Wednesday, June 30, 2010
But it was affirmed yesterday: Britain does not compensate men for the harm they suffer after being falsely accused, no matter how egregious. The double-standard is stark, and morally grotesque. It tells us much about how our society regards the victims of false rape claims.
After winning the right in court to apply for the same sort of monetary compensation as other crime victims receive, Clive Bishop, who lost his taxi business and was shunned by the community as a result of a false rape claim that sent his false accuser to jail for ten months, has been denied compensation for his ordeal by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) because he was not the victim of a violent crime. "It's just ripped the heart out of me and the last three-and-a-half years have been a total nightmare," Mr. Bishop said. See the story here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/england/somerset/10465915.stm
Earlier this year, Mr. Bishop told False Rape Society: "It is not about the money for me it is a recognition of the horrific consequences it brings." He added: ". . . sexual offences that are alleged are the only crime where innocent people are arrested locked up without any evidence to back up what someone has alleged. . . . Don't forget while I was arrested for a crime that never occurred and locked up, my freedom and liberty denied, she was in a comfortable suite being befriended and pandered. My emotions were ignored and I was arrested, judged and convicted without any compassion or evidence. Believe me when I say that I am still suffering!"
Who Is Covered?
The CICA, funded by the Ministry of Justice, pays victims of “violent crimes” according to an established scheme of tariffs. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (2008) sets forth the standard amounts paid for each category of crime. The Scheme is found here. A payment will be made if the alleged violent crime was more likely than not to have occurred. (Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (2008) ¶20) There is no necessity to prove the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the standard for conviction in UK criminal courts.
While the Compensation Scheme is designed to cover crimes of violence, an exception is made for non-forcible rape and other sexual crimes not involving violence. Payments are made for mental injury, including “temporary mental anxiety,” suffered by non-consenting victims of sexual offenses. (Criminal Injuries Compensation (2008) ¶9.) Under the compensation scheme, non-consensual penile penetration warrants UK £11,000. (Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (2008) Page 34.) Greater sums are allotted depending on the severity of the injury inflicted. A non-penetrative sexual physical act “over the clothing” warrants UK £1000. (Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (2008) Page 34.) This, presumably, includes a single instance of inappropriate touching.
In the UK during 2008-2009, 1,938 payments were made to "victims" of rape for a total of £30,197,619. See here: http://www.equalities.gov.uk/pdf/Stern_Review_of_Rape_Reporting_1FINAL.pdf
Who Is Not Covered?
The UK does not compensate men who were falsely accused of rape, no matter how terrible their victimization. To verify this, I previously wrote to the CICA and asked if a false rape claim would be covered, noting that such claims often have the effect of mentally (not to mention financially) destroying the falsely accused. We received a prompt and professional response that included the following:
"Under the terms of our scheme unfortunately this would not be covered. Under the terms of our scheme for eligibility, applicants need to be the victim of a violent crime."
It is important to underscore the terrible double-standard here: the victim of a single instance of a sexual act over the clothing is entitled to compensation, but a man falsely accused of rape who is arrested and jailed for weeks, months or even years, who is subjected to untold mental agonies, who loses his friends, the esteem of his community, his job, his business, and his good name, is entitled to nothing.
The victimization of men falsely accused of rape, no matter how egregious their injuries, is regarded less worthy of society’s protection than the victimization of non-forcible rape victims, no matter how slight their injuries.
Also not covered are the vast majority of boys who are statutorily raped by adult women. This is because victims of sexual offenses are not covered if they “consented in fact.” (Criminal Injuries Compensation (2008) ¶9(c).) This effectively rules out virtually all claims involving the statutory rape of a teen boy by an adult woman because the boy is typically a willing participant. The fact that the law has determined that boys are incapable of giving valid consent to engage in sexual acts with an adult is of no import to the CICA.
The Compensation Scheme Exacerbates the False Rape Epidemic
The premise of those who assert women don’t lie about rape is that women have no incentive to lie, and that the criminal ordeal a rape accuser is put through outweighs any possible benefit from lying. This, of course, is not true, and the Compensation Scheme indisputably furnishes a monetary incentive to lie about rape. It is well to note two things: (1) the compensation paid for sexual offenses is scarcely insignificant; and (2) women lie about rape for far less rational reasons. In Professor Eugene Kanin’s landmark study of a mid-size Midwestern city over the course of nine years, he found that 41 percent of all rape claims were not just false but actually recanted. Two of the three principal motivations for false claims identified by Kanin are the following: women lie to obtain attention/sympathy, and for revenge. If significant numbers of women are willing to lie about rape simply to get attention or revenge, is it not all the more plausible that some women will lie for the more rational reason of obtaining a significant sum of money? The question scarcely survives its statement.
Remember Grant Bowers? He was just an ordinary teenager when a 20-year-old woman named Sarah-Jane Hillard decided his life didn't mean as much as the £7,500 she would collect from the CICA if she claimed he raped her. She was caught, but Grant's life was destroyed. "I don't know why she did it but her lies have ruined my life," he said. Grant had to move out of his hometown because of threats against him. People were kicking the door of his flat in and shouting "rapist" though the letterbox. Someone offered a reward to learn his whereabouts. He was chased through town with a knife. Is it surprising that for a time, he was physically sick with worry and constantly teary? All because a woman wanted to collect money from the CICA. See here: http://falserapesociety.blogspot.com/2009/08/woman-destroys-teens-life-with-false.html
The problem of fraud in the Compensation Scheme has been evident for years. In 2001, the chief executive of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board blamed the growth in false criminal claims in general on a compensation culture. A CICA report published that year highlighted rampant fraud in the compensation system: “Among the [fraudulent] cases is that of a woman who has been asked to repay £7,500 after falsely claiming she was raped by a tramp. Last year, a court found that Natalie Knighting, a 21-year-old with three children, had made up the story. She was jailed for six months. Ms Knighting had won compensation from the CICA for the second time. She had been awarded the same amount of compensation for sexual assault as a child. So far, the authority has been unable to recover any money from her.” See here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/britain-now-the-worlds-compensation-capital-with-payouts-set-to-keep-rising-689105.html
But, of course, the government denies that the Compensation Scheme breeds false rape claims even though the CICA itself has acknowledged rampant fraud as a result of this compensation culture, and even though we know significant numbers of women lie about rape for far less rational reasons.
In a 2007 debate in the House of Lords, Lord Campbell-Savours questioned the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State on this subject:
“My Lords, is it possible that one reason for high rates of false allegations and low rates of conviction for rape is that a minority—I stress that—of women make false allegations in order to win compensation which, in the case of rape, is £11,000? Why do we not move to the German system, where the state does not pay and where compensation follows civil action, as against the state paying? Surely the trauma of rape requires not state-funded windfalls but counselling services that really help victims.”
The Under-Secretary rejected the question out of hand:
“My Lords, a victim of rape should get both compensation and counselling and support. It is not either/or; it is both/and. As the noble Lord will know, it is very important that we make sure that where convictions are made, people can get some kind of recompense for the trauma and injury that they may have received. As for the reasons why people make false allegations, I do not agree that one of the primary objectives is to get £11,000. There may be very serious reasons why people do that, which we need to consider.”
See here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200607/ldhansrd/text/70515-0001.htm
While suggesting that the government should at least consider the reasons for false rape allegations, the Under-Secretary stuck her head in the sand and flatly refused to entertain the notion that women would lie about rape for anything as crass as money. It would have to be a more “serious” reason than that.
If someone wanted to do a study of the false rape problem in the UK, he could use the CICA’s Compensation Scheme as a microcosm: the government enables women to lie about rape and then wonders why the attrition rate for rape is so abysmal. And no matter how terribly men suffer from false rape claims, the government thinks they deserve nothing.
Your help is much appreciated!
What message are we sending other misguided young women prone to tell rape lies when we don't punish this serial false accuser?
And isn't it just a matter of time before this woman destroys an innocent man or boy?
Perhaps the most important question, why is there no outrage that this woman is not serving a long prison sentence for her awful lies?
