Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ripped from the headlines: women are just better . . .

Women are better leaders in a recession. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/01/11/women-are-better-leaders-in-recession_n_1198549.html?ref=uk

Females are more thorough than males -- they ask tougher questions -- when buying a new car. http://www.autoremarketing.com/trends/do-women-really-ask-tougher-questions-when-vehicle-shopping-men

Women are better savers than men. http://www.moneyexpert.com/financial-news/none/800580699/battleofthesaverswomenarebettersaversthanmen/article.aspx

Women feel more pain than men. http://www.dollymix.tv/2012/01/women_feel_more_pain_than_men.html

Women are better picking up non-verbal cues than men.  http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/soul+happiness/relationships/10+body+language+love+signals,16517

Women are better at parking cars than men. http://www.carfinance.co.uk/news/2012/jan/women-are-better-parkers-than-men-fact.html

In fact, women are better drivers. http://www.kait8.com/story/16522241/statistics-show-women-are-safer-drivers-than-men

Sandy Hingston holds a mirror up to college rape hysteria

"A young man’s reputation is in tatters based on an anonymous allegation that he committed sexual assault. And this, folks, is why we need to have one simple, standard way of judging whether sexual assault is sexual assault or not. There should be proof—good proof, not just a hairsbreadth of proof—that a crime has been committed. That proof should be given to police. And colleges and universities should get the hell out of the criminal-justice business."

Read the entire piece here.

Woman Faces Charges for False Sex Assault Accusations

A 25-year-old Milwaukee woman who falsely accused a Port Washington man of sexual assualt is now facing charges in the accusations.

Melissa A. Goldbach, 8800 W. Dallas St., is facing a misdemeanor charge of obstructing an officer because of the false allegations she made against Jeremy Unti on Dec. 21. If convicted, she faces up to 9 months in prison and fines of not more than $10,000.

According to criminal complaints, Goldbach told police she had met Unti in the Culver's parking lot in Mequon to exchange a young child the two of them share. Goldbach said she was placing the child in a car seat in the rear of Unti’s SUV when he came behind her and began to put his hands down her pants and grab her until she told him to stop.

Later that day, Goldbach said, she returned to the parking lot where Unti was already parked. Goldbach told police that Unti told her to come and look at a Christmas gift he had purchased the child in the back of his SUV and that when he opened the rear door of the truck — where there actually was not a gift — he then forced her into the back and closed the door. Goldbach also alleged that there were a number of times when Unti forced his hands down her pants and touched her genitals.

Police then arrested Unti, who told police nothing had happened in the Culver's parking lot but that Goldbach had followed Unti to the Marcus Theatre parking lot where they had consensual sex in Unti's vehicle.

Goldbach denied this allegation, but video surveillance from the theatre showed Unti's vehicle moving to a remote location of the parking lot near Goldbach's vehicle; both vehicles stayed parked for some time before simultaneously leaving.

When threatened by the existence of this video, Goldbach eventually admitted to following Unti to the parking lot to partake in sexual activity and also admitted to doing so willingly.

The charges were filed Friday; Goldbach is expected to make her initial court appearance at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 13.

Link: http://portwashington-wi.patch.com/articles/woman-faces-charges-for-false-sex-assault-accuastions

Monday, January 30, 2012

'. . . where did the CDC find 13.7 million victims of sexual crimes that the professional criminologists had overlooked?'

It found them by defining sexual violence in impossibly elastic ways and then letting the surveyors, rather than subjects, determine what counted as an assault. Consider: In a telephone survey with a 30 percent response rate, interviewers did not ask participants whether they had been raped. Instead of such straightforward questions, the CDC researchers described a series of sexual encounters and then they determined whether the responses indicated sexual violation. A sample of 9,086 women was asked, for example, “When you were drunk, high, drugged, or passed out and unable to consent, how many people ever had vaginal sex with you?” A majority of the 1.3 million women (61.5 percent) the CDC projected as rape victims in 2010 experienced this sort of “alcohol or drug facilitated penetration."

Other survey questions were equally ambiguous. Participants were asked if they had ever had sex because someone pressured them by “telling you lies, making promises about the future they knew were untrue?” All affirmative answers were counted as “sexual violence.” Anyone who consented to sex because a suitor wore her or him down by “repeatedly asking” or “showing they were unhappy” was similarly classified as a victim of violence. The CDC effectively set a stage where each step of physical intimacy required a notarized testament of sober consent.

Read it all here: How the CDC is overstating sexual violence in the U.S.

Jezebel's Anna North . . .

. . . another progressive, man-hating nitwit.

http://jezebel.com/5879162/are-yale-guys-bad-at-sex

Rape victims' champion: 'Let us not forget that those falsely accused are also real victims'

Rikki Klieman is a  former Massachusetts sex crimes prosecutor, a member of the board of the Rape Treatment Center in Los Angeles, and a fierce champion of rape victims. Unlike so many shrill, extremist voices in the blogosphere, Ms. Klieman understands the balance we always talk about here -- about the need to punish rapists while insuring the innocent aren't punished with them.  Serious voices on rape appreciate the balance -- see here

You need to read the entire article here, but she ends with this:

"Let us not forget that those falsely accused are also real victims. They are forever painted by some with a label of 'rapist,' whether the case is dismissed or they are acquitted. I am still haunted by the memory of defending a therapist accused of date rape at a party years ago. There is no question in my mind that the act was consensual. She pursued him vigorously and he rebuffed her attention before she made her complaint. What other course might the case have taken had he sent her flowers or taken her on another date? The specter of the publicity in his professional life and the stress surrounding the progress of the case contributed to his suicide. He is not alone in taking such a desperate step.

"All of society loses when there is a false accusation. Somehow we must encourage real victims to feel safe to report rape knowing that police and prosecutors will have the courage to turn away those who bear false witness. Society itself can become the victim. We don’t want guilty people on the street who will offend again. We want to safeguard the most vulnerable among us. We want to champion those violated. We want to protect the falsely accused."

'Highly intelligent and manipulative' prison psychologist who pretended to be sexually assaulted is given non-custodial sentence

A follow up to these stories: here and here.

The prison psychologist who phoned in a frantic but phony 911 sexual assault call to persuade her husband that they needed to move to a better neighborhood pleaded out Wednesday to a felony conspiracy charge and was given a non-custodial sentence.

When a false rape accusations is a pathetic cry for help from a troubled woman, we need to acknowledge that fact and advocate that the punishment be molded to fit her circumstance. Many of these cases, where a specific man or boy was not named, cry out for therapeutic help more than a custodial senence.

But when the phony claim is the handiwork of a social deviant whose selfishness undermines the social order, our feminist friends need to admit it. They need to acknowledge the harm such a claim does -- not just to any innocent men and boys who might get in trouble for something they didn't do (and that happens even in cases where no one is named), but to sexual assault victims. Every rape lie diminishes the integrity of every legitimate claim.

It is no answer that false rape claims are rare. When they repeat that spin in false rape report after report after report, it starts to ring hollow. The answer is to work to raise the integrity of rape claims by insisting the false accusers be dealt with as what they are -- criminals. (And by false accusers, I'm not referring to women police have decided not to believe -- I'm talking about cases where there is no reasonable doubt that a lie occurred.)

In this case, Martinez was described in a letter to the court from the police officer who investigated the case as a "highly intelligent and manipulative" woman.

In court, Deputy District Attorney Chris Carlson called Martinez's behavior outrageous. He said it served to undermine the interests of true sexual assault victims.


"One of the more egregious parts of this crime was the false sexual assault allegation, which to me is a black mark against true sexual assault victims," Carlson said. "The Police Department – law enforcement – is not a toy to be casually utilized by people to further their own personal agenda. We've got real victims of crime that need (police) help in cases that are legitimate. To send law enforcement off on wild goose chases like this really is an insult to the community."

Martinez was sentenced to five years formal probation and 180 days on the sheriff's work furlough program, which one court official said translates into electronic monitoring.  She was also ordered to pay $4,463.32 in restitution to help pay for the police investigation into her bogus report.


Sources:
http://www.sacbee.com/2012/01/26/4215969/sacramento-psychologist-who-reported.html and http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2012/01/27/psychologist-pleads-contest-rape-hoax/A0KCmKmNgcxwH7SX0THmfK/story.html

Saturday, January 28, 2012

“Everybody [the woman and Kelly] was a happy camper until the boyfriend found out.”


WHEN WILL THE MEDIA STOP BLOWING RAPE ALLEGATIONS INTO LURID MELODRAMAS?

