Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Amanda Little, 26, of Oxford, initially told police that she was kidnapped while walking in the parking lot of the Walmart at about 1 a.m. on Dogwood Drive on June 24, investigators said.
Little said she was taken to an undisclosed location and sexually assaulted, said police.
Upon further investigation, and after reviewing video from the Walmart parking lot, police said Little’s story simply didn’t add up. She later admitted to detectives that she lied and told them that she had been having sex at another location when her cell phone, which was in her back pocket, accidentally dialed the number of her boyfriend’s friend and left a voicemail recording, police said. Little said she came up with the abduction story as a cover up, investigators said.
“Our detectives did a good job with ferreting out the truth here. We are an agency that focuses in on the needs of our victims, and cases like this simply are a waste of time and tie up valuable police resources,” Conyers police said.
Little is charged with the false report of a crime.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Michaela Rose Brown was 19 when she called 911 with a horror story on Sept. 10, 2007.
Brown said she had been sexually assaulted by a group of five males who had followed up the attack by tying her hands behind her back and dumping her into the river.
When officers found her, she told them she'd been with a female friend, who had also been tied up and thrown in the water.
The city's emergency responders swung into high gear to scour the shoreline for the missing woman, calling out canine units, a police plane, divers from the fire department's water rescue team and ambulance personnel.
Meanwhile, Brown was taken to hospital — where she refused to co-operate when staff tried to perform a standard sexual-assault kit on her, Crown prosecutor Deb Black told court.
After turning up nothing at the river, police went to the home of the supposedly missing woman, where they found her, safe and sound.
The friend said she had not been with Brown at all that day. When they confronted Brown, some confusion arose about whether she might have given the wrong last name for the missing woman, so police decided to continue the search, Black said.
During an interview with a police sergeant about four hours after she first called 911, Brown admitted she'd fabricated the whole incident.
Police learned she had a long history of mental-health problems and was under the care of a psychiatrist, court heard.
Brown's false allegation cost Saskatoon Fire and Protective Services about $7,000 — and that doesn't include the hours of work expended by a large number of police officers, Black told court.
Defence lawyer Michelle LeClair-Harding said Brown, now 22, has struggled with her mental health since she was a child and that, as a child, she was in and out of foster care and was exposed to physical, emotional and sexual abuse, as well as domestic violence.
At the time of the incident she was not taking medication and was going through a period of "teenage angst," LeClair-Harding said.
Judge Donna Scott accepted a joint recommendation from the Crown and defence to give Brown an 18-month suspended sentence, during which she will be on probation and must take any treatment or medication prescribed to her, and attend any programming ordered by her parole officer.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Over the years that I've been online, I've encountered all types and levels of feminists. There are earnest feminists, like I wrote about last time; I've had the most experience with them. There are the fanatical Dworkin wannabees; haven't had much personal dealings with these folks, though their writings are easily accessible online.
There are the ditzy-broad types, the squealy, over-grown girls who conceptualize feminism as just another part of the popular culture that's "in" -- like texting or Mad Men. These are women who have no inkling of the horrific damage feminism has done to western culture, male-female relationships, and the family, nor the danger it poses for the future. I am completely at a loss about how to deal with these girls.
But the most frustrating type of feminist I've ever encountered are male. They're not just dedicated feminists; they're also hard-core misandrists, and they're some of the most rigid, close-minded folks I've ever encountered. They are the fundamentalist extremists of the gender politics world. The required beliefs and attitudes are engraved in granite with them. Women are totally inmocent and never lie about rape, never falsely accuse. Men, enforcers and beneficiaries of patriarchy, are apt to rape and abuse without thought or conscience. We're steeped in a culture of rape; it's what men use to keep women in a state of fear; to keep her under his thumb, or his heel. Because for men, oppression of women is what it's all about.
On the rare occasions when women to do slip up and lie, steal, abuse their kids, cheat on their husbands or shoot somebody -- they aren't doing it because they're bad, the way men are. They're ill. Or they're disadvantaged. Or they've been pushed, usually by some man, to the point of desperation.
Most of these misandric fellows I've encountered are old enough to remember the second-wave days when bra-burning feminists marched arm in arm across the landscape with tie-dyed war protesters, dope smokers, campus in-sitters and sexual revolutionaries. They've got not just rape culture but the whole oppressed-women repertoire down pat. And it is absolutely pointless to reason with them.
They fluently spout the statistic that women make seventy-nine cents for every dollar a man makes, but go stone cold deaf when it's explained to them that women do seventy percent of the work men do. They decry the glass ceiling in the boardroom, but don't seem at all concerned that feminists leaders aren't jumping up and down to Title Nine mining, construction and logging, the most dangerous jobs in the job market, held almost exclusively by men. And they have no appreciation for the fact that ninety-three percent of workplace fatalities occur to men. So much for equality.
In the past, these fellows tell me, women attempted to break into some of these all-male bastions, but were met with such harassment -- peepholes drilled in restroom walls, for example -- that they gave up. Women are strong and capable; they can mine or timberjack, do anything a man can do. But they're too delicate to stick a wad of Bubble Yum over a peephole? Please.
Well, if working is such a trauma, why do feminists discourage women from homemaking? Because, these guys will tell you, stay-at-home wife-and-mothering -- cleaning, cooking, laundry -- is drudgery.
"Really?" I asked once. "Punching microwave buttons is drudgery?"
"Cleaning toilets is drudgery."
I'm astounded, and I wonder how dirty a male misandrist's toilet has to get before he cleans it. I mean, my gosh, a squirt of The Works, a swish of the brush, flush, you're all done. A career woman living alone would have to clean her own toilet unless she's rich enough to hire a maid. But when there's a husband and kid in the household, it suddenly becomes drudgery?
For women, marriage is slavery, these guys think. They're bought into the whole cockamamie, Betty Friedan, suburban concentration camp meme.To my way of thinking, in a traditional marriage, it's more likely for the man to be enslaved to a job to provide for a family. Of course, I don't think most men see it that way. Most of the men I've know see it as a responsibility, a facet of their masculine role and a way of demonstrating their love for their family.
Thus, if a man goes out to work -- sometimes to risk his life in a deadly profession -- in order to provide for his family, I don't think he's asking too much for his wife to keep the house clean, to take care of the kids, and share intimacy with him.
As long as she's asked, the male misandrist says. It's when it's expected, demanded, that it becomes slavery for women.
I'm not making this up. This is how hard core male misandric feminists think. Which is purely ridiculous, when you consider it. Certain expectations are in place as soon as the preacher says, "You may kiss the bride," that render most day-to-day "asking" unnecessary.
Do these misandrists really think a wife has to wake up every morning and ask, "Honey, would you mind going to work today and making money so we can buy something to eat?" And the husband has to ask, "Sure thing, babe. Would you mind cooking us some breakfast?" And if these things are not asked, the clinking sound you hear are leg-irons magically clamping around her ankles?
Where do these bizarre ideas come from? Traditional marriage is not slavery. A wife expecting a husband to take care of the family is not slavery; a husband expecting a wife to take care of the house and kids and share a sexual relationship with him is not slavery. Marriage where both husband and wife work outside the home and share housekeeping chores and child-rearing is not slavery, either.
Conversing with one of these fellows is sometimes like talking to two people at once. Women are slaves when they need them to be; strong when they need them to be. Women are timid, easily offended little violets when they need them to be, and brilliant and capable when they need them to be. It all depends on what case the misandric feminist male is trying to make. There's something about women and oppression they just can't shake loose from.
The best way to describe my encounters with these dudes is teeth-gnashing and hair-pulling (my own, yes). The only bright side of my experience with them is that there doesn't seem to be very many of them. The intellect and temperament of the majority of men, thank goodness, will not accomodate such nonsense.
*Connie is a member of the FRS team. Her weekly essays appear every Friday. Her personal blog is http://conniechastain.blogspot.com/
She was bailed to appear at Portsmouth Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, 4 August, a spokesman for Hampshire police confirmed.
It follows a police investigation into an allegation of rape in Portsmouth on Monday, 5 July.
Second article, and she is now named:
Nicola Osborne, of Winchester Road, Buckland, is accused of perverting the court of justice. The 31-year-old is alleged to have falsely claimed she was raped after being forced into a car in Fratton Road, Fratton, in the early hours of July 5.