Police: Woman Reports Fourth False Rape
Woman Made Up Rape, Police Say
ORLANDO, Fla. -- A 21-year-old woman admitted she fabricated being raped Monday night and was arrested on charges of making a false report, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
This was the fourth false rape report that Emily Riker has made, and the third in 2010, according to a police report.
Riker claimed a man driving a silver Toyota approached her in the parking lot of a CVS store and forced her into his car near Powers Drive and Silver Star Road, police said.
She said the man took her to the Geneva Motel and raped her, the police report indicated.
Riker, who complained of stomach pains from the rape, was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where doctors were unable to perform a sexual battery exam, according to the report.
Riker did not have any red marks or other injuries from the rape, police said.
Surveillance video from the Save-A-Lot Food store, near the CVS, showed that Riker was not forced into the car and willingly went back to kiss the driver after he dropped her back off, according to authorities.
Riker later admitted to police that she had been talking to the man on Facebook for the past two days and told police she lied about being raped because she was mad, the police report said.
The most recent rape she falsely reported was in Osceola County on Feb. 22.
She was taken to the Orange County Booking and Release Center where she was placed on a $500 bond.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
The Baltimore Sun's politicized irresponsibility could result in the arrest of more innocent young black men
The Baltimore Sun's editorial board has posted an appalling but politically correct and de rigueur defense of its recent lengthy article suggesting that Baltimore Police are improperly dismissing rape claims Don't take my word about what they've said -- read it yourself. Their defense continues the scattershot and largely incomprehensible attack on police practices that can be summarized in one sentence: the Sun, echoing the sexual grievance industry, just doesn't like the fact that Baltimore Police are aggressively weeding out baseless claims.
The logical result of the Sun's efforts will be to avoid serious questioning of rape accusers -- despite the fact that a rape conviction can send a man or boy to prison for decades. The logical result of the Sun's efforts will be to de facto automatically believe the "victim," as the Sun calls rape accusers, which will cause innocent young black men in their teens and 20s to be arrested, charged, and in some cases tried and convicted. Let us be honest, in Baltimore, young black males is the demographic most at risk.
If you want to see how this policy will play out, just review the facts of the Hofstra University false rape claim: the "victim" (actually just a false accuser, but I suspect the Sun would insist on calling her a "victim") was automatically believed, and four innocent young black men were jailed, and at least one of them got roughed up behind bars. Only later did police bother to check a video one had made showing the act was consensual. And we can show you innumerable other examples of the same thing. Black men are rarely listened to when they are accused of rape, in case you haven't noticed, and they are jailed even more readily than white men.
The Sun has unnecessarily politicized what is purely a law enforcement issue without giving a damn about the implications for innocent men and boys. Especially innocent black youths who will suffer the most from the witch hunts that surely will follow. But the Sun's editors can sleep well tonight, for they have apparently bought into the radical feminist canard that false rape claims are a myth. The evidence be damned.
By the way, I previously provided a summary of the evidence in my note to Mr. Fenton that demonstrates that false rape claims are not a myth: http://falserapesociety.blogspot.com/2010/06/letter-to-justin-fenton-baltimore-sun.html
And that is the primary reason this piece is unspeakably appalling: because it denigrates countless members of the community of the falsely accused by refusing to acknowledge their victimization.
H. L. Mencken must be spinning around in his grave.
Among the Sun's astounding assertions, and our comments interspersed, are the following:
SUN: "Rape is different from other crimes. Not only does it involve a violation more profound than any other crime . . . ."
FRS: A violation "more profound" than . . . murder? Than wrongly causing an innocent person to be imprisoned for months, years, even decades? What on earth does "more profound" mean in this context?
Suggesting that rape is worse than murder, by the way, is from a time when a woman was deemed the "property" of her husband or father and the "property" was ruined when it was defiled by rape. Even Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made that point in the oral argument of the landmark Kennedy decision that outlawed the death penalty for child rape.
SUN: ". . . but it also comes with a social stigma that forces victims to relive the pain again and again."
FRS: If you want to honestly discuss a crime that leaves serious social stigma, please come and see us here at False Rape Society. Nowhere here, or in Mr. Fenton's piece, does that Sun even allude to the awful price of false rape claims. False accusations of rape have caused innumerable innocent men and boys to be jailed, charged, tried and even convicted for rapes that never occurred. Many of the men falsely accused have suffered prison atrocities and a good number have been brutally victimized by the very crime that they were falsely accused of committing. Moreover, false rape claims have severely stigmatized more human beings than false accusations of any other crime. The public scorn from false rape claims has caused innocent men and boys to be killed and to kill themselves; to be beaten, to be chased, to be spat upon, and to be looked upon with suspicion long after they are cleared of wrongdoing. They lose not only their good names but often their jobs, their businesses, and their friends. It is often impossible for the falsely accused to ever obtain gainful employment once the lie hits the news: for the rest of his life, a falsely accused man will have prospective employers Googling his name and discovering the horrid accusation.
SUN: "No one suggests that a victim of arson was really asking for it. No one asks whether an assault might really have been consensual. When a robbery victim is on the witness stand, the most private details of her life are not dissected under cross examination."
FRS: This old chestnut is still floating around? Astounding. The "victim" of arson . . . is . . . who? I'm sorry, I'm lost. I will say this: when a building burns down, police and insurers routinely probe into whether the owner stood to gain from it; whether he or she lied about it; and whether he or she caused the fire or hired someone to do it. You know, the same sort of probing police should do with rape claims. From what I can tell, the Baltimore police do engage in such probing but for some reason, the Sun doesn't like it. Kind of the way the corrupt police commissioner in the movies doesn't like it when the crusader cop is getting close to the truth.
As for asking whether an assault might have been consensual, well, it's almost impossible to know where to begin to respond to this terribly inane analogy. Let's go back to Rape 101: the difference between assault and rape is that the only physical evidence of the former typically is that of . . . you guessed it -- an assault. In contrast, the only physical evidence for rape is typically the residue of an act of love that has been played out somewhere around the world every second of every day since the beginning of time. See the difference? The first evidences only an assault; the second evidences an act of love far more often than a crime. Wow!
As for not asking a robbery victim about intimate details, well, it depends on whether those intimate details are relevant to a matter in dispute, doesn't it? If they are, do you think a good cop or prosecutor isn't going to ask about it? Seriously? When it comes to rape, where the issue is usually consent, and only two people know the truth -- and one of them might spend twenty years in prison -- intimate details are often relevant.
SUN: "The problem with rape is that it is too difficult for victims to come forward . . . ."
FRS: A breathtaking assertion that finds its only support in the serene ipse dixit of the sexual grievance industry. After thirty years of rape reforms that make charging easier than any other crime? And every change was supposed to eradicate "underreporting"? Aside from ditching the adversarial system and going to an inquisitorial system, aside from flipping the burden of proof, aside from just believing the "victim," as your radical feminst allies suggest, what on earth does the Sun propose?
Oh, I know: more genteel questioning, right? I mean, the Sun is in favor of some questioning of victims, isn't it? Isn't it?
By the way, a recent law review article demonstrated that underreporting is so terribly politicized it is not even certain it exists, much less its extent. But why let the facts, or the truth, or scholarship, get in the way of a good feminist victim metanarrative?
SUN: "It’s not that women routinely make up rape allegations — who would willingly submit themselves to such unjust public humiliation?"
FRS: Again, it is positively breathtaking that talking points from the 60s still find life in the blog of a major U.S. daily. I am truly appalled by this. Spend a few weeks reading through this blog and then you tell us. Here's False Rape 101: http://falserapearchives.blogspot.com/2009/06/archives-of-sexual-behavior-feb-1994.html and http://www.theforensicexaminer.com/archive/spring09/15/.
SUN: "Worse, police reports obtained by The Sun and reviewed by Mr. Fenton show a disturbing pattern in which detectives aggressively question those who say they have been sexually assaulted . . . ."
FRS: How can the Sun determine a question is posed aggressively without hearing its tone? I did not see one concrete example of impropriety by any Baltimore police officer here or in Mr. Fenton's entire piece. Not one. Would someone kindly show me one question that should not have been asked when the issue is a crime that might send someone away for decades? I've seen a lot of conclusory assertions and examples that don't rationally support the conclusions you want people to reach.
