended a year in the county jail — opting for a longer sentence due to the “totality of the facts.”

“Given the facts of this case, such a sentence would be a grave miscarriage of justice,” Kelly said.

“Nothing in the guidelines gives adequate weight to the diabolical nature, the methodical orchestrations, or the callousness of her treachery.”

After deliberating for less than 30 minutes, a jury found Ylen guilty on all counts Dec. 5.

During her three-day trial, witnesses testified that Ylen went to police some days after the alleged rape, claiming she had been sexually assaulted by two men at her Lexington home.

But both men testified they were at work at the time of the alleged assault.

Police said Ylen had the appearance of heavy bruising on her face, as well as lacerations on her arms and legs. When deputies took Ylen to a doctor after her report, the bruises wiped off with a bit of gauze.

“She was willing to go so far as to self-inflict wounds to corroborate her falsehoods, to carve into her forearm the word ‘slut’,” Kelly said.

At the sentencing, Ylen’s victims, Terry Stone and Kevelin Patton, gave statements. Both Stone and Patton said they have suffered damage to their reputations because of Ylen’s accusations and the publicity of Ylen’s case.

“It’s clear now to all that Sara Ylen has an intense need to be a victim, and this has wreaked havoc on the lives of many over the past 10 years or more,” Stone said.

“What will protect the public from these unlawful accusations, or these sick fantasies?”

In November 2012, James Grissom — a man convicted in 2003 of raping Ylen — was released from prison after nearly a decade.

After investigators discovered that Ylen had made other unfounded claims of rape, the Michigan Supreme Court granted Grissom a new trial.

Given the length of time since the incident and the new evidence, St. Clair County Prosecutor Mike Wendling asked that the case be dismissed.

Ylen’s name became well known in 2003 when she asked the Times Herald to tell the story of her assault and the Grissom conviction.

Grissom, who attended Ylen’s trial and was present at her sentencing Friday, said her sentence was “a slap on the hand.”

“I did 10 years; she should have done at least 10 years,” he said.

Tammy Lisek, a former friend of Ylen’s, was present at the sentencing along with many of Ylen’s former friends and family. Lisek was a witness in a separate case in Sanilac County, where Ylen was accused of falsely claiming to have cancer.

“I’m just ready for closure,” Lisek said. “The people sitting in the courtroom were just the tip of the iceberg of how many people she’s affected.”

Ron Kramer, of Richmond, befriended Ylen through a mutual acquaintance after the Grissom trial. While he admitted doubts about parts of Ylen’s story, Kramer said he supports his friend.

“There’s still people out there that care about her and love her and haven’t given up on her ... and God hasn’t given up on her,” Kramer said.

On Monday, Ylen pleaded no contest to separate charges of health care fraud in Sanilac County.

Ylen received more than $100,000 in hospice care from 2009 to 2011, and about $10,000 from a church fund-raiser, after she claimed to have multiple myeloma. Ylen said she developed cancer from a sexually transmitted disease she got during the alleged Grissom attack.

Police said her cancer claims were false. None of the doctors Ylen listed as having diagnosed her with cancer had actually done so, police said.

Blue Cross Blue Shield is requesting more than $120,000 in restitution in that case.

Ylen’s sentencing in Sanilac County is Feb. 19.

CNN and CBS should be forced to turn over unaired footage of interviews with sexual assault accuser

Naval Academy midshipman Joshua Tate of Nashville, Tenn. faces a court martial (a military trial) for sexual assault. The alleged rape victim claimed she didn't remember being sexually assaulted after a night of heavy drinking but heard from others she had had sex with multiple partners at a party. The men, including Tate, were all football players at the academy at the time.

Last June, the woman gave interviews to CNN's Christiane Amanpour and Anderson Cooper, and the network aired portions of both interviews, but there was much unaired material. CNN claims that Amanpour's interview lasted 21 minutes, of which about 7 1/2 minutes were aired. Cooper's interview lasted 34 minutes, and approximately four minutes were aired.  The woman also was interviewed by CBS' Jeff Glor and portions of the interview were aired on "CBS This Morning" on June 17 and June 20 as well as in other CBS reports. A lawyer for CBS, Michael Berry, did not say how much footage the network has in addition to what it aired.

The CBS and CNN interviews all aired around the same time that the U.S. Naval Academy's superintendent decided to move ahead with the military equivalent of a preliminary hearing or grand jury investigation in the case, called Article 32 proceedings.

Now Tate's lawyer is asking the presiding military judge, Col. Daniel Daugherty, to force CNN and CBS to hand over interview footage of the alleged victim, arguing it is relevant to prepare for Mr. Tate's trial, which is scheduled for March. But lawyers for the two networks contend that the footage is irrelevant and duplicates already available material, and that, as journalists, their clients shouldn't have to turn over material gathered in the course of reporting. The issue, in fact, has already been decided. The network's lawyers acknowledged the judge is bound by a 2009 Navy appeals court ruling where the court refused to recognize a reporter's privilege. The lawyers claim that case was wrongly decided.