A 26-year-old man arrested in connection with the allegation was later released without charge. Osborne was released on bail by Portsmouth magistrates to appear at Portsmouth Crown Court in December.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Sigh. How can we say this? The blogger is simply wrong, and that's not just my "opinion." We study this issue extensively and suspect we are qualified to assert, without fear of plausible contradiction, that this blogger got it exactly backwards.
Yesterday, we posted (yet again) about the prevalence of false rape claims, and have even added a permanent link on the right side of this page about it. We won't deal with that again in this post.
We've also written extensively about the tendency of the public to automatically believe even far-fetched allegations of rape without any supporting evidence beyond the accuser's say so. Does that blogger not know of America's painful history of overreacting to rape claims? It was such a problem at one time that one American President focused on it during his State of the Union Address. Has that blogger never heard of the countless innocent men falsely accused of rape who were hanged by vigilante mobs? While that issue is often couched in terms of racial strife, it is much more than that. This blog is replete with modern day instances of falsely accused men -- black and white and every color in between -- being chased, being beaten, and even being killed over what turned out to be a false rape claim.
This blog is also replete with examples of young men being arrested and jailed, sometimes with disastrous consequences for them, over rape charges that were out-and-out fabrications, and that could have been easily disproved with even modest investigation. (I am working on an extensive post about one such case -- the Hofstra false rape case -- for the upcoming first anniversary of that awful claim.) The fact is, law enforcement too often allows itself to be used as little more than muscle for rape liars. And the news media too often allows itself to be nothing more than stenographers for police, ever eager to boost its ratings with some good old fashioned rape hysteria.
But rape claims tend to be disbelieved? Seriously? The fact is, rape claimants are automatically wrapped in the garb of victimhood by the news media, and a gullible public eats up those stories and accepts them as fact -- because, after all, "it's in the newspaper." And make no mistake, rape accusers are wrapped in the garb of victimhood not just in subtle ways, but in blatant, almost over-the-top, ways. They are routinely referred to as "victims." It matters not at all to the Fourth Estate that if an accuser is a "victim," that means the man or boy she accused must be a rapist. Due process be damned.
Don't believe me? The following are from news stories published just today -- and it is only 8:30 am, Eastern Prevailing Time, here in the US:
How about this story: "Woodstock Police have made an arrest in the rape of a teenager last week. 20-year-old Edward Rogers has been charged with raping the teen at the Weatherstone subdivision off of Highway 92. 'It was pretty easy to track him down,' police spokeswoman Brittany Duncan tells WSB. 'They just followed up on a few leads concerning his whereabouts. They just interviewed the victim, then interviewed him.'" (Emphasis added.)
Or this headline: "Victim: Suspect claimed he had injured baby, then assaulted her."
Or this story: "POLICE are investigating the alleged rape of a teenage girl in a town-centre graveyard. . . . . The exact time of the attack is unclear because the 18-year-old victim did not dial 999 immediately, instead contacting a family member who alerted the police. The victim lives in Surrey and the matter was initially reported to officers there before being handed to Sussex Police at 3.55am. Police say the alleged attacker is known to the victim. A Crawley man, 24, was arrested at around 10am yesterday and was still being questioned by detectives as the News went to press yesterday afternoon. The victim, who is described as "extremely distressed", is helping police with the investigation. Officers remained on guard at the graveyard, near County Mall. Anyone with information on the alleged sex attack is asked to call police on 0845 60 70 999, quoting serial 180 of August 24."
Or this excerpt from a news story: "The trial of an Augusta rape suspect continued Tuesday with his final victim taking the stand."
Or this headline: "I accepted Lamptey-Mills’ sex offer, it was not rape – Victim."
Or this excerpt from a news story: "A Chattanooga man already facing a rape charges, has now been arrested for child rape. Edward Collins was arrested last week. The victim is a boy, who says Collins entered his bedroom and assaulted him from behind."
Or this excerpt from a news story: "An Indian national jailed for brutally raping a young university student used his victim to re-impose control over women, a court has heard."
Or this excerpt from a news story: ". . . The victim’s brother was working at Enterprise Rental in Wichita Kansas when he recognized Latham’s sister who rented a car from the business. He testified the sister told him where Latham lived and he called authorities. The victim is now 33-years-old and lives out of state. She took the stand today and testified Latham started molesting her during the first week he moved into their house when she was five-years-old."
Or this excerpt from a news story: "A 25-year-old air hostess has accused her boyfriend of raping her. A complaint in this regard was registered at the Sarkhej police station late on Tuesday night by the victim. . . . According to the victim, she used to study in an institute to prepare for her dream job — becoming an air hostess. Later, she also had taught at the same institute."
Depressed yet? Need I go on searching for more stories? In the court of last resort -- our daily newspapers -- the rape trial is over even before it has begun. The unnamed rape accuser is a "victim," the readily identified man or boy she accused must be a rapist, and bloggers feel perfectly justified insisting that this incontrovertible fact just isn't so. Just another day in our False Rape Society.
Police now say a woman's complaint about a sexual assault by a stranger was false.
Shortly after 1 a.m., Thursday police said the woman said she was walking on Egerton St. near Cameron St. when she was assaulted by a man and dragged into a laneway on Cameron St. just south of Hamilton Rd. and sexually assaulted.
The suspect was last seen running west on Cameron St.
The victim managed to flag down a passing police cruiser to get help.
But police said further investigation revealed "the report was determined to be unfounded and there will be no further police investigation."
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
"It certainly appears that the case was handled poorly, but there is a whole lot we still don't know. Here's what I do know: Regardless of the validity of the specific claims against Assange, high-profile prosecutorial reversals and fumbles like this are a disservice to victims of sexual assault. They help perpetuate a distorted sense of the frequency of false accusations and contribute to the view of rape claims as a tool used to manipulate and destroy men. Ultimately, cases like this discourage victims from coming forward and only make it harder for women with legitimate claims of sexual assault to be taken seriously by police, prosecutors and the general public."
First, "high-profile prosecutorial reversals and fumbles like this" surely do a disservice to victims of sexual assault, but they do a much greater disservice to victims of false rape claims.
Second, claims such as this do not "help perpetuate a distorted sense of the frequency of false accusations" because false accusations are far more common than Salon is willing to tell its readers. It is astounding that we must continually explain how the persons who dominate the public discourse about rape are spreading myths, half-truths, and outright lies when it comes to the prevalence of false rape claims. See here. What is most galling is that publications such as Salon posit such assertions as if they were a given, suggesting that any contrary view can only be -- oh, no! Misogyny! Heaven forbid that facts should get in the way of a good feminist victim metanarrative.
Third, if cases like this "contribute to the view of rape claims as a tool used to manipulate and destroy men," that is because far too often rape claims are used precisely in this manner. Salon's writers would do well to spend several weeks reading through the true-life false rape cases and objective materials posted on this Web site before they spread any more half-truths.
Debra Ann Tawes of Smith Street was convicted of giving a false statement to officers on Tuesday. She was sentenced to the maximum penalty allowed under state law for the misdemeanor charge.
"We're going to take false allegations seriously," said Jamie Dykes, the prosecutor. "The integrity of our system depends on that."
Tawes was taken into police custody in February after police issued a warrant for her arrest on obstructing and hindering, giving a false statement to an officer and contributing to the condition of a child (causing or encouraging a child to participate in a crime), according to court records.
The warrant was issued after city police were dispatched to Smith Street on Jan. 12 in response to a domestic disturbance, according to the state's attorneys office.
While officers were at the residence, Tawes told officers that her three-year-old daughter had reported she was sexually molested by a male roommate, according to charging documents. Officers contacted the Child Advocacy Center and Department of Social Services personnel who in turn interviewed the alleged victim and suspect.
The child was removed from the home and placed with family members as part of a voluntary "safety plan" after the interviews.
Investigators became suspicious that Tawes had influenced the child after investigators interviewed the alleged victim a second time on Jan. 15. The child's statements during the interview were inconsistent with her initial report, according to charging documents.
When confronted by investigators the same day, Tawes admitted she told the girl to lie even though the roommate did not touch her, according to charging documents.
"Tawes said this was a result of an argument she had with Lynch on Jan. 12," wrote Det. J. Seichepine in charging documents.