I've written to Mr. Fenton, but he has not given me the courtesy of even a short response.
SUN: " . . . . a process that, intentionally or not, gives victims the impression that the focus of the investigation is to prove that the victim is lying, not to catch and prosecute the attacker."
FRS: That is utterly appalling. By labeling an accuser a "victim" before a scrap of evidence has been admitted at trial, much less an adjudication of guilt, you have impliedly rushed to judgment and declared the accuser's allegation to be factual. Such a description does a grave disservice to (1) the presumptively innocent who are accused of rape since, by necessity, they must be guilty if their accusers are, in fact, "victims"; (2) actual rape victims, because you trivialize rape when you include among its victims women who might only be false accusers; and (3) your readers, who are entitled to accurate reporting but receive something less than that when you transform an accuser into a "victim."
I recently wrote to the New York Times about a similar misuse of the term "victim" in reference to a rape accuser, and the reporter immediately changed the word. In the interest of fairness and accuracy, the Sun should do the same.
SUN: "The result is that Baltimore has a higher rate of unfounded complaints — by far — than nearly any other city in the nation."
FRS: WHAT QUESTIONS DO THEY ASK IN PITTSBURGH? PHILADELPHIA? ANYWHERE ELSE? Guess what. They do it the same everywhere. How does the Sun know that the "unfounded" rate is the result of these tactics? It doesn't. And why assume that Baltimore is worse than the others as opposed to being the one that does it right? Ah, because that doesn't fit the Sun's politics. Let's be honest.
SUN: ". . . a former commander of the unit that investigates sex offenses told Mr. Fenton that many reports of rape are made by women for “ill gain” — such as to explain to a husband or boyfriend why they hadn’t come home that night. That presumption is as offensive as it is nonsensical."
FRS: A presumption? Sorry, that's a fact. See http://falserapearchives.blogspot.com/2009/06/archives-of-sexual-behavior-feb-1994.html and http://www.theforensicexaminer.com/archive/spring09/15/.
14 year old falsely claims rape and kidnapping.
Shreveport police have arrested a 14-year-old who allegedly filed a false kidnapping and rape report last week.
The girl was charged with one count of criminal mischief and was booked into the Caddo Parish Juvenile Detention Center this morning.
The girl is accused of making up a story about being kidnapped and raped to cover up an overnight absence from her home.
Police found during an investigation that the girl spent the night with an adult man on the night in question, said Sgt. Bill Goodin, Shreveport Police Department spokesman.Police are working to learn the identity of the man and determine what charges he may face.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Here's how the game is played: when discussing the prevalence of false rape claims, only include among "false" claims those that police are able to rule out as "false" in its initial investigation, and pretend the rest are actual rapes.
Read that last sentence again because as blatantly dishonest as that sounds, that's what's going on here.
Before we explain, let's understand the terminology used by the sexual grievance industry: "sexual assault cases are 'unfounded', if after a thorough investigation, they are determined to be false or baseless." It's fair to say that for both "false" and "baseless" claims, evidence is required to conclusively rule out rape. "False claims" differ from "baseless claims" in that for "false claims" a motive to deceive can also be shown. http://www.svfreenyc.org/survivors_factsheet_84.html
Thus, the sexual grievance industry explains that the following are not sufficient reasons to declare a claim either "false" or "unfounded": not being able to locate the victim; victim is uncooperative or won't follow through with prosecution; victim repeatedly changes her/his account of the rape; victim recants; and no assailant can be identified. http://www.svfreenyc.org/survivors_factsheet_84.html
Let's assume for the sake of argument that this terminology is appropriate. Does that mean that cases dropped for any of those reasons cited in the preceding paragraph were necessarily actual rapes? How about cases dropped for any other reason? How about cases that end up in trial where the defendant is exonerated -- were they necessarily actual rapes?
It absolutely does not mean that any of those were necessarily actual rapes, but the sexual grievance industry would have you believe they were.
Think I'm kidding? The sexual grievance industry says things like this: "Only 2% of all rape claims are false." Check it out -- it's all over the Internet. The implication is that the other 98% of rape claims are necessarily actual rapes, and that's as dishonest as it can possibly be.
The two percent (by the way, that number is typically much higher, depending on the jurisdiction) represents only claims for which the police conclusively ruled out rape in its investigation. It does not mean the other 98% were actual rapes. I don't know how much more clearly I can say it.
The fact is, we are reasonably certain a certain percentage of rape claims are false; we are reasonably certain percentage of rape claims were actual rapes. But for most claims -- claims in the vast middle area -- we have no idea whether they were false claims or actual rapes. To assume they were all rapes simply because police didn't have conclusive evidence to rule them out during its investigation (as the sexual grievance industry suggests) is a blatant lie.
The only fair way to discuss the prevalence of false claims is to talk only about the universe of claims for which we know, with reasonable certainty, whether a false claim or a rape occurred. And if we do that, by any measure, false rape claims are a significant percentage of the total.
This note will not afford your article "City rape statistics, investigations draw concernL Police defend tactics, but mayor orders review," the full attention it requires, but I wanted to immediately express my serious concerns about it.
I founded the nation's leading site dedicated to giving voice to persons falsely accused of rape, The False Rape Society. We support women's rights, loathe rape, but share the decidedly politically incorrect concerns of people like Prof. Alan Dershowitz and innumerable others who believe that the rights of the presumptively innocent accused of rape are not adequately protected. The victimization of the falsely accused is widely ignored in the interest of fighting the "more important" war on rape, and that is both morally grotesque and wrong by any measure.
Your article echoes and lends support to an unfortunate politicization that has infested the crime of rape in the past three decades -- a politicization that is grossly unjust to the countless men and boys who are falsely accused of rape each year because it insists that the "victim" must be believed. It further insists that the interest in discerning the truth about rape claims is trumped by the interest in exhibiting amorphous sensitivity to rape accusers, even if that means arresting and charging innocent men and boys for crimes they did not commit.
The awful price of a false rape claim
Nowhere does your article even allude to the awful price of false rape claims. False accusations of rape have caused innumerable innocent men and boys to be jailed, charged, tried and even convicted for rapes that never occurred. Many of the men falsely accused have suffered prison atrocities and a good number have been brutally victimized by the very crime that they were falsely accused of committing. Moreover, false rape claims have severely stigmatized more human beings than false accusations of any other crime. The public scorn from false rape claims has caused innocent men and boys to be killed and to kill themselves; to be beaten, to be chased, to be spat upon, and to be looked upon with suspicion long after they are cleared of wrongdoing. They lose not only their good names but often their jobs, their businesses, and their friends. It is often impossible for the falsely accused to ever obtain gainful employment once the lie hits the news: for the rest of his life, a falsely accused man will have prospective employers Googling his name and discovering the horrid accusation.
Referring to accusers as "victims"
Your article states: "This article refers to the women who made the reports as 'victims' because that is how they have identified themselves, regardless of whether law enforcement agrees with that label."
By labeling an accuser a "victim" before a scrap of evidence has been admitted at trial, much less an adjudication of guilt, you have impliedly rushed to judgment and declared the accuser's allegation to be factual. Such a description does a grave disservice to (1) the presumptively innocent who are accused of rape since, by necessity, they must be guilty if their accusers are, in fact, "victims"; (2) actual rape victims, because you trivialize rape when you include among its victims women who might only be false accusers; and (3) your readers, who are entitled to accurate reporting but receive something less than that when you transform an accuser into a "victim."
You might be surprised to know that my website has much support from actual rape victims because -- surprise! -- rape victims loathe false rape claimants because they lessen the integrity of legitimate rape claims.
I recently wrote to the New York Times about a similar misuse of the term "victim" in reference to a rape accuser, and the reporter immediately changed the word. In the interest of fairness and accuracy, you should do the same.
The article's reliance on financially interested members of the sexual grievance industry
The article cites innumerable authorities -- a representative of an unnamed "nonprofit," supposed "experts on sexual assaults and police investigations," the Women's Law Project, and the administrator of a hospital's sexual assault forensic exam program. Not a single defense attorney was quoted. Aside from the police, you do not appear to quote anyone who is not a member of what has been branded the sexual grievance industry, persons financially interested in rape, and who frequently assert that rape is not only widespread but more likely rampant.
