Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Scorned woman who cried rape drives sheriff's deputy from the force

Police determined that a rape claim against a deputy sheriff was actually the product of "a woman scorned." Yet the woman is suing the police force, seeking substantial civil damages. The sheriff's deputy against whom the claim was made, a three-year veteran of the force, was driven from public service when he "resigned from the department only because he realized law enforcement officers will always be the subject of false allegations . . . ." False accusations are rarely made in a vacuum. They leave lasting, often terrible, effects.

And note that in the story -- despite the fact that no criminal charges are being brought, and despite the fact that the police department determined the claim was that of a "woman scorned" -- it does not mention the accuser's name. The name of the accused -- the innocent man -- is freely reported without compunction. And this doesn't hurt the man's reputation, Ms. Kim Smith, author the story? The question scarcely survives its statement. When will these double-standards end? Yes, accusers need to be protected (to a point, at least), but why aren't accused men, whose reputations are often destroyed by this foulest of allegations, afforded the same dignity? Why are you not concerned about that, Ms. Smith?

Story linked here.
Woman who claims rape by deputy sues county, Dupnik
By Kim Smith
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona Published: 05.20.2008

A Three Points woman who says she was raped by an on-duty Pima County Sheriff’s deputy has filed a lawsuit against Pima County, Sheriff Clarence Dupnik and the deputy.

The woman told authorities Deputy Michael Boria came to her home last May and asked to speak with her about gunshots that had been heard in the area. Once he was let in, the woman says Boria sexually assaulted her.

According to the lawsuit, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department insisted on speaking with the woman immediately following her call for help despite there being a conflict of interest. In addition, the lawsuit says Boria himself tried to respond to the woman’s 911 call.

The lawsuit further alleges a fellow deputy recalls telling Boria “We’ll get all the facts. We’ll, um, just trust us, we’ll figure it out one way or another. Uh, we’ll punch holes in her story or whatever.”

Prior to filing the lawsuit, the woman tried to settle her dispute with the county by filing a claim asking the county for $1.6 million. In the claim letter, her attorney, Robert Truman Hungerford, alleged deputies refused to allow the paramedics to treat her for two hours because they wanted to interrogate her first.

She was also questioned another hour hours at the hospital before being examined, according to the claim letter.

The claim letter further states the case was turned over to the Tucson Police Department, but detectives determined she was a “woman scorned.”

Prosecutors declined to file criminal charges against Boria because “there was no substantial likelihood of conviction,” said Deputy Pima County Attorney Susan Eazer.

Boria’s attorney, Michael Storie, proclaimed his client’s innocence.

“This woman is trying to take innocent and appropriate on-duty conduct and turn it into a cash grab,” Storie said.

Boria resigned from the department only because he realized law enforcement officers will always be the subject of false allegations, Storie said. At the time of the incident, Boria had been with the department three years.

The Pima County Attorney’s Office, which represents the sheriff’s department, has a policy of not commenting on pending litigation.

∫ Contact reporter Kim Smith at 573-4241 or