Tuesday, November 30, 2010

McMinnville woman arrested for fabricating story of kidnapping, sexual assault

A Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy responded to a call Sunday in the 11000 block of Wheatland Road, where a woman summoned a resident and reported to have been kidnapped and sexually assaulted by a man earlier that evening.

The woman was transported to Providence Newberg Hospital, and the deputy contacted Newberg-Dundee Police, since the reported crime was to have taken place in Newberg.

She told police she had been kidnapped by a white male, described as approximately 6-foot-tall with a thin to medium build. She said he entered her vehicle when she was stopped for a red light, forced her into the passenger seat and pulled her sweater up over her head.

The woman said she could not tell where the man was taking her but that he was driving very fast. She said at some point the man stopped the vehicle and sexually assaulted her.

She then described screaming and trying to push the man away while scratching at his face. The man then stopped, and began driving again. As the man drove around a sharp corner, she said he lost control and crashed the car. The woman claimed to have gotten out of the vehicle, but said she had no idea where she was.

Using her cell phone she said she was able to call her parents and 911 before her battery died. She then got help from a resident along Wheatland Road.

During the investigation, officers discovered several discrepancies in the woman's story. She was re-interviewed today and admitted to fabricating the whole story. No motive was given.
Ashley Anne Deforrest, 22, of McMinnville, was arrested and cited into Yamhill County Circuit Court for initiating a false report.

A Marion County Deputy did confirm that Deforrest’s vehicle had rolled over and caught fire.

Link:
http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20101025/UPDATE/101025041

McMinnville woman arrested for fabricating story of kidnapping, sexual assault

A Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy responded to a call Sunday in the 11000 block of Wheatland Road, where a woman summoned a resident and reported to have been kidnapped and sexually assaulted by a man earlier that evening.

The woman was transported to Providence Newberg Hospital, and the deputy contacted Newberg-Dundee Police, since the reported crime was to have taken place in Newberg.

She told police she had been kidnapped by a white male, described as approximately 6-foot-tall with a thin to medium build. She said he entered her vehicle when she was stopped for a red light, forced her into the passenger seat and pulled her sweater up over her head.

The woman said she could not tell where the man was taking her but that he was driving very fast. She said at some point the man stopped the vehicle and sexually assaulted her.

She then described screaming and trying to push the man away while scratching at his face. The man then stopped, and began driving again. As the man drove around a sharp corner, she said he lost control and crashed the car. The woman claimed to have gotten out of the vehicle, but said she had no idea where she was.

Using her cell phone she said she was able to call her parents and 911 before her battery died. She then got help from a resident along Wheatland Road.

During the investigation, officers discovered several discrepancies in the woman's story. She was re-interviewed today and admitted to fabricating the whole story. No motive was given.
Ashley Anne Deforrest, 22, of McMinnville, was arrested and cited into Yamhill County Circuit Court for initiating a false report.

A Marion County Deputy did confirm that Deforrest’s vehicle had rolled over and caught fire.

Link:
http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20101025/UPDATE/101025041

Monday, November 29, 2010

Why was this one allowed to get to a jury?

Read the last paragraph and ask yourself if it wouldn't have been fair and just to drop this case when it was clear the evidence didn't match the woman's claim. Doesn't this sound like another case of a district attorney just rolling the dice in the hope of getting a lucky conviction? 

Rolling the dice with the life of a 23-year-old man. Unbelievable.

Jury clears rape accused in 15 minutes

A jury at the High Court in Livingston took less than 15 minutes to return a not guilty verdict on Andrew Hogg yesterday.

The 23-year-old, of Ryehill Gardens, Edinburgh, pleaded not guilty to raping the 27-year-old woman in her flat in Canongate on November 23, 2008. He lodged a special defence admitting that he and the woman had engaged in a consensual "heavy petting" session. However, he denied that sexual intercourse had taken place.

Hogg told the jury that when the woman had changed her mind about making love, he stopped his advances.

His alleged victim claimed Hogg had made her pregnant and infected her with an STD after allegedly forcing her to have sex with him. But medical experts said a scan taken of her unborn baby suggested that it was conceived in December, not November as she claimed.

Why was this one allowed to get to a jury?

Read the last paragraph and ask yourself if it wouldn't have been fair and just to drop this case when it was clear the evidence didn't match the woman's claim. Doesn't this sound like another case of a district attorney just rolling the dice in the hope of getting a lucky conviction? 

Rolling the dice with the life of a 23-year-old man. Unbelievable.

Jury clears rape accused in 15 minutes

A jury at the High Court in Livingston took less than 15 minutes to return a not guilty verdict on Andrew Hogg yesterday.

The 23-year-old, of Ryehill Gardens, Edinburgh, pleaded not guilty to raping the 27-year-old woman in her flat in Canongate on November 23, 2008. He lodged a special defence admitting that he and the woman had engaged in a consensual "heavy petting" session. However, he denied that sexual intercourse had taken place.

Hogg told the jury that when the woman had changed her mind about making love, he stopped his advances.

His alleged victim claimed Hogg had made her pregnant and infected her with an STD after allegedly forcing her to have sex with him. But medical experts said a scan taken of her unborn baby suggested that it was conceived in December, not November as she claimed.

Caution for High Wycombe woman who made up rape allegation

A WOMAN who admitted making up a rape allegation has been cautioned for wasting police time.

The 20-year-old woman from High Wycombe told officers she was raped in the town in the early hours of Sunday October 17.

But police discovered the incident never happened following an investigation and arrested the woman two days later.

Thames Valley Police then gave the woman a caution.

Det Ch Insp Rebecca Mears said: “Stranger rapes are very rare and all such allegations are taken extremely seriously. They are thoroughly investigated by a large number of specialist police officers and staff so that the rapist can be brought to justice as quickly as possible and the victim is supported throughout.

“All calls to the police are treated as genuine unless proven otherwise but we will not hesitate to prosecute people who make false allegations.

“Not only do false rape allegations cost a great deal of public money, but they result in officers having less time to investigate real crimes.”


Link:

http://www.bucksfreepress.co.uk/news/8465965.Caution_for_woman_who_made_up_rape_allegation/?ref=rss

Caution for High Wycombe woman who made up rape allegation

A WOMAN who admitted making up a rape allegation has been cautioned for wasting police time.

The 20-year-old woman from High Wycombe told officers she was raped in the town in the early hours of Sunday October 17.

But police discovered the incident never happened following an investigation and arrested the woman two days later.

Thames Valley Police then gave the woman a caution.

Det Ch Insp Rebecca Mears said: “Stranger rapes are very rare and all such allegations are taken extremely seriously. They are thoroughly investigated by a large number of specialist police officers and staff so that the rapist can be brought to justice as quickly as possible and the victim is supported throughout.

“All calls to the police are treated as genuine unless proven otherwise but we will not hesitate to prosecute people who make false allegations.

“Not only do false rape allegations cost a great deal of public money, but they result in officers having less time to investigate real crimes.”


Link:

http://www.bucksfreepress.co.uk/news/8465965.Caution_for_woman_who_made_up_rape_allegation/?ref=rss

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Feminists berate Hollywood for portraying women as helpless victims, but insist that is what women are in the bedroom

Ever notice that when the subject of Hollywood comes up, every feminist becomes a film industry marketing guru?  They are quick to insist that the motion picture industry would better prosper if producers, who are overwhelmingly male, stopped pumping out more of the same fare that, they say, promotes traditional gender roles and reinforces patriarchal stereotypes.

They bemoan films with clever and adventurous male leads and passive female eye candy. Women, they insist, should not be portrayed as helpless pawns, waiting to be rescued by the handsome prince; women should be given roles where they are doers, not victims -- where they can throw punches, kick male butt, crush testicles, and overwhelm evil.  If only there were more female -- you fill in the blank here -- directors/leading roles/Hollywood power brokers, films not only would do bigger box office but also provide worthy role models for our daughters. 

You see, Hollywood producers need the feminists to save them from their testosterone-induced myopia and to more accurately portray reality in their films.
________________________

Now, on the other hand, when the subject of alleged date rape comes up, all of those lofty empowering sentiments go sailing out the window.  Anyone who dares to suggest that women who freely choose to drink and have sex are anything other than passive and helpless pawns, anyone who has the temerity to suggest that alcohol laden women are free moral agents capable of making decisions for themselves, is a misogynist and a rape apologist.  In the bedroom, women are not doers but victims --damsels in distress more helpless than the most passive Disney princess.