While television "journalists" sometimes invoke a newsgatherer’s privilege, arguing that if they are forced to turn over the product of their investigation, it will have a chilling effect on the press, at other times television reporters readily cooperate with subpoenas from law enforcement in turning over unaired footage of interviews with persons of interest in criminal investigations. See, e.g., here.

COTWA has serious concerns about the network's insistence of withholding the unaired interview footage in this case.

Mr. Tate's attorney is not asking the television networks to turn over footage of a confidential source who spoke on condition of anonymity. (Although the networks didn't publicize the alleged victim's identity when they aired the interviews, the accuser was fully aware that the persons involved in the case -- including the judge and the defendant -- know who she is.) Nor is the defense asking the networks to turn over notes or other records containing the mental impressions of the journalists.

The unaired footage of the interviews should be turned over because it contains the recorded statements of the accuser concerning very serious allegations she's made that could destroy the life of a man who might be innocent.  We don't know what the unaired interviews contain, but to the extent the accuser spoke about the incident in question, the defense should have the right to use her statements to help it gather information and to test her credibility. If, for example, she said things in the interview that contradict other statements she has made about the incident, that is something the defense needs to be able to use in their case.

Here, the statements in the interviews were voluntarily made by the accuser with every expectation that the networks could air them in their entirety. That the networks chose not to air the interviews in their entirety was entirely their decision, and that decision was likely dictated by time constraints inherent in commercial news broadcasts and by ratings considerations. No one questions that the portions of the interviews that were aired can be used by the defense. It seems terribly arbitrary, and unjust, that the defense can't use the portions that were not aired just because CNN or CBS didn't think those portions were sufficiently interesting to the general public.

We must also look with a jaundiced eye on the networks' insistence that the defense should simply trust them when they claim that the unaired portions of the interviews are irrelevant and duplicate already available material.  We don't make any judgments about the way CNN and CBS has covered this matter, but television news often does not cover allegations of rape cases fairly. A case study of this unfortunate phenomenon can be found in the Hofstra false rape case. Many people think there is a pro-prosecution bias that colors reporting of rape cases. (Spend a few weeks reading Prof. KC Johnson's iconic blog on the Duke lacrosse case -- it is replete with examples of this.) Reporters routinely label accusers as "victims," and the coverage of rape cases never, or hardly ever, includes equal coverage of the defendant's side of the story (there is a good reason for that: defense counsel typically instruct defendants not to speak with the press). Reporters often become little more than stenographers for police, who typically do not publicly reveal weaknesses in their case until they announce that charges against the accused have been dropped. In this case, it is certainly possible that the networks excised portions of the interviews that didn't fit a preconceived notion about the case or even a preferred narrative.

'Single mother, 24, LIED about being raped by her ex-boyfriend to cover up shame of sordid kitchen threesome she had with two men she had just met in a pub'

A jury took less than half an hour to find a woman guilty of lying to police about being raped by her ex-boyfriend in a bid to cover up a threesome she had with two men she met in a pub.

Lisa Yapp, 24, showed the men naked photographs of herself then went to one of their homes where they had sex in the kitchen, a court heard.

The court was told she high-fived the men afterwards but later turned up on the doorstep of a friend in tears claiming she had been raped.

The single mother-of-one told the friend she had been attacked by her former partner Gavin Hockey, 30, in an alleyway on July 31, 2011.

Police launched a major investigation after she told them her attacker 'sounded and felt' like her ex-boyfriend.

But it later emerged Mr Hockey had an alibi and could be seen on CCTV on a night out with friends 30 miles away in his hometown of Hereford.

Yapp, from Ronkswood, Worcester, was arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice by making a false statement and went on trial last week.

She was convicted at Worcester Crown Court yesterday when a jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict after 29 minutes of deliberation.

The court heard Yapp got talking to friends Matthew Stevens, 39, and Terry Lippett in the Goodrest Tavern, in Worcester in the summer of 2011.

During the seven-day trial, the jury heard the trio returned to Mr Stevens’ home around the corner from the pub after the talk became 'sexual'.

When they arrived, the court heard, Yapp showed them more photographs in the kitchen before stripping off and telling them she had been involved in orgies in the past.

Mr Stevens told the jury he had sexual intercourse with Yapp while Mr Lippett said he 'groped' her while the pair were having sex.

He told the court: 'I was a bit shocked. Afterwards I thought "that was a bit mad, I can’t believe what just happened".
'I was a bit embarrassed to be honest.'

The court heard Yapp and her friend called police to report she had been raped in an alleyway near her home in Worcester.

In a recorded police interview played to the court, she told officers: 'I knew someone was walking behind me and I started walking a bit faster.