The "happy camper" quote above is from a report on the Greg Kelly rape case.  We aren't sure what happened there, but virtually every high profile rape case in recent years has turned out to be false or likely false.  By blowing these cases into media circuses at the first whiff of an accusation, the mainstream news media does a grave injustice to the men accused (since they are always named), and it does a lesser disservice to women who are actually raped.  When women hear that case after case after case turn out to be false, don't they think twice about reporting that they've been raped?

Here's an idea: let the police investigate and stop blowing accusations into media circuses. Stop painting men accused as if they were rapists. And start punishing women when we learn they've lied about rape. The only way to restore integrity to the cry of rape is to deter the false accusers.

Loony 'Jezebel': where a writer has no idea whether a sexual assault occurred, but knows the accuser is a 'victim'

This story, like the Web site that carries it, is the worst kind of progressive excrement, tripe so patently absurd that no refutation is necessary.

If extremist feminists want to know why they are the proverbial "boy who cried wolf" when it comes to sexual assault, it's because they are prone to giving voice to the most outrageous leaps in logic imaginable -- assertions that blink at anything resembling common sense, human decency, and the presumption of innocence.

Newsflash: this isn't 1972, or even '92. Rational people no longer buy into your hokum where a vague accusation is as good as an actual conviction.

Friday, January 27, 2012

I wonder if they'll subject the Police Commissioner's son to a humiliating perp walk? Yet another high profile rape claim that reeks of bullshit

Sex crimes legend Linda A. Fairstein: "This woman doesn't come close to establishing her physical helplessness... I haven't heard anybody establish the elements of a crime."

Read it here: http://gothamist.com/2012/01/27/sources_say_greg_kelly_has_flirtati.php

Woman falsely accuses man of rape -- because he couldn't remember her name

A woman named Christine Jordan falsely accused a man of rape because he could not recall her name. 

Last January, Jordan had met the man on a bus. The two hooked up and ended up having sex at her flat.

Five days later, Jordan saw the man at a pub, but he could not remember her name. Jordan gave him “a very evil look,” and within minutes, police came to arrest him on suspicion of rape. 

It turns out Jordan had phoned police, telling them she had been raped by the man. She claimed he followed her to her flat and forced his way in.  Police saw through her story and arrested her.

At trial, Jordan clung to her rape fairy tale, but admitted the man did not force his way into her flat.

Nicola Devas, prosecuting said: “The defendant has lied and lied and lied and she has been caught out in these lies. And even when she has been caught out in these lies she has continued to lie. She is clutching to the remnants of that initial account because she can’t bring herself to admit what she has done.”

The jury took less than two hours to unanimously find Jordan guilty of perverting the course of justice. She will be sentenced next month. 

The full story is here: http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Home/Woman-guilty-of-false-rape-claim-27012012.htm

Some false rape apologists insist that women don't lie about rape. After all, why would women subject themselves to the ordeal of a rape trial? 

Do they really want to know?  Add the above case to the list: on this site we've reported on women who've made false rape claims for the following reasons:

▲The accuser’s boyfriend took too long to buy cigarettes.
▲Several women didn’t want to pay cab fares, so they accused innocent cab drivers of rape.
▲A girl wanted to get back at her teen ex-boyfriend — her rape lie not only got him convicted, but two of his friends as well.
▲A woman wanted to get back at her ex-boyfriend for breaking it off, so she falsely accused him of rape and candidly admitted: “I just wanted him to be hurt because of what he’d done.”
▲A young woman said she wanted her young ex-boyfriend “to feel extreme pain.”
▲A woman's rape lie sent a man to prison for five years because she said she was bored.
▲A woman was bent on revenge after a road rage incident.
▲A man refused to give his false accuser a beer.
▲A maid falsely accused her employer of rape because she didn’t like her workload.
▲A girl falsely accused a man of rape for throwing a flower at her.
▲A woman caused three men to be interrogated for rapes they didn’t commit because she wanted a day off from work.
▲An 18-year-year-old young man was hauled out of class, arrested, and jailed for a month on a random false rape claim by a girl he had never even met.

And I could go on and on and on. I've stopped adding on to this list because it's too depressing.

Dad's nightmare over sex charge

Police in the US have paid R15-million to a South African expatriate who was jailed over false claims and faked statements that he raped his mentally disabled daughter.

Americans reacted with disbelief and outrage this week after an ABC TV documentary detailed a conspiracy between prosecutors, social workers and school authorities to destroy Julian Wendrow's family.

Wendrow, 56, is a teacher and paint-store owner. He was arrested at his home in Michigan days before a planned family holiday to Johannesburg in December 2007. He was jailed for 80 days, 70 of them in a 2x2m solitary confinement cell, and threatened with life imprisonment while county officials publicly described him as a rapist and a paedophile.

His wife, Tali, was also taken to jail, fitted with an electronic tether and placed under house arrest for alleged complicity in the "rapes". As a result she lost her job as a research attorney.

Their severely autistic and mute daughter, Aislinn, then 14, was put in foster care and their 13-year-old son, Ian, who also has a mild form of autism, was placed in juvenile detention.

Horrified US TV viewers watched a police interrogation video in which detectives mocked Ian and pretended to have video of his father molesting his sister.

The whole drama, according to court papers, was triggered when a school teacher's assistant pressed Aislinn's fingers on a computer keyboard to spell out a made-up rape accusation.

A physical exam ultimately found no evidence of abuse.

On Friday Wendrow told the Sunday Times he was horrified to learn of his son's "brutal interrogation".

Of his time in jail, he said: "At night, as I lay in my cell, I would weep ... I had no knowledge about where my kids were, who was comforting them."

He said as the case unfolded "it became patently clear that all of the nefarious agents of law enforcement arraigned against us were hell bent on demolishing us for their personal and political aggrandisement".

Now, after being awarded a R15-million settlement from Michigan police, an angry Wendrow is suing some 20 other defendants for damages.

Wendrow told ABC: "What I would really like is for the system to be fixed. Somebody can say something, can misconstrue, make an allegation ... and before you can blink, you are in a cauldron of chaos."

The drama began when Aislinn allegedly typed a message at school: "My dad gets me up, banges (sic) me and then we have breakfast. He puts his hands on my private parts."

She allegedly wrote other claims about being raped and living in a house full of weapons and pornography. Her claims were made with a technique called "facilitated communication" (FC) - in which a trained person guides a severely autistic person's hand over a keyboard, like a Ouija board.

It is dismissed by the American Psychology Association as "not valid". Aislinn's facilitator had just two hours of training in the technique.

Aislinn had the developmental age of a two-year-old and could not understand questions. Wendrow's attorney, Deb Gordon, said every word in the girl's statements was invented by her school-assigned facilitator, Cynthia Scarsella, or her teacher.

The case against Wendrow collapsed when a judge told Scarsella to leave the room and asked Aislinn: "What is the colour of your sweater?" Not knowing the question after returning, Scarsella could only help Aislinn type: "JIBHJIH". Asked if she had a brother or sister, she typed "3FE65".

Gordon said: "No matter how ridiculous the claims in this case, the law enforcement system just took it literally."

No weapons or pornography were found in the house.

A judge described the prosecution of the Wendrows as "a runaway train".

Gordon said an ambitious prosecutor "geared for a high-profile sexual abuse case" and "irresponsible" school authorities contributed to the "horrific persecution" of the family. "Lives were torn apart because everyone wanted to believe she had made these sensational, ridiculous claims; no one was interested in the truth," she said. "She does not know what the letter A means; she doesn't recognise her own name. It would have been so easy to determine the claims were false."

An autism expert, Dr Howard Shane from Harvard University, told the Sunday Times he did not believe Scarsella had deliberately framed Wendrow.

Instead, he said a phenomenon called "saviour effect" had commonly caused even experienced facilitators using the technique to make up stories about disabled patients.

"Nothing about this technique is real; it's manipulation and brainwashing," Shane said.

In a sworn affidavit, Scarsella denied fabricating Aislinn's words. The Oakland county prosecutor's office accused Wendrow of "hypocrisy" because he wanted his daughter to use the technique.

Gordon admitted that Wendrow had insisted that Aislinn's school use the FC method. But she accused the school of "humouring" the family by allowing a "clearly bogus and dangerous technique".

Worse, she said, the family were shown poetry and algebra which the school said their daughter had "produced".

Link: http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2012/01/22/dad-s-nightmare-over-sex-charge

Thursday, January 26, 2012

An example of how far colleges have gone . . .

