Thursday, February 11, 2016

UK False Rape Culture

There are two false rape stories that have recently come out of the UK that are truly sad for the falsely accused.

The first story regards a woman who accused Lord Leon Brittan, a Tory, who died while the investigation was pending, yet police fully justified their two and a half year investigation into allegations made by a reportedly mentally ill woman.  He was cleared four months before his death, unbeknownst to him, but I can't imagine what it would be like to spend the last two years of my life on this Earth under a cloud of suspicion for a rape that I did not commit.

The second story regards a woman who accused a man of sexually penetrating her in a subway station.  He was investigated and prosecuted, even though there was video evidence of the alleged assault that clearly showed that he did not and that he could not have assaulted his accuser. A jury deliberated for 90 minutes before acquitting him of all charges.

His accuser’s motivation for pursuing ​the allegations​ against him ​remain unclear, but Pearson concedes “you have to question her state of mind”. 

Though he thinks it is too soon to tell what the lasting impact of the ordeal on him will be, it has made him understandably wary of public transport; he now keeps his arms up and in full view on the tube and says he would never get in a lift with a woman if she were on her own. ​

With the aquittal now behind him, what does he hope, for the future?

“I would like a change in the CPS and the way they carry out their work. There is some sort of systemic fault. Maybe it is to do with funding being cut, maybe it is to do with inexperienced people being put in charge of things they are not capable of doing.”

A CPS spokesman said: “There was sufficient evidence for this case to proceed to court and progress to trial. We respect the decision of the jury.”

“That’s the reverse of an apology really isn’t it?” says Pearson.

The woman who accused this man was a celebrity of some sort, although her identity has remained anonymous.  Of course, this story is coming off the heels of another frivolous CPS prosecution of Louis Richardson who was fully acquitted a few months ago.

I wonder if this is the system into which Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is hoping to transform the US military, since she often mentions other countries who have shifted to allowing civilians prosecutors to deal with military offenses. The US military received $257 million to fight sexual assault, but I have the same astute opinion that the falsely accused Mr. Pearson has.  Do they take frivolous allegations because they are worried about a funding cut, or is it because they have inexperienced people being put in charge of prosecutions they are not capable of doing?