Two to eight percent of rape claims are false
Nowhere is that absence of balance reflected more than in the portion of the article that states: "Studies suggest the percentage of rape claims that are false is between 2 percent and 8 percent."
What studies are these, sir? It is disappointing that you don't even allude to what those studies are. But here are the objectively verifiable facts. The overriding evidence suggests that false rape claims are a significant problem, and that the victims of false claims are not rarities. No one knows for certain the percentage of false rape claims. A leading feminist legal scholar recently acknowledged: ". . . the statistics on false rape accusation widely vary and 'as a scientific matter, the frequency of false rape complaints to police or other legal authorities remains unknown.'" A. Gruber, Rape, Feminism, and the War on Crime, 84 Wash. L. Rev. 581, 595-600 (November 2009) (citation omitted).
But it is erroneous to assert that only a tiny percentage of rape claims are false because no one can make that assertion with any degree of certainty. The prevalence of false rape claims is neither known nor knowable. Here is why: for every rape claim reported, only a relatively small percentage can be definitively called "rape." This is beyond dispute. Approximately fifteen percent end in conviction and of those we know that some innocent men and boys are convicted. We also know that some claims reported (the numbers vary depending on the study) are outright false. But in between the claims we are reasonably certain were actual rapes, and the ones we are reasonably certain were false claims, is a vast gray area consisting of a group of claims that cannot properly be classified as "rapes" -- because we just don't know. That's the nature of a rape claim. The claims in this vast gray middle area often suffer from evidentiary infirmities. For example, for some such claims, while the claimant herself might think a rape occurred, her outward manifestations of assent did not match her subjective disinclination to engage in sex, so it wasn't rape.
Regardless of what the actual number might be, every impartial, objective study ever conducted on the subject (by persons without a bias or financial interest) shows false rape claims are likely a serious problem. As reported by "False Rape Allegations" by Eugene Kanin, Archives of Sexual Behavior Feb 1994 v23 n1 p81 (12), Professor Kanin’s major study of a mid-size Midwestern U.S. city over the course of nine years found that 41 percent of all rape claims were false. Kanin also studied the police records of two unnamed large state universities, and found that in three years, 50 percent of the 64 rapes reported to campus police were determined to be false (without the use of polygraphs).
In addition, a landmark Air Force study in 1985 studied 556 rape allegations. It found that 27% of the accusers recanted, and an independent evaluation revealed a false accusation rate of 60%. McDowell, Charles P., Ph.D. “False Allegations.” Forensic Science Digest, (publication of the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations), Vol. 11, No. 4 (December 1985), p. 64. See also, "Until Proven Innocent," the widely praised (praised even by the New York Times, which the book skewers -- as well as almost every other major U.S. news source) and painstaking study of the Duke Lacrosse non-rape case. Authors Stuart Taylor and Professor K.C. Johnson explain that the exact number of false claims is elusive but "[t]he standard assertion by feminists that only 2 percent" or sexual assault claims "are false, which traces to Susan Brownmiller's 1975 book 'Against Our Will,' is without empirical foundation and belied by a wealth of empirical data. These data suggest that at least 9 percent and probably closer to half" of all sexual assault claims "are false . . . ." (Page 374.)
The article readily accepts an accusation of rape as a legitimate rape
The article starts off by recounting what is nothing more than an accusation of an alleged rape and treating the accuser's narrative as factual, based on no other evidence. At least you are up-front with your biases. It also suggests that the police officer's questioning -- his "tone," as you call it (as if "tone" can be gleaned from the cold, lifeless police report) -- was somehow improper and that it somehow caused a rape victim to recant.
In fact, on its face, the questioning was in no sense improper but was a wholly appropriate probe of an allegation of very serious criminality that could cause a man or a boy to be arrested and sent to prison for decades. There is no basis to believe this approach caused a rape victim to recant.
In addition, you don't bother to suggest what more genteel questioning might have uncovered the truth, and we are left with the astounding implication that the police should simply have believed the "victim" -- with all the attendant repercussions of that worldview, including arresting and charging whatever male she might have named. The suggestion is both breathtaking in its severity and unjust by any measure.
You proceed to assert: "More than 30 percent of the cases investigated by detectives each year are deemed unfounded, five times the national average." The implication is that, of course, Baltimore must be doing it wrong, and, of course, everyone else must be doing it right, without regard for whether that conclusion is warranted. You don't state whether Baltimore police are similarly aggressive in handling other criminal allegations. Nor do you bother to note that police handling of sexual assault claims in other cities is routinely attacked for all manner of reasons by the same sorts of "experts" you cite here.
Police tactics attacked
The article proceeds to assert that experts and advocates "worry that investigative tactics used by police might distort the scope of the problem and discourage victims from coming forward." You refuse to entertain even the possibility that Baltimore police tactics are discouraging false claims from being reported.
The article then states: " . . . women continue to report that they are interrogated by detectives . . . ." It is unfathomable why someone making an accusation of serious criminality, where there is often no other evidence and which could lead to the deprivation of a man or boy's liberty for decades, should not be interrogated. Again, it seems the preferred alternative is simply to believe the initial accusation and arrest and charge any male accused. Is this in any sense fair? The question scarcely survives its statement.
Further, the article suggests that recantations should never be result in the recanted claim being classified as "unfounded" because the woman might have recanted for the wrong reason. This, of course, would effectively rule out any rape claim from being classified as "unfounded." (That seems to be the unstated goal of the advocates you cite.)
Your implication is that women must be believed when they cry "rape," but that they must not be believed when they admit they lied about that rape. Go figure.
Then you attack police tactics leading up to recantations: ". . . in many cases, detectives, in their own notes, appear to be pressuring victims by explaining the consequences of lying, promising to seek camera footage or cell phone records, and focusing on inconsistencies."
First, it is unfathomable how it is "pressuring" for police to remind a woman making an allegation of serious criminality that she needs to tell the truth. Second, promising to seek video footage and focusing on inconsistencies isn't the misogyny suggested by the article; it's good police work, for cases involving rape or any other criminal allegation where everything rides on the word of one person.
Perhaps the author isn't familiar with the recent Hofstra false rape case where police reacted to the accusation in precisely the manner suggested by the "experts" cited in his piece. Four innocent young men were immediately arrested on the basis of nothing more than a woman's say so. She recanted only when it turned out that one of the young men had a video of the consensual sexual encounter.
There are innumerable examples of this precise sort of thing, but you don't cite any of them. You are content to ask the reader to believe that actual rape victims are pressured into recanting because police threaten to obtain evidence -- that will confirm their rape. That doesn't just strain credulity, it shatters it into a thousand pieces.
The article's politically correct non-solution? Reclassify "unfounded" rape as "cleared by exception." You don't tell us how many -- if any at all -- investigations into rape claims "cleared by exception" have ever been relaunched and have led to an actual rape conviction. The answer is virtually none, and more likely none at all.
By the way, the article's assertion that the term "unfounded" is "police parlance for saying the victim was lying or they do not believe a crime occurred" is contrary to the widely accepted meaning of "unfounded." See, for instance, Dr. Bruce Gross in False Rape Allegations: An Assault On Justice, Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association, Dec. 22, 2008: ". . . many of the jurisdictions from which the FBI collects data on crime use different definitions of, or criteria for, 'unfounded.' That is, a report of rape might be classified as unfounded (rather than as forcible rape) if the alleged victim did not try to fight off the suspect, if the alleged perpetrator did not use physical force or a weapon of some sort, if the alleged victim did not sustain any physical injuries, or if the alleged victim and the accused had a prior sexual relationship. Similarly, a report might be deemed unfounded if there is no physical evidence or too many inconsistencies between the accuser's statement and what evidence does exist. As such, although some unfounded cases of rape may be false or fabricated, not all unfounded cases are false."
Rape is a serious problem. So are false rape claims. You seem to buy into the politically correct, but erroneous belief that false rape claims are rare and that police should err on the side of charging for even far-fetched claims. What you don't consider is that this too often leads to arresting, charging, and convicting innocent men and boys.
In short, you seem to think that the victimization of our daughters is more deserving of our protection than the victimization of our sons.