Colleges push anti-male sex policies to the edge: by Pierce Harlan and Paul Elam.  Go read it.

Rape charge against man dismissed

Jennifer Valenta admits she lied, arrested on six counts

Gage County authorities dropped all charges against a Wymore man Friday and arrested the woman who accused him of a sexual assault on suspicion of lying about the incident.

The Gage County Attorney’s Office charged Jennifer Valenta of Wilber with perjury, false reporting, obstructing government operations, tampering with evidence and two counts of prostitution.

On Thursday, Valenta admitted to fabricating allegations that Elliot Hawkins, 48, and three other men gang raped her at Big Indian Recreation Area in southern Gage County, according to a news release from the county attorney’s office.

Hawkins’ attorney, Robert Kortus of Lincoln, said dismissal of the charges at the county attorney’s request did not come as a surprise.

“The hope was the truth would come out and the truth would vindicate him. And that seems to be what has happened,” Kortus said Friday night.

"I certainly am grateful they (the sheriff’s office) made the effort to keep the case open and investigate the facts of that allegation to determine whether they were truthful,” Kortus said.

According to the Gage County Attorney’s Office, an investigation revealed evidence did not support the allegations made by Valenta, 27. The investigation included numerous interviews, an examination of physical evidence gathered at the scene, DNA testing and a forensic examination of photographs of the injuries Valenta said she suffered during the reported assault.

Chief Deputy Gage County Attorney Rick Schreiner said a lot of time and money have been spent on the case. He said DNA testing was done at the University of Nebraska Medical Center because of a six-month wait at the State Crime Lab.

“I see it as an issue with restitution,” Schreiner said. “There’s a lot of money wrapped up in this, and I’m going to consider pursuing restitution as part of sentencing based on the cost of the investigation.”
Schreiner said Friday’s arrest isn’t the end of the story, and Hawkins still could face charges.

“We’re not totally ruling out filing a different charge on Elliot,” Schreiner said. “She agreed to have sex with him for money and as you can see, she’s charged with prostitution. And there’s two sides to prostitution.”

Kortus declined to comment on the possibility of future charges against Hawkins, but did say, “right now things are not as rosy as they might be.”

“Right now there is no solicitation charge against my client,” Kortus said.

Schreiner said he doesn’t believe the Gage County Sheriff’s Office acted too quickly in arresting Hawkins. He said it was his decision to proceed and “the system worked.”

“It was an excellent investigation,” Schreiner said. “It was a very fair investigation and it was a search for the truth. There’s a lot of credit that needs to go to those folks.”

Gage County Sheriff Millard “Gus” Gustafson said his office continues to look into the situation, but declined to elaborate.

“We’re still actively looking into it. I don’t want anything out there that is going to jeopardize that,” he said.
Gustafson said deputies reacted appropriately to the initial report of a sexual assault.

“Your No. 1 concern when you have a report of information that comes to you like that, the first concern you have is the safety of the alleged victim. So you act on that,” Gustafson said.

While the recent development didn’t quite surprise Gustafson, it did frustrate him, he said.

“It has taken a lot of taxpayer money and a lot of resources to investigate this. And to find out your victim was not up front with you is very frustrating,” Gustafson said.

Schreiner said he hopes the case doesn’t deter others from reporting sexual assaults, saying this was a rare case in which the accusations were false.

“We hope this doesn’t chill reports of sexual assault,” Schreiner said. “We want folks to know that we’ll pursue them vigorously and we’ll investigate them thoroughly in a search for the truth.

“Ninety-nine percent of the time, that victim is telling us the truth and we want to pursue that case to close off any avenue of escape for that defendant so we have a solid case going forward.”
Valenta is set for her first court appearance on Monday.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

If men must be locked up before trial, remember the innocent man who sat in jail two years awaiting his 'speedy trial'

The Star Ledger editorial board wants bail "reform" in New Jersey -- to protect the public from potentially dangerous criminals. The editorial is, at least, honest: ". . . the reality is that we dole out punishment before convictions at every level today."  Read it here.

But the editorial board also remembers that protecting the public from the accused isn't the only legitimate consideration. It is also imperative to protect the presumptively innocent from the system.

"If we imprison people before trial, that underscores the need for more speedy trials. Alex Shalom of the New Jersey ACLU, a former public defender, represented a man charged with rape who was held for more than a year and, when he asked for a speedy trial, prosecutors said the DNA test was still not complete. After nearly two years in jail, the man was acquitted."

The editorial board adds: "And before a judge denies bail, a hearing should be held to determine the defendant’s actual danger to the community. This judgment can’t rely on bias or intuition."

We've previously complained on this blog about the injustice in freeing some men accused of crimes based on their ability to pay, while poor men -- often black -- are forced to serve a de facto sentence before even a scrap of evidence is admitted at trial.  (Remember Hofstra?) This is barbaric in the extreme, and someday, it will be widely considered as such (akin to the old practice of paying a substitute to answer the military draft).

From 'The Onion'

Woman arrested for reporting 'fictitious' cop impersonator assault

Investigators say a 27-year-old woman who claimed she was sexually assaulted by a man posing as a police officer earlier this month was lying.

Heather Speicher now faces charges of Attempting to Influence a Public Official, a class-four felony.

The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office plans to seek restitution for the resources it expended investigating the case.

Speicher told authorities that she was pulled over in her vehicle on the night of Jan. 5 and then assaulted by a man who purported to be a law enforcement officer.
She provided description which led to the release of a composite sketch of the “fictitious suspect,” the Sheriff’s Office said.

Speicher was being held at the Larimer County Jail on a $2,500 bond.

The Sheriff’s Office did not offer a motive for why Speicher would have concocted the story.

“Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said it is important to fully investigate any allegation of sexual assault as well as police impersonation; however, false reports of this nature redirect very limited resources that are needed for other important investigations,” said Sheriff’s Office spokesman John Schulz.

“While this report proved to be false, incidents of this nature do occur. Motorists are still reminded to be cautious when stopped by an unmarked or uneasily identified vehicle. They are encouraged to turn their flashers on and drive safely to a well-lit populated area and/or call 911 to verify the identity and location of officers. Motorists are further encouraged to stay in their vehicle until an additional officer in a marked vehicle arrives. Law enforcement vehicles are typically later models with significant emergency light systems.”

Link:
http://www.kdvr.com/news/kdvr-larimer-sheriff-woman-lied-about-police-impersonator-sex-assault-20120118,0,4797257.story

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

'In my experience, there is a far higher percentage of false accusations of sexual misconduct than of any other criminal activity'


Lawrence Goldman, Esq. on White Collar Crime Prof Blog

Paterno's Death May Affect Trial of Penn State Officials

Joe Paterno is dead, his legacy as one of the greatest coaches in the history of sports tarnished by his termination -- unjust, I believe -- on the grounds that he inappropriately failed to pursue vigorously an allegation of child sex abuse (see here, here and here).

Paterno's death and absence as a witness will likely have little or no effect on the trial of Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant coach who was the subject of the allegation reported to Paterno by a Penn State graduate assistant coach, Mike McQueary. Paterno's only information about the Sandusky issues appears to have been the hearsay report by McQueary, and thus it is unlikely that he would have been a witness.

Paterno's unavailability, however, may have a considerable impact on the trials of Tim Curley, the former university athletic director, and Gary Schultz, a former university senior vice president, both of whom have been charged with failure to report the suspected child abuse and perjury. Both have been charged with falsely testifying that McQueary, when he spoke with them, did not mention serious or criminal sexual conduct. McQueary, whom the grand jury report (presumably written by the prosecutors) deemed "extremely credible," testified that he reported the specific act to both Curley and Schultz, and seemingly also to Paterno. Paterno's grand jury testimony, however, apparently was that what McQueary related to him was far less specific, and thus more ambiguous. Accordingly, while the grand jury report indicated that Paterno would be a corroborative witness for the prosecution in that he was told by McQueary of the alleged "sexual exploitation" and then reported what McQueary had said to Curley and Schultz, his testimony would apparently also have to an extent corroborated their defenses that McQueary was less explicit than he now claims.

In another highly-publicized investigation involving a former college sports coach, former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine, it has been reported that two of the four men who had accused Fine of molesting them when they were children have admitted that they committed perjury in connection with the case. One has admitted that he lied when he claimed Fine molested him. The second, the only one whose allegations fall within the applicable criminal statute of limitations, while still claiming that abuse occurred, has admitted doctoring purportedly supporting emails.