When it comes to the subject of so-called date rape, feminists don't just wallow in victimhood, they splash, leap and cavort in it.

And, no, I am not excusing rapists of their crimes, even a little.  But there's a hell of a difference between the guy who slips a roofie in his date's drink and the couple that mutually drinks to excess and mutually decides, in their mutually reduced state of consciousness, to have sex.  The roofie scenario is as rare as the latter scenario is common. 

The fact is, far too many young women regard alcohol as a magic elixir that not only lowers their inhibitions but absolves them of personal responsibility for whatever they freely choose to do.  Men are afforded no such absolution even when women are the instigators, and too often, must carry the brand of "rapist" for the rest of their lives for decisions women freely made.

Instead of bellyaching that the entertainment industry unfairly portrays women as helpless pawns, feminists would do well to teach young women that they need to change that perception, and that
they aren't empowered by pretending they are powerless.

Feminists berate Hollywood for portraying women as helpless victims, but insist that is what women are in the bedroom

Ever notice that when the subject of Hollywood comes up, every feminist becomes a film industry marketing guru?  They are quick to insist that the motion picture industry would better prosper if producers, who are overwhelmingly male, stopped pumping out more of the same fare that, they say, promotes traditional gender roles and reinforces patriarchal stereotypes.

They bemoan films with clever and adventurous male leads and passive female eye candy. Women, they insist, should not be portrayed as helpless pawns, waiting to be rescued by the handsome prince; women should be given roles where they are doers, not victims -- where they can throw punches, kick male butt, crush testicles, and overwhelm evil.  If only there were more female -- you fill in the blank here -- directors/leading roles/Hollywood power brokers, films not only would do bigger box office but also provide worthy role models for our daughters. 

You see, Hollywood producers need the feminists to save them from their testosterone-induced myopia and to more accurately portray reality in their films.
________________________

Now, on the other hand, when the subject of alleged date rape comes up, all of those lofty empowering sentiments go sailing out the window.  Anyone who dares to suggest that women who freely choose to drink and have sex are anything other than passive and helpless pawns, anyone who has the temerity to suggest that alcohol laden women are free moral agents capable of making decisions for themselves, is a misogynist and a rape apologist.  In the bedroom, women are not doers but victims --damsels in distress more helpless than the most passive Disney princess.

When it comes to the subject of so-called date rape, feminists don't just wallow in victimhood, they splash, leap and cavort in it.

And, no, I am not excusing rapists of their crimes, even a little.  But there's a hell of a difference between the guy who slips a roofie in his date's drink and the couple that mutually drinks to excess and mutually decides, in their mutually reduced state of consciousness, to have sex.  The roofie scenario is as rare as the latter scenario is common. 

The fact is, far too many young women regard alcohol as a magic elixir that not only lowers their inhibitions but absolves them of personal responsibility for whatever they freely choose to do.  Men are afforded no such absolution even when women are the instigators, and too often, must carry the brand of "rapist" for the rest of their lives for decisions women freely made.

Instead of bellyaching that the entertainment industry unfairly portrays women as helpless pawns, feminists would do well to teach young women that they need to change that perception, and that
they aren't empowered by pretending they are powerless.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers. Have a happy holiday, and please be safe.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers. Have a happy holiday, and please be safe.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sexual grievance industry: Innocent young men have a greater responsibility to end rape than young women

It is politically correct in the extreme to preach that innocent young men bear a greater responsibility for ending rape than young women.  The proof is in the messages given to young men and young women when it comes to rape, and a repulsive new ad campaign merely underscores it.

Young men are taught that there is a dotted-line that connects traditional masculinity and rape.  This, of course, is as ridiculous as it is infuriating.  Yet, listen to what Catherine Pierce, of the Office of Violence Against Women in the U.S. Dept. of Justice, said:  "How do we encourage all men to take steps to stop sexual violence when they see it? Jackson Katz, who is one of the most thoughtful and thought-provoking minds on this issue, dedicates an entire chapter in his book 'The Macho Paradox' to the issue of bystanders. He writes: 'If we want to dramatically increase the number of men who make men’s violence against women a priority, it is not useful to engage them as perpetrators or potential perpetrators. Instead, it makes sense to enlist them as empowered bystanders who can do something to confront abusive peers, or who can help to create a climate in male peer culture that discourages [some] men’s attitudes and behaviors.'"

We could do multiple posts on these notions, but it suffices to say that rape is the product of a criminal mind, not a guy acting out traditional notions of masculinity. For example, while I am opposed to porn for other reasons, studies show that rape declines when porn use increases. How many women's advocates would encourage passing out copies of "Playboy" to high school boys in an effort to curb rape? Look: there is no evidence for a "rape continuum" any more than there is for a "murder continuum."  Yet innocent young men are told they must police their peers -- the vast majority of whom are also not criminals -- to be more respectful of women, and in some stardust wishfulness of the feminist sexual grievance industry, this is supposed to reduce rape.

In any event, compare that message with what young women are told about rape:  young women need not alter their behavior in the least to avoid being raped. It is perfectly acceptable for them to drink to unconsciousness in the company of men they don't know, even if this increases the statistical likelihood that they will be raped, because to counsel that they exercise even a modicum of common sense in that circumstance is "victim blaming."  Women shouldn't need to alter their behavior; men need to stop raping.

Example: the new "Don't be that guy" ad campaign in Edmonton is using blunt and crude words and images to tell males 18-24 years-old not to rape women who drink to excess. The picture above is an example. The rationale for the ads is this: "Typically, sexual assault awareness campaigns target potential victims by urging women to restrict their behavior. Research is telling us that targeting the behavior of victims is not only ineffective, but also contributes to how much they blame themselves after the assault. That’s why our campaign is targeting potential offenders – they are the ones responsible for the assault and responsible for stopping it." http://www.sexualassaultvoices.com/our-campaign.html

One such ad will be strategically placed atop urinals in men’s bathrooms in 26 bars around the city. That one reads: “Just because she’s drunk doesn’t mean she wants to fuck." 

The ads are being celebrated as another victory for female empowerment: "[A]t the very least, these ads set a precedent for holding men -- not women -- accountable for the crimes that men commit." http://thestir.cafemom.com/in_the_news/112837/graphic_antirape_ad_targets_men  Sounds like the writer believes men, as a class, are responsible for what a tiny percentage of criminals do, doesn't it? 

No sane and rational person would object to an ad campaign that reduces rape.  But tell me, will a young rapist have an epiphany while standing at the urinal: "She really doesn't want to fuck me?  Shit!  So I guess I shouldn't stick my penis in her!"

My bet is the ads will do more harm than goood.  For starters, they fail to address the elephant in the room: why should she be considered a "victim" when a young couple drinks to mutual excess -- which is common -- and then mutually decides, in their mutually reduced state of consciousness, to have sex?  In that scenario, he's every bit as much a "victim" as she is. (And, no, I don't think they both should be charged with rape: the mutuality of their stupidity cancels out whatever shared criminality exists.)  Women and men frequently drink to lower their inhibitions precisely so they will engage in intercourse.  To pretend otherwise is to toss eons of accumulated knowledge about gender relations onto a scrapheap of politicized indifference.  But that's really the whole game of the persons who dominate the public discourse about rape, isn't it?

By not addressing that issue, the ads are encouraging every young woman who wakes up with semen on her leg to assume "I've been raped!" when, in fact, she might have been the instigator, or at least equally responsible.  Once again, we think we are empowering our daughters by telling them they are powerless. My fear is that these ads will engender more false rape claims.

Beyond that, the ads perpetuate the wicked double-standard that innocent young men have a greater responsibility for ending rape than innocent young women.

Here's the bottom line: rapists are responsible for rape. Period.  Not innocent young men. Innocent young men collectively have essentially no ability to end rape.  Holding young men who do not rape responsible to stop rape, while encouraging young women to consciously put themselves in situations where rape, and misunderstandings about whether rape occurred, are far more likely to occur, is asymmetrical gender blaming.

The real goal of these ads is to foment a little rape hysteria and to remind people that date rape is a significant problem, even if the evidence doesn't support it, thus justifying the existence of the paid sexual grievance industry.

You know, business as usual.

Sexual grievance industry: Innocent young men have a greater responsibility to end rape than young women

It is politically correct in the extreme to preach that innocent young men bear a greater responsibility for ending rape than young women.  The proof is in the messages given to young men and young women when it comes to rape, and a repulsive new ad campaign merely underscores it.