The detention center also did an internal investigation. Police said during the course of that investigation officials learned the allegations were false. The 17-year-old, whose name has not been released, also admitted lying during follow-up interviews with police, police said. Police said the 17-year-old is charged with false swearing to law enforcement. He will be prosecuted in juvenile court.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
A massive number of rape claims in Baltimore are classified as "unfounded" and the sexual grievance industry is irate
City rape statistics, investigations draw concern: Police defend tactics, but mayor orders review
The 32-year-old woman was walking through a midtown alley last January when a man pressed a gun to her shoulder and told her, "Don't scream."
At the hospital, where she was treated for vaginal bleeding, the woman recounted being raped at gunpoint, in a vehicle with black leather seats. When it was over, her attacker told her to walk away slowly and not look back.
The police detective's report reflects the tone of his questioning in the hospital room: Why had she waited two hours to call police? Why didn't she flag down a squad car? Where was she coming from before she was assaulted? Who was she with? Frustrated, the woman retracted her statement and signed a new one saying that nothing had happened.
No longer a rape, the incident was now classified as "unfounded," police parlance for saying the victim was lying or they do not believe a crime occurred.
It's the type of change that happens dozens of times each year, and more often in Baltimore than any place else.
The Baltimore Police Department has for the past four years recorded the highest percentage of rape cases that officers conclude are false or baseless of any city in the country, according to The Baltimore Sun's review of FBI data.
More than 30 percent of the cases investigated by detectives each year are deemed unfounded, five times the national average. Only Louisville and Pittsburgh have reported similar numbers in the recent past, and the number of unfounded rape cases in those cities dropped after police implemented new classification procedures.
The problem in Baltimore may go deeper.
In 4 of 10 emergency calls to police involving allegations of rape, officers conclude that there is no need for a further review, so the case never makes it to detectives — a proportion that experts say is disturbingly high.
The increase in unfounded cases comes as the number of rapes reported by Baltimore police has plunged —from 684 in 1995 to 158 last year, a decline of nearly 80 percent. Nationally, FBI reports indicate that rapes have fallen 8 percent over the same period.
Advocates who work with rape victims and experts who have reviewed police figures in other cities say they are concerned about Baltimore's statistics. They worry that investigative tactics used by police might distort the scope of the problem and discourage victims from coming forward.
They say Baltimore police have expressed a commitment to working with medical providers and victims groups, and they praise the efforts of many detectives. Still, women continue to report that they are interrogated by detectives, sometimes questioned in the emergency room or threatened with being hooked up to lie detectors.
Overall, say those who have reviewed the findings, the numbers just don't add up.
"There's nothing that we see in our work that makes a [more than] two-thirds drop in the number of sexual assaults and rapes in Baltimore make any sense, on any planet," said Rosalyn Branson, executive director of Turn Around, a Towson-based group for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.
Baltimore's "excessively high unfounded rate with such a small number of rapes reported in the first place" should merit a look from the FBI, said Carol E. Tracy, who works with a nonprofit that has been reviewing rape reports for Philadelphia police for a decade. In that city, the department had been systematically miscounting sexual crimes.
Current and former sex offense detectives in Baltimore defended their investigations. Part of their mission, they say, involves rooting out illegitimate complaints that in the past would result in wasted effort and false arrests.
Many reports of rape are made for "ill gain, in order to gain assistance or cover up not coming home," said one of the commanders of the unit, Lt. Thomas Uzarowski, in a March interview.
"The bottom line is, the case is only unfounded when the investigative facts prove the crime did not occur," said Uzarowski, who retired from the department this month. "It's not an opinion. It's not anything other than where the facts fall."
While Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III and other top officials declined requests for interviews, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake ordered an audit of police procedures and statistics last week after The Baltimore Sun contacted her aides about these findings.
'Victims do lie'
Experts on sexual assaults and police investigations say victims sometimes recant their stories to avoid interacting with police and prosecutors, particularly if they feel that their account is not being taken seriously. In those cases, they say, police should not record the incident as a false report.
Reports reviewed by The Sun were redacted to remove information about victims, witnesses and locations of the crimes. The omissions made it difficult to verify the police account and to learn whether the victims agreed with the officer's decision.
This article refers to the women who made the reports as "victims" because that is how they have identified themselves, regardless of whether law enforcement agrees with that label.
Of 194 reports of rape or attempted rape received by Baltimore detectives last year, about 32 percent — or 62 in all — were determined to be unfounded, according to a March audit provided by the department. Police said that in the vast majority of those cases, the victim "admitted that the original allegation was untruthful."
The reports show the complexity of cases brought to police. In a significant number of the cases, victims gave detailed accounts of an attack only to later say under questioning that the sex was consensual. In recanting, some said they had been afraid that they were pregnant or had contracted sexually transmitted diseases and did not know how to explain to boyfriends or parents. Many other cases involved children as victims.
One woman said she was high on drugs and that the encounter had been a hallucination; another was a prostitute who said she engaged in consensual sex but reported a rape after she was shortchanged by a customer.
The woman "stated she made the report because she was mad and tired of people thinking they can do what they want to people because of her situation being a prostitute," the report read.
But in many cases, detectives, in their own notes, appear to be pressuring victims by explaining the consequences of lying, promising to seek camera footage or cell phone records, and focusing on inconsistencies.
The Baltimore squad that investigates sexual assaults and child abuse comprises 50 detectives. One of them, Detective Anthony Faulk Jr., is responsible for one-fifth of the unfounded reports, shelving 14 cases last year, including the alleged attack in midtown. No other detective had more than six such cases, and some have none. Attempts to reach Faulk through the department and police union were unsuccessful.
In one instance, he wrote that a 15-year-old girl vomited from anxiety as he threatened to leave and retrieve crime-scene video to discern whether she was lying about having been raped. When he came back, she recanted, but refused to sign a statement. "She crossed her arm and held her lips together in a manner suggesting that she had nothing additional to say," the report reads. "This investigation is closed as unfounded."
Advocates say police, here and elsewhere, too often put the initial focus on the victim in sex crimes. Victims often were engaged in activity that they are ashamed of or believe their story has to fit a certain account and end up changing details, they say. When they are challenged or feel the police are not interested in helping, many will change their stories. Studies suggest the percentage of rape claims that are false is between 2 percent and 8 percent.
"One of the things we know is that victims do lie," said Gail Reid, the emergency room program manager for Turn Around, the victims group. "When the story doesn't fit together, all these red flags go off and police start a biased process of challenging their credibility."
Cities make changes
Rates of rapes and methods for classifying the crimes vary widely from place to place, but Baltimore's numbers stand out. It is one of only two cities in the country that records significantly more homicides than rapes, the other being New Orleans, where police are also facing questions. More than half the rape reports there have been classified as noncriminal "complaints," the Times-Picayune reported last year.
The rate of rapes per 100,000 people in Philadelphia and St. Louis – two cities that were found in recent years to be manipulating rape data and have made reforms – are more than double that of Baltimore.
"Unless there is an extraordinary crime prevention program going on in Baltimore that every other city would like to learn about, I think the numbers are very suspect," said Tracy of the Women's Law Project in Philadelphia.
Washington, San Diego, San Francisco and Atlanta are among cities with rates comparable to Baltimore's.
After The Sun sought a response from City Hall, Rawlings-Blake ordered an audit of unfounded complaints and an internal review of training and investigative practices. She met Friday with Bealefeld and Sheryl Goldstein, director of the mayor's office on criminal justice.
"I am deeply troubled to learn about the high number of unfounded rape complaints and the decline in reported rapes over the past decade," Rawlings-Blake said in a statement. "The data shows the critical need to immediately address the issue with a comprehensive review of investigative practices and responses."
Some cities experiencing high numbers of unsubstantiated rape reports have also been troubled by the statistics and changed reporting practices to avoid wiping reports off the books.
Sgt. Larry Scirotto said that when he took over the Pittsburgh Police Department's sex offense unit two years ago, many cases in which the victim recanted or didn't want to move forward were being marked unfounded, meaning the incident did not happen.
Scirotto said that was the wrong approach in a city that for years was, along with Baltimore, leading the nation in the percentage of police reports labeled unfounded.