The Fine situation is a reminder that not every allegation of child sexual abuse is true. Indeed, in my experience, there is a far higher percentage of false accusations of sexual misconduct than of any other criminal activity. Thus, such accusations should be scrutinized especially carefully before they are acted upon by law enforcement or others.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/whitecollarcrime_blog/

Monday, January 23, 2012

Woman accused of fake rape claim

The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday that a woman made up a story about being raped.


Autum Michelle Hobbs, 21, of the 4100 block of Jody Circle, was charged with filing a false report with law enforcement officers.

She was arrested Monday.

Investigators said Hobbs claimed that she was kidnapped by three men Dec. 30 as she walked along Cumberland Road. Hobbs said she was held against her will, bound, threatened, beaten, and raped by the men.

Hobbs told detectives she was held for five to six hours and later dropped off at a different location and had to walk home.

But detectives said they found that at the time of the alleged rape, that Hobbs had actually been at a local bar with a female friend. While they were there, a fight broke out and both were forced to leave the premises.

Hobbs was booked into the Cumberland County Detention Center and later released on bond.

Link: http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/local&id=8508273

Friday, January 20, 2012

Recording sheds light on ex-Brown student's mediation

A follow-up to this story. In that earlier report we explained that the lawsuit filed by William McCormick III and his parents against Brown University, Marcella Dresdale (the student who accused McCormick of raping her), and Richard Dresdale (the accuser's father), has been settled on undisclosed terms.

We don't know the terms of the settlement; however, a recording of a discussion prior to the settlement has been released that, if accurate, shows the mediator for the case suggesting that the case should settle for significant money: http://www.golocalprov.com/news/brown-mccormick/

Whether Mr. McCormick got that kind of money is anyone's guess.

Suit alleges Alton police sat on mountain of exculpatory evidence while 2 men went to prison for sexually assaulting children

Lawyers acting on behalf of a former local man and and his son have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the town and seven former and current police officers alleging they withheld evidence from defense lawyers during the criminal investigation and subsequent prosecution of both men for sexual assault of minors.

Both men were convicted and spent time in prison before they were freed after the missing evidence came to light.

The cause of action or claim filed in the United States District Court, District of New Hampshire on Dec. 9, 2011 alleges current Police Chief Ryan Heath (an officer at the time of the investigation)  and former Alton Police Department employees Kevin Iwans, Glenna Heath-Roberts, Edward Correia, Tracy Shattuck, Tyler Hackett and Grant M. Nichols withheld 226 pages of material and exculpatory evidence during the separate investigations and subsequent prosecution of the two.

Only Heath remains with the Alton Police Department.

The details of the suit available electronically through the federal court Website are heavily redacted and supporting documents sealed for electronic accessing by an order of United States magistrate Judge Ladya McCafferty. The names of the two plaintiffs are not revealed. This story is based on the electronically available redacted complaint.

The elder of the two men was ultimately convicted of and sentenced to serve up to 40 years in state prison for three counts of sexual misconduct with a child.

According to the suit, the elder plaintiff was convicted on Feb. 25, 2009 of three counts of sexual misconduct against one child. In December of 2009, Judge Larry Smukler granted the man a new trial and all charges against him were dropped altogether on Oct. 25, 2010.

A spokesman for the N.H. Department of Corrections said he was incarcerated from April 9, 2008 until Feb. 12, 2010.

The younger man pleaded guilty on June 9, 2007 of two counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault against his stepdaughter. Judge James O'Neill vacated both his sentences on July 1, 2010.

Prison records indicate he was incarcerated in the N.H. State Prison from June 9, 2008 until July 2, 2010 when he was transferred to Belknap County. He was released on July 12, 2010.

The suit claims the exculpatory evidence was uncovered by Belknap County Attorney Office prosecutors in February of 2009 while they were preparing their second case against the elder man for allegedly assaulting a second child.

Count 16 of the suit says the prosecution found "exculpatory evidence, consisting of pages A1-199 inclusive and B1-B27, which had not previously been disclosed to either the plaintiff or his counsel, even though the documents had been in the possession of the Alton Police Department for approximately six, or more years."

The civil suit claims the withheld information included paperwork by Corriea in September of 2002 stating the alleged second victim "came to his office to complain about (a Rochester, NY man ) by stating (the man) had been angry at (initials) and had decided to make a false report of sexual assault against (initials) stepfather, with the sole purpose of making (initials) life miserable."

Alleged exculpatory materials also included statements made to Iwans that one victim was allegedly assaulted by a different man with the same first name and a similar statement made in 2005 to Nichols, and an undated report of a similar nature made by Heath-Roberts.

The civil rights suit has four components all citing the Civil Rights Act of 1871, last amended in 1983 and the rights secured by the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution and well as similar rights established under the New Hampshire Constitution.

There are four separate causes of action: a civil rights violation filed for the father, a civil rights violation filed for the son, a civil rights violation against the defendant the (town) of Alton and supplemental claims against all of the defendants individually including a claim of malicious prosecution.

Link:
http://www.laconiadailysun.com/node/126364/18661

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Turtle Lake man cleared of false sex assault charges

From Barron News-Shield
By: Mary Glynn

60-year-old Turtle Lake man, previously accused of sexually assaulting a child in his care, has had the criminal charges against him dropped after an 11-year-old Birchwood girl admitted she made up a story that he touched her sexually.

Paul L. Burritt of 267 U.S. Highway 8 in Turtle Lake is not just "not guilty" of the accusations made against him, he is clearly "innocent" of all charges, said Polk County District Attorney Dan Steffen, who said in a phone interview Tuesday that this is "a prosecutor's worst nightmare."

It couldn't have been an easy time for the Handi-Lift transportation van driver, either. Burritt was charged in Polk County in mid-December with 1st degree child sexual assault - sexual contact with person under age of 13, and child enticement, after an 11-year-old girl alleged he brought her to his Turtle Lake home and groped her breasts and genitals over her clothing while she waited to be brought home. Burritt was transporting the child from Impact Counseling in Hayward on Wednesday, Nov. 23, to her Birchwood home. Burritt maintained his innocence when being interviewed by Turtle Lake police investigators on Dec. 7 after the child initially reported her allegations to counselors and police on Friday, Dec. 2.

Security video and GPS tracking devices confirmed that Burritt was telling the truth: he took the child from Hayward directly to Birchwood, and only made one wrong turn during the journey as he was unfamiliar with the route and was not her regular driver.

The child told police that Burritt took her to his home, let his six dogs out on the property, touched her in a sexual manner and then struck her twice in the knee when she resisted his advances and slammed the door on his hand. Burritt had showed police his uninjured hand on Wednesday, Dec. 7, two weeks after the assault was alleged to have happened.

Steffen said in other circumstances, the investigation would have continued - including gathering security footage - before any charges were brought. However, because of Burritt's occupation and ongoing contact with children, the district attorney's office believed it was necessary to act quickly in order to potentially protect other children in Burritt's care who might also be harmed, had the story proven true, Steffen said.

"When we made the charges, our alleged victim had given us detailed information, including background information that provided details" allegedly supporting the child's story, Steffen said. "Due to his occupation, we believe we had to move quickly."

When the security video and GPS data showed that what Burritt was saying was true, police investigators re-interviewed the girl, confronted her with the contrary evidence, and she admitted making the story up. Steffen said the background information the girl provided, including rough details of what the outside of his home property looked like and the number of dogs he had, came about from discussions during the bus ride between Burritt and the child. The girl also allegedly asked to use Burritt's cell phone, which had personal photos on the display screen, Burritt said.

On Wednesday, Jan. 4, all charges against Burritt were dismissed on a prosecutor's motion and Steffen is working to have them expunged from the criminal computer records. The child has been referred to juvenile authorities for possible consequences for her lying and making false allegations. A phone call to Burritt's defense attorney, Aaron A. Nelson of Door Drill & Skow in New Richmond, was not returned by press time.

Wisconsin online court records, or CCAP, show that the charges were dismissed on the prosecutor's motion with prejudice (meaning they cannot be refiled) and without court costs, but do not indicate whether the court or a victims' compensation fund will compensate Mr. Burritt for his defense attorney fees.

Police: Girl made up story about near abduction

MIDDLETOWN — Middletown police have learned that the 12-year-old girl who said she was nearly abducted this week made up the story.

During the third interview Friday night, the juvenile, a Franklin Junior High School student, said while she was waiting for a bus on Wednesday morning, she heard a noise in a wooded area, started to run home, fell and scraped her hand.

