Kelly-Ann Ferguson, 23, met her husband to try to patch up her broken marriage. They had sex, but he refused to end their estrangement, so she went to the police and falsely accused him of rape. She reported that he forced her to have oral sex by grabbing her head and forcing his penis into her mouth. Then, he supposedly pushed her on the bed and forced her to have vaginal sex.
The husband was arrested and held in custody for fifteen hours. The husband showed police a video he had taken of their sex act on his cell phone. The video shows that she was enjoying it -- she was giggling and laughing -- and that it was consensual.
Police confronted the wife, and she admitted it was all a lie. She had lied to get her husband in trouble because she was angry at him. According to her attorney, she lied because he had behaved "in an unchivalrous way" toward her.
The wife was convicted and jailed for nine months for perverting the course of justice.
The readers who commented under the original news story largely mirror the public's palpable disgust with false rape claimants. Invariably, some readers insist that these kinds of stories give license to men to videotape their sexual encounters in order to avoid unjust deprivations of liberty. It is well to keep in mind, however, that most men who secretly, and illegally in many jurisdictions, record their sexual encounters, do so for reasons having nothing to do with the fear of false rape claims.
Still, it is not certain what might have happened if there had been no video in this case. When people are incarcerated, whether for years, or even for "just" fifteen hours, because of a lie about rape or sexual assault, and the lie is exposed only due to the happenstance that a video exists to prove the truth, it undermines public confidence -- including the confidence of potential jurors -- in the integrity of all rape accusers.
Ms. Ferguson, and others who lie about rape, do a grave disservice not just to the persons their lies target, but to all rape victims.