Monday, December 7, 2015

EDITORIAL: False rape accusations hurt everyone

Community of the Wrongly Accused was mentioned in an editorial for the Indiana Daily Student, which appears to be a student-run newspaper that has been published for the community of Indiana University in Bloomington.

The editorial is based on an incident where a woman reported that a man who she had never met knocked on her door, forced his way into her apartment at gunpoint, sexually assaulted her, then fled the apartment.  She provided a description of the man to a police sketch artist.  This composite was provided to the media who released the sketch of the man to generate leads.

A few days later, a man notified police that he believed he was the man who was wanted for sexual assault.  He stated that he "knew the woman and had been with her the night of the reported event, having been invited by her to the 
residence. He said there had been a dispute about money and was able to provide evidence of text messages before and after his visit that 
substantiated his claim."

When police confronted her in a follow-up interview, she admitted that her original story was "inaccurate."  She admitted that she knew the man and that he did not force his way into her apartment.  She gave three different accounts as to what happened, and she was quite evasive about the monetary dispute they had.

So, the Indiana Daily Student published an article to discuss the danger of false accusations where they state that the most obvious victim is the falsely accused.  The Editorial Board throws in the assertion that while only two percent of rapists spend any time in jail, a false accusation has profound and real consequences to the falsely accused.  The article proceeds to discuss the adverse consequences to rape survivors who receive a real slap in the face from those who make false accusations.

Most perplexing, the Editorial Board makes a giant leap and extends the adverse consequences of false accusations to women who have not been sexually assaulted:

"Many so-called “men’s rights advocates” insist that the phenomenon of false accusations is much more prevalent than is commonly believed. Blogs like “Community of the Wrongly Accused,” suggest that rape is a “handy excuse” women can use to escape the consequences of their illicit sexual encounters. Each and every actual case of false allegations of rape plays into this dangerous narrative of women as vindictive liars hell-bent on destroying men’s lives."

Make no mistake in this assertion: there are people, both men and women, who are vindictive liars hell-bent on destroying other people's lives by falsely accusing them of crimes.  The purpose of this blog is to emphasize the responsibility of (1) law enforcement to conduct a thorough investigation to search for inculpatory and exculpatory evidence, (2) Prosecutors to thoroughly analyze the evidence to ensure that innocent people are not tried for crimes they did not commit, (3) Jurors to require Prosecutors to prove the accused's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt before voting to convict, and (4) Judges to ensure that all accused receive a fair trial and that the falsely accused are not wrongly convicted. 

The fact that the majority of cases followed by this blog involve false accusations made by females against males evidences how men suffer when they are falsely accused of sexual assault crimes.  While I have not read any studies comparing the ratio of wrongly accused or convicted males to wrongly accused or convicted females, I would imagine that the quantity of the former far exceeds the latter.  A two minute search on Google yields these links: here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here

But, even where their paper previously reported that a false accusation was made, the Editorial Board still cannot bring themselves to admit this Bloomington woman's report was false in their editorial criticizing false allegations:

"Keeping in mind it is not at all uncommon for rape victims to be pressured into recanting allegations of sexual assault that actually did occur, we do not want to claim to know what really happened. We don’t know if a rape took place or not.  But we think it is important to begin to have a conversation about false rape accusations and how they hurt literally everyone."

Alyson Malinger appeared to have known last Friday that the report was false when she published the story entitled "Sexual assault reported found to be false." The Bloomington Police apparently think the allegation was false.  But, when the Editorial Board throws in that only two percent of rapists go to jail, police pressure victims into making false recantations, and that they don't know if this particular report of rape was false or not in their article criticizing false allegations, then it is up to "so-called [wrongly accused] advocates" to focus the narrative on how the wrongly accused continue to have a cloud of doubt over them even when they are cleared by law enforcement.