He changed the procedures so those cases would be tagged "cleared by exception," a designation that keeps the incident counted among the city's crime totals but allows detectives to focus resources on other cases. The case can be revisited if the victim decides – whether through counseling or a change of heart – to pursue charges later.
"When you classify a crime as unfounded, it says you didn't believe the victim, or that we determined a crime didn't occur to begin with," Scirotto said. "I'm not concerned with the statistics. I'm concerned about being able to prosecute at a later time."
Interviews with advocates and victims, and a review of reports requested under a Public Information Act request, reveal an attitude of distrust by police toward victims and a reflex to dismiss rape reports both in the field and after investigating.
Lauren — who did not want her last name used to protect her privacy — believed that she might have been sexually assaulted last year after a night of drinking with friends. She drove to Mercy Hospital to get examined and reluctantly agreed to speak to a detective.
The initial officer listened and was comforting, she said, but a detective from the sex crimes unit immediately started an interrogation.
"He was lecturing me on the justice system and was giving me lectures about drinking," she said. "He was also questioning me about, 'Do you have a boyfriend? Does your boyfriend know about this? Sometimes people make up this stuff because they made a mistake. Just because you didn't remember everything, doesn't mean you didn't want something to happen.'"
No report was taken to document Lauren's concerns. Years ago, that might have happened, too, in Louisville, another city that once rivaled Baltimore's rape statistics. But now, Louisville investigators say, such a case would result in a police report and a classification of "unsubstantiated," which allows detectives to focus resources elsewhere.
Sgt. Andy Abbott said the Kentucky department has recently been using the in-house classification of "unsubstantiated" to keep cases open but put them on the back burner when necessary. Because of that change and others, the percentage of Louisville's unfounded cases has dropped and the number of reported rapes has increased by 17 percent.
"Unsubstantiated means there's a possibility a crime may have occurred, but we don't have enough to prove one way or the other," Abbott said.
Police: Investigations improve
For years, Baltimore's percentage of rape allegations labeled as unfounded was in line with the national average. But by 1998, the rate had doubled from its longtime average. Concern arose in 2003, and the Baltimore Police Department undertook an audit that found it had under-reported rapes by 15 percent.
By the next year, when Commissioner Leonard D. Hamm took over the department, the percentage of unfounded reports had doubled again and increased to a high of 37.6 in 2006. It hasn't fallen below 29 percent since, even as reported rapes continue to fall. Police could not explain the increase.
A review of FBI data from across the country shows significant disparities in rates of unfounded rapes. Though most have a percentage in the single digits, some cities, including New York and Cleveland, report zero – a number that experts say is just as eyebrow-raising as Baltimore's high rate. The FBI does little to monitor the accuracy of reporting.
"Why is it that women in the greater Baltimore area are more disposed to lying about sexual assault than anyplace else in America?" asked Branson of Turn Around. "Is it in the water? What exactly would make us the ones most likely to tell a story about being sexually assaulted?"
Uzarowski, who spent 35 years with the Police Department, said sex crimes investigations have come a long way. When he started, there was no specialized unit.
Officers scrutinize data more closely and with greater urgency, he said. A commander retrieves sex offense calls and checks to make sure they have been assigned to detectives. If not, "that's where we backtrack and find out whether there was no one on the scene, or was not anything suspicious, or a vacant building or a false call," Uzarowski said.
He and Lt. Jon Foster both said they were pleased at the results of a recent audit of last year's numbers.
"We probably have some of the best investigators around, and as such, I think we get to the facts," he said. "I really think that the protocols we have in place are some of the best."
Still, a significant number of claims don't make it to detectives.
Calls handled on the streets
Department statistics show that about 40 percent of the 911 calls involving rape allegations each year are determined not to have merit or result in reports not being taken at the scene. For most of those calls, there is no documentation of why they were handled in that way, officials say.
"That's a huge, huge number," said Joanne Archambault, a longtime San Diego sex crimes investigator who consults with major police departments and reviewed documents provided by The Sun. "They're not supposed to be unfounding these in the field."
Last year, there were a handful of publicized incidents in Baltimore in which women alleging rape said police failed to take a report. Three officers were suspended in September after failing to take a report from a woman in Northwest Baltimore. Police were also investigating an incident in which a 24-year-old nursing assistant said officers drove away and later ripped up a report after she told them that a man had raped her.
The department has received an average of about 900 calls alleging rapes or attempted rapes each year since 2003, with reports written in about 540 — or 60 percent — of those instances, according to records provided by the department.
A spreadsheet provided by the department showed that in about 50 calls each year, officers gave reasons for not taking reports, such as being unable to locate the victim or not being able to find the address.
But about 300 calls each year on average were more broadly dismissed, with designations such as "no police service necessary," or "complaint abated." The most prevalent option has been to simply mark them "unfounded," which officials say has been on the decline but is still troubling.
"Patrol [officers] ought to be bringing in the specialized units," said Adam Rosenberg, director of the Baltimore Child Abuse Center and a former city sex offense prosecutor. "They can't be making snap judgments out there. That's what those units are there for."
Deborah Holbrook administers the Sexual Assault Forensic Exam program at Mercy Hospital, which treats all city and county rape victims. As part of a task force of sexual assault responders, she said she has worked with police to better educate officers at district roll calls, including tips on preservation of evidence and how to interact with victims. Though she acknowledges that she is involved only in the medical aspect, she gives police high marks and said she wasn't aware of any concerns.
"We've been getting back to basics, retraining everybody, making sure everybody is understanding the rules," Holbrook said. "We don't have any big issues on our plate."
Many women who report attacks are less concerned with statistics than with receiving respect and compassion from police.
On the morning of Oct. 25, Danielle Mascioli was asleep with her girlfriend in their Linden Avenue apartment when the bedroom light went on. A masked man was standing at the foot of the bed, holding a knife. He began to tie Mascioli with a hairdryer cord and blindfold her.
Mascioli said the man took her aside and began to take off her shirt. Suddenly, her girlfriend ran from the room yelling and began knocking on neighbors' doors. The man fled.
In the report, police describe the incident as an attempted sex offense, and say the case was relayed to the sex offense unit and assigned to a detective — Anthony Faulk Jr., the detective with the high number of dismissed cases. The incident was publicized by police amid a string of rapes and attacks that occurred about the same time, mainly in East Baltimore.
In a subsequent encounter, she said, Faulk was rude and dismissive. She hasn't heard from him since, and doesn't particularly want to see him.
"This was such a life-changing event for me, and he didn't even care," she said. "Making victims feel safe is part of his job, and that part of the job description was completely out of the window.
" really didn't do anything," she said. "It wasn't my fault."
Friday, June 25, 2010
Have you ever encountered the feminist claim that gender is a social construct and doesn't exist naturally?
The differences between individuals is greater than the differences between male and female, the claim goes. Here's an example of this propaganda put out by the Department of Education: http://www.campbell-kibler.com/Stereo.pdf
Except for minor physical characteristics, feminists say -- for example, women can give birth and men can pee their names in snow -- there are really no differences. They'll tell you this with a straight face, evidently expecting you to believe they really believe it.
They don't. Of course they don't. There could be no such thing as "rape culture" to anyone who believes gender difference does not exist.
Because who rapes, according to feminists? Men. Why do they rape? Because they are men. Women do not rape, because they are not men.
I believe the differences between male and female exist, but not the way feminists do. For them, the point of not recognizing gender differences is to elevate women; and the point of recognizing them is to trash men.
Why? Aside from simply expressing the hatred of men that underlies all feminist thought, the point is to give women an advantage in the classroom, in the office, in the home. But because men and women really are different, the advantage has to be an unfair one.
If there are no differences between men and women, why the VAWA? Why the "Title Nining" of college sports? Why reconstruct education in this country to be friendly to how girls learn, and hostile to how boys learn? If male and female are the same, what's the objection to single-sex classrooms? If there are no differences in the genders, wouldn't a classroom full of boys be exactly the same as a classroom full of girls and boys?
The blatant double standard of feminism is one of my strongest objections to it. It is illustrated many ways, but the cognitive dissonance of claiming no gender differences exist while proclaiming that we live in a "rape culture" is is one of the most conspicuous.
