Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Making a false claim of attempted apparently isn't a crime to the Univ. of Cincinnati police

Police have no plans to charge a woman for making a false attempted rape claim that led to a campus crime alert and an intensive police investigation, with police scouring images from surveillance cameras.

Police did noy say whether the woman would face any university discipline for making up the story.

The claim was made by a female student at the University of Cincinnati who alleged that a masked gunman attacked her in a university garage earlier this month. She claimed she escaped after punching him.

Apparently no male was targeted in the police investigation, but there are many cases where men have been targeted by police in false rape cases where no male was identified by the false accuser.

In this case, images of the men who passed through the university garage around the time of the alleged attack were studied by police. While that created no personal hardship in this case, it is a tad disconcerting to think that the police might be studying your face and your actions because of your gender and the happenstance that you were in a particular place at a particular time. Consider also that if the unwitting conduct of one of these men had raised suspicion, the police might have targeted him. The risk for injustice is enhanced even when a false accuser doesn't single out a particular man or boy.

Making a false claim of rape or attempted rape is a crime. If law enforcement is convinced to a moral certainty that the woman lied, it is inappropriate not to charge her. She is entitled to a trial, and there is always the possibility that she was innocent. We are not suggesting we know more than the police.

The university should also bring a disciplinary action against her. Is it fair to the university's student body to allow an anonymous woman to remain on campus if, indeed, it turns out she is a false rape accuser?