She told investigators she was angry with the alleged suspect because he had "interjected into to an argument" she had with her sister.
Tawes' 3-year-old daughter remains in the care of relatives, according to the state's attorneys office.
Monday, August 23, 2010
The following headline in the news today in a very subtle way trivializes false rape claims where the charges are quickly dropped: "False rape claim haunts WikiLeaks boss – for a few hours" (read the entire story here)
The headline seems to suggest that the harm to the falsely accused man only lasted just a short time. And I suppose we can all have a good laugh now that it's over, right?
Often, that's wrong. A false rape claim can be so terribly traumatic that even if charges only hung over the affected male's head for a few hours, the trauma, not to mention the stain of the falsehood on the man's reputation, lasts forever.
It is also well to remember that once unleashed, a false rape claim is akin to a tornado. It is capable of doing terribly destructive harm with incredible rapidity. Men and boys have been killed and have killed themselves over brand new false rape claims.
And since we see fit to measure a false rape claim's severity based on how long charges are permitted to linger, tell me, why don't we use a similar measure when we're talking about actual rape? You can bet your left testicle we will never see a headline that says the following: "Rape haunts woman -- for just a couple of minutes."
Nineteen-year-old Jade Brooks, who has recently given birth, broke down in tears at being separated from her baby daughter and was taken into custody still protesting her innocence.
Brooks, of Sherborne Road, Bury St Edmunds, had denied a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice by making a false rape claim in July 2008 but was found guilty by a jury after a trial at Ipswich Crown Court in May when she was heavily pregnant.
The case was adjourned until yesterday for a pre-sentence report and to allow her to recover from giving birth.
Sentencing Brooks to 15 months detention in a young offenders’ institution, of which she will have to serve half, Judge David Goodin said that as a result of her making a “wicked” false rape claim an innocent man had been arrested and spent a number of hours at a police station.
During that time he had been subjected to an intimate examination by a doctor, interviewed under caution and following his release on bail had the matter hanging over him until he was told by police a couple of months later that no further action would be taken against him.
Judge Goodin said that as well as the damage to the wrongfully arrested suspect false rape claims did a huge disservice to women who were genuine victims of rape.
During the trial the court heard that Brooks was seen kissing and cuddling the teenager she later accused of raping her.
One of Brooks’ friends said that before disappearing into bushes in Haverhill, Brooks had allowed him to touch her breasts and had not seemed uncomfortable with what was going on.
The witness said that Brooks had been tipsy, but not drunk, and there hadn’t been any screams, cries for help or raised voices during the time Brooks was alone with the man in the bushes.
The same witness said that later the same evening she had gone with Brooks and the 18-year-old man to a house in Duddery Road, Haverhill, and claimed she had seen Brooks perform a sex act on him.
The court heard that after complaining to police that she had been raped she had subsequently refused to be video-interviewed about the allegation and the man was told he wouldn’t be prosecuted.
Shereen Dyer, for Brooks, said her client accepted the jury’s verdict but stood by her version of events which was that she had been telling the truth.Miss Dyer urged the court to consider passing a suspended sentence on Brooks because of the damaging effect an immediate sentence would have on her and her baby.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
We don't know the full story behind the murky Wikileaks rape claim that initially saw Swedish prosecutors issue an arrest warrant for Australian whistleblower Julian Assangelate on Friday night only to withdrew it the following day. For example, no one is using the word "false" in connection with the rape claim, but it seems unlikely that prosecutors simply decided not to press rape charges based on a determination that it couldn't prevail at trial, or even based on the women's decision not to cooperate. Not that quickly.
Assange said in an interview published on Sunday that he believes the Pentagon could be behind the rape accusation. He said that he had been warned previously that groups such as the Pentagon "could use dirty tricks" to destroy Wikileaks -- adding that he had been particularly warned against being entrapped by sexual scandals.
Read the story here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100822/en_afp/swedencrimeintelligenceinternetwikileaks_11
Friday, August 20, 2010
Back in June, Dr. Snark posted a masterful essay titled, "How Long Can They Pin It On 'Fringe Radicals'?" If you missed it, follow this link. If you read it before, it's worth reading again.
It begins with the claim of earnest feminists, that they "don't hate men at all, and that those so-called feminists who do hate men are not really feminists at all, and that we've just got it all wrong."
I've butted heads with earnest feminists making these claims for years, in discussion groups and chat rooms online, and a few times in person. I note that in-person, face-to-face headbutting is usually much more civil, even polite, than what happens online; but feminist minds seem to be equally closed and concrete-hard, regardless of where the discussion transpires.
Earny-fems not only deny that man-hating feminists are not real feminists; they deny the many ways feminist man-hating manifests in our culture.
A couple of years ago, I had a some lively discussions about a Newsweek article by feminist Carol Gilligan claiming that studying girls can teach us about boys.
In making her case that boys can "read the human world astutely" she claims that boys, to avoid "compromising masculinity," often repudiate their "human qualities" (i.e., emotional openness, sensitivity and connectedness). She illustrates this with an anecdote about little Sam.
Four-year-old Sam asked his mother one day, "Mommy, why are you sad?" Wanting to shield him from her sadness, she replied, "I'm not sad." Sam said, "Mommy, I know you. I was inside you."
Well, I told the folks in my discussion group that this was a bunch of hooey. Utter shuck. Made. Up.
A four-year-old -- girl or boy -- would not make that kind of abstract connection, I explained. Little Sam would know his mommy was sad because she had a sad expression on her face, or because she was crying. Most kids that young would associate "being inside" someone with being devoured, a terrifying concept which does not fit with emotional openness, sensitivity and connectedness.
The outcry produced in the group was a marvelous illustration of the traversing of feminist tangents. Did I think four-year-olds don't know where babies come from? (Some of them do, but that wasn't the point.) It's because I've never had kids that I don't know what four-year-olds think. (If you have to personally experience something in order to discuss it, a great many people in that group would have to forego commenting on their favorite subjects.)
The one I liked best, though, from one of the most earnest, self-proclaimed feminists in the group, was that nobody ever heard of Carol Gilligan, so how much influence could she have?
Well, Carol Gilligan, for those who don't know, almost single-handedly started the process of making elementary and secondary education in the USA hostile to the way boys learn. You can read about it here:
This, of course, is another point of denial for earnest feminists. The schools aren't hostile to the way boys learn, they claim. They've just stopped being hostile to the ways girls learn, and the girls are catching up -- nay, surpassing -- boys.
And this defense of feminism frequently comes from women who say they have sons. Gilligan starts her article noting that she has three of them.
Regardless of how earnest feminists choose to see it, feminism is shot through with manhating. If education truly was hostile to the way little girls learn, the remedy would have been to make it accomodating of them without harming boys. The fact that the road chosen included hostility not only to the way boys learn, but to boys themselves, has now resulted in an educational boy-crisis that is difficult for even feminists to deny.
And how many folks believe that Title Nining college sports would have been so popular among certain cirles if it had only made sports equally available to female students? No, it is the eradication of so many male sports that rouse feminists to a fist-pumping "Yes!"
I could go on, but that should illustrate it well enough. What underlies so much of the feminist push to change culture in the guise of helping women is really a hostilility to men, the same hostility that creates hysteria over an imaginary "rape culture" and that equates a man accused of rape with "perpetrator" and the accuser with "victim," before it has even been determined that rape occurred.
Earnest feminists can deny it all they wish but misandry is an integral and visible component of feminism.
*Connie is a member of the FRS team. Her weekly essays appear every Friday. Her personal blog is http://conniechastain.blogspot.com/
A woman who lied about being raped to "teach a friend a lesson" has been jailed for three years.
Leyla Ibrahim, 22, had been in Carlisle city centre on 4 January when a friend refused to lend her money for a taxi home, the city's crown court heard.
She then gave herself a black eye, cut her hair and ripped her clothes to make it look like she had been attacked.
Ibrahim, of Deer Park Road, Stanwix, was found guilty of perverting the course of justice last month.Scant resources
Judge Paul Batty said Ibrahim was dishonest from "first to last" as her false claim sparked a £150,000 police investigation and led to the arrest of four innocent men.
The petrol station attendant claimed she was attacked by two youths while walking home.