'I felt his fist hit the back of my head and he pushed my back down. He grabbed hold of my hair and with his other hand he pulled my trousers down.'

She added that she had screamed and tried to fight back as her attacker raped her before pinning her to the floor shouting 'I told you I’d get you for it'.

Yapp also revealed she had previously made allegations of rape against Mr Hockey, which had been dropped, and believed the attack was revenge.

But a police investigation revealed Mr Hockey had been out with friends in Hereford and a medical examination found no evidence that Yapp had been attacked.

CCTV from the pub and friend’s accounts showed she had left the pub with two older men in the opposite direction to the alleyway.

After being arrested, Yapp changed her story and claimed to police that she suffered from blackouts - but still maintained she had been raped.

Prosecutor Andrew Wilkins said: 'Why she lied we might never know, it might be because she felt guilty.

'It might be that she was trying to pre-empt any effects of the sex she had had - pregnancy, or disease perhaps - by making these allegations sooner rather than later.

'It might be that she wanted to get back at her former boyfriend. We will never know.'

During the trial it also emerged Yapp had a history for lying after another of her ex-partners Darren Edwards, 26, told the jury she would often tell 'major' lies.

Giving evidence he said when she called him to tell him she had been attacked, his first thought was: 'Oh, here we go again.'
He also revealed their first relationship broke down because of her lies but they got back together when she led him to believe her son was his.

A DNA test later proved Mr Edwards was not the father and he told the court.

The court also heard Yapp had previously made an allegation of sex abuse against her step-father when she was just 13.

But she later admitted she had lied, and said she had made the complaint to get more affection from her family.

Yapp was bailed and ordered to return to the court to be sentenced next month.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Lynnwood to pay rape victim $150,000 in false-claim suit

While what we do here is important, it's just as important that we note when law enforcement gets it wrong. This is definitely one of those cases.

The city of Lynnwood will pay a woman $150,000 to settle a lawsuit she filed after police charged her with filing a false report because they didn’t believe she had been raped.

It turned out the woman, identified in court documents by the initials D.M., was one of several victims of serial rapist Marc O’Leary, a former Washington man who admitted the 2008 crime and is serving a 327-year prison sentence in Colorado for raping three women there.

O’Leary, in addition to assaulting D.M., also admitted he raped a 63-year-old Kirkland woman.

D.M. also reached a settlement with Cocoon House, a private, nonprofit at-risk-youth program where she was living when the assault occurred. Records show the woman — who was 18 at the time of the attack — was threatened with eviction unless she underwent counseling and stood in front of other program participants to say she had lied about being raped, according to court documents.

Details of that settlement are confidential, according to the woman’s lawyers.

D.M. told police that, early on Aug. 11, 2008, she awoke to find a stranger in her apartment. The man threatened her with a butcher knife, gagged her with her underwear, bound her hands with a shoelace from her tennis shoe and raped her.

When the woman reported the attack to Lynnwood police, she says detectives Jerry Rittgarn and Sgt. Jeff Mason didn’t believe her. After claiming police coerced her into recanting her story, the woman was charged with false reporting and fined $500 when she later tried to insist the rape did happen.

It wasn’t until 2½ years later, when O’Leary was arrested in Colorado, that Lynnwood police reopened their investigation. Among the items Colorado detectives found in O’Leary’s possession were photographs of D.M. and her ID card.

O’Leary had been stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord from November 2006 through September 2009, when he moved to Colorado, according to prosecutors in King and Snohomish counties.

In her lawsuit, the woman claimed Lynnwood detectives disregarded evidence of the assault, bullied her into saying it didn’t happen and then threatened to have her thrown out of her apartment when she insisted it did.
Defendants included Rittgarn, Mason and Lynnwood Police Chief Steven J. Jensen.

D.M. claims she was forced into counseling when Lynnwood police told managers of Cocoon House they didn’t believe she’d been raped, according to court documents.

The lawsuit alleges that the woman was required to stand up in front of other program participants and say that she had lied about being raped or risk being evicted, according to the lawsuit.

D.M.’s lawsuit also named as defendants the agency that runs the program, Cocoon House, and two of its employees, Jana Hamilton and Wayne Nash.

The Lynnwood Police Department and Cocoon House agreed to the settlement last month.

Officials for Cocoon House declined to comment on the settlement.

However, when the lawsuit was filed in June, the program’s CEO, Cassie Franklin, issued a statement saying

“Our hearts go out to D.M. and her family. ... We strongly believe that Cocoon House and its employees acted appropriately on behalf of the client.”

Bob Christie, the attorney who represented Lynnwood police, said the settlement resolves “an unfortunate situation for everyone involved.”

“We are happy to reach this resolution,” he said.

D.M., who now lives in Wyoming, said through her attorneys Yvonne Kinoshita Ward and Rich Fisher that she was glad for the settlement and “ready to move forward in the next chapter of her life.”

