Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A whirl around the world of false rape claims

They do happen, and all too frequently. Here are some in the news right now:

Police say woman lied about rape because her lover was "ignorant" to her

Police say that at about 2:15 a.m. on Sept. 10, Amanda M. Wertz, 26, reported that she was forcibly raped by a man inside a home. When interviewed, the man accused of the crime told investigators he met Wertz on an Internet dating site and that the two had consensual sex on two occasions. The man also showed police sexually suggestive text messages Wertz sent to him, police said. A police officer said he spoke with Wertz on Feb. 26 and, at that time, she said she was telling the truth about the forced rape and that she believed the man’s wife sent the sexually suggestive messages from her cellphone.

The police officer said he re-interviewed Wertz on March 15, at which time she said she spoke about the matter with her mother who told her to be truthful. Wertz then told him she had consensual sex with the man and that she made up the rape charge because she was mad at him, and at herself, for cheating on her boyfriend. Wertz provided a written statement that she made up the rape charge, saying she was mad because after the two had consensual sex the man was ignorant to her and called her names. The man who Wertz claimed committed the crime was never charged, Zimmerman said.


Woman makes up false rape claim after boyfriend finds out about her threesome

A woman accused a married couple of rape after her boyfriend found out she'd had a threesome with them. Hannah McWhirter, 21, engaged in the midnight ménage-a-trois with a friend and her husband. She even exchanged texts with the couple after their threesome telling them how much she enjoyed herself.

But she soon changed her tune when the husband told her boyfriend about their steamy hook-up and claimed she had been raped. McWhirter appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court where she admitted wasting police time with false rape claims.

Fiscal depute Elaine Ward: "The couple and the accused spent a lot of time together socially. The nature of their relationship became more intimate and in June 2013 they discussed having a threesome and booking a hotel for that purpose." The court heard that on July 13 the three met up and engaged in a night of passion in a Travelodge in Aberdeen - while McWhirter's boyfriend was on a night out, oblivious to what was going on.

Ward said: "On the following day the accused and [her friend] exchanged several text messages saying that they had both enjoyed the previous night." The fiscal depute said McWhirter and the couple continued to meet socially and appeared "happy" in each other's company. However, the court heard, things took a turn for the worse several months later. Mrs Ward said: "On October 11, the accused's boyfriend was standing outside her place of work when [the husband] advised him of the threesome and showed him text messages from the accused. This later resulted in the accused being confronted by her boyfriend. She initially denied that the incident had taken place, then admitted it but said it was forced."

The court heard their relationship ended and McWhirter, of Banff, returned to live with her mother - continuing to claim that the couple had raped her. Police then started investigating her claims. McWhirter claimed she had been on a night out with friends before bumping into the couple. Mrs Ward said: "She stated that at the end of the night she had to use the bathroom so went to their hotel room and then gave police details of a forcible rape." The couple were interviewed under caution by police on October 16.

However McWhirter's friends did not back up her night out story. And after a further mobile phone analysis took place in November 2013, McWhirter admitted she had been a willing participant in the threesome. Yesterday she admitted wasting police time and rendering the couple to suspicion under the sexual offences act between October 13 and November 14, 2013. Sheriff Graham Buchanan deferred sentence until next month for the preparation of reports. McWhirter, who was released on bail, wept as she left the dock.


Woman lies about rape in order to get a ride home

A young woman falsely claimed she was raped in order to get a lift home with police, a court heard. Judge Melody McReynolds told Dungannon Crown Court that Emma Louise Gallagher of Ardnalee Park in Strabane had made a "gratuitous and lightly-made allegation to secure a free police lift home". The 23-year-old made a false report to police on September 16, 2013 that she had been raped shortly after arriving at a house in Castlederg, an area she was not familiar with.

A man, whose identity can't be revealed for legal reasons, was questioned for four hours by police the following day. The Strabane woman told police originally that she had fallen in an alleyway and a man had pulled her trousers down and she thought he had raped her on two occasions. She then said the more she thought about it, she did not think anything had happened and the complaint was withdrawn. Gallagher yesterday pleaded guilty to the charge of perverting the course of justice and was given a nine-month jail sentence suspended for two years. Gallagher's lawyer said she had learned a salutary lesson from an incident borne out of a drunken desire to get a lift home from the place she had found herself.


A girl used TV show plots to make a horrific false rape claim against a male teacher

A teacher who was fired over allegations of rape and torture is suing the independent investigator hired by the school district, whose report resulted in his dismissal and "embarrassment and humiliation." The investigator had been hired by the school district to look into claims made by a female student that the teacher had abused her in horrific, sadistic sexual ways when the student was in grades 5 to 8. The student claimed the teacher stuck knives and branches in her vagina, waterboarded and electrocuted her, and nearly suffocated her through burial.

The teacher sued the school board and an arbitrator ruled in his favor, noting there was "overwhelming" evidence the claim was made up. The arbitrator explained that despite the "horrific" allegations, the student was "never once attended an emergency clinic, hospital or walk-in clinic to treat her injuries. Nor did her attentive parents notice a thing — not the torn clothing, the burns; neither the bleeding to the extent that blood dripped into the swimming pool, nor her midnight foray. Not the filth from being buried or being soaked wet from waterboarding. Nothing. How likely is it that she could suffer the indignities she says she did and then go home for dinner and homework?"

It turned out, all the scenarios the student described came from episodes of the long-running TV drama "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." The arbitrator concluded "the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that the teacher is the victim of false allegations. The grievance must be upheld and the teacher made whole as soon as possible."


And finally: Professor Alan Dershowitz was accused of rape in court papers filed in a case brought against someone other than Dershowitz.  That allegation has been stricken from the record of the case--but Dershowitz is not happy that news of the court's action striking the accusation is not nearly so well known as news of the initial rape accusation. "I understand—really understand—why it is so important to protect the innocent as well as to punish the guilty. Now I feel the need to redouble my efforts on behalf of the falsely accused, as I have been one of them."