*Connie is a regular contributor to FRS. Her principal blog is http://conniechastain.blogspot.com/
The epidemic presents a textbook case of many of the issues we routinely report on:
*The known false accusers are young (18 and 20 years old), which is typical.
*Two of the woman identified imaginary stereotypical "scary" men as their "rapists" -- men deemed by society to be more likely to rape (black and Hispanic), most likely to enhance the plausibility of their lies.
*At least one mainstream news media outlet reported an initial rape claim, which turned out to be a lie, as an actual rape (e.g., referring to the accuser as "the victim"). That, too, is far too common among the sloppy, and perhaps politicized, purveyors of rape news.
*The police voiced concerns about false rape claims but happened to leave out the single most serious concern: that when false rape claims are made, innocent men and boys too often are targeted as suspects, too often are arrested, too often are charged, and too often are convicted.
*Police openly expressed reluctance to arrest the false accusers. (For what other crime do police express reluctance to arrest criminals?)
*The mainstream news media sought out sexual assault counselors for quotes, one of whom repeated the usual discredited sexual grievance industry blather that women don't lie about rape. The reporter allowed these far-fetched assertions to go unchallenged and, no doubt, thinks they are credible. I've written to him to disabuse him of these erroneous notions but haven't received the courtesy of a reply or even a "thank you, but here's why I think you're wrong."
*Among other things, one of the sexual assault counselors quoted doesn't like "drawing attention" to false rape claims, a manifestation of the sexual grievance industry's approach of sticking its head in the sand instead of actually doing something to end the false rape epidemic and, thus, enhancing the integrity of rape claimants.
*Some reporters were interested in the motives of the false rape accusers, presenting their "problems" in a sympathetic light. For what other crime is this done?
In short, just another day in our false rape society. Let's examine the specifics of the epidemic:
"Ms. Rendford called police after she wrecked her boyfriend's BMW on Rosamond Drive near North Orange Blossom Trail. . . . . The 18-year-old has been arrested after confessing when she was questioned about the details of the case. The arrest report states that Renford told detectives she found her boyfriend cheating on her. So, she took his car and intentionally crashed it. The report states Renford hoped if her boyfriend found out she was raped, he'd take her back and be nicer to her." See here
Ms. Renford "allegedly told Orlando Police she had been raped in Rosemont by three men who forced her off the road early Monday morning." See here "She went as far as to describe the suspect as three black males in their 20s wearing black clothing and masks." See here
So do the police chalk this up as a "false report"? No. ". . . the case is now considered unfounded." See here That, of course, illustrates the fact that there is no uniformity in the use of the term "unfounded." But it often is used synonymously with "false."
"Police said another woman, Luisa Martinez, also made a false claim she was raped on East Pine Street in downtown Orlando." See here Ms. Martinez is 20 years old. See here
How did the news media report the initial rape report? WFTV reported it as an actual rape: "Orlando police are searching for a man who raped a woman near Lake Eola early Sunday morning." And: "Investigators questioned the victim Sunday morning at police headquarters and are still looking for the attacker." (Emphasis added.) See here
Who was the scary "rapist"? "Orlando police said the suspect is a Hispanic male who was wearing a black shirt and jeans." See here
Lake Eola Rape Report
"A report of a rape near Lake Eola in May was deemed fake after possible suspects were questions. Police are looking to arrest the woman who made that claim." See here For reasons unfathomable, news outlets seem reluctant to publish the woman's name. See here
We recently reported this case here.
"Orlando police warned the public Tuesday morning that making a false claim is a crime after they said the 18-year-old woman who claimed she was raped Monday was lying. 'We want victims to continue to report crime, we do not want to spend needless resources chasing ghosts,' Sgt. Art Eld said in a press conference. Police said false reporting has reached an epidemic level. They said they will arrest anyone who makes a false report about a crime because doing so is against the law. 'False reports cause unnecessary fear in the community,' Eld said.'False reports take personnel away from other calls for service, increasing response time for real victims," Eld said. "It also taints the jury pool in Orange County for true legitimate rape cases.'" See here
(The police officer failed to state the single most damaging aspect of a false rape claim: innocent men and boys are too often arrested, charged, and even convicted for a crime they did not commit.)
"Cops said they don't want to arrest the women, but feel they must. They have the public's support." See here
"Another concern among police and advocates is backlash. Police are worried because of the recent false reports made by Renford and Martinez, other victims won't come forward." See here
Sexual Assault Counselor Reaction
Can you guess? "Nicole Quinn works with victims of sexual abuse. She said just because a report is considered false doesn't mean something didn't happen or that someone doesn't need help. 'Something traumatic has happened to them to make them come forward and make allegations of sexual assault, and they are usually in some sort of emotional trouble,' Quinn said." See here
The following reaction is even more problematic: "The leader of the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence acknowledged that false rape reports make it harder for those who are real victims and also harder for police and others who serve victims. But Jennifer Dritt said police drawing attention to the false reports doesn't help, either. 'Ninety-two, 98 percent of [rape] reports are truthful, real,' said Dritt, executive director of FCASV, which is based in Tallahassee. 'That's not necessarily any more true than for a case of, say, insurance fraud or burglary. And it makes victims even less inclined to come forward. It also contributes to the myth that women falsify the rape when they don't.'" See here
Readers of this blog know that the assertions in the previous paragraph are not true. I wrote to the author of that news article, whose name is Walter Pacheco, and provided him with objectively verifiable information. He has not afforded me the courtesy of a response, or even a "thank you, but I think you're wrong, and here's why." Mr. Pacheco's full article, and my email to him, appears after the jump.
We long for the day when reporters in major US dailies become something other than stenographers for police and sexual assault counselors when reporting on alleged rape cases or on false rape claims.
Police: False rape reports cause fear, cost public money, hinder real victims
June 22, 2010
By Walter Pacheco, Orlando Sentinel
Concerned about three recent false rape allegations, Orlando police cautioned residents that lying wastes money, time and keeps real victims from reporting true crimes.
"We want victims to continue to report crimes, but we want real victims," Sgt. Art Eld of the Orlando Police Department's sex crimes division said at a press conference today. "We don't want to spend useful resources chasing ghosts."
Filing false rape reports stirs unnecessary fear in the community, wastes thousands of public dollars and keeps real victims from telling their stories, he said.
Police officials made their plea public Tuesday, a day after 18-year-old Samaria Renford claimed three masked men raped her Monday in Rosemont.
She is the third woman in the past two months to have reported a rape to Orlando police and then recanted, saying they made up the allegation.
Renford acknowledged her false report, telling detectives she "fabricated the incident because she found her boyfriend cheating on her," a police report states. She "hoped that if he discovered she was raped he would take her back and be nicer to her."
Police booked Renford on charges of filing a false police report. Although she paid $500 bail on the charge, she is being held at the Orange County Jail on an outstanding warrant for fraudulent use of a credit card in 2008.
She will be transported to the juvenile detention center, jail spokesman Allen Moore said.
The leader of the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence acknowledged that false rape reports make it harder for those who are real victims and also harder for police and others who serve victims.
But Jennifer Dritt said police drawing attention to the false reports doesn't help, either.
"Ninety-two, 98 percent of [rape] reports are truthful, real," said Dritt, executive director of FCASV, which is based in Tallahassee. "That's not necessarily any more true than for a case of, say, insurance fraud or burglary. And it makes victims even less inclined to come forward.
"It also contributes to the myth that women falsify the rape when they don't."
The other two recent cases of false rape reports panicked residents living in downtown Orlando because the women said the attacks happened in popular nighttime spots or areas known as havens for runners, walkers and families.
Luisa Martinez told police on June 13 that a man raped her off Pine Street in downtown Orlando. She made up the story and also faces charges of filing a false report and perjury, according to an arrest warrant.
MY EMAIL TO MR. PACHECO
From: "False Rape Society" email@example.com
I founded the nation's leading site that gives voice to victims of false rape claims. http://falserapesociety.blogspot.com/ You cited in your article on rape the assertion of a sexual assault advocate on the prevalence of false rape claims. She said that "[n]inety-two, 98 percent of [rape] reports are truthful, real . . .."