According to police reports and statements filed with the lawsuit, D.M. was living in a small Cocoon House-sponsored apartment after having spent her youth moving among as many as 20 foster homes. She had spoken to a friend on the phone for several hours early Aug. 11, 2008, finally going to bed around 5:30 a.m. She said she left the sliding-glass patio door ajar.

She said it was about 7 a.m. when she woke to find a man standing over her bed with a butcher knife and wearing latex gloves. He tied her hands behind her back with a lace from her tennis shoe, blindfolded her and gagged her. He then raped her.

The lawsuit alleges police ignored or disregarded evidence once they convinced themselves she was not telling the truth.

Their suspicions were based on comments from three people who said that they doubted her story, according to the suit. One was her former foster mother, with whom D.M. had been arguing, and the other a friend who had spoken to D.M. on the phone that night, before the alleged attack. The third doubter was an anonymous caller.

Three days after the assault, officers picked up D.M. in a police car and took her to the station, where Rittgarn told her there were inconsistencies in her story. She claims the officers interrogated her and “put words in her mouth.”

On Aug. 18, D.M. returned to the police station with Cocoon House representatives and asked to withdraw the denial and insisted that she had been attacked.

“She began crying and said she kept seeing visions of ‘him’ on top of her,” the lawsuit says.

Monday, January 20, 2014

College newspaper writer turns rape into a 1970s mood ring -- it means whatever any woman says it means

A self-proclaimed white male student writing in The Technician, student daily newspaper of North Carolina State University, wrote a piece on rape that slinks into the easily-mouthed clich├ęs of radical feminism and is among the most woefully unschooled we've come across, and that's saying a lot. For him, rape to a '70s era mood ring -- you know, the ring that supposedly changed colors based on the wearer's emotional state. Read it yourself and you'll understand.

The writer described a scenario where "a slightly drunk college-aged man engages in some sexual activity with a much more visibly intoxicated college girl." Afterward, the writer tells us, "the drunken woman in question . . . described her experience as rape, which she had every right to do." He dismissed any appeals to holding the woman "personally accountable” because, he said, such thinking "falls in line with a very common rape-culture apologist argument."

He then makes the following declarations: "But the fact remains, consent is not consent unless both parties offer it soberly." And: "as men, we have no right to tell women what rape is. We have no right to weigh in on the logistics of what constitutes rape. Our role is to shut up and stop raping people." He dismissed any appeals to holding the woman to "personal accountability,” because, he said: "This falls in line with a very common rape-culture apologist argument. The argument basically follows that a woman should not get drunk unless she expects to be taken advantage of."

The silly piece is scarcely worthy of serious refutation. Two simple points will suffice.

First, rape is not an amorphous, free-floating clearinghouse that means whatever any woman says it means. Our criminal law is not a guessing game, and rape has a specific, horrific meaning that can be found in the criminal statutes of each of the 50 states. But to people like this writer, rape means nothing — because it means everything. The law has been scrapped in favor of a 1970′s mood ring. This view is as silly as it is wrong.

Second, one need not be sober to give valid consent to sex. A man or a woman can give valid consent to sexual relations if they are merely under the influence, impaired, intoxicated, or inebriated. They can't give consent if they are incapacitated--that is incapable of making a rational judgment. Even NCHERM, the leading organization molding sexual assault  policies in American academia, makes this distinction.

College newspapers are a hotbed for all manner of radical politics, including this sort of wrongheaded feminist populism. Everyone is entitled to his own opinions but not his own facts. This writer is making it up as he goes, and that's terribly irresponsible.

Pheasant Creek sexual assault case was a false report

After a thorough investigation, the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office has determined the sexual assault that occurred on Dec. 20, 2013 was a false report made by the alleged victim.

The Sheriff’s Office issued a Crime Stoppers press release Friday, Jan. 10, 2014 seeking information about an alleged sexual assault in the Pheasant Creek subdivision.

At first, the woman said she could not recall specific details about the suspect. After a second interview, she said she could recall the suspect’s description and a sketch was completed and sent out with the press release.

After additional investigation, detectives discovered that “the victim” had previously made similar reports to other agencies. Detectives also noted multiple inconsistencies in “the victim’s” account. Detectives once again interviewed the alleged victim, who then recanted her claim that she had been sexually assaulted.

Charges for making a false report are pending against the woman who made the report.


Friday, January 17, 2014

Colleges think men accused of sexual assault get too much of that due process and fairness stuff

In colleges across America, students accused of serious offenses that might result in long-term suspension or even expulsion are not permitted to have attorneys represent them by actively participating in campus hearings. This prohibition against lawyers is applicable even to cases involving sexual assault where, because of a Department of Education fiat handed down in April 2011, colleges must find a student guilty if a mere preponderance of the evidence (ever slightly more than 50%) supports guilt. That means that a college disciplinary board can have reasonable doubt, or very serious concerns, about whether a student is actually guilty but must still find him responsible if the evidence tips ever so slightly against him.