Earlier, she told police that she was injured following a brief struggle with the man who tried to abduct her at knife point. She told detectives she did not see a subject in the wooded area as she had said earlier.

Detective Steve Winters said the girl will not be charged with any crime.

Contact this reporter at (513) 705-2842 or rmccrabb@coxohio.com.

http://www.middletownjournal.com/news/middletown-news/police-girl-made-up-story-about-near-abduction-1312587.html

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

THIS is a real problem . . .

The world is a complicated place with lots more grays than black-and-whites, even when it comes to -- dare I say it? -- gender issues.  Too often, some in the men's rights movement present gray issues as black-and-white, and that only detracts from the issues that really are black-and-white.

Here's one that's black-and-white. In family law court, there is a widespread, systemic bias against fathers. When the father at issue is a good father, a caring father, a father who wants to be involved in his children's lives, that bias can be a grave injustice. 

If we ever want to achieve gender equality -- I mean real gender equality -- that's both fair to men and that allows more women to strive for greater achievement in the workplace, we need to treat dads as real parents, not as mommy's helpers who perform their fatherly duties at mother's whim. And we need to insist that our judicial system not be used as a sword to skewer good fathers.

Read the entire piece -- if this doesn't horrify you, I don't know what will: http://www.seattleweekly.com/2012-01-18/news/ripped-apart/

17 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit - should state pay?

By Paula Wissel writing here: http://www.kplu.org/post/17-years-prison-crime-he-didnt-commit-should-state-pay

Since 2008, four prisoners in Washington State have been exonerated through DNA testing and other evidence. Advocates for granting them compensation say it’s the right thing to do, even in tough budgetary times.

Of the four wrongfully convicted men, Alan Northrop did the most time behind bars. Now that he’s out, he’s trying to put the pieces of his life back together.

I recently moderated a forum at the University of Washington Tacoma, where Northrop was a featured speaker. As he stepped to the microphone, he hesitated, taken aback by the crowd of 400 plus who came to hear him. After all, he spent years in prison trying to get someone to listen.

The nightmare begins

In 1993, Northrop and a friend, Larry Davis, were charged with the brutal rape of a woman near Vancouver, Wash. Northrop was picked up by police because of his resemblance to a composite sketch of the rapist.

“Of course, I said I didn’t do it. I’m not the one,” he said.

Northrop says, at the time, nerves caused him to fail a lie detector test. Then, the woman who was raped picked him out of a line up and the case went to trial.

“She pointed me out in the courtroom and that was pretty devastating,” he said.

Northrop was convicted. He was in prison for 17 years. All of his appeals were denied. He had no other legal recourse.

A glimmer of hope

In 2001, Northrop wrote a letter to the Innocence Project Northwest (IPNW) at the University of Washington. The Project, under the direction of Jacqueline McMurtrie, agreed to take his case. McMurtrie says, like most of the cases they take on, there were a lot of obstacles to overcome. For one thing, they had to seek testing of DNA evidence collected at the time of the crime.

When the results of the tests finally came back, they proved that Northrop and Davis couldn’t have committed the rape.

In 2010, they were both exonerated and released from prison.

Life after exoneration

Northrop says it feels “awesome” to be out, but it’s been very hard to adjust to life outside the prison.

“Even little things where you have to make a decision, I’ll panic,” he said.

He says there’s really no way to make up for what he lost. When he was sent away, he left behind three children under the age of 5.

“My kids grew up without me. That disturbs me when I think about that,” he said.

He says he’s still filled with a lot of anger over being wrongly convicted and spending so much time in prison.

Music has helped him. He was a drummer in a rock band before he went away and is now playing again, in a band called Aqua Vitae.

“What happened is what happened and I’m just trying to get going again, you know, start over,” Northrop said.

No apology

Northrop was asked by someone in the audience if the prosecutor who put him away has ever apologized.

“No,” he says.

Northrop has testified several times in Olympia in favor of a bill that would provide financial compensation to people who’ve been exonerated.

A bill being considered in the current legislative session (HB 2221) would give innocent people who’ve been imprisoned:

•$50,000 for every year they were behind bars.

•A guarantee of healthcare coverage.

•College tuition waivers for themselves and their children

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Evacuation specialist: 'Women don't need help just because they are women'

The tragedy of the sunken cruise ship has got jaded newspaper hacks churning out even more crap than usual, and a lot of it is about how -- horrors! -- "women and children" were not evacuated first. 

Oh, what to make of these dreaded modern men!

The fact is, chivalry does not comport with modern notions of gender equality, and no rational person thinks otherwise. In my personal experience, the most chivalrous men -- the ones who put women on the proverbial pedestal -- are usually not especially eager to treat women as equals in the business world, or anywhere else.

Here's an example of a very chivalrous man: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/women_children_last_9mdEh6P9nXC6E5DQw7w8HK

In contrast, here's someone who knows what the hell he's talking about -- an evacuation specialist: "I think the priority would be that you would help people who appear to need help. Children obviously need help. But helping women is not necessary. Women don't need help just because they are women. It's more important to identify the people who need help. That's important and that's what people tend to do." http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/reality-check-with-polly-curtis/2012/jan/16/costa-concordia-women?newsfeed=true

The expert pretty much says what I said yesterday: http://falserapesociety.blogspot.com/2012/01/when-ship-sinks-why-not-people-in-need.html

Sexual assault is not a private crime

A disturbing You Tube video shows a seemingly unconscious, motionless man in an LSU shirt slumped in a chair, his head pressed to a table, and two fast-food containers on his back. Young people who appear to be University of Alabama fans proceed to mock, sexually assault, and otherwise assault him.

The New Orleans Police Department's Sex Crimes Unit is aware of the online video and has reviewed it. The apparent victim, as well as everyone involved in the incident, is unknown, and no one has filed a complaint or come forward.  "In sexual assault cases, victims make the ultimate decision to inform police so that we can thoroughly investigate a situation," a police spokeswoman wrote. "Should that person in this video decide to come to us, we will launch a complete investigation."

I'm confused. Shouldn't the police be asking for information about the incident from anyone who might know about it?  The apparent perpetrators committed what appear to be degrading acts against an innocent member of society. The fact that the man was incapacitated doesn't give the apparent perpetrators license to use him as their their human plaything. Society's paramount interest in cases of this nature should be to bring these people to justice so that they are less likely to do it to others.

And so what if the alleged victim doesn't want to cooperate? That certainly would make the prosecution more difficult, but the incident has been captured on video. In any event, an incapacitated victim wouldn't be able to shed as much light on what happened as the video does. The video, not the apparent victim, would be the state's star witness.

Sexual assault is no more a "private" crime than is murder or robbery.  When a dead body is found in the woods, police don't issue statements proclaiming there won't be any prosecution unless the victim comes forward.

Professor Alan Dershowitz recently instructed: "A civil trial . . . seeks justice for the victim." But, "[a] criminal trial is never about seeking justice for the victim." See here.

Some insist that the alleged victim of a sexual assault or rape should decide whether to prosecute. They reason that it is unjust to force a victim to endure the prosecution of such a crime if the victim doesn't want to come forward.

That argument has a certain appeal, but it ultimately must give way to larger interests. While it is rare that a sexual assault case can be prosecuted without the cooperation of the victim, where it can be done (and I submit this might be one of those cases), it is more unjust not to prosecute since not prosecuting allows a criminal deviant to go unpunished to prey on other innocent members of society.

It is time to stop thinking of rape as a "different" sort of crime.

Woman made false rape claim after victim rejected her sexual advances

Last year, Lisa Wright, 20, of  Inverness (a city in the Scottish Highlands), asked a man if she could stay at his house for reasons the newspaper account doesn't explain.  The man made up a bed on his couch for her in the living room. Apparently, she had other ideas.  Wright had made a "sexual advance" on the man, which he twice rejected.

The spurned Ms. Wright stormed out of the house and later told two female police officers that the man had indecently assaulted her and forced her to smoke heroin.

Police officers had concerns about her claims, the newspaper account reveals, and Wright confessed to making them up four days later.

Sheriff Neilson said the offence had no doubt led to significant distress and upset to the accused man, and cost to the public purse.  Her sentence? 210 hours of community service.  Apparently the "significant distress and upset" doesn't warrant a serious sentence.