Young men are taught that there is a dotted-line that connects traditional masculinity and rape.  This, of course, is as ridiculous as it is infuriating.  Yet, listen to what Catherine Pierce, of the Office of Violence Against Women in the U.S. Dept. of Justice, said:  "How do we encourage all men to take steps to stop sexual violence when they see it? Jackson Katz, who is one of the most thoughtful and thought-provoking minds on this issue, dedicates an entire chapter in his book 'The Macho Paradox' to the issue of bystanders. He writes: 'If we want to dramatically increase the number of men who make men’s violence against women a priority, it is not useful to engage them as perpetrators or potential perpetrators. Instead, it makes sense to enlist them as empowered bystanders who can do something to confront abusive peers, or who can help to create a climate in male peer culture that discourages [some] men’s attitudes and behaviors.'"

We could do multiple posts on these notions, but it suffices to say that rape is the product of a criminal mind, not a guy acting out traditional notions of masculinity. For example, while I am opposed to porn for other reasons, studies show that rape declines when porn use increases. How many women's advocates would encourage passing out copies of "Playboy" to high school boys in an effort to curb rape? Look: there is no evidence for a "rape continuum" any more than there is for a "murder continuum."  Yet innocent young men are told they must police their peers -- the vast majority of whom are also not criminals -- to be more respectful of women, and in some stardust wishfulness of the feminist sexual grievance industry, this is supposed to reduce rape.

In any event, compare that message with what young women are told about rape:  young women need not alter their behavior in the least to avoid being raped. It is perfectly acceptable for them to drink to unconsciousness in the company of men they don't know, even if this increases the statistical likelihood that they will be raped, because to counsel that they exercise even a modicum of common sense in that circumstance is "victim blaming."  Women shouldn't need to alter their behavior; men need to stop raping.

Example: the new "Don't be that guy" ad campaign in Edmonton is using blunt and crude words and images to tell males 18-24 years-old not to rape women who drink to excess. The picture above is an example. The rationale for the ads is this: "Typically, sexual assault awareness campaigns target potential victims by urging women to restrict their behavior. Research is telling us that targeting the behavior of victims is not only ineffective, but also contributes to how much they blame themselves after the assault. That’s why our campaign is targeting potential offenders – they are the ones responsible for the assault and responsible for stopping it." http://www.sexualassaultvoices.com/our-campaign.html

One such ad will be strategically placed atop urinals in men’s bathrooms in 26 bars around the city. That one reads: “Just because she’s drunk doesn’t mean she wants to fuck." 

The ads are being celebrated as another victory for female empowerment: "[A]t the very least, these ads set a precedent for holding men -- not women -- accountable for the crimes that men commit." http://thestir.cafemom.com/in_the_news/112837/graphic_antirape_ad_targets_men  Sounds like the writer believes men, as a class, are responsible for what a tiny percentage of criminals do, doesn't it? 

No sane and rational person would object to an ad campaign that reduces rape.  But tell me, will a young rapist have an epiphany while standing at the urinal: "She really doesn't want to fuck me?  Shit!  So I guess I shouldn't stick my penis in her!"

My bet is the ads will do more harm than goood.  For starters, they fail to address the elephant in the room: why should she be considered a "victim" when a young couple drinks to mutual excess -- which is common -- and then mutually decides, in their mutually reduced state of consciousness, to have sex?  In that scenario, he's every bit as much a "victim" as she is. (And, no, I don't think they both should be charged with rape: the mutuality of their stupidity cancels out whatever shared criminality exists.)  Women and men frequently drink to lower their inhibitions precisely so they will engage in intercourse.  To pretend otherwise is to toss eons of accumulated knowledge about gender relations onto a scrapheap of politicized indifference.  But that's really the whole game of the persons who dominate the public discourse about rape, isn't it?

By not addressing that issue, the ads are encouraging every young woman who wakes up with semen on her leg to assume "I've been raped!" when, in fact, she might have been the instigator, or at least equally responsible.  Once again, we think we are empowering our daughters by telling them they are powerless. My fear is that these ads will engender more false rape claims.

Beyond that, the ads perpetuate the wicked double-standard that innocent young men have a greater responsibility for ending rape than innocent young women.

Here's the bottom line: rapists are responsible for rape. Period.  Not innocent young men. Innocent young men collectively have essentially no ability to end rape.  Holding young men who do not rape responsible to stop rape, while encouraging young women to consciously put themselves in situations where rape, and misunderstandings about whether rape occurred, are far more likely to occur, is asymmetrical gender blaming.

The real goal of these ads is to foment a little rape hysteria and to remind people that date rape is a significant problem, even if the evidence doesn't support it, thus justifying the existence of the paid sexual grievance industry.

You know, business as usual.

Report: Woman accused of false rape claims heads to court today

A woman accused of filing a false rape claim is expected to appear in an Orange County courtroom today.

Emily Marie Riker, 21, of Orlando, told a security guard at a convenience store in June that someone had pulled her into a vehicle and raped her, but deputies said her story was inconsistent and did not match the physical evidence.

She faces charges of filing a false claim to a law-enforcement officer.

Riker later said she lied because she was angry with the man she had been with, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies also determined that Riker had filed two other false rape reports in Orange County and may have reported one in Osceola County.

Link:
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/breakingnews/os-woman-accused-rape-lies-faces-judg20101022,0,5239162.story

Report: Woman accused of false rape claims heads to court today

A woman accused of filing a false rape claim is expected to appear in an Orange County courtroom today.

Emily Marie Riker, 21, of Orlando, told a security guard at a convenience store in June that someone had pulled her into a vehicle and raped her, but deputies said her story was inconsistent and did not match the physical evidence.

She faces charges of filing a false claim to a law-enforcement officer.

Riker later said she lied because she was angry with the man she had been with, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies also determined that Riker had filed two other false rape reports in Orange County and may have reported one in Osceola County.

Link:
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/breakingnews/os-woman-accused-rape-lies-faces-judg20101022,0,5239162.story

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

'Little Red Riding Hood' is a misogynistic rape parable?

You do know, don't you, that Little Red Riding Hood, the classic fairy tale dating from the 14th century or more likely earlier, has "maleness" as its reference point and that it reinforces "male values"?  I mean, you were aware of that, right?

That view, which is as ludicrously simplistic as it is thoroughly unhelpful, has long been in vogue among certain feminist scholars.

Which purported male values does the beloved fable relate?  Hold onto something before you read this one: "Red Riding Hood," declared Susan Brownmiller in her loopy, screeching attack on maleness, Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape (1975), "is a parable of rape."

I'll pause while you rub your eyes and read that again.  Rape. Of course.

But wait, Ms. Brownmiller isn't finished: "There are frightening male figures abroad in the woods -- we call them wolves, among other names -- and females are helpless before them. Better stick close to the path, better not be adventurous. If you are lucky, a good, friendly male may be able to save you from certain disaster. . . . . In the fairy tale code book, Jack may kill giants but Little Red Riding Hood must look to a kindly huntsman for protection. Those who doubt that the tale of Red Riding Hood contains this subliminal message should consider how well Peter fared when he met his wolf, or even better, the survival tactics of the Three Little (male) Pigs. Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? Not they." Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape, 309-310.

So firmly entrenched is the view that this little fairy tale is a byproduct of a misogynistic literary tradition that progressives have taken it upon themselves to rewrite it in order to correct its supposed errors: "In the second half of the twentieth century, a proliferation of revisions of 'Little Red Riding Hood' turned the tale around to teach a new lesson. Storytellers from the women's movement and beyond reclaimed the heroine and her grandmother from male-dominated literary tradition, recasting the women as brave and resourceful, turning Red Riding Hood into the physical or sexual aggressor, and questioning the machismo of the wolf." Catherine Orenstein, Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked: Sex, Morality, and the Evolution of a Fairy Tale (2003).

Insisting that this fairy tale is misogynistic and reinforces male values is, of course, akin to looking at the world through a fun-house mirror.  If we fairly examine Little Red Riding Hood, we'd more likely discover that it is imbued not with misogyny but with misandry, because it taps into the worst stereotypes about males. 