Photofits were put up and four men were arrested. One man described his ordeal in detention as "torture" while another attempted self harm, the court heard.
But doubts soon emerged about Ibrahim's account when a pair of scissors carrying only fibres of her own clothing were found.
Sentencing Ibrahim, who is seven months' pregnant, Judge Batty, said: "This is a serious offence. It damages the administration of justice in an extremely sensitive area.
"Every false allegation of rape worsens the plight of those women who have been the victim of such a dreadful crime and makes it harder to prove when a crime really has taken place.
"Your behaviour throughout these proceedings has been irresponsible in the extreme and many would say wicked.
"You diverted the scant resources of police who looked for the supposed attackers."
A Cumbria Police spokesman urged genuine victims not to be put off by the case and report attacks.
He said: "It's important that victims who want to report sexual assaults or rapes still come to police.
"We are there, we will support you, we will believe you and at the end of the day we will investigate thoroughly your complaint."
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Among many other informal rules of the modern news media when it comes to its coverage of rape is this: if there are dueling claims of rape and false reporting of rape, assume a rape occurred. One of the best ways to do that is to make sure you continually refer to the rape accuser as the "victim."
This particular news report concerns an investigation by a Sheriff's department into dueling claims of sexual assault and false informing about an alleged rape involving a male and a female inmate at a county jail. The Sheriff concluded that no charges would be filed against either inmate because "no crime has been committed that can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt."
That result is fairly typical. But the Kokomo Perspective won't let the matter rest. First, it suggest that the female prisoner, who was isolated from the rest of the female prison population in lock-down for reasons unknown, was permitted to be in a shower around male convicts without a guard present in violation of jail policy.
So what could this purported violation of jail policy mean? Well, based on the two persons interviewed by the Kokomo Perspective, the mother and the cell mate of the "victim," it means a rape occurred.
The mother believes that the jail is not pursuing the "victim's" rape charge because it is attempting to cover up its own negligence in leaving a naked female prisoner unattended with -- gulp -- naked male prisoners. Neither of the persons interviewed have first-hand knowledge about what happened in the shower. The only evidence of the alleged rape is the say-so of the female prisoner.
Among other things, the mother said this: "[Major] Steven Rogers told me that, yes, this child was raped. They did a rape kit at St. Joseph Hospital, and there was penetration.” In fact, the news article corrects the mother: Rogers said that what he told the mother about the rape kit “indicated that she had sex.”
And that sums up the problem with the article. Instead of merely exploring whether the jail breached a policy to keep male and female inmates separate, the article seems intent on suggesting -- through extended quotations of intimates of the "victim" -- that the jail breached such a policy and that this breach allowed a rape to occur.
The article never seems to consider the possibility that if the jail breached a policy to keep male and female inmates separate, such breach more likely resulted in consensual sex. I suspect that one of the purposes underlying the policy to keep naked male and female prisoners separate is to insure that they won't engage in consensual sex because, for a variety of reasons, that's not what society wants prisoners doing in jail.
Consensual sex is, of course, far, far more common than rape, but why let that fact get in the way of a good rape story? Let us be honest, consensual sex doesn't sell newspapers the way rape does. There's no conflict; no customary male villain; no female damsel in distress victimized by a male-dominated law enforcement apparatus; nothing to get the readers' blood boiling.
The journalistic decision to suggest that a rape occurred by playing up the rape angle rather than merely focusing on the alleged breach of the jail policy highlights a common failing when it comes to news reporting about rape. One of the best ways to play up the rape angle is to make sure you let your readers know that you think the rape accuser is the "victim." How do you do that? Why bother being subtle? If you want people to think the accuser was raped, go ahead and just call her the "victim." This article does that not once, or even twice, but seven times. That's right: seven times.
How many times must we say this? By labeling the accuser the "victim" despite the fact that there are dueling charges of rape and false reporting that, the Sheriff has concluded, do not warrant charges, the newspaper has impliedly rushed to judgment and declared the rape accuser's allegation to be factual and the male's version of the facts to be a lie.
Such a description also does a grave disservice to the readers of the Kokomo Perspective who are entitled to accurate reporting but receive something less than that when the paper transforms a rape accuser into a "victim."
JENNINGS, La. (AP) - A former Lake Arthur woman has been sentenced for filing a false police report after she admitted to making up separate rape and armed-robbery claims in Jefferson Davis Parish.
The American Press reports 43-year-old Jenny Thibodeaux of Pierre Part was placed on two years of supervised probation.
Conditions of the probation include serving one year in the parish jail with credit for time served in an inpatient and outpatient treatment facility for gambling and self-esteem.
The charges resulted from her alleged false complaint of a rape in Jennings in November 2008 and an alleged false complaint of armed robbery, which she said occurred 10 months earlier.
Thibodeaux claimed she was the victim of both crimes, which officers spent months investigating.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Astounding: Second Circuit of Appeals says there's a 'reasonable likelihood' that a man was wrongfully convicted of sex crimes, but refuses to upset the conviction
In immediate response to the Second Circuit's decision, "a team of prosecutors and a panel of law enforcement, legal and social science experts are being assembled to reinvestigate the case of a man convicted in 1988 of sexually abusing children, according to a statement issued on Tuesday by the Nassau County District Attorney's office. . . . The announcement to reopen the case comes in response to a federal appeals court decision that suggested prosecutors had an 'ethical obligation' to reopen the 1988 child molestation case of Friedman." http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/08/17/child.molestation.case.reopened/?hpt=T2
Here are the facts as outlined in the actual opinion of the Second Circuit, gleaned from the court record and evidence uncovered after the guilty plea:
In 1982, Arnold Friedman, a retired school teacher, began teaching computer classes to children in his family's home in Great Neck, New York. In September 1984, Arnold asked his 15-year-old son, Jesse Friedman, to assist him in teaching classes. Jesse did this until September 1987, when he left to attend college. After a customs agent intercepted a package containing child pornography addressed to Arnold Friedman, federal agents obtained a list of names of eighty-one students enrolled in Arnold Friedman's computer classes. Detective teams interviewed the students about possible abuse. On November 25, 1987, Arnold Friedman and Jesse Friedman were arrested on a felony complaint alleging child sexual abuse. Between December 1987 and November 1988, Jesse was charged with two hundred and forty-three counts of sexual abuse including allegations from fourteen boys ranging in age from eight to twelve years old. Prosecutors had no physical evidence and relied entirely on allegations made by students. No student had ever complained of abuse, nor had any parent ever observed suspicious behavior, prior to the investigation. Assistant District Attorney Onorato acknowledged that "there was a dearth of physical evidence."
According to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals: "The Nassau County Police Department never produced transcripts, recordings, or videotapes of the student interviews that preceded the indictments. Moreover, because Arnold Friedman and [Jesse Friedman] ultimately pled guilty, the circumstances surrounding the interviews were not explored at trial. Some former students and their parents, however, recall with great consistency that detectives employed aggressive and suggestive questioning techniques to gain statements from children who had attended Arnold Friedman's computer classes. Detectives generally entered an interview with a presumption that a child had been abused and refused to accept denials of abuse. If a child denied being the victim of abuse on a first visit, detectives would often visit the child repeatedly for followup interviews, each lasting as long as four hours, until the child admitted abuse. In one case, detectives visited a child fifteen times and assured the child's mother before the final visit that they were going to stay 'as long as it takes.'" (Emphasis added.)
Moreover: "detectives would often tell children that Arnold Friedman or petitioner had already admitted molesting them or that other students had claimed to have observed them being molested." And: "The detectives would reward cooperative children with "pizza parties" and police badges. When children did not admit to experiencing sexual abuse, however, detectives would persist in their questioning, sometimes taunting the children for failing to offer the desired answers. The tactics were so aggressive that several former students admit that they responded to them by falsely alleging instances of abuse. Although these children were aware that they were lying to the detectives, they ultimately surrendered to the pressure and "remembered" instances of abuse just to "get [the detectives] off [their] back[s]." And: "The allegations also grew increasingly bizarre, sadistic, and even logistically implausible. For example, [one] indictment described several group molestation exercises, including 'Leap Frog,' in which Arnold Friedman and [Jesse Friedman] allegedly sodomized an entire class of naked boys by 'leaping' from one to the next." And: "[A]n anonymous student, described as the source of thirty-five sodomy counts, claim[ed] he was subjected to hypnosis prior to recalling abuse. According to the anonymous student, . . . he did not recall any sexual abuse until after he went through hypnosis . . . ."