Men are constantly told that "no means no." Women should hear the same message. And when a man says "no," they shouldn't think it is their right to make a false rape claim to get even with him. Unfortunately, the sentence imposed here won't deter women from lying about rape.

http://www.strathspey-herald.co.uk/News/Woman-made-false-sexual-assault-claims-after-being-spurned-12012012.htm

Monday, January 16, 2012

Woman accused of instigating murder by telling rape lie gets 8 years

A follow-up to our story  here.  A judge ordered an eight-year prison sentence Tuesday for a San Antonio woman who authorities said instigated the murder of a boyfriend by lying to another boyfriend about a rape that never occurred.

Melissa Ann Ramos, 23, was originally charged with manslaughter in the death of Nathan Ramirez, who was 20 when he was gunned down in June 2007 behind the North Side sandwich shop where he worked.

But as part of a plea agreement reached in November, she pleaded no contest to robbery.

Ramos is the third of four defendants to be sentenced by state District Judge Ron Rangel in the case. Alleged gunman John McBurnett got a 40-year term after a jury found him guilty of murder in September 2010. Another jury convicted Ramos' other boyfriend, James “Clay” Kelly, of murder for prompting the shooting and the judge also gave him 40 years.

Prosecutors Miguel Najera and Ashley Botard declined to comment on the case because the final defendant, John “Bubba” Rodriguez, who testified against his co-defendants, hasn't been sentenced.Prosecutors have said Ramos lied to Kelly about being raped because she was cheating on him while he was serving time in jail.

Ramos, who wasn't present at the shooting, expressed remorse Tuesday as she asked the judge for deferred adjudication probation. Defense attorney Dennis Moreno described his client's actions as a youthful mistake that spun out of hand.

Ramirez's sister, however, wasn't as forgiving as she read aloud a victim impact statement after the sentence was announced. Of all the defendants, Ramos is the one that is hated the most, Melissa Krueger said.

“My brother's death lies in the palm of your hand,” she said. “You are a coward. Because you wanted to be promiscuous and cheat, my brother had to pay.”

Robbery is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Prosecutors agreed to ask for no more than eight years as part of the plea deal.

Link: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Prison-for-woman-whose-false-rape-accusation-led-2456835.php

'There are false allegations made against people in this community all the time'

The following story is a chilling barometer of where we are as a society when it comes to men accused of rape.  The week before Christmas in Albuquerque, a mother called police to the family’s apartment claiming her husband was raping his own son. The police arrived, but they did not believe they had enough evidence to arrest the father without a forensic specialist to interview the child first at a safe house.  The police knew the father, knew he wasn't a flight risk, and knew he had no history of abuse. They worked out a plan with the mother whereby the child would be safe for the evening (the details of that plan are not divulged in the news report), and instead of immediately arresting and jailing the father, they took him to a truck stop for the night. 

Nothing happened to the little boy overnight. The father didn't leave the truck stop and hunt him down to rape or murder him. The next day the little boy gave a statement about what he claims he endured.  Police then arrested the father and charged him with criminal sexual penetration 1st degree. The father was held under a $100,000 cash-only bond.

It sounds as though police did a careful job here. But it wasn't good enough for local TV station KRQE. See here: http://www.krqe.com/dpp/news/crime/cops-defend-not-busting-accused-father  That station's indignant news anchor, Dick Knipfing, said the case "has raised some eyebrows" (mainly Dick Knipfing's, no doubt) because the father wasn't immediately arrested.

"It sounds strange," Knipfing harrumphed, "but Albuquerque police insist they did the right thing when they took a man suspected of raping his son not to jail but to a truck stop to spend the night."  Watch Knipfing's somber, judgmental facial gestures as he reads the story. Then listen to the indignation in the voice of the young female reporter, Alex Tomlin, when she says the man was taken to a truck stop -- as if it were the most outrageous thing imaginable. You would think that the police just set Max Cady of "Cape Fear" loose to exact Martin Scorsese-style bloody revenge.

Think about the implications: it "raises eyebrows" and it is "strange" that an adult male who isn't a flight risk and has no prior history of abuse isn't arrested and deprived of his liberty, with all the attendant reputational, emotional, and even physical harm that accompanies it, based on nothing more than the say so of a six-year-old before a proper investigation.

The fact that the father was not immediately arrested shouldn't scare us. The reaction of Dick Knipfing and Alex Tomlin should.  Don't take my word on it -- watch the video and decide for yourself.  http://www.krqe.com/dpp/news/crime/cops-defend-not-busting-accused-father

Albuquerque Police Department Chief Deputy Beth Paiz dismissed the local TV station's concerns out of hand: “There are false allegations made against people in this community all the time."

Isn't it strange that this statement, which is not one you routinely hear uttered by police officers, didn't cause Dick Knipfing or Alex Tomlin to raise an indignant eyebrow?

On the subject of sex allegations by kids, in June of 2008, Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority in a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, explained: "There are . . . serious systemic concerns in prosecuting the crime of child rape." He singled out "[t]he problem of unreliable, induced, and even imagined child testimony . . . ."  Justice Kennedy continued cited Quas, Davis, Goodman, & Myers, Repeated Questions, Deception, and Children's True and False Reports of Body Touch, 12 Child Maltreatment 60, 61-66 (2007) (finding that 4- to 7-year-olds '"were able to maintain [a] lie about body touch fairly effectively when asked repeated, direct questions during a mock forensic interview").

People who insist we can "never be too careful" when it comes to children are, themselves, a danger to society. A society ready to sacrifice a man's liberty without probable cause in the name of "protecting the children" is not a society worth handing down to those children it insists it is protecting.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

When a ship sinks, why not 'people in need of assistance first'?

Sigh. A cruise ship tragically sinks, and it spawns another tiresome round in the even more tiresome gender wars.  Have you, too, grown more than a little weary of these discussions?

An example: here's a news report that goes out of its way to vilify dastardly fathers. You see, those damnable fathers on board forgot their chivalry: "Fathers desperate to be with their families ignored the order that women and children should go first."

So, are we going to publicly shame those fathers the way some male survivors were publicly shamed after Titanic?

And what year is this? 2012, or 1912?

All manner of distasteful comments appear under the news story, and in similar discussions on the Internet. Some people bemoan the loss of chivalry; others blame women for the loss of chivalry.  Pretty much everyone gets it wrong.

Here's a comment that's not atypical:  "How disgraceful. There is no gallantry left. Although men have been systematically trained for the last half century to think of women as no different and needing no 'protection' let alone self sacrificing behavior, so what do we expect? Thank goodness the situation was not worse." - Laura, Anywhere, USA, 15/1/2012 15:10

Sigh. That comment suggests that "gallantry" that would have automatically saved women, as a class, first, is a good thing -- a natural thing, and that our modern PC culture (and, I am sure, feminism) has ruined it.

Wrong. What, exactly, does gender have to do with a ship sinking?

How about we apply common sense and civility and toss the gender lens overboard? There's no sound reason for a strict gender rule that says women, as a class, should be saved before men, as a class, when a ship sinks.  But there are plenty of  sound reasons to save the folks most in need first, female or male: kids, their caregivers, the elderly, persons with disabilities, etc.

If feminism is to "blame" for loosening society's strict adherence to the silly "women and children first" rule--maybe it inspired some young father to stay with his family on a lifeboat instead of playing the stoic hero and allowing an able-bodied woman to take his spot--well, that's one good thing feminism has done.

In any event, is it the end of the world that society largely still adheres to some customs like "women and children first," taking women's orders first at restaurants, holding doors for women, and allowing women to get out of elevators first?  Of course not. The problem is that these little customs can't really be squared with  rational notions of gender equality, and if we're intent on eradicating the corrosive effects of gender stereotyping, we can't be making exceptions for even small things.  In other words, we can't tell our sons in one breath that our daughters are every bit as capable as they are, while in the next insisting that girls need special advantages to get by. That message manages the seemingly impossible task of insulting both genders at once.  Again, maybe we have feminism to thank for opening our eyes to these issues?

I agree with the "unsinkable" Molly Brown, who survived the Titanic. She said she thought it was very brave that some men had chosen to step aside and let women and children live — but the gesture should never have been required by law or custom.

If you want to understand what happened on Titanic, see this: http://www.the-spearhead.com/2011/04/11/when-titanic-sank-99-years-ago-this-week-people-were-more-honest-about-gender-roles-than-they-are-today/

Friday, January 13, 2012

27 states have compensation laws in place--23 states don't

The federal government, 27 states and the District of Columbia have compensation laws in place. Here's a link to list of states with compensation laws:

http://www.innocenceproject.org/news/LawView1.php

British soap star exonerated of sex charges returns to show

Michael Le Vell has returned to Coronation Street after he was 'completely exonerated' of child sex abuse claims.
Helen Flanagan – who made her name playing Rosie Webster in the show – took to her twitter account to praise the 47-year-old actor.  She tweeted: 'Micheal Le Vell strongest man I have come across. Upmost respect. (sic)'.

