The news report below is truly horrifying -- and it could happen to any young man. He was hauled out of bed in the middle of the night and arrested almost exclusively on the word of a false rape accuser. His attorney, Bill DiFenderfer, a seasoned and well-respected defense attorney in Western Pennsylvania, bemoaned the absence of a more thorough investigation before subjecting Mr. Folino to what could have been a life-altering arrest. While County Police Superintendent Charles Moffatt defended the arrest, any suggestion that the system worked as well as it could, or should, is simply morally grotesque. We wonder if the Police Superintendent would wish such a horrible fate on his son? The people of Allegheny County should not tolerate this:
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Imagine police showing up at hour house in the middle of the night, taking you out of bed and arresting you for a crime you know you didn’t commit.
If that sounds more like a movie than real life, you’d be wrong. A man from the South Hills says it happened to him.
Not only that, but the woman who accused him of raping her now faces charges that she made it all up.
Last June Matthew Folino was asleep in bed at 2 a.m. when there was banging on his door and people shouting his name.
“It was the police, they had their guns drawn, they were shining their flashlights through the windows and they took me,” Folino said.
A young woman named Katelyn Webster told investigators that Folino had stalked, choked and raped her, and she showed them neck bruises to prove it.
The only problem is that she made it all up.
By then, Folino was in jail looking at five to 10 years of hard time.
“It was scary. I had never been arrested, I’d never been in trouble in that way, but I figured, I was innocent so they’re going to figure this out in a day or so and I’m going to be out of here. They’re going to do their job and this is going to be over, but that never happened,” Folino said.
Folino said he met Webster only weeks before and after a brief fling, he decided to end it.
“I just told her this really wasn’t working out,” he said. “I didn’t know where it was going and I thought we should move on.”
But then Webster went to the police with a story she would later tell in court — that Folino came to the South Park Wave Pool and called her out to the parking lot. He then drove her to that parking lot where he choked and raped her, stopping only when they were discovered by her two girlfriends.
Then, she said he shoved her from the car and took off.
“She made me seem like this horrible person and I’m not that person. And I’m not that person at all. I would never do something like this. And I can’t believe someone would accuse a person of this,” Folino said.
Attorney Bill DiFenderfer said police arrested and charged Folino almost strictly on the basis of the woman’s statement.
When his investigator contacted the two girlfriends, DiFenderfer said the women refuted the whole story, saying Webster was in a new relationship and didn’t want her father to know. The women said those choke marks on her neck turned out to be from that other boy.
“It came right to light that none of this even happened. They told about sucker bites and none of them were at the wave pool. They were with the alleged victim the night before and she wasn’t even at the wave pool,” DiFenderfer said.
The Folino family’s anger doesn’t end with the girl.
“It’s very disappointing to me in these cases that can clearly destroy people’s lives that more wasn’t done to investigate it,” DiFenderfer said.
County Police Superintendent Charles Moffatt defended his detectives on the case.
“They did what they could do in an instance like this,” he said. “We had a girl at the hospital saying she was raped, she had marks around her neck.”
Moffatt said the detectives did try to corroborate Webster’s account, but she said she didn’t know the last names of the two other girls and couldn’t provide their phone numbers. That — says DiFenderfer — should have been another red flag.
“To me, the public should be aware that this does happen,” DiFenderfer said. “And for the women who really are victims, it really hurts their case and to me, that what’s so outrageous about it because it damages the true victims.”
After interviewing the two girlfriends, County Police dropped the charges against Folino and arrested Webster.
She now faces charges of making false statements and perjury for a rape that never happened.