Is it at all surprising that Jesse Friedman pled guilty? The "already hostile atmosphere . . . made a fair trial impossible." So "he made up the story about his father molesting him as a child because he believed it might insulate him from attacks in prison and might persuade Judge Boklan to ask the parole board for leniency on his behalf."
Jesse Friedman now claims that much evidence tending to show that the charges against him were fabricated was withheld from him before he entered his guilty plea; specifically, that (1) some eyewitnesses had initially denied sexual abuse, (2) detectives used interrogation methods known for eliciting false accusations, and (3) at least one suggestive memory recovery tactic—hypnosis—was used to induce memory recall.
The Second Circuit denied Jesse Friedman's petition because he failed to file a habeas petition within one year of the date he learned evidence had been withheld. Additionally, under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 and the judicial decisions interpreting it, the failure to disclose impeachment information prior to a guilty plea does not violate the Due Process Clause. According to the court: "While the Supreme Court [has] acknowledged that 'the more information the defendant has, the more aware he is of the likely consequences of a plea, waiver, or decision, and the wiser that decision will likely be,' it held that 'the Constitution does not require the prosecutor to share all useful information with the defendant.'"
The Second Circuit's decision was disappointing, but the court proceeded to write at considerable length about the likelihood that an innocent man was convicted. We will reproduce the entirety of that discussion after the jump:
From FRIEDMAN v. REHAL, United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, August 16, 2010:
While the law may require us to deny relief in this case, it does not compel us to do so without voicing some concern regarding the process by which the petitioner's conviction was obtained. The magnitude of the allegations against petitioner must be viewed in the context of the late-1980's and early-1990's, a period in which allegations of outrageously bizarre and often ritualistic child abuse spread like wildfire across the country and garnered world-wide media attention. See, e.g., Susan Bandes, The Lessons of Capturing the Friedmans: Moral Panic, Institutional Denial and Due Process, 3 Law Culture & Human. 293, 294 (2007) (noting that the accusations against Arnold and Jesse Friedman arose at "a time at which concern about day care sexual abuse had reached a fever pitch both in the United States and abroad"). The media sensationalized these allegations, generating a national perception that sex rings were widespread and had infiltrated average communities. See, e.g., Devil Worship: Exposing Satan's Underground, Geraldo Rivera (NBC television broadcast Oct. 28, 1988).
Vast moral panic fueled a series of highly-questionable child sex abuse prosecutions.[ 8 ] See Samuel P. Gross, Exonerations in the United States 1989 through 2003, 95 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 523, 539-40 (2005). See generally Dorothy Rabinowitz, No Crueler Tyrannies: Accusation, False Witness, and Other Terrors of Our Times (2003). By 1991, for example, 25 percent of prosecutors had handled at least one case involving satanic abuse. See Elizabeth F. Loftus & Deborah Davis, Recovered Memories, 2 Annu. Rev. Clin. Psychol. 469, 477 (2006). Although many of these cases included "fantastical accusations," such as those of satanic abuse—a strand of accusations which has been discredited entirely—others involved allegations of real and serious crimes committed in an impossible manner. Bandes, supra, at 301. In the Fells Acre case, for example, Gerald Amiraults, a member of a family which owned the Fells Acre pre-school, allegedly "plunged a wide-blade butcher knife into the rectum of a 4-year-old boy, which he then had trouble removing." Dorothy Rabinowitz, Martha Coakley's Convictions, Wall St. J., Jan. 15, 2010, at A19. According to a child witness, a teacher in the school saw Amiraults with the knife, asked what he was doing, and then told him not to do it again. "On this testimony, Gerald was convicted of a rape which had, miraculously, left no mark or other injury." Id.
Overall, at least seventy-two individuals were convicted in nearly a dozen major child sex abuse and satanic ritual prosecutions between 1984 and 1995, although almost all the convictions have since been reversed. See Gross, supra, at 540 & n.40. Some defendants, fearing trial, pled guilty or "no contest" to impossible acts of ritualistic abuse, and in some cases they provided detailed confessions in exchange for immunity or generous plea bargains. See Debbie Nathan & Michael Snedeker, Satan's Silence: Ritual Abuse and the Making of a Modern American Witch Hunt 160-77 (1995). Many have described these widespread prosecutions as a modern-day "witch hunt." See generally, e.g., Richard Guilliatt, Talk of the Devil: Repressed Memories and the Ritual Abuse Witch-Hunt (1996); Nathan & Snedeker, supra; Elizabeth Loftus & Katherine Ketcham, The Myth of Repressed Memory: False Memories and Allegations of Sexual Abuse (1994); Richard A. Gardner, Sex Abuse Hysteria: Salem Witch Trials Revisited (1992).
These prosecutions were largely based on memories that alleged victims "recovered" through suggestive memory recovery tactics, including those petitioner claims were used in this case. Indeed, the dramatic increase in conspiratorial charges of child sexual abuse has been traced to a relatively small group of clinical psychologists who supported the psychoanalytic notion of "repressed memories" and encouraged patients to employ extensive "memory recovery procedures" to "break through the barrier of repression and bring memories into conscious awareness." Loftus & Davis, supra, at 470-71, 483-86; see also Kamala London et al., Disclosure of Child Sexual Abuse: What Does the Research Tell Us About the Ways Children Tell?, 11 Psychol. Pub. Pol. & L. 194, 213 (2005). Popular memory recovery procedures included hypnosis, age regression, dream interpretation, guided abuse-related imagery, use of photographs to trigger memories, journaling, and interpretation of symptoms as implicit memories. Loftus & Davis, supra, at 483-84. These procedures and others commonly employed have great potential to induce false memories. See id. at 484. Hypnosis, for example, has been shown to produce bizarre and impossible memories, including memories of ritualistic satanic abuse, memories from early infancy, memories from past lives, and memories from the future. Id.; see also Rock v. Arkansas, 483 U.S. 44, 59-61 (1987); Borawick v. Shay, 68 F.3d 597, 603-04 (2d Cir. 1995). The prevailing view is that the vast majority of traumatic memories that are recovered through the use of suggestive recovery procedures are false, and that almost all—if not all—of the recovered memories of horrific abuse from the late-1980's and early-1990's were false. See id. at 477.
Moreover, many highly-publicized and large-scale investigations into alleged child abuse conspiracies were also accompanied by a variety of interviewing techniques designed to assist children in recalling abuse—techniques which an extensive body of research suggests can induce false reports. See, e.g., Sena Garven et al., More Than Suggestion: The Effect of Interviewing Techniques From the McMartin Preschool Case, 83 J. Applied Psychol. 347, 347 (1998). Garven et al. describes a "package" of techniques that, although based on a different highly-publicized 1980's abuse case,[ 9 ] are remarkably similar to the techniques employed in petitioner's case. The package included (1) "Suggestive Questions," (2) "Other People" (telling the child that the interviewer has already received information from other people regarding the topics of the interview), (3) "Positive and Negative Consequences" (responding positively to accusations of abuse and negatively to denials of abuse), (4) "Asked-and-Answered" (re-asking a child a question he or she has already unambiguously answered), and (5) "Inviting Speculation."[ 10 ] Id. at 348-50.
Scholars have suggested that each interviewing technique can induce false reports on its own. For example, they cite research which indicates that children often change their answer when asked the same question more than once during an interview, either because they assume that the first answer was incorrect or because they would like to please the adult interviewer. See Thomas D. Lyon, Applying Suggestibility Research to the Real World: The Case of Repeated Questions, 65 Law & Contemp. Probs. 97, 106 (2002). But the techniques have their greatest impact in combination. Garven et al. examined the effect of the "package" of techniques described above on false allegations of wrongdoing compared with suggestive questioning alone. See Garven et al., supra, at 350. They found that children exposed to the package of techniques falsely alleged wrongdoing over three times as often (58 percent of the time, compared to 17 percent of the time). Id. at 354. This error rate of nearly 60 percent occurred after less than five minutes of exposure to the combined techniques. Id. Though the study examined children who were somewhat younger than the complainants in petitioner's case, see id. at 350, the results are instructive as to the general dangers of suggestive interviewing techniques.