This is patently absurd, and these sorts of advocacy stats were long ago debunked. To allow that assertion to go unchallenged is unconscionable. (And my reading of her quote suggests that she'd prefer you not even report false rape claim cases, which is just breathtaking.)
You would do well to understand the facts, because false rape claims are a serious issue -- in your area, and everywhere. The following cite objectively verifiable sources that can't be plausibly challenged -- when you look at these, which do not make wild claims, you should be able to tell that they are unbiased. And when you check into what they assert, you will confirm their veracity:
Here is the reality, sir: No one knows for certain the percentage of false rape claims. No one. A leading feminist legal scholar recently acknowledged: ". . . the statistics on false rape accusation widely vary and 'as a scientific matter, the frequency of false rape complaints to police or other legal authorities remains unknown.'" A. Gruber, Rape, Feminism, and the War on Crime, 84 Wash. L. Rev. 581, 595-600 (November 2009) (citation omitted). (Please note: "unknown," sir.)
It is patently erroneous to assert that only a tiny percentage of rape claims are false because no one can make that assertion with any degree of certainty. The prevalence of false rape claims is neither known nor knowable. Here is why: for every rape claim reported, only a relatively small percentage can be definitively called "rape." This is beyond dispute. Approximately fifteen percent end in conviction and of those we know that some innocent men and boys are convicted. We also know that some claims reported (the numbers vary depending on the study) are outright false. But in between the claims we are reasonably certain were actual rapes, and the ones we are reasonably certain were false claims, is a vast gray area consisting of a group of claims that cannot properly be classified as "rapes" -- because we just don't know. That's the nature of a rape claim. The claims in this vast gray middle area often suffer from evidentiary infirmities. (For example, for some such claims, while the claimant herself might think a rape occurred, her outward manifestations of assent did not match her subjective disinclination to engage in sex, so it wasn't rape.) How on earth do people, like the woman you cite, claim the vast majority of these were "rape"? This would mean that she knows, for example, that a man acquitted of rape -- and innumerable men who weren't even charged -- are rapists. How can she say that?
Regardless, every impartial, unbiased objective study on the subject (studies not commissioned or conducted by someone with a financial interest in insisting rape is rampant) shows false rape claims are a very serious problem. As reported by "False Rape Allegations" by Eugene Kanin, Archives of Sexual Behavior Feb 1994 v23 n1 p81 (12), Professor Kanin’s major study of a mid-size Midwestern U.S. city over the course of nine years found that 41 percent of all rape claims were false. Kanin also studied the police records of two unnamed large state universities, and found that in three years, 50 percent of the 64 rapes reported to campus police were determined to be false (without the use of polygraphs). In addition, a landmark Air Force study in 1985 studied 556 rape allegations. It found that 27% of the accusers recanted, and an independent evaluation revealed a false accusation rate of 60%. McDowell, Charles P., Ph.D. “False Allegations.” Forensic Science Digest, (publication of the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations), Vol. 11, No. 4 (December 1985), p. 64.
See also, "Until Proven Innocent," the widely praised (praised even by the New York Times, which the book skewers -- as well as most other major U.S. news source) and painstaking study of the Duke Lacrosse non-rape case. Authors Stuart Taylor and Professor K.C. Johnson explain that the exact number of false claims is elusive but "[t]he standard assertion by feminists that only 2 percent" or sexual assault claims "are false, which traces to Susan Brownmiller's 1975 book 'Against Our Will,' is without empirical foundation and belied by a wealth of empirical data. These data suggest that at least 9 percent and probably closer to half" of all sexual assault claims "are false . . . ." (Page 374.)
By the way, you also need to study the government stats these advocate organizations toss your way. You can't just take their word for it. Organizations such as NOW and RAINN rely on the U.S Department of Justice's National Crime Victimization Survey to insist that rape is rampant and largely underreported. What those organizations do not publicize is that this survey, conducted by in-person and telephone interviews, defines rape as follows: "Forced sexual intercourse including both psychological coercion as well as physical force. . . . Includes attempted rapes . . . Attempted rape includes verbal threats of rape." (Emphasis supplied.) You need to scroll to page 131 out of 133 to find that definition. Putting aside other problems with the definition, "psychological coercion," of course, can mean all manner of things, including "I'll take your mother to the doctors tomorrow if you make love to me tonight," and that is not rape -- in your state, or anywhere else. It is astounding that a government agency allows these issues to become so terribly politicized.
Rape is a serious problem. So are false rape claims -- even though it's terribly politically incorrect to discuss them. We hope that in the future you challenge advocacy stats by making clear that there's not just "another side" to the story -- but that the advocate's stats are unreliable. And please -- please -- don't just take her word for it.
The Kuala Belait Magistrate's Court was told that Hamenah binti Jeenoh, 49, made a statement to W/Sgt 2514 Sainah binti Hj Gador that she had been raped at her home in Jalan Maulana in Kuala Belait on August 6, 2009.
The Women and Children Abuse Unit looked into the case and the defendant's clothing, as well as bed sheets, were taken for examination.
Smears and swabs were also taken, However, none of the samples showed any evidence of rape.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
The news media gladly destroys average men with even far-fetched rape accusations; why was the claim against Al Gore covered up for years?
The woman refused to be interviewed by detectives and didn't want the investigation to continue, so the police closed the case, citing insufficient evidence. "This case is exceptionally cleared as [the woman] refuses to cooperate with the investigation or even report a crime," the report states.
But then in 2009, the woman contacted the police again and gave another statement regarding the alleged incident. Detectives again determined that her statement lacked sufficient evidence to pursue the claim.
But earlier this month, the woman requested a copy of her statement, and a police spokeswoman said the woman said she planned to take her case to the media. Only then did this claim become public.
"It's already been documented that the media have, at least initially, ignored the allegation that global warming alarmist-in-chief and former Vice President Al Gore faced a sexual assault charge in 2006. But why? . . .. MSNBC 'Morning Joe' host Joe Scarborough, . . .explained their decision to ignore it was based on insufficient evidence' despite the police report documenting the allegation." See here.
While there is nothing to be gained from reporting an unfounded allegation about a three or four year-old non-rape, this case presents a stark and frightening contrast between the way the news outlets usually cover rape claims and the way it covered this claim.
Remember when three University of Arkansas players were accused of rape? A local television station actually cut into the station's regular programming to provide a four-plus minute breaking news report on the fact that a mere allegation was made -- the way a reporter might cut in to tell us about a plane crash or that an important politician has died. Note, the three young men hadn't been charged, they were merely being investigated. See here.
Remember how the Hofstra false rape claim was originally reported? The sole evidence was the word of the woman with whom the young men had consensual sex. See here. Can anyone look me in the eye and tell me there was more substance to that claim than the one against Al Gore? Yet the Hofstra claim received sensational coverage.
Where was the supposedly impartial news media -- so quick to destroy a bunch of teenagers at Hofstra, and a working class nobody like John Bobbitt, and an "entitled" athlete like Ben Roethlisberger, and tens of thousands of other men accused of rape solely on the basis of one woman's word -- when it came time to cover the same sort of allegation against Al Gore?
Not newsworthy, you say? This man is a former US Vice President, the most revered icon of the left, the man who got more popular votes in the 2000 election than George W. Bush, winner of the Nobel Prize and the Academy Award -- but a rape claim against him isn't even worth mentioning?
Where is the feminist outrage that the claim against Al Gore was brushed under the rug? Why, you can hear a pin drop, can't you?
Here's the reality: the way the news media covered the claim against Gore is the way the news media should cover all rape claims. But they don't do it that way, because the entire rape milieu is infested with an ugly gender-politicization that skews reality to the point that it seems we're looking at it through a funhouse mirror.
Rape is not just a crime, it's a "women's issue," the ultimate manifestation of male oppression of females, and that dictates how it is covered in the news. Let us be frank: Al Gore did not fit the preferred narrative, so he was given a free pass. If it were Dick Cheney, this would have been front page news the day after it happened. Let's at least tell the truth about this one, so we can highlight how terribly, and how unfairly, the average man is treated when a similar allegation is made against him.