The tale presents two male characters, the predatory wolf and the hunter/woodcutter who rescues Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother. Why, exactly, must the predator in the tale be presented as male? With all due respect to Susan Brownmiller, in the traditional telling of the story, the wolf only wanted to eat the little girl and her grandmother, not mate with them. Female wolves eat, too, you know.  Yet male he is. And sometimes decidedly so. In the original Broadway run and in many subsequent productions of Stephen Sondheim's celebrated twisting of the fairy tale canon "Into the Woods," the Red Riding Hood wolf sports clearly discernible male genitalia (pictured above). Yep.  Because what better way to signal that someone is a predator than to show his dick?

In the Red Riding Hood world, males are of two types: predators, like the wolf, who need to be vanquished (as in "all men are rapists"), and gallant but disposable knights whose primary mission in life is to protect woman and girls from the bad men (think "only men can stop rape"). In this worldview, men who are worthy of surviving are merely supporting players to the female stars, caricatures with whom the audience isn't supposed to empathize.

With "male values" like that, who needs enemies?

Well, ladies and gentlemen, it is time for us to rewrite this venerable fairy tale the right way -- to update it so that it better reflects reality:

Little Red Riding Hood, a sophomore at a large, progressive university who lived off campus, was frequently warned by her grandparents, who raised her, to stay away from fraternity parties where alcohol was served.  The girl obligingly told the old couple what they wanted to hear, and they trusted her. And every weekend she ventured out to one or more frat parties where she got drunk, flirted, and engaged in sex play with one frat boy or another. 

At one of those parties, she met a new boy, the Wolf, and after teasing him and plying him with alcohol, she invited him back to her apartment since her roommate was away. There, they engaged in multiple rounds of consensual sex. 

The next morning, the young couple drowsily slumbered and didn't hear knocking on the front door. It was Little Red Riding Hood's grandparents, who'd been trying to call her for hours to no avail. Worried that something was wrong, they drove out to her apartment.  When no one answered the door, they used their own key to let themselves in.  Immediately, they saw Little Red's clothes strewn about the floor in the hall and they dreaded that she was in danger. They quietly slinked to her bedroom and slowly opened the door.

Little Red awakened, and sprung up in bed, covering her breasts with her arms.  The grandparents were shocked to see a naked boy lying next to her, and Little Red knew immediately that this scene would be completely unacceptable to the old couple.

"He raped me!" Little Red gasped.

The grandfather, filled with an uncontrollable rage, whipped out his .357 Magnum and, with one shot, killed the boy.

The Wolf was identified as a rapist in the next day's newspaper.  Little Red was simply called "the victim."  Her unnamed grandfather was lauded as a hero.  Parents protested the lax security on campus, and progressive students and professors protested the culture of hypermasculinity that breeds such incidents.  In the wake of the rape of Little Red, the university decreed that all incoming freshman males would be required to participate in sexual assault seminars, where they would learn how to better treat women.

'Little Red Riding Hood' is a misogynistic rape parable?

You do know, don't you, that Little Red Riding Hood, the classic fairy tale dating from the 14th century or more likely earlier, has "maleness" as its reference point and that it reinforces "male values"?  I mean, you were aware of that, right?

That view, which is as ludicrously simplistic as it is thoroughly unhelpful, has long been in vogue among certain feminist scholars.

Which purported male values does the beloved fable relate?  Hold onto something before you read this one: "Red Riding Hood," declared Susan Brownmiller in her loopy, screeching attack on maleness, Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape (1975), "is a parable of rape."

I'll pause while you rub your eyes and read that again.  Rape. Of course.

But wait, Ms. Brownmiller isn't finished: "There are frightening male figures abroad in the woods -- we call them wolves, among other names -- and females are helpless before them. Better stick close to the path, better not be adventurous. If you are lucky, a good, friendly male may be able to save you from certain disaster. . . . . In the fairy tale code book, Jack may kill giants but Little Red Riding Hood must look to a kindly huntsman for protection. Those who doubt that the tale of Red Riding Hood contains this subliminal message should consider how well Peter fared when he met his wolf, or even better, the survival tactics of the Three Little (male) Pigs. Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? Not they." Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape, 309-310.

So firmly entrenched is the view that this little fairy tale is a byproduct of a misogynistic literary tradition that progressives have taken it upon themselves to rewrite it in order to correct its supposed errors: "In the second half of the twentieth century, a proliferation of revisions of 'Little Red Riding Hood' turned the tale around to teach a new lesson. Storytellers from the women's movement and beyond reclaimed the heroine and her grandmother from male-dominated literary tradition, recasting the women as brave and resourceful, turning Red Riding Hood into the physical or sexual aggressor, and questioning the machismo of the wolf." Catherine Orenstein, Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked: Sex, Morality, and the Evolution of a Fairy Tale (2003).

Insisting that this fairy tale is misogynistic and reinforces male values is, of course, akin to looking at the world through a fun-house mirror.  If we fairly examine Little Red Riding Hood, we'd more likely discover that it is imbued not with misogyny but with misandry, because it taps into the worst stereotypes about males. 

The tale presents two male characters, the predatory wolf and the hunter/woodcutter who rescues Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother. Why, exactly, must the predator in the tale be presented as male? With all due respect to Susan Brownmiller, in the traditional telling of the story, the wolf only wanted to eat the little girl and her grandmother, not mate with them. Female wolves eat, too, you know.  Yet male he is. And sometimes decidedly so. In the original Broadway run and in many subsequent productions of Stephen Sondheim's celebrated twisting of the fairy tale canon "Into the Woods," the Red Riding Hood wolf sports clearly discernible male genitalia (pictured above). Yep.  Because what better way to signal that someone is a predator than to show his dick?

In the Red Riding Hood world, males are of two types: predators, like the wolf, who need to be vanquished (as in "all men are rapists"), and gallant but disposable knights whose primary mission in life is to protect woman and girls from the bad men (think "only men can stop rape"). In this worldview, men who are worthy of surviving are merely supporting players to the female stars, caricatures with whom the audience isn't supposed to empathize.

With "male values" like that, who needs enemies?

Well, ladies and gentlemen, it is time for us to rewrite this venerable fairy tale the right way -- to update it so that it better reflects reality:

Little Red Riding Hood, a sophomore at a large, progressive university who lived off campus, was frequently warned by her grandparents, who raised her, to stay away from fraternity parties where alcohol was served.  The girl obligingly told the old couple what they wanted to hear, and they trusted her. And every weekend she ventured out to one or more frat parties where she got drunk, flirted, and engaged in sex play with one frat boy or another. 

At one of those parties, she met a new boy, the Wolf, and after teasing him and plying him with alcohol, she invited him back to her apartment since her roommate was away. There, they engaged in multiple rounds of consensual sex. 

The next morning, the young couple drowsily slumbered and didn't hear knocking on the front door. It was Little Red Riding Hood's grandparents, who'd been trying to call her for hours to no avail. Worried that something was wrong, they drove out to her apartment.  When no one answered the door, they used their own key to let themselves in.  Immediately, they saw Little Red's clothes strewn about the floor in the hall and they dreaded that she was in danger. They quietly slinked to her bedroom and slowly opened the door.

Little Red awakened, and sprung up in bed, covering her breasts with her arms.  The grandparents were shocked to see a naked boy lying next to her, and Little Red knew immediately that this scene would be completely unacceptable to the old couple.

"He raped me!" Little Red gasped.

The grandfather, filled with an uncontrollable rage, whipped out his .357 Magnum and, with one shot, killed the boy.

The Wolf was identified as a rapist in the next day's newspaper.  Little Red was simply called "the victim."  Her unnamed grandfather was lauded as a hero.  Parents protested the lax security on campus, and progressive students and professors protested the culture of hypermasculinity that breeds such incidents.  In the wake of the rape of Little Red, the university decreed that all incoming freshman males would be required to participate in sexual assault seminars, where they would learn how to better treat women.

False rape claim girl faces jail


A 21-year-old aspiring model is facing jail after falsely accusing a man of rape.

Samantha Merry, from Great Baddow, wasted over 230 hours of police time after making the false claim relating to a 37-year-old man from Chelmsford back in March of this year.

At Chelmsford Crown Court this week, Merry pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice in court last week and now faces sentencing on 15 November.

Judge Anthony Goldstaub QC warned Merry: “Sort out your affairs on the assumption you're likely to be sent to prison.”

“Perverting the course of justice is a serious matter. A man was arrested in his home, spent 15 weeks on bail and there were 235 man hours wasted. It has a bad impact and affects rape cases all over the country.”