Finally, once individuals "recovered" memories of abuse or otherwise labeled themselves victims of abuse, they were generally encouraged to participate in various activities on an individual and community level to reinforce and develop existing memories of abuse. Loftus & Davis, supra, at 483. There, proponents of recovered memories advised alleged victims to expand on existing memories through suggestive memory recovery procedures (both in and out of therapy), participation in survivor groups, and solicitation of consistent information from others, "all with significant potential both to bias construction of historical narratives and to lead to confabulation of false memories." Id. When allegations of abuse span an entire community, these activities can provide an outlet for community reinforcement—an outlet which can strengthen survivor identities and foster the collective growth of increasingly inaccurate memories. See id.
When viewed in its proper historical context, petitioner's case appears as merely one example of what was then a significant national trend. This was a "heater case"—the type of "high profile case" in which "tremendous emotion is generated by the public." Bandes, supra, at 310. In heater cases, the criminal process often fails:
Emotions like fear, outrage, anger and disgust, in situations like these, are entirely human. The question is what the legal system can do to correct for the excesses to which they lead. The crux of the moral panic dynamic is that the legal system, in such cases, does not correct for them. It gets swept up in them instead.
Id. at 312. The record in this case suggests this is precisely the moral panic that swept up Nassau County law enforcement officers. Perhaps because they were certain of Arnold Friedman and petitioner's guilt, they were unfazed by the lack of physical evidence, and they may have felt comfortable cutting corners in their investigation. After all, "[t]horoughness is a frequent casualty of such cases." Id. at 309. The actions of the prosecution are also troubling. In representing the sovereign, a prosecutor is a "servant of the law, the twofold aim of which is that guilt shall not escape or innocence suffer." Berger v. United States, 295 U.S. 78, 88 (1935). "[W]hile [a prosecutor] may strike hard blows, he is not at liberty to strike foul ones. It is as much his duty to refrain from improper methods calculated to produce a wrongful conviction as it is to use every legitimate means to bring about a just one." Id. Thus, prosecutors have an obligation to curb police overzealousness. In this case, instead of acting to neutralize the moral panic, the prosecution allowed itself to get swept up in it.
Petitioner has come forward with substantial evidence that flawed interviewing techniques were used to produce a flood of allegations, which the then-District Attorney of Nassau County wrung into over two hundred claims of child sexual abuse against petitioner. Petitioner never had an opportunity to explore how the evidence against him was obtained. On the contrary, the police, prosecutors, and the judge did everything they could to coerce a guilty plea and avoid a trial. Thus, with the number of counts in the indictments and Judge Boklan's threat to impose the highest conceivable sentence for each charge, petitioner faced a virtually certain life sentence if he was convicted at trial. And the likelihood that any jury pool would be tainted seemed to ensure that petitioner would be convicted if he went to trial, regardless of his guilt or innocence. Nor could he have reasonably expected to receive a fair trial from Judge Boklan, the former head of the Nassau County District Attorney's Sex Crime Unit, who admitted that she never had any doubt of the defendant's guilt even before she heard any of the evidence or the means by which it was obtained. Even if innocent, petitioner may well have pled guilty.
As such, this case is unlike other appeals which raise concerns about the quality of the evidence and the guilt of the defendant. In those appeals, we defer to the judgment of the jury after the defendant has received a fair trial. We take comfort in "[t]he established safeguards of the Anglo-American legal system [which] leave the veracity of a witness to be tested by cross-examination, and the credibility of his testimony to be determined by a properly instructed jury." Hoffa v. United States, 385 U.S. 293, 311 (1966). In this case, the quality of the evidence was extraordinarily suspect and never subjected to vigorous cross-examination or the judgment of a properly instructed jury.
Judge Friendly observed in his seminal essay on habeas corpus that, "[a] remedy that produces no result in the overwhelming majority of cases,... an unjust one to the state in much of the exceedingly small minority, and a truly good one only rarely, would seem to need consideration with a view to caring for the unusual case of the innocent man without being burdened by so much dross in the process." See Henry J. Friendly, Is Innocence Irrelevant? Collateral Attack on Criminal Judgements, 38 U. Chi. L. Rev. 142, 148 (1970) (footnote omitted). The Supreme Court has not finally resolved the issue of whether there is a federal Constitutional right to be released upon proof of actual innocence. As Chief Justice Roberts recently observed, "Whether such a federal right exists is an open question. We have struggled with it over the years, in some cases assuming, arguendo, that it exists while also noting the difficult questions such a right would pose and the high standard any claimant would have to meet." District Attorney's Office v. Osborne, 129 S. Ct. 2309, 2321 (2009) (citations omitted).
Nevertheless, even if we also assumed that such a federal right exists, and that petitioner could meet the "high standard any claimant would have to meet" to obtain relief, we could not reach that issue here. This is so because petitioner has not exhausted that claim in the New York State courts even though the New York cases suggest that relief on this basis may be available pursuant to N.Y. Crim. P. § 441.10(1)(h). See, e.g., People v. Day, 26 Misc. 3d 1205(A), 2009 WL 5191433, *13 (N.Y. County Ct. Dec. 31, 2009); People v. Bermudez, No. 8759/91, 2009 WL 3823270, *22 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Nov. 9, 2009); People v. Wheeler-Whichard, 884 N.Y.S.2d 304, 313 (Sup. Ct. 2009); People v. Bozella, 25 Misc. 3d 1215(a), 2009 WL 3364575, *16 (N.Y. County Ct. Oct. 14, 2009); People v. Cole, 766 N.Y.S.2d 477, 484-85 (Sup. Ct. 2003). Considering the facts of the case and the circumstances that caused him to plead guilty, this case may be one in which the New York courts may be particularly sympathetic to a proceeding seeking such relief.
The focus on the impediment to legal relief, however, should not obscure the continuing ethical obligation of the District Attorney to seek justice. We refer here especially to New York Rules of Professional Conduct 3.8, Comment 6B, which explains that "[t]he prosecutor's duty to seek justice has traditionally been understood not only to require the prosecutor to take precautions to avoid convicting innocent individuals, but also to require the prosecutor to take reasonable remedial measures when it appears likely that an innocent person was wrongly convicted." N.Y. Rules Prof'l Conduct 3.8, cmt. 6B. In language particularly pertinent here, the Comment goes on to say:
[W]hen a prosecutor comes to know of new and material evidence creating a reasonable likelihood that a person was wrongly convicted, the prosecutor should examine the evidence and undertake such further inquiry or investigation as may be necessary to determine whether the conviction was wrongful. The scope of the inquiry will depend on the circumstances. In some cases, the prosecutor may recognize the need to reinvestigate the underlying case; in others, it may be appropriate to await development of the record in collateral proceedings initiated by the defendant. The nature of the inquiry or investigation should be such as to provide a "reasonable belief"... that the conviction should or should not be set aside.
The record here suggests "a reasonable likelihood" that Jesse Friedman was wrongfully convicted. The "new and material evidence" in this case is the post-conviction consensus within the social science community that suggestive memory recovery tactics can create false memories and that aggressive investigation techniques like those employed in petitioner's case can induce false reports. Indeed, it is not even clear from the record that Assistant District Attorney Onorato was aware of the suggestive questioning techniques that were used by the Nassau County police.[ 11 ] More importantly, the record does not speak to whether the then—District Attorney of Nassau County, whose principal role was administering and overseeing the activities of one of the largest such offices in the United States,[ 12 ] was aware of the techniques used by the Nassau County detectives, who were not members of his staff.
Only a reinvestigation of the underlying case or the development of a complete record in a collateral proceeding can provide a basis for determining whether petitioner's conviction should be set aside. We hope that, even if she continues to oppose relief in collateral legal proceedings, the current Nassau County District Attorney, who was not responsible for the investigation and prosecution of Jesse Friedman, will undertake the kind of complete review of the underlying case suggested in the Comment to Rule 3.8.
False rape liar gets 15 months for trying to destroy 19-year-old man; her attorney plays the 'mother card'
But other aspects of the case are sadly typical. First, fifteen months is not long enough (although much longer than most false rape accusers get -- most such claims are not even charged).