Kym Marsh – who portrays Michelle Connor in Coronation Street – also used the social networking site to express her joy about the charges against him being dropped.  She wrote: 'Fantastic news about Michael Le Vell having all charges dropped! I hope they make as much of this news as they did about condemning him.'

http://www.metro.co.uk/tv/887307-michael-le-vell-returns-to-coronation-street-after-false-rape-claims

Serious victims' advocate RINJ takes strong stand against false rape claims

RINJ is an international organization that seeks removal of web and other media content that condones sexual violence.  We agree with its mission. It is a serious victim's advocacy group. 

RINJ today expressed interest in beefing up the laws against false rape claims. Needless to say, we applaud these efforts. We have long believed that the false rape problem hurts not only the innocent persons falsely accused but rape victims as well. The following is from RINJ's Facebook page dated Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 7:45pm:

"In the discussion of creating a law that makes a criminal offence of a false allegation of rape, we see the emergence of some of the reasons victims are reluctant to report a crime against them. If false allegation of rape were implemented in the Criminal Code of the commomnwealth of nations, prosecutors would not need to find such "tricky" roundabout methods to prosecute these crimes. Moreover, defence attornies for alleged rapists will not be able to invoke some airy-fairy urban legend about false allegations but instead, both sides of the court and the jury will have bona fide statistics based on a statute's implementation.
 
"We submit that the number of false allegations of rape is small but that in each case the consequences are horrific and create a victim who in some minds is no less damaged than a rape victim. We further advance that the penalty for a person convicted of making false allegations of rape be commensurate with those issued to actual rape offenders.
 
"We have two goals in mind. We want juries to be more free to convict rapists in a comfort zone provided by law and case law with strict maximum penalties for false allegations and good litmus tests for fact finding.
 
"Secondly, because the method for dealing with false allegations is wishy-washy at best, providing a good law will alleviate the ambiguity. Too many people throw the word around like it was a swear word. That must end. Don't scream "fire" unless there is a fire. Don't scream "rape" unless there is a "rape". We want all rapes reported and hence need to to remove the fear victims have that they will not be believed.

"Because it is so easily done and because there are no statistics available about false rape allegations, creating law to deal specifically with false allegations will benefit our mission in ending rape. We will all have useful statistics that will likely show false allegations to be rare and done only by easily identifiable character types. Rape is no joke. The word should never be used unless in the case of a "Rape"."

RINJ dot Org has invited all interested parties to participate in a Facebook discussion in which RINJ has advanced the argument that there should be a separate law that allows for the prosecution of false allegation of rape.

Read about it here: http://www.wireservice.ca/index.php?module=News&func=display&sid=7309

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Yale's new shack-up policy explained

I had a very difficult time explaining to my friend why Yale's new shack-up policy is woman-friendly: go read it at A Voice for Men.

'Nearly half of all junior high and high school students are sexually harassed each year'

A new report by the American Association of University Women says that nearly half of students in grades 7-12 were sexually harassed last year alone.

The AAUW is a woman's lobby. When such an organization tosses out a stat like that, it might cause alarm in some circles. Among most people, however, our guess is that it generates at least mild eye rolling. Kids experience teasing and bullying all the time, and to suggest that every such incident should become a stat in the gender wars does a grave disservice to the cases where intervention is really needed.

Norwalk woman gets 7 months in prison for false rape statement

A 20-year-old woman who falsely accused two men of rape was sentenced to a total of seven months and one day in prison Friday at Norwalk Superior Court.



Brittany Reith, of 7 Commerce St., also received two years of probation after pleading guilty to falsely reporting an incident in the second degree, violation of probation and fourth-degree larceny.

Reith was arrested in June for filing a fabricated sworn, written statement accusing two innocent men of raping her at gunpoint.

As a result of Reith's statement, patrol officers arrested two innocent men on April 7 for felony sexual assault and battery charges.

The charges against both men were dropped after detectives conducted further investigation and found serious inconsistencies in Reith's statement, police said.

Police found out that Reith had stayed out all night partying with one of the men and concocted the story about the rape after arriving at her boyfriend's apartment home more than 12 hours late.

Detectives obtained video surveillance and witness statements that corroborated the men's' alibis and contradicted the Reith's story, according to an affidavit.

While her false statement case was pending, she was arrested for stealing laptops from her uncle's business and violating the conditions of her probation.

At her sentencing, Reith did not apologize for any specific actions, but she expressed regret for wasting the court's time.

She also told the court that she plans to continue with her education and move on with her life when she gets out of prison.

Link: http://www.thehour.com/story/517430/norwalk-woman-gets-7-months-in-prison-for-false-rape-statement

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

DA says sexual assault claim was a lie

Prosecutors in Polk County say they plan to drop charges against a man accused of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl.

In charges filed in December, District Attorney Dan Steffen says the man from Turtle Lake was accused of assaulting the girl at her home.  However, GPS information from a handicapped transportation service the man worked for later proved he never left his route on the day of the alleged assault.
 
Steffen says finding out an alleged victim was not telling the truth is about the worst situation you can imagine as a prosecutor. He says there is no doubt now that the accusations were false.

Steffen says his office will do everything possible to clear the man’s name, including having the case dismissed and expunged from all databases so there’s no “cloud on his history.”

Link: http://www.wrn.com/2012/01/da-says-sexual-assault-claim-was-a-lie/

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Rush to judgment in Starlin Castro case

Remember the rash of rape allegations against baseball players last year?  Well, another major leaguer has been accused of sexual assault.

Chicago Cubs All-Star shortstop Starlin Castro was accused of sexually assaulting a woman after a night of drinking last fall. The alleged victim is a Chicago woman in her 20s. No criminal charges have been filed, but Castro is reportedly wanted for questioning by Chicago Police.

The alleged victim claims that she was drinking with friends at a River North nightclub on the night of Sept. 29 when she met Castro. She and a friend allegedly left the bar at 3 a.m. and went to the 21-year-old Castro's nearby apartment. According to the police report, the alleged victim said she blacked out. She purportedly told police she came to, and found Castro sexually assaulting her. The heavily redacted police report says that when she woke up she screamed and yelled at her alleged attacker, and left the apartment at about 5:30 a.m. getting a ride home from her friend. Twelve hours later, the alleged victim went to a hospital, and police became involved.

Castro's attorneys, Jay K. Reisinger and Michael P. Gillespie, issued the following statement on behalf of their client: "We are aware of certain allegations that have been made against our client, Starlin Castro. We have thoroughly investigated this matter, and we are confident that these allegations are baseless. Given the sensitive nature of this matter, we cannot comment any further."

The Cubs released the following entirely appropriate statement in response to the allegations: "We are aware that a police report was filed regarding an incident involving Starlin, but we have received limited information. While this is something we take very seriously, there is not enough information to make any further comment or take action at this time. We are hopeful when the facts are brought to light, Starlin will be cleared of any wrongdoing."

But, of course, the rush to judgment has begun.

Criminal defense lawyer Julie DiCaro posted this take on the case: "I have seen very few victims over the course of my career that I didn’t believe."  See here

Nice. Someone who ought to know better somehow thinks it's entirely appropriate to shed light on a specific rape case by referring to completely unrelated cases. 

She goes on: "The incidents of women fabricating rape charges are few and far between, particularly when it comes to famous attackers."

She can't help herself, this one. I guess she knows better than leading feminist legal scholar Aya Gruber who wrote: ". . . 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).

She goes on: "If I were this woman, and what she says is true, I wouldn’t have come forward immediately, either. And I wouldn’t have done it exactly for the way she is about to be treated by the press, the public, and probably the police and prosecutors. This is going to be no picnic for her." 

The latter point is a given, it will not be a picnic. But if Mr. Castro is not a sexual assaulter, it already isn't a picnic for him. In fact, it's probably a living hell.  How cold-hearted it would be to think otherwise, or not to even consider that possibility.

DiCaro adds, almost as an afterthought:  "At the same time, let’s keep in mind that Starlin hasn’t been charged with any crime and the presumption of innocence applies." See here.

Oh, thank you for that. With presumptions of innocence like that, who needs enemies?