The consequences for someone expelled for sexual assault are life-altering. Prof. Cynthia Bowman of Cornell said "they will follow him throughout his life." Even Brett Sokolow, the most prominent champion for sexual assault victims' rights in American academia, has expressed concerns about the consequences of expulsion and has said "that a lot of colleges now are expelling and suspending people they shouldn’t, for fear they’ll get nailed on Title IX.”

In Virginia, Delegate Rick Morris has introduced a bill that would grant students facing college disciplinary charges punishable by a suspension of more than 10 days or expulsion the right to be represented by an attorney or other advocate of the student’s choosing.

Mr. Morris had better be prepared for a fight. Last year, North Carolina passed a similar law, and university officials were not happy about it.

Lynn Roeder, Dean of Students at East Carolina, said she that adding attorneys to the disciplinary process would take away an opportunity for students to learn from their mistakes. She said: "'The whole process is not to be adversarial . . . . We know students make mistakes and what we want to do it make sure we’re able to help them make better decisions so that’s why we never had lawyers.'”

How do you know a student made a "mistake" without a fair hearing, Ms. Roeder? Wait. It gets better:
"A key component of the developmental process of responding to student misconduct is for the student to take responsibility for their own behavior and to learn from the incident," said Bill Haggard, vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. "Part of that learning experience is being able to speak on their own behalf, take responsibility for their own behaviors and engage in a conversation about changing their behavior in the future."

That will be a whole lot less likely, officials say, if students have a lawyer speaking for them. 
"It's obviously something that most student affairs professionals are not that crazy about," Haggard said.
The problem with these assertions is that they assume the student accused of the offense must be guilty. After all, an innocent student shouldn't be forced to "take responsibility for his own behaviors" or "change" his behavior "in the future," should he?  Mr. Haggard has it exactly backwards: the university should have a fair hearing first, and only if the evidence supports a finding of guilt should there then be a "conversation about changing . . . behaviors."

Other "concerns" expressed about having a lawyer present: "Officials worry that changing the rules will drag out the length of proceedings -- by who knows how long, if attorneys are able to do things like motion for stays . . . ." And: "It raises lots of potential questions and problems and it makes what is an educational and administrative process now into a quasi-courtroom."

Imagine! Turning a proceeding where testimony and other evidence is admitted, the facts are weighed and applied to university policies written in legalese, and a life-altering judgment is handed down -- into one that assures a minimal level of fairness, due process protections, and the orderly administration of justice! What exactly are those meddling legislators thinking!

We appreciate the value of informality for minor offenses, but proceedings on charges of sexual assault should not be run as a free-for-all. Allowing a lawyer to speak and to insist on fairness for a scared, callow young man accused of very serious charges doesn't give the accused the upper hand, it just helps levels the playing field.  It is astounding that we've reached the stage on campus where that is an offensive notion.

Savannah woman charged with falsely reporting rape

A 22-year-old Savannah woman was charged with false report of a crime after she admitted to investigators she’d fabricated a report she’d been raped by two men.

Kaleigh Wilson reported to Savannah-Chatham police Sunday she’d been forced to the ground and attacked by two men as she was leaving her residence in the South Victorian District Sunday night.

Officers transported her to a local hospital for examination and began searching for the men she’d described as her assailants, said police spokesman Julian Miller.

Special Victims Unit detectives Monday charged her with filing the false report, Miller said.

“This is a serious issue,” said Metro Interim Police Chief Julie Tolbert. “Our officers and detectives take special care with Special Victims cases and the extent of our investigations is substantial and expensive. False reports not only waste time and money, but they unnecessarily alarm the community and could discourage actual victims from reporting crimes.”


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Man perverts course of justice with false rape claim

LESS than four weeks before apologising to his victims in the Adver, Rhys Carey perverted the course of justice with false allegations of rape against another man.

The 22-year-old, whose last registered address was in Abberd Way, Calne, received a suspended sentence of nine months in prison for the offence, at Swindon Crown Court today.

On August 23 of last year, Carey walked to the house of a man, new to Swindon, whom he had struck up a conversation and understanding with over an internet chatroom.

The meeting took place under the impression a film would be watched by the pair, until this lead to Carey spending the night with the man and having consensual sex.

The day after, the men agreed to go their separate ways, though not before the victim agreed to offer Carey a lift in his car to where he needed to be.

Before Carey left the car he demanded £50 from the victim. Carey said he would accuse his victim of rape if he did not give him the money.

Carey threatened his victim with photos he had taken of him, in bed at his home, as well as with the victim’s DNA, Carey said he would have on his person following their night together.

The victim refused and there ensued a race to contact the police first. The victim logged an accusation of blackmail shortly before Carey, sat next to his victim in the car, told the police he had been raped the night before.