Second, the defense counsel "stressed that her client was not aware of the enormity of her actions . . . ." http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/8319709.Jail_for_mum_who_cried_rape/ Excuse me, but she didn't realize that accusing a man of rape could send him to prison for many years? Puh-lease! I think it's probably more accurate to say that she didn't give it a thought. I think it's more likely that to her, this young male was just a prop to be used to hide what she'd done. And to cavalierly do that to another human being -- a flesh-and-blood young man, barely more than a boy, who has hopes and dreams and fears and presumably people who love him -- is despicable beyond words.
Third, defense counsel played the mother card: “She accepts her crime deserves a prison sentence, but it also punishes her children and will have a devastating impact on them.” See here It is true, the children are being punished -- by their mother, and her mother, alone. And how many men have been falsely imprisoned for rapes they didn't commit only to leave children and wives and parents behind? Those innocents are also victims of false rape claims, but no one seems to care about them. Well, I hear from them here at FRS. Their stories are almost always heart-wrenching. The difference is that the man who is falsely accused has no power to prevent it; Cheryl Moss did.
HERE ARE THE NEWS STORIES -- AFTER THE JUMP:
Warning after Bournemouth woman jailed for false rape
Police have warned that malicious reports of false rapes will not be tolerated after a woman was jailed for 15 months after lying to detectives.
Cheryl Moss, 26, falsely claimed that a 19-year-old man had raped her in an alleyway near St Peter's Road, Bournemouth, in November 2009.
Moss pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and was sentenced last week at Bournemouth Crown Court.
Dorset Police said the investigation used valuable time and resources.
Despite being shown CCTV footage of the man the mother of four had been with all night and that sex had been consensual, Moss maintained her allegations were true.
Det Insp Steve Thorpe said: "Whenever Dorset Police investigates any report of rape, the victim's care is of paramount importance.
"We work tirelessly to thoroughly investigate such reports and we are determined to bring offenders to justice.
"Equally, we also take false accusations very seriously and Cheryl Moss has suffered the consequences of her malicious report.
"Her actions not only caused detectives to spend valuable time and resources investigating this incident, but, more importantly, caused entirely unnecessary distress to the man she accused."
Senior crown prosecutor Julia Woodward said the case was rare and should not deter victims from coming forward.
"This case went to court because Cheryl Moss continued with her claim despite the incontrovertible evidence that proved she had not been raped," she added.
"We fully concur with the comments made by the judge regarding the damaging effect that cases such as this can have."
Lying mum jailed for crying rape
A mother of four was jailed for 15 months for falsely claiming she had been raped by a soldier.
Cheryl Moss alleged that 19-year-old Martin Devine had forced himself on her in an alleyway near a nightclub, the court heard.
Moss, 26, later got a friend to report the ‘rape’ to police.
Mr Devine sent her a text the following morning, unaware that the claim had been filed.
The Ministry of Defence and police officers then tracked down Mr Devine.
He was on a gunneries course at the time and due to serve in Afghanistan four months later – in March this year.
CCTV footage showed Moss had made the first move before she and Mr Devine had consensual sex, said Heather Shimmen for the prosecution. Moss continued to assert her claim but failed to attend a police interview.
She withdrew it a month later. Anne Brown, for the defence, said Moss was ‘overwhelmed by feelings of enormous shame’.
Judge Samuel Wiggs said the worst effect of the ‘extraordinarily sad’ case was on Mr Devine.
‘Even if he had been acquitted it’s extremely difficult to hide as people say “no smoke without fire”,’ he added.
Moss, from Bournemouth, pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice at the town’s crown court.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
SEVIERVILLE - Sevier County authorities charged a woman with making a false report that she had been assaulted and raped in her home by an acquaintance.
Susan Wagers was being held this morning in the Sevier County Jail in lieu of a $25,000 bond, according to the Sevier County Sheriff's Office.
Wagers called 911 on July 8 and claimed she had been raped at her home on Willow Creek Lane near Sevierville. Authorities launched an investigation and searched for the alleged suspect in several areas in Sevier County, according to the SCSO.
On July 9, Wagers admitted while being re-interviewed that the rape allegation was false, the Sheriff's Office said in a press release.
More details as they develop online and in Thursday's News Sentinel.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Jennifer Phyllis Mills, 28, of 306 G. St., was taken into custody Tuesday on a misdemeanor charge of false report to law enforcement. She was booked at the Black Hawk County Jail at 8 a.m. Bond was set at $1,000, and she was later released.
UNI officers received two reports of assaults on female students July 4 - one at the Gamma Phi Beta house on Merner Street and the other in a wooded area near Jennings Drive.
On Thursday, campus police said they determined the report about the sexual assault in the wooded area was false.
Court records allege Mills told police she was grabbed by a man in a ski mask. She told investigators she was punched in the stomach, dragged off and sexually assaulted.
Police found inconsistencies in her account, and Mills admitted she wasn't assaulted when they were brought to her attention.
Friday, August 13, 2010
If you pay much attention to politics and culture, you know things ain't real pretty right now -- at least, not in the USA.
The country is probably as divided as it has ever been without resorting to arms. The economy is in shambles; government at all levels is broke. The recession has hit men the hardest, so the federal government tries to fix it by spending nonexistent money creating jobs for ... women. The president disses the Boy Scouts' 100th Anniversary in order to get in front of TV cameras with the bit-- women of "The View." Sheesh.
Society is polarized. That makes it a good time to seize the energy that flows from conflict and take a stand. What we have now is a great opportunity for real women to stand up to radical feminists -- to stand up for themselves and their men in the face of baseless feminist criticism, haranguing and bellyaching.
The Internet is a great virtual arena for such a debate. An effort might be as simple as leaving a comment challenging a hostile article or praising a positive one. From there, the motivated debater can move into chat rooms and discussion groups. Really motivated defenders can start their own blogs. Anybody who's been online a while knows all this, but it bears repeating, as hard times weigh folks down and try to leach our spirits from us.
Being the somewhat contentious and opinionated person that I am (hey, I can't help it, it's my Scots-Irish mountaineer heritage) I've been e-squabbling and i-kvetching since I got online with my first WebTV back in 1999, about a great variety of subjects, including feminism. I've learned a few lessons that others have perhaps learned, and perhaps not.
First, you're not going to change the mind of a dedicated feminist, about rape culture or patriarchy or glass ceilings or anything else, no matter how logical and incisive your argument, so don't try. Realize that the whole point of the exercise is to present your argument to non-participants, to the lurkers and readers, those who may not yet realize that they, indeed, do have a dog in this fight.
Second, you're not going to do your cause any good by participating in the online equivalent of elementary school cafeteria food-fights. Nobody's convinced by name-calling and profanity, so don't participate, and if you have the authority, follow the example of FRS's great moderators, Pierce and Steve, and shut down counter-productive discussions.
Third, as important as it is to stand up to radical feminist insanity, it is far more important to stand up for the wonderful men in our society, in our families, in our lives. They're unlikely to stand up for themselves, these men -- ordinary men (who are anything but ordinary), the unsung heroes, the men who hold everything together, who make the world work and societies successful, the nameless men who invent, who maintain, who accomplish because it's what they do, not because they seek recognition or praise. But whether they seek it or not, they appreciate it.
But there's more to do than just recognize their essential contributions to successful human existence; there is also the job of defending men, particularly western men, from feminism's egregious lies. You don't read of husbands in the USA cutting off their wives' noses and ears -- but you do hear of wives cutting off their husband's penises--and being applauded for it. And yet, in a society where women are pampered and uplifted, feminists still complain about made up rape culture and the dearth of women in executive suites.
So many times when I've read terse accounts of false rape accusations on this blog, I've wondered if anyone stood up for the falsely accused, if the women in his life stood with him and let him know that he was not abandoned by those who care about him.
Arguing, on the Internet or anywhere else, isn't for everyone. But in this climate of constant complaint about men and boys, even non-confrontational types can, and should, stand for and with their husbands, fathers, sons and brothers against all of feminism's false allegations.
*Connie is a member of the FRS team. Her weekly essays appear every Friday. Her personal blog is http://conniechastain.blogspot.com/
Maybe it was because -- according to court documents -- she punched him in the mouth and hit him with her crutch when he tried to drop her off in the parking lot of the Camp Hill Shopping Center. Or perhaps it was because of the false report police said Miller filed claiming she had been raped.