After the case, Chief Inspector Joe Wrigley, of Essex Police, said: “Justice has been done and I hope it serves as a warning to anyone who would want to make a false allegation.

“There are enough real crimes for us to investigate. The real victims need our support and those who don't should refrain from doing this.”

Merry was granted unconditional bail and will be sentenced next month.


Link:

http://www.theenquirer.co.uk/False+rape+claim+girl+faces+jail%20id=3531

False rape claim girl faces jail


A 21-year-old aspiring model is facing jail after falsely accusing a man of rape.

Samantha Merry, from Great Baddow, wasted over 230 hours of police time after making the false claim relating to a 37-year-old man from Chelmsford back in March of this year.

At Chelmsford Crown Court this week, Merry pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice in court last week and now faces sentencing on 15 November.

Judge Anthony Goldstaub QC warned Merry: “Sort out your affairs on the assumption you're likely to be sent to prison.”

“Perverting the course of justice is a serious matter. A man was arrested in his home, spent 15 weeks on bail and there were 235 man hours wasted. It has a bad impact and affects rape cases all over the country.”

After the case, Chief Inspector Joe Wrigley, of Essex Police, said: “Justice has been done and I hope it serves as a warning to anyone who would want to make a false allegation.

“There are enough real crimes for us to investigate. The real victims need our support and those who don't should refrain from doing this.”

Merry was granted unconditional bail and will be sentenced next month.


Link:

http://www.theenquirer.co.uk/False+rape+claim+girl+faces+jail%20id=3531

Monday, November 22, 2010

Girls lied about age, man acquitted on sex charges

Off topic, in a sense, but I found it interesting that Mr. Brown was acquitted. Regardless of the fact that they showed fake ID's. Because it showed HIS state of mind and good faith belief, the court actually did the right thing.

REGINA — A Regina man who picked up two underage teens for sex was acquitted Thursday after Court of Queen's Bench Justice Ellen Gunn accepted the accused's testimony that the girls showed him fake IDs.

"I find as a fact that they told him they were 18 or over," Gunn said in finding Ricardo Brown, 34, not guilty. "I further find . . . the accused asked them to produce photo identification as proof of their age, and that they produced false identification."

Brown, 34, was acquitted of two counts of sexual assault, two counts of obtaining sexual services from a person under age 18, and one count of invitation to sexual touching.

Court had heard the two girls were 14 at the time of the incident in 2009. Brown never denied engaging in sexual activities with the teens; rather the case turned on how old he believed they were, and what he did to back up that belief.

Link:
http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Girls+lied+about+Regina+acquitted+charges/3852053/story.html

Girls lied about age, man acquitted on sex charges

Off topic, in a sense, but I found it interesting that Mr. Brown was acquitted. Regardless of the fact that they showed fake ID's. Because it showed HIS state of mind and good faith belief, the court actually did the right thing.

REGINA — A Regina man who picked up two underage teens for sex was acquitted Thursday after Court of Queen's Bench Justice Ellen Gunn accepted the accused's testimony that the girls showed him fake IDs.

"I find as a fact that they told him they were 18 or over," Gunn said in finding Ricardo Brown, 34, not guilty. "I further find . . . the accused asked them to produce photo identification as proof of their age, and that they produced false identification."

Brown, 34, was acquitted of two counts of sexual assault, two counts of obtaining sexual services from a person under age 18, and one count of invitation to sexual touching.

Court had heard the two girls were 14 at the time of the incident in 2009. Brown never denied engaging in sexual activities with the teens; rather the case turned on how old he believed they were, and what he did to back up that belief.

Link:
http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Girls+lied+about+Regina+acquitted+charges/3852053/story.html

Girl recants sex abuse claim

7-year-old girl not a victim

COLUMBIA, Md. - A Columbia girl has recanted her statement about being sexually assaulted.

The 7-year-old girl stated that she was a victim of abuse last week. Howard County Police have learned the sexual assault report was false.

The girl told investigators Thursday, that there was no assault. Through the course of the investigation, detectives noticed that there were inconsistencies in the girls report.

The girl reported to police that she was walking home from a playground on October 12, through a large grassy area when she claims she was approached by four men, who grabbed her and sexually assaulted her.

The child recanted her story. She and her family have been referred to appropriate services for assistance.

Link:
http://www.abc2news.com/dpp/news/crime_checker/howard_county_crime/girl-recants-sex-abuse-claim

Girl recants sex abuse claim

7-year-old girl not a victim

COLUMBIA, Md. - A Columbia girl has recanted her statement about being sexually assaulted.

The 7-year-old girl stated that she was a victim of abuse last week. Howard County Police have learned the sexual assault report was false.

The girl told investigators Thursday, that there was no assault. Through the course of the investigation, detectives noticed that there were inconsistencies in the girls report.

The girl reported to police that she was walking home from a playground on October 12, through a large grassy area when she claims she was approached by four men, who grabbed her and sexually assaulted her.

The child recanted her story. She and her family have been referred to appropriate services for assistance.

Link:
http://www.abc2news.com/dpp/news/crime_checker/howard_county_crime/girl-recants-sex-abuse-claim

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Another alleged college rape is a hoax (as I suspected), yet students are still worried about security

I suspected the alleged Seton Hall rape from this past week was false, because a scary stranger rape on campus is incredibly rare (and in this case, "scary" is a code word for "an allegation of rape involving a big, frightening black guy" -- yes, believe it or not, these false rape cases frequently have an element of racial animus).

Here's the message from Seton Hall:

Following an investigation led by the Essex County Prosecutor?s Office, I am able to share with you that the sexual assault as previously reported in Wednesday?s safety alert to the community did not occur. The student who was involved in this incident has changed her report and indicated that she was not sexually assaulted by a stranger on campus. The University worked with the South Orange Police Department and the Essex County Prosecutor?s Office in reviewing her allegations.

We strive to provide a safe and secure environment for all members of the University community. In response to this matter, we enhanced our safety measures to include additional services to students and cooperated with local law enforcement to ensure that all measures for campus security and safety are maintained. The safety and security of all on our campus continues to be our paramount concern.

Laura A. Wankel, Ed.D.

Vice President for Student Affairs

Before anyone from the Seton Hall community has a conniption over my prediction that this claim was false, please know that I follow these issues much more closely than you do, I am quite certain.  The story had all the makings of a lie.  Sorry. That's a fact.

But let's put it in perspective.  Before it was revealed as a hoax, how did the news media report the unsubstantiated accusation?  As a fact, of course. It didn't just rush to judgment in concluding a rape had occurred, it did a a 60-meter sprint in record time.  On Wednesday, the Seton Hall student paper, wrote this:

A female student was sexually assaulted around 11 p.m. on Tuesday night in the parking lot near the Rec Center, according to a broadcast e-mail sent to the Seton Hall community on Wednesday.  The suspect in the incident is at-large and sought after by the South Orange Police Department, the Essex County Prosecutor's Office and Seton Hall Public Safety personnel, according to a release from the South Orange Police Department.  Authorities say the suspect is a black male, about 20 or 21-years-old, 6-feet-1-inch tall with a muscular build. He is also described as clean-shaven with short hair, according to the broadcast e-mail. At the time of the incident, the suspect wore a dark blue shirt, black pants and was driving a four-door black car, described as a Toyota or Chevrolet.  Dr. Laura Wankel, vice president for Student Affairs, spoke with a group of student leaders in a Wednesday afternoon meeting in the University Center Faculty Lounge. She said the administration was "extremely concerned" about the sexual assault and would have an immediate "enhanced presence" of security personnel on-campus at night.

See also this news report: A New Jersey college campus was on high alert Wednesday night after a student was attacked and sexually assaulted.  On the campus of Seton Hall University, there’s reason for concern, reports CBS 2′s John Slattery.  “I feel absolutely horrible for this girl, and it could literally happen to anyone at any time,” student Jackie Wood said.  A first- or second-year female student, who lives on campus, was sexually assaulted at around 11 p.m. Tuesday just after she left the main library for her dorm, police said.

But now that the story was revealed as a hoax, are the students breathing a sigh of relief?  Nope.  They've been whipped into hysterics over security. Because of a rape that never occurred. Because of a kind of crime that hardly ever happens.

Funny, no one seems concerned about the security of innocent black males, given that one of them might have been arrested and had his life effectively destroyed over a lie.
 
Seems to me we've seen that before, haven't we?  Too many times, actually.