In a pre-sentence report, the victim said he felt faint as he was taken away in a police van, on suspicion of rape. He faced more than an hour in custody before Carey dropped his accusation, during questioning at the police station.

Carey had also been arrested at the same time of his victim under suspicion of blackmail.

Twenty-five days later, Carey walked 16 miles to the Adver’s office in order to apologise to the long list of people, who fell victim to his robberies on the streets of Swindon.

He suffers from a range of illnesses including epilepsy, diabetes and hydrocephalus which means he has no frontal lobe to his brain, resulting in him lacking the proper ability to empathise with others and he cannot control his emotions.

In sentencing the defendant, Judge Tim Mousley QC, said: “As a result of that story, [the victim] was arrested and detained. He was released when you admitted the activity had been completely consensual.

“It follows from that, you perverted the course of justice.

“In this case, it’s so serious that a custodial sentence is justified.

“If this case had gone before judge and jury the sentence would have been in the region of 12 months imprisonment.

“There is a positive report detailing your excellent level of compliance and engagement with help for your drug issues.

“In addition to your sentence I add three conditions: there will be a supervision requirement for 12 months, a medium intensity drug rehabilitation course for four months and a full Thinking Skills programme.”

The judge decided to suspend the sentence for 18 months because Carey had been complying with the terms of an existing suspended sentence since August 30 of last year.

The judge also referred to the defendant’s learning difficulties, as well as his no longer being homeless and attempts to tackle his drug problems as other justifications for suspending the sentence.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

There needs to be a national conversation about the reliability of sexual assault surveys that insist one-in-five college women are victimized

Rape laws and policies are shaped by surveys where every rape allegation is uncritically accepted and none are tested against competing claims of innocence.  The impact of these surveys on public policy is significant, even draconian. Perhaps the best example is that the infamous April 4, 2011 "Dear Colleague" letter cited one such survey as a justification to diminish the due process protections afforded persons accused of sexual misconduct on college campuses (almost always young men). That letter stated: "A report prepared for the National Institute of Justice found that about 1 in 5 women are victims of completed or attempted sexual assault while in college."

How reliable are sexual assault surveys?  In fact, they likely are unreliable, perhaps significantly unreliable, and we respectfully suggest that there needs to be a national conversation about the uncritical acceptance of these surveys to diminish the due process rights of persons accused of sexual assault in American colleges. Unfortunately, the sexual assault milieu is so terribly politicized that attempts even to broach the subject typically are met with vitriol and name calling, not serious, much less respectful, dialogue.

Let's look at the facts. A recent scientific study shows that some women lie on surveys to minimize their consensual sexual encounters, likely because of societal double-standards that find it acceptable for men, but not women, to engage in sexual activity. These lies are designed to bring women in sync with their expected gender role. When women believe they can lie and get away with it, they understate the number of their sexual partners. In contrast, when women are hooked up to a polygraph and believe their lies will not go undetected, they generally report more sexual partners than when they felt no such compulsion to be honest. (Men lie too -- but exactly the opposite: they exaggerate the number of sexual partners when they think their lies won't be detected.)

Should it surprise anyone, then, that some women report in surveys that they've been subjected to unwanted sex even when the sex was consensual in order to be in sync with societal expectations about gender roles?

Feminist writers acknowledge that some women lie about rape to "defend their femininity." Amanda Marcotte once wrote that "the idea that it's shameful to just have sex because you want to" is "the reason that you have false rape accusations in the first place." Marcotte noted that "women who aren't ashamed of having sexual adventures like group sex-even ones that go bad-don't use rape accusations to cover up their choices. It's the women who are afraid they'll be called sluts if it gets out that make up these rape stories."

Likewise, Amanda Hess once explained that given women's adherence to their expected gender role when it comes to sex, it is "inevitable," among other things, that a woman who "had desired the sex all along . . . must defend her femininity by saying that she had been coerced into sex."

These attitudes are entirely consistent with what we know about the reasons for false rape claims. A perceived need to cover up an illicit sexual encounter is a primary motivation for false rape claims. One of the common motives cited by experts for false rape claims is "remorse after an impulsive sexual fling . . . ." Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case, S. Taylor, K.C. Johnson at 375 (2007). Given that, then it must be concluded that the so-called "hook-up culture" is fertile ground for false rape claims. It is a proven fact that there is significant regret asymmetry between men and women: women are more remorseful following casual sex than men. A study shows how common remorse is for women following one-night stands: "Overall women’s feelings were more negative than men’s [about one-night stand casual sex]. Eighty per cent of men had overall positive feelings about the experience compared to 54 per cent of women. . . . . The predominant negative feeling reported by women was regret at having been 'used'. Women were also more likely to feel that they had let themselves down and were worried about the potential damage to their reputation if other people found out. Women found the experience less sexually satisfying and, contrary to popular belief, they did not seem to view taking part in casual sex as a prelude to long-term relationships."  Another recent study has confirmed the regret asymmetry between men and women. Amy Bonomi, a professor of human sexuality at OSU specializing in domestic violence and assault, explained: "Women tend to feel bad after having a random hook up." Typically men are not upset by these occurrences. Bonomi attributed this situation to society's "gender double standard" that men are expected to be more sexually forward than women. And yet another new study shows that women attending universities who have casual flings are more likely to suffer from depression than people in ‘romantic’ relationships.