Miller, 50, of the 400 block of Hiltonhead Avenue, was arrested yesterday morning by Camp Hill police and charged with resisting arrest, false alarms to a public safety agency, fictitious reports and false reports to police. She was arraigned in front of District Judge Richard S. Dougherty and committed to Cumberland County Prison in lieu of $7,500 bail, court documents state.
According to police, Miller, who is also known as “One-legged Donna,” and Obrock had spent the night together in Harrisburg, where they had sex and smoked crack cocaine. When they ran out of crack, they used his gas money to try to buy more, but was burned by a dealer who sold a fake substance, police said.
Out of money and low on fuel, Obrock, no age or address given, decided rather than drive Miller all the way back to Silver Spring Township, he would drop her off at the shopping center, police said. That apparently did not go over well with Miller, who police said assaulted Obrock and then called 911, claimed she was being raped and hung up. Police said Obrock thought the call was a ruse to scare him into giving her a ride all the way home, which he did.
Police responded to the shopping center, but Miller wasn't there. According to police, she told a dispatcher who called her that she would make a report after she got home, but she didn't.
When police called her, Miller said she could not go to police headquarters to be interviewed because she was being held hostage in her trailer by the assailant, who was threatening to retaliate if she spoke with police, according to court documents.
A Camp Hill police officer and two Silver Spring Township officers went to Miller's home. Police said they saw no signs of injuries she had reported and no evidence she had been held hostage. After Miller told police she had consensual sex with Obrock, they informed her she was going to be arrested for making a false report to police.
Miller refused to get dressed and cooperate with officers, police said, but was taken into custody through the use of “soft and hard hand control.”
With an Alford plea, Jessica Renea Cline, 25, of Acworth asserted her innocence but admitted she could be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a judge or jury.
Bartow County Sheriff's Office investigators lodged charges against Cline in connection with the July 2008 incident in which she allegedly had sex with the boy, then told officials during their probe of the child molestation allegations that she was raped by the boy.
In a negotiated agreement with prosecuting attorneys, Cline entered a plea on three counts -- child molestation, statutory rape and false statements. The assistant district attorney agreed not to prosecute her on one count of aggravated child molestation.
Superior Court Judge Scott Smith sentenced Cline to 20 years, five of which she was ordered to serve in prison. The balance she will serve on probation. Cline will be required to register as a sex offender.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
A false rape claim in Baltimore? No, it can't be! Four college band members sprung from jail after 30 days, but not before they are assaulted by 30 inmates
Four young college band members -- all black -- were held without bail for one month and were only released and the charges dropped, according to the Baltimore Sun (second news report below), after their accuser changed her story. One of the young men's defense attorneys said he can prove the sex was consensual because, he said, the accused sent text messages arranging the group encounter.
The four men are named, of course; their accuser is not, of course.
On top of it, three of the men were assaulted by a group of 30 inmates in jail before they were released. "They we're being called rapists while they were being attacked," said one of the men's defense attorneys. Another example of the state wrongly arresting men and then not bothering to adequately protect them while they are behind bars. I would like to hear how the state explains that one.
This case is just another in a long line of similar episodes where law enforcement arrests first (and holds the arrested men with bail set so high -- if it is set at all -- as to insure the defendant won't leave unless the charges are dropped) and only later completes the investigation that shows the charges are not warranted. This is especially common among young black men.
The state will not prosecute the accuser because, said a spokesman for the state's attorney's office, there was some unspecified, phantom, mysterious probable cause to prosecute this case. Come again? Do you mean to tell us, sir, that there was probable cause to prosecute a vicious rape -- and your office isn't doing it? You can't be serious, sir. Perhaps the spokesman means there was "probable cause" before the investigation was completed based on the word of the accuser? See, sir, that's the problem. You need to investigate first before you arrest. Or am I missing something here?
This just sounds to be just another instance where the state hands to young women the power to deprive young men of their liberty, based on nothing more than her say-so, to lock them away without bail for days, weeks, months, even years, where they live among -- and are beaten by -- real criminals, and then when it turns out they shouldn't be there, the state does nothing to punish her for abusing that power she's been given. Since she's not deterred, there is nothing to deter her or others from doing it to some other innocent young man.
Here are two news stories regarding this case -- the second from the Baltimore Sun. Click on the first story and watch the great news report from WJZ reporter Adam May, who very properly emphasizes the harm done to the accused men:
Charges Dropped For MSU Students Accused Of Rape
BALTIMORE (WJZ) ― Charges have been dropped for two current and two former Morgan State University students charged with a violent attack.
Sexual assault charges against four current and former Morgan State University students are dropped.
Adam May reports one of their defense attorney's is now calling for new charges against the original accuser.
The four men, now cleared of any wrongdoing, were held without bail for almost a month.
When four current and former members of the Morgan State Band were accused of sexual assaulting a band mate last month, people who lived next door to the Hamilton Hills Apartment, where it allegedly happened, were stunned.
"I never heard any screaming or someone say rape or anything like that, no," said a neighbor.
Now the charges against all four men have been dropped because of what a spokesman for the state's attorney describes as conflicting evidence.
"There are varying accounts of what happened, who did what," said Joe Sviatko, state's attorney's office spokesman.
Dale Lawton's defense attorney tells WJZ he can prove the sex was consensual, claiming the accused sent text messages arranging the group encounter.
"If you're charged with any sex offense, even if you're exonerated, it may be something that can follow you the rest of your life," said William Buie, defense attorney.
Not only did the falsely accused have their reputations damaged, but three of them were also assaulted.
They were jumped by other inmates Tuesday in jail, right before they were supposed to head to court to have the charges dropped.
"They we're being called rapists while they were being attacked," said Buie.
"The young lady who made these accusations needs to be prosecuted.
That's the way you keep this from happening in the future."
Prosecutors say that won't happen.
"There was definitely probable cause to go ahead and charge this case, so the answer to that question would be no," said Sviatko.
There may not be any legal recourse for the time lost behind bars, but Buie is considering suing the Department of Corrections for failing to protect his client.
Sexual assault charges dropped against Morgan State students
University band members beaten up in jail
Sexual assault charges against four men — all former or current Morgan State University students held without bail since mid-July — were dropped Tuesday, after their accuser changed her story.
But the defendants never made it to Baltimore District Court for the proceeding.
Renard James, 30; Dante Green, 24; Dale Lawton, 22; and Howard Smith Cook, 22, were jumped by other inmates in a city jail holding cell before they could be transported, defense attorneys said.
The two younger men were taken to a hospital, treated and released, according to the state's Department of Corrections. The older two were taken to a detention center clinic for treatment.
"My understanding is … 30 people attacked our clients, I don't know why," said defense attorney Catherine Flynn, who represents Green. "I think one has a broken nose and broken ribs."
Few details of the attack were available Tuesday.
Attorneys said that the men were all former band members at Morgan. They were arrested a month ago and charged with various sexual offenses, including assault, perverted practice and conspiracy.
Their accuser, who also has a connection to the Morgan band according to Lawton's attorney, told police she was assaulted June 30 in Cook's apartment in the Hamilton Hills neighborhood. She said the men forcibly removed her clothes, held her down, and performed sexual acts on her against her will.
But the Baltimore State's Attorney's Office chose not to prosecute "after the continued investigation by prosecutors and police detectives showed insufficient evidence to proceed," said spokeswoman Margaret T. Burns.
The decision to drop the case was made this week. The men were to be released after processing Tuesday.
"Apparently they did not believe the young lady's story after all of this," said Lawton's lawyer, William R. Buie III.
He said he planned to talk with Lawton's parents about taking legal action against the accuser. The family was too concerned with their son's well-being to discuss much yesterday, Buie said.
He believes the fight may have occurred because the defendants were bragging about their impending release, which they were told of Monday.
"Almost 30 days in jail for a false accusation, then he gets assaulted," Buie said. "Needless to say, his family's not really happy about the whole process, and neither am I."
Lawton has been threatened at least once before by another inmate, Buie said.
His client and James have clean criminal records in Maryland, though Green and Smith Cook were separately given sentences of probation before judgment for theft charges, according to online court records.
Mark Van Bavel, who represents Renard James, said he planned to counsel his client about expunging the charges from his record.
Thanks to CJ