Another alleged college rape is a hoax (as I suspected), yet students are still worried about security

I suspected the alleged Seton Hall rape from this past week was false, because a scary stranger rape on campus is incredibly rare (and in this case, "scary" is a code word for "an allegation of rape involving a big, frightening black guy" -- yes, believe it or not, these false rape cases frequently have an element of racial animus).

Here's the message from Seton Hall:

Following an investigation led by the Essex County Prosecutor?s Office, I am able to share with you that the sexual assault as previously reported in Wednesday?s safety alert to the community did not occur. The student who was involved in this incident has changed her report and indicated that she was not sexually assaulted by a stranger on campus. The University worked with the South Orange Police Department and the Essex County Prosecutor?s Office in reviewing her allegations.

We strive to provide a safe and secure environment for all members of the University community. In response to this matter, we enhanced our safety measures to include additional services to students and cooperated with local law enforcement to ensure that all measures for campus security and safety are maintained. The safety and security of all on our campus continues to be our paramount concern.

Laura A. Wankel, Ed.D.

Vice President for Student Affairs

Before anyone from the Seton Hall community has a conniption over my prediction that this claim was false, please know that I follow these issues much more closely than you do, I am quite certain.  The story had all the makings of a lie.  Sorry. That's a fact.

But let's put it in perspective.  Before it was revealed as a hoax, how did the news media report the unsubstantiated accusation?  As a fact, of course. It didn't just rush to judgment in concluding a rape had occurred, it did a a 60-meter sprint in record time.  On Wednesday, the Seton Hall student paper, wrote this:

A female student was sexually assaulted around 11 p.m. on Tuesday night in the parking lot near the Rec Center, according to a broadcast e-mail sent to the Seton Hall community on Wednesday.  The suspect in the incident is at-large and sought after by the South Orange Police Department, the Essex County Prosecutor's Office and Seton Hall Public Safety personnel, according to a release from the South Orange Police Department.  Authorities say the suspect is a black male, about 20 or 21-years-old, 6-feet-1-inch tall with a muscular build. He is also described as clean-shaven with short hair, according to the broadcast e-mail. At the time of the incident, the suspect wore a dark blue shirt, black pants and was driving a four-door black car, described as a Toyota or Chevrolet.  Dr. Laura Wankel, vice president for Student Affairs, spoke with a group of student leaders in a Wednesday afternoon meeting in the University Center Faculty Lounge. She said the administration was "extremely concerned" about the sexual assault and would have an immediate "enhanced presence" of security personnel on-campus at night.

See also this news report: A New Jersey college campus was on high alert Wednesday night after a student was attacked and sexually assaulted.  On the campus of Seton Hall University, there’s reason for concern, reports CBS 2′s John Slattery.  “I feel absolutely horrible for this girl, and it could literally happen to anyone at any time,” student Jackie Wood said.  A first- or second-year female student, who lives on campus, was sexually assaulted at around 11 p.m. Tuesday just after she left the main library for her dorm, police said.

But now that the story was revealed as a hoax, are the students breathing a sigh of relief?  Nope.  They've been whipped into hysterics over security. Because of a rape that never occurred. Because of a kind of crime that hardly ever happens.

Funny, no one seems concerned about the security of innocent black males, given that one of them might have been arrested and had his life effectively destroyed over a lie.
 
Seems to me we've seen that before, haven't we?  Too many times, actually.

Woman makes eight false rape claims, but serves no jail time

The British government recently killed an extremely modest plan to grant anonymity to presumptively innocent men accused of rape until they are charged.  Not convicted, just charged.  Even that insignificant acknowledgement that false rape claims are often devastating to their victims was entirely too much for angry women's groups more interested in retributive gender justice that equity. They pressured politicians to put the kibosh on the plan, arguing, among other things, that it would hinder police investigations of serial rapists.  That argument, like the rest, was grotesquely dishonest.

We have made the point on this blog that, arguably, men accused of rape and similar crimes have greater need of anonymity, unless and until convicted, than their accusers.  Today, the Northern Echo, a paper serving the North-East of England, ran a chilling and surreal story that provides evidence of that incontrovertible fact.  It also provides evidence that the policy of granting anonymity for alleged victims of rape needs to be rethought.

A woman named Jayne Stuart has made eight false rape claims -- that's not a typo: eight -- and apparently has never served a day behind bars.  (Full story below.)  Four of the men have been acquitted in trials the past two years.  Each of her victims have suffered a terrible stigma.  After her latest false claim, "Judge Peter Bowers said it was unfortunate that there was no anonymity for the men."

If Ms. Stuart's case were an anomaly, it would not be so alarming. Sadly, it is not. One need not search out ancient history to find ample evidence that serial false rape accusers are more common than the persons who dominate the public discourse about rape would care to admit. Remember -- most false rape claims are never reported in any newspaper. The ones we report on this blog are the tip of the iceberg.

Earlier this year we reported on serial false accuser Emily Riker. Ms. Riker has made four false rape claims, three in 2010 alone.

Then there was the four-time serial false accuser who targeted British men vacationing on the island of Kos. British newspapers couldn't even bring themselves to print her name. 

Then there was the serial false accuser who tried to destroy a man for not giving her a beer.

Remember Heather Brenner?  She falsely accused a number of men of rape, including her husband.

And there was the celebrated case of  David Jansen, who was arrested after a pizza deliveryman stopped by his remote rented cabin in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains and saw a woman tied up on the couch mouthing, "Call 911."  But Jansen claimed all along that the woman was his lover and that she was into bondage.  His lawyers provided stacks of evidence that the two had been in a relationship for some time. After news of the arrest hit the media, the woman's history of filing false rape claims surfaced and her mother was interviewed saying that her daughter was a notorious liar.  The serial false accuser was not arrested and was not charged (nor has she ever served a day in prison for any of her false claims); her reputation is largely preserved.

Then there was Michaela Britton, who made a wide variety of bizarre allegations, including rape, against a number of individuals.

And we could go on and on and on. The stories reveal that the victims of these false accusers often suffered tremendous reputational and other harm.  Keeping them anonymous until conviction would have alleviated much of that harm.  Moreover, removing anonymity for women who cry rape could have also prevented much of the harm.  Men would know to stay away from women who are publicized false rape accusers.

Why is nothing -- and I mean absolutely nothing -- done to protect the victims of false rape accusers, much less serial false rape accusers?  And why will this story elicit not sympathy for the men and their families but angry eye rolling from the people who dominate the public discourse about rape?

Here is the latest story:

Woman’s eight false rape claims

A WOMAN who reported eight false rapes to the police has walked free from court.

Rod Hunt, prosecuting, said Jayne Stuart, 37, withdrew the latest claim after she realised the effect on the men she accused after having consensual sex with them.

Judge Peter Bowers said it was unfortunate that there was no anonymity for the men, four of whom were acquitted after trials in the past two years.

Mr. Hunt told Teesside Crown Court yesterday that Stuart, who is single, was not wicked, but had mental health difficulties that led to her making the accusations.

One man from Darlington was cleared of rape, but convicted of actual bodily harm assault with a sex toy.

The family of her latest victim was in court when she pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of public justice between April 24 and May 16 with a false allegation of rape to police.

Stuart, of Gormier Close, Thirsk, North Yorkshire, was given a 12-month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months, with supervision.

Mr Hunt said: “Each of the men involved have suffered a terrible stigma.

It seems to be a fallback position on her behaviour.

She makes a complaint and it has to be investigated, but she has withdrawn her most recent complaint.

“The Crown concede in her case that she is a person labouring under mental health difficulties, and that this is not the usual case where someone is out-and-out wicked.

“It may be, now that she is able to see the harm she is doing to others, that she may be able to stand on her own two feet.”

Bryan Russell, in mitigation, said Stuart feared jail.

He said she had worked in charity shops in the past, and was willing to do so again as a community punishment.

Judge Bowers told her: “You deserve a prison sentence and usually I would send somebody to prison for this.

“The danger is that if you had a genuine, a real complaint in the future, the police might not be very inclined to take you seriously.

“You will have to be very careful with whom you take up with in the future.”

Link: http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/8678711.Woman___s_eight_false_rape_claims/

Woman makes eight false rape claims, but serves no jail time

The British government recently killed an extremely modest plan to grant anonymity to presumptively innocent men accused of rape until they are charged.  Not convicted, just charged.  Even that insignificant acknowledgement that false rape claims are often devastating to their victims was entirely too much for angry women's groups more interested in retributive gender justice that equity. They pressured politicians to put the kibosh on the plan, arguing, among other things, that it would hinder police investigations of serial rapists.  That argument, like the rest, was grotesquely dishonest.