That some women who regret sex lie about rape is a fact. Why should it be surprising when they lie on surveys to re-characterize consensual behavior as non-consensual?  That rape surveys are unreliable can be inferred from the irrefutable fact that when rape claims are actually reported to police or campus authorities and subjected to competing claims of innocence, and when the evidence is actually examined, the majority of claims can't be classified one way or the other as rape or non-rape, founded or unfounded, true or false. This is true even using the preponderance of the evidence standard, as shown in the handling of sexual assault claims on college campuses across the United States. (The research of Dr. David Lisak, well respected in the feminist community, actually supports this conclusion -- when they are examined, most rape claims cannot be definitively classified as rape.) Since most sexual assault claims that are subjected to scrutiny can't be definitively classified as sexual assault, why, on earth, do we assume that every unscrutinized assertion of sexual assault posited in a survey should be regarded as an actual sexual assault?

And what about the meme that the official numbers of reported sexual assault are so low because most women are fearful about reporting their ordeals? In other words, would the number of sexual assaults jump up and approach the one-in-five number arrived at in surveys if only we included anonymous reporting in our sexual assault statistics?  No, because we already include anonymous reports of sexual assault in the official stats on college sexual assaults (the Clery Act requires that colleges include anonymous reports in compiling stats regarding sexual assault). Despite this, year after year, the prevalence of sexual assault is not even in the same universe as the one-in-five stat. Chad Hermann's famous article One-in-One-Thousand-Eight-Hundred-Seventy-Seven aptly demonstrated this. (Mr. Hermann went even a step further. He took the Clery Act numbers -- which, again, already include anonymous reports -- and then applied the underreporting percentage frequently cited by sexual assault victims' advocates in an effort to jack up the prevalence of sexual assault. Even using THEIR OWN UNDERREPORTING PERCENTAGE, Mr. Hermann surprisingly demonstrated it's not one-in-four or one-in-five, it's one-in-several hundred).

The National Institute of Justice made this startling assertion: "Surveys of men and women on college campuses show a striking disparity in the proportion of women who report being assaulted and the proportion of men who report (even anonymously) being perpetrators. For example, in the Campus Sexual Assault survey, 19 percent of the women reported experiencing a completed or attempted sexual assault since entering college, while 2.5 percent of the men reported being perpetrators."  Why this disparity? The National Institute of Justice posed this as one possibility: "Men and women may have different perceptions of the same incident."

So why is it assumed that sexual assault surveys are the moral equivalent of truth serum where women are incapable of telling anything but the one, objective truth?  The fact is, people exaggerate, lie, and claim their behavior is better than it really is in all sorts of public pronouncements. They exaggerate the hours they work; how often they go to church; their height and their weight; and their altruism during emergencies. White voters lie in surveys about their willingness to vote for a black political candidate. Heck, people even lie about the reason they buy a new computer. Nearly one in four women admitted to exaggerating or lying in social media about key aspects of their lives between one and three times per month.

So why is it verboten to suggest that some women defend their femininity by claiming the consensual sex they engaged in was non-consensual? Or that men will defend their masculinity by understating the incidence of non-consensual sex they are subjected to?

The issue we raise isn't some abstraction, and we do write this to engage in some sort of "Oppression Olympics."  The fact is, sexual assault surveys are used to justify the policy of diminishing the due process rights of students accused of sexual assault. There are legitimate reasons for doubting the reliability of these surveys, and these concerns should not be dismissed as rape apology, misogyny, or slut shaming. Nor should we be demonized for merely raising the issue. Prof. Cynthia Bowman of Cornell decried the "Dear Colleague" letter's adoption of the "preponderance of the evidence" standard for persons accused of sexual assault: “The consequences for someone expelled for sexual assault are enormous and will follow him throughout his life, leading to rejection by other schools, inability to qualify for the bar and a great deal of stigma.” She added: "To impose those consequences on someone requires a rigorous standard of proof and many due process protections to ensure fairness.” She said that procedures proposed at her school in response to the Department of Education's mandate were "Orwellian.” Prof. Kevin Clermont said that “not all would characterize the procedure as Orwellian; some have used instead the term Kafkaesque.” (Alas, their voices were not been heeded at Cornell: Prof. Clermont wrote to me: ". . . battle and maybe war lost.")