Sometimes the rush to judgment is more subtle. The Chicago Tribune has a story titled Time for Castro to Grow Up: "We might never know details of what happened inside Castro's apartment. Police have not filed charges against Castro and may never. If Castro emerges unscathed legally, he still can use this experience to underscore how a big-city stage demands bigger responsibility, how 21-year-old All-Stars must grow up quicker. . . ."

Sorry, I'm lost. If he didn't do it, why must be "grow up quicker"?

The story goes on: "The Cubs must remind players how the trappings of being a pro athlete mingle with the expectations of the family-friendly organization they represent, 24/7. Castro can seize that maturing moment before the Cubs Convention by publicly acknowledging the need to put himself in better situations, the way some members of the Cubs organization hope he does."

Oh, I see. He needs to "put himself in better situations."  Hmm. If he's innocent, that statement is akin to victim blaming, isn't it?

But the rush to judgment works the other way, too. Aaron Schafer describes what he found on a baseball message board: "A woman accuses a ballplayer of assault, and it takes less than 10 posts on a message board before someone calls her a whore. Several posters assume she's just trying to cash in on having gone home with a celebrity. One poster questions the validity of the laws pertaining to giving consent in a compromised state. Another dismisses her as an angry booty call. Above all, the sentiment you hear so often in these cases is repeated ad nauseum.

"'Well, I mean, come on. Going to some dude's apartment at three in the morning, what did she think was going to happen?'"

By the way, Aaron didn't engage in any pre-judging himself, much to his credit. He favors waiting for the investigation to play out.

But in too many places, it's the same old crap all around, isn't it?  Why is it so difficult to treat every rape claim seriously and to investigate it thoroughly without prejudging either the accuser or the accused?

No action over false rape claim

She isn't named, and no further action will be taken. This after police informed the community about a rapist on the loose and likely raised a false level of fear. Glad to see this person is being treated as an adult, and held accountable for her actions.

POLICE say they are taking no further action against a woman who made a false accusation that she suffered a serious sexual assault by an unknown attacker in Gostrey Meadow, Farnham, last Friday.

The following day, Christmas Eve, police issued a warning that women should not walk home alone at night and recommended carrying personal attack alarms.

But by the end of the day, they reported that the woman, who was in her late 30s, admitted that she had made a false allegation.

Link: http://www.farnhamherald.com/news.cfm?id=48045&headline=No%20action%20over%20false%20rape%20claim

Monday, January 9, 2012

Young couple charged with revenge false rape claim, but only the girl's fiancé is named in newspapers

A 17-year-old Oneida girl named Katalyn Fura and her 22-year-old fiancé falsely claimed she was raped by a man they identified by name in order to get back at him for “running his mouth off,” state police said.   The girl was charged with two counts of providing a false written statement, both misdemeanors, after telling a school official she was raped on a Lewis Point Road residence in late December. The girl's fiancé, Keith Drummond, 22, was also charged with providing a false written statement.

The story didn’t hold up long after state police started investigating.  The girl claimed Drummond had interrupted the rape. Drummond claimed he didn’t see the girl until after it was over. The girl’s mother also said the girl wasn’t in the area where the rape supposedly occurred the day the alleged assault occurred. Both the girl and Drummond eventually admitted to the fabrication, Dougherty said.

“There was no clear cut reason for being mad at him,” the investigator said. “They said he was running his mouth off.” 

While this site names the girl (see here) the newspapers reporting the story refused to name her. One of the papers, the Oberver-Dispatch, said it "does not identify defendants younger than 18." (See here) That's curious, because that's exactly what it did here -- it identified a defendant younger than 18 -- when the defendant was a 17-year-old male (the same age as the girl in this story) accused of rape.  (See here)  In fact, most newspapers report the names of teens under 18 who are charged with rape.

Sources:
http://centralny.ynn.com/content/top_stories/569604/duo-accused-of-lying-about-rape/

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2012/01/canastota_girl_17_and_fianc_ac.html
 
http://www.uticaod.com/latestnews/x2079018335/Police-2-charged-for-false-rape-claim-in-Oneida

Flashback: False rape claim against minority young men was just "the good scare they well deserved" (New York Daily News Columnist Michael Daly)

Here's Michael Daly on the falsely accused young minority men in the Hofstra false rape case: "The five were freed after getting the good scare that they well deserved." And this: "These five may not be guilty, but that does not make them innocent. They should stop their whimpering and apologize for acting like mutts." 

If you want to know why this comment is so terribly repulsive, read this -- it's required reading for everyone interested in the issues we discuss here: Lambs to the Slaughter: The Hofstra False Rape Case.

Exonerated British soap star was suicidal over sexual assault charge, wants anonymity for the presumptively innocent accused of sexual assault

Michael Le Vell, 46, the father of two, has been a star of British soap "Coronation Street" for almost thirty years. Mr. Le Vell was accused and arrested for a years-old sexual assault claim of a girl, but is "delighted" to have been "completely exonerated." after he was cleared following a police investigation. The star said he was now planning to carry on working and put the incident behind him.

Mr. Le Vell now reveals that the ordeal made him suicidal.  “At times, I felt like throwing myself under a bus. I was in a bad way,” he said.

Going forward, he fears that mud sticks. He said, “People will always think, ‘There’s no smoke without fire,’ even though it was a complete lie.”  He has called for a change in the law which would stop anyone accused of sexual assault being publicly named.  He said, “No one should have to go through what I’ve been through.  These are the worst sort of allegations anyone could face. Saying I raped a kid, it’s just horrific. It’s wrong that people can be named like this. It’s been worse for me because I’m well-known, I’m high-profile. Things need to change.”

Mr. La Vel makes a point worthy of serious, and not politicized, public discourse. If rape is a "different" kind of crime that warrants automatic anonymity for rape accusers (by law in the UK and by compact of members of the news media in the US), then it is also a "different" kind of crime for the presumptively innocent men and boys accused of rape. If rape carries a unique stigma justifying anonymity for accusers, it also carries a unique stigma justifying anonymity for the wrongly accused.  There is an argument to be made that it should either be all or nothing.

This case prompted  Brian Reade of the Daily Mirror to write the following:

". . . men accused of serious sex offences should have the same rights as their accuser and only be named if they are found guilty.

"We’ve seen it happen to pop stars like Paul Weller and Mick Hucknall, soap stars such as Ben Freeman, reality ­contestants like Jack Tweed and footballers Frank Sinclair, Paul Dickov, Keith Gillespie and Jody Morris.

"Identified as an ­alleged rapist when they were innocent. And it left them all ­devastated, angry and disgraced, after being accused of the most sickening of crimes before the case was anywhere near court.

"This is how football manager David Jones, who was cleared of 14 sex abuse offences against boys, defined his agony when his year-long ordeal which cost him his job, was over: “It killed my father and took away my children’s innocence. I would ­rather have been up for murder.”

"Sir Paul’s brother Mike ­McCartney was forced to fight devastating allegations that he sexually assaulted a waitress at a family gathering. It was thrown out the second it got to court. ­Matthew Kelly was arrested over allegations of child sex abuse. No charges were brought, but he was suspended by ITV and became the butt of “paedo” jokes that I still hear comedians crack today.

"How can famous men be allowed to hide behind super injunctions that cover-up their private sins yet innocent men can be named and shamed before they are even ­investigated by police?

"I understand the argument that naming a genuine rapist may ­encourage other victims to come forward. I appreciate the woeful conviction rate, and the need to improve it.

"But I don’t accept that innocent men can have their lives ruined, possibly out of malice, while those who allege a crime are never named.

"None of us has a clue how it feels to be falsely accused of raping a child, fearing everyone who looks at you believes there’s no smoke without fire.

"Only the wrongly ­accused know what it’s like to see your family shamed, to have the only thing that is truly yours, your good name, stolen, and to be powerless to say anything in your ­defence.

"Why should Michael Le Vell have been put through that?

"Why should the phrase 'quizzed over child abuse' sit permanently in his press cuttings? And all ­because someone may possibly have invented something which left his reputation looking like child-molester Sidney Cooke’s.

"This law attacks our most ­fundamental human right – the presumption you are innocent until proven otherwise – and is nothing short of inhumane.

"It is surely time we showed some humanity."

SOURCES:
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/columnists/reade/2012/01/05/men-accused-of-serious-sex-offences-should-only-be-named-if-they-are-found-guilty-115875-23679829/

http://primetime.unrealitytv.co.uk/coronation-street-star-michael-le-vell-who-was-suicidal-over-rape-allegations-calls-for-law-change/

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4046996/Michael-Le-Vell-I-wished-to-die-over-rape-lies.html