We have made the point on this blog that, arguably, men accused of rape and similar crimes have greater need of anonymity, unless and until convicted, than their accusers.  Today, the Northern Echo, a paper serving the North-East of England, ran a chilling and surreal story that provides evidence of that incontrovertible fact.  It also provides evidence that the policy of granting anonymity for alleged victims of rape needs to be rethought.

A woman named Jayne Stuart has made eight false rape claims -- that's not a typo: eight -- and apparently has never served a day behind bars.  (Full story below.)  Four of the men have been acquitted in trials the past two years.  Each of her victims have suffered a terrible stigma.  After her latest false claim, "Judge Peter Bowers said it was unfortunate that there was no anonymity for the men."

If Ms. Stuart's case were an anomaly, it would not be so alarming. Sadly, it is not. One need not search out ancient history to find ample evidence that serial false rape accusers are more common than the persons who dominate the public discourse about rape would care to admit. Remember -- most false rape claims are never reported in any newspaper. The ones we report on this blog are the tip of the iceberg.

Earlier this year we reported on serial false accuser Emily Riker. Ms. Riker has made four false rape claims, three in 2010 alone.

Then there was the four-time serial false accuser who targeted British men vacationing on the island of Kos. British newspapers couldn't even bring themselves to print her name. 

Then there was the serial false accuser who tried to destroy a man for not giving her a beer.

Remember Heather Brenner?  She falsely accused a number of men of rape, including her husband.

And there was the celebrated case of  David Jansen, who was arrested after a pizza deliveryman stopped by his remote rented cabin in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains and saw a woman tied up on the couch mouthing, "Call 911."  But Jansen claimed all along that the woman was his lover and that she was into bondage.  His lawyers provided stacks of evidence that the two had been in a relationship for some time. After news of the arrest hit the media, the woman's history of filing false rape claims surfaced and her mother was interviewed saying that her daughter was a notorious liar.  The serial false accuser was not arrested and was not charged (nor has she ever served a day in prison for any of her false claims); her reputation is largely preserved.

Then there was Michaela Britton, who made a wide variety of bizarre allegations, including rape, against a number of individuals.

And we could go on and on and on. The stories reveal that the victims of these false accusers often suffered tremendous reputational and other harm.  Keeping them anonymous until conviction would have alleviated much of that harm.  Moreover, removing anonymity for women who cry rape could have also prevented much of the harm.  Men would know to stay away from women who are publicized false rape accusers.

Why is nothing -- and I mean absolutely nothing -- done to protect the victims of false rape accusers, much less serial false rape accusers?  And why will this story elicit not sympathy for the men and their families but angry eye rolling from the people who dominate the public discourse about rape?

Here is the latest story:

Woman’s eight false rape claims

A WOMAN who reported eight false rapes to the police has walked free from court.

Rod Hunt, prosecuting, said Jayne Stuart, 37, withdrew the latest claim after she realised the effect on the men she accused after having consensual sex with them.

Judge Peter Bowers said it was unfortunate that there was no anonymity for the men, four of whom were acquitted after trials in the past two years.

Mr. Hunt told Teesside Crown Court yesterday that Stuart, who is single, was not wicked, but had mental health difficulties that led to her making the accusations.

One man from Darlington was cleared of rape, but convicted of actual bodily harm assault with a sex toy.

The family of her latest victim was in court when she pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of public justice between April 24 and May 16 with a false allegation of rape to police.

Stuart, of Gormier Close, Thirsk, North Yorkshire, was given a 12-month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months, with supervision.

Mr Hunt said: “Each of the men involved have suffered a terrible stigma.

It seems to be a fallback position on her behaviour.

She makes a complaint and it has to be investigated, but she has withdrawn her most recent complaint.

“The Crown concede in her case that she is a person labouring under mental health difficulties, and that this is not the usual case where someone is out-and-out wicked.

“It may be, now that she is able to see the harm she is doing to others, that she may be able to stand on her own two feet.”

Bryan Russell, in mitigation, said Stuart feared jail.

He said she had worked in charity shops in the past, and was willing to do so again as a community punishment.

Judge Bowers told her: “You deserve a prison sentence and usually I would send somebody to prison for this.

“The danger is that if you had a genuine, a real complaint in the future, the police might not be very inclined to take you seriously.

“You will have to be very careful with whom you take up with in the future.”

Link: http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/8678711.Woman___s_eight_false_rape_claims/

Friday, November 19, 2010

The unholy alliance of a false accuser, a local TV station, and the local police that almost destroyed two NFL players

Rape is a criminal violation of a human being's dignity.  A false rape claim is also a criminal violation of a human being's dignity.  The difference is that the latter is a violation that is tolerated, indeed, tacitly encouraged, as the price of waging war on the former.  The horrific story below underscores that despite the boastful mansions, the haute couture and the lush rides of the rich and the famous, society is especially tolerant of false rape claims lodged against male celebrities, and male athletes seem to have a bulls-eye on their backs when it comes to fabricated rape claims.

We dip into the archives to recall one of the most infamous false rape claims in recent American history.  Many of our readers may not remember it, and many were not attuned to the false rape tragedy when this occurred.  On September 16, 1997, Nina Shahravan, 24, a makeup artist and erstwhile stripper, was sentenced to just 90 days in jail and was ordered to pay just $1,500 as a fine after pleading guilty to misdemeanor perjury for falsely accusing two Dallas Cowboys stars, Erik Williams, an All-Pro offensive lineman, and NFL Hall of Famer Michael Irvin, of participating in a vile, depraved sexual assault against her. Both men had prior brushes with the law; neither had the best of reputations, and that made the false charges against them all the easier to make.

No, there wasn't really an "alliance" as suggested in the provocative title of this post -- except insofar as each of the three parties referenced acted in accordance with their self-interests to help produce the result we describe below. The false accuser bears the majority of the blame, of course, but the media and the police can't hide behind her this time because they added  proverbial fuel to the fire.

The case had all the elements of a thousand others we've seen before and since: a news media that unquestioningly accepted the word of a rape accuser, and ran with the story, despite the red flags as to her reliability; law enforcement officials who were quick to publicly announce that they were investigating the claim based solely on the woman's allegation and under apparent pressure from the local television station; a slap on the wrist for the false accuser; law enforcement officials expressing concerns about the effect of the rape liar's recantation on hypothetical rape victims as opposed to victims of the actual crime she committed; and the general feeling that the case was an aberration, with nothing to teach us.

The case had plenty to teach us, but, sadly, we haven't learned a thing from it.

The False Claim

On the night of December 29, 1996, Nina Shahravan called a Dallas TV reporter at the local NBC affiliate who had worked with her in the past. She told him she had been raped.  Shahravan went to the police the next day. In an affidavit, she claimed that Michael Irvin pointed both a video camera and a semi-automatic pistol at her while Erik Williams and another unnamed male raped her on a pool table. Irvin supposedly directed Shahravan's "acting" while she was being brutalized and purportedly told her: "Look like you're having fun." Shahravan also told cops the men had been snorting cocaine.

The next day, the TV reporter Shahravan had first called named Williams in a special on-air report. An hour later, the Dallas police called a press conference that was broadcast live across north Texas on television and radio. 

The Police Treat the Lie As If It Were True

This is how the New York Times chillingly described the police news conference: ". . . as footage of the original news conference showed a top-ranking police lieutenant describing Shahravan's story, a viewer might well have thought that it was the official police description of what happened, not necessarily an unidentified woman's unverified account."

Mr. Williams' attorney said that the Dallas police "had him convicted before it fully investigated the accusations." Even the accuser's attorney later said this:  "It started with the city of Dallas ... calling a press conference to publicize an accusation of rape before they had even started their investigation, and it went downhill from there."

For their part, Dallas police would later say that the television news reporter from the local NBC affiliate had forced them to hold a news conference and reveal the names of the suspects.

The Police Plow Ahead With Their Investigation

Irvin and Williams strongly denied the charges. "My parents raised me right," explained Williams. "They never raised a rapist. To be accused of something so bad...." He couldn't even finish the thought.