Likewise, in the American Association of University Professors' (AAUP) first report on the topic of campus sexual assault, spearheaded by the AAUP's Committee on Women in the Academic Profession, Subcommittee on Sexual Assault on Campus, the AAUP makes clear that it does not support the Department of Education's mandate that schools use a "preponderance of the evidence" standard -- the lowest in our jurisprudence -- for college disciplinary proceedings involving sexual assault. The higher "clear and convincing evidence" standard isn't just preferable, it is "necessary" in order to insure that students are afforded the due process they are entitled, according to the report.

We don't pretend to have all the answers -- we've been wrong plenty of times and we might be wrong here. We think we have the right to raise the question. This is an issue that ought to be seriously, and respectfully, discussed.

Friday, January 10, 2014

This inanity is what passes for good writing on the internet

Here is the article: Why I Believe Conor Oberst’s Anonymous Rape Accuser by S.W. Kiley.

Here is my commment:

This article is shocking. Something happened to you, therefore, you believe something happened in this entirely unrelated case? Fairness, objectivity, and justice be damned!

You know, it's not "victim/slut blaming" or misogyny or rape culture to think to yourself, "I really don't know what happened here, so I shouldn't be writing about it in a major internet outlet."

Off-topic: Most people accept gender roles when it comes to the military draft

In the middle of the 20th Century, there was a lot of debate about who should be drafted for military service -- specifically about whether it was fair to draft boys, and whether it was fair to draft men with children. Absent from the debate was talk of drafting women.

In 1943, the United States Congress considered drafting 17-year-old boys to meet the military's manpower needs. Rep. Clare Boothe Luce said it might be necessary, though "brutal."

Admiral Randall Jacobs told the Senate that drafting boys would have some advantages -- "they were more adaptable because they had no 'preconceived ideas,'" presumably meaning they're easier to control. Better to draft boys than fathers, chimed in Brig. Gen. Albert Cox.

The House Military Committee seemed to think the choice came down to either drafting 17 year old boys, or to start taking older men -- the law allowed men to be drafted up to age 45, but the prevailing practice was to cut it off at 38.

The majority of Americans were okay with drafting young men with dependents -- so long as the government would take care of the dependents.

After World War II, the policy shifted and the draft age jumped all the way to 19. That's too high, said Anna Rosenberg of the Defense Department, the U.S. needs more manpower. The notion of drafting women to fill those needs simply wasn't an option. Rosenberg went before Congress to lower the draft age to 18. To justify it, she cited that beacon of civil rights, China -- she explained that China drafts 16-year-old boys.

In 1952, the situation was so desperate that Rosenberg said women were needed to fill non-combat military jobs. Did Rosenberg call for women to be drafted? Of course not. She called for women to volunteer for non-combat armed services jobs -- or, she said, the U.S. would be forced to start drafting young fathers with deferments and even men who'd already been fought in a war. But drafting women? Out of the question!

Of course, the military draft ended in the 1970s, and now, young men are required to sign up for selective service at age 18 or risk criminal charges and and the prospect of losing all sorts of benefits. Many young men are penalized. Young women are exempt from registration. It's a myth that selective service doesn't pose disadvantages for men. Current plans are that if a draft is necessary, women will be exempt.

The Selective Service's Web site is replete with assertions of its own fairness -- ironic, given that more than half the population of eligible Americans are exempt from registering and are not subject to any of the attendant penalties for failing to do so. The site says that the Selective Service System ensures that "any future draft will be fair and equitable . . .." And: "If a draft is ever needed, the public must see that it is fair and equitable. For that to happen, the maximum number of eligible men must be registered."

So who wants to keep women from being drafted? Men, right? If you read the progressive blogosphere, it just the men steeped in traditional gender roles.

In a 1957 poll of teenagers, more girls than boys thought a military draft was necessary. A surprising 40% of teenage boys wanted to see women drafted along with men -- but only 4% of their female counterparts wanted to see women drafted. One girl told a reporter: "Women are the guardians of the home."

But that was the unenlightened 50s, right? Fast forward to 1980. The Carter administration made it clear the president wanted to register women for military service. A 1980 poll showed adult women strongly favoring resumption of the draft -- but most women did not want women included. Men, on the other hand, favored drafting women. (Interestingly, a 1980 poll also showed more men than women in favor of the ERA.)

A 1981 poll showed men evenly divided on drafting women, but women were "strongly opposed."

In the early 80s, after her public service had ended, Clare Boothe Luce -- the woman who once talked about drafting 17-year-old boys -- called for a universal draft that would be fair for everyone: every 18 and 19-year-old would be drafted without any class, race, or college exemptions. Oh, but the draft would only include males.

That was a long time ago you say? Fast forward to a 2013 poll. "If a draft were called, however, men backed the conscription of women as well as men, by 59-36, the poll said." But women still want to retain the female exemption. "48 percent of the women surveyed said they did not want women to be drafted while 45 percent said they should be."

Most people accept the gender roles assigned to them. Not just men.