Despite the "he said/she said" nature of the case, detectives plowed ahead with their investigation.  They defended their probe by saying their findings were consistent with the rape account Shahravan had given. A police medical examination said her bruises were "consistent with a sexual assault."  They failed to add that it was also true that the bruises were consistent with something other than sexual assault.

Shahravan's estranged husband said publicly during the investigation that he doubted the story because she had also falsely accused him and a previous fiancĂ© of sexual assault.

As the presumptive victim, Shahravan was placed in police protective custody.  The news media withheld her name from publication because, according to one publication, "she was believed to be the victim of a sexual assault."

In fact, as it later turned out, and despite the certainty exuded by Dallas police at the initial press conference, investigators began questioning her credibility early on in their investigation, after some Dallas police remembered Shahravan as a topless dancer who once fancied herself a drug informant for cops but had no solid tips. As the investigation continued, her story seemed less credible, police said. 

Unbalanced Media Coverage

Despite the shakiness of the case, the accuser's identity was safe and secure due to a journalistic policy that the iconic Sidney Zion, writing in the New York Daily News, had the balls to say "stinks."

Nevertheless, members of the news media, Williams said, went "out of their way to protect her because . . . she’s the victim." 

The coverage of the story was criticized from a journalistic perspective.  ''The media was too quick with covering this in a huge way -- the play the news got, the sensational page-1, top-of-the-newscast story,'' said Anantha Babbili, chairman of the journalism department at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. ''There was a given in the tone and the tenor of the media that Irvin and Williams were guilty until proven innocent.''

Read that again.  There was a "given" in the tone and tenor of the media that the men were guilty.

While care was taken to insure the acccuser's good name was not sullied, Williams had the audacity to comment on the elephant in the room: "Who’s protecting the fact that my life has been messed up by people who are supposed to be searching for the truth?" After it was all over, Williams blew the lid off any suggestion that the media coverage of the event was fair.  "How can there be fairness when there is no balance?  The press never asked for my side of the story until the damage was done."  No one of influence defended him during the ordeal because, he correctly noted, "that doesn’t sell papers or get folks to watch the evening news . . . ."

The Accuser Recants

Eventually, Shahravan was confronted with evidence that Irvin couldn't have been at Williams' house the night of the alleged attack. On Friday afternoon, January 9, 1997, Shahravan signed a confession of false allegations. Dallas police immediately dropped the case, noting the evidence was "conclusive" that no rape occurred. The charges were dropped so suddenly that even Williams' lawyer, Peter Ginsberg, did not know they had been dropped until after a public announcement was made. Sidney Zion, writing in the New York Daily News, heralded the moment as a watershed: "Nina Shahravan is the first woman to admit that she lied in a headline case about a date rape."

After law enforcement officials decided to charge her with a crime, Dallas police issued a brief but predictable statement: ''Victims of crime can be assured they face no legal repercussion for reporting factual incidents to the police in good faith.''

The Blame Game

Dallas police pointed fingers at the local NBC affiliate for forcing it to hold that initial news conference and reveal the names of the suspects.

The TV station, in turn, blamed the cops, because, the station said, they leaked word of search warrants to their reporter in order to publicize the rape charges.

The Media Reaction When The Charges Were Dropped

Two days after the case collapsed under the weight of Shahravan's lies, news outlets were still protecting her name.  "I charge no conspiracy here," wrote Sidney Zion in words that ought to be cut out and pasted on the refrigerators of every household where a Y-chromosome resides. "It's worse. It's brainwashing in living color. We have become so used to this stuff that we go on thinking of a date-rape accuser as victim even after she herself says she was a liar."  He continued: "What this does is turn the presumption of innocence on its head. If we do not as much as name the accuser, we are saying nothing less than that the accused is guilty. Run 'alleged' to a fare-thee-well and it makes no difference. This crime is so heinous that to name the victim is to rape her again. Yet date rape is the only charge where the question is not whodunit but whether it was done at all. When the law and the media conspire to keep the accuser's name private while spreading the names of the accused across the headlines we are in the world of Salem."

The media reaction when the charges were dropped was sadly typical.  Mr. Williams said: "Did you notice that no bulletin flashed across all these sport channels declaring that Michael Irvin and I were innocent? Where was the coverage? I bet you no one stopped ‘Baywatch’ or pulled the prime time movie to tell those same people the truth. Michael (Irvin) was right -- nobody was interested in the truth."

Williams made this chilling observation:  "It’s as if they’re all (media) quietly disappointed that we’re innocent."

Read that last quote again.  Ask yourself if that wasn't the precise reaction in some quarters after Duke lacrosse.

''Rerun it, rewrite it, reprint it,'' Irvin said, challenging reporters to cover news of his being cleared with the same fervor with which they covered the news of his being accused. ''Just like you did, with the same intensity that you did. The same intensity. Don't lose the intensity. Don't lose the intensity.''

"I want to hear ‘I’m sorry’ with the same intensity that they accused me with," said Williams. 

Thirteen years later, Williams is still waiting to hear it.

The Civil Action

Messrs. Irvin and Williams went on to file a civil action for libel, fraud, and invasion of privacy against Dallas NBC affiliate KXAS and its reporter who spearheaded publicizing the story.  "Erik and Michael were primarily concerned with sending a message to the press, the police, and the people of Dallas," said Williams' lawyer. "They want to be respected as people. They have the same interest in being treated decently as anyone else."

The one party who was not sued was the false accuser. "I just thought she would make a better witness than a defendant," said Williams' lawyer. The strategy paid off.  Shahravan aided the players' case by suggesting that the TV reporter was pushing her to create a story about the two players. 

The detective in charge of the original rape investigation also pointed fingers at the TV reporter.  He revealed that on the night of the alleged "rape," Shahravan was carrying a tape recorder that the TV reporter had given her. She had used it previously to tape Williams, at the reporter's request. The suggestion was that the TV station was so aggressive to find a story that it was helping to create one.

In the end, the TV station agreed to settle with the two men for $1.1 million apiece.

Shahravan's attorney made an assertion so astounding that it should be enshrined in the hall of fame of inanities: ''She has more guts than anyone involved in the Dallas Cowboys organization. She made a mistake, but she corrected it.'' 

Lessons

So what are the lessons from this awful affair? For one thing, the New York Times wrote this: "Some experts who monitor news organizations said today that the episode should prod the news business into re-evaluating how it covers high-profile accusations, especially when the credibility of those leveling them cannot be immediately judged."

Now, many years after the fact, we see how that re-evaluation turned out. Nothing has changed.

Law enforcement found the entire affair a cause for alarm -- but not because of the harm to innocent men and boys falsely accused of the vile crime of rape. "For people who are generally skeptical about this issue, this will feed all of their beliefs about rape being women who cry rape when they have not been victimized," said Linda Fairstein, chief of the sex crimes unit for the Manhattan district attorney's office.

Tom Charron, president of the National College of District Attorneys, said Ms. Shahravan's false allegation will harm legitimate rape cases across the country for years to come. "I cannot tell you how much damage this does in our efforts to have rape allegations taken seriously by the courts and the public," he said. "Rape charges are already tough enough to prove. This kind of high-profile incident makes it even harder." Mr. Charron said this case shows that police and prosecutors must be very careful to find corroborating evidence to support rape accusations.

In the end, the Williams/Irvin false rape claim was a garden variety, but very high profile, example of how a zealous news media, greedy for headlines, and a law enforcement apparatus, afraid of being second-guessed by a public in mortal fear of rape, joined hands with a false accuser in an unholy alliance to badly damage the reputations of two innocent men. The word of an unreliable witness was transmogrified into the truth -- by the news media and by the public pronouncements of law enforcement.

Imagine if the Dallas police had made the announcement about the accusation by noting that the "evidence" consisted solely of the word of an unreliable witness who might have made two other false rape claims in the past.  Would the reputations of Irvin and Williams have been badly tarnished by that?  More likely, they would have garnered immediate and widespread sympathy.  But, you see, the truth didn't fit the preferred narrative of always believing an accusation by a woman against privileged alpha-males.

Although law enforcement otherwise did it's job and investigated and dropped the false claim, that doesn't excuse the Dallas police department's initial press conference, where an untested allegation by a not-so-reliable witness was paraded to the world as the truth.

The good names of innocent males -- even privileged athletes with checkered pasts -- should not be regarded as mere flotsam just so a TV station can snag big ratings, and a police department can avoid being second-guessed by women's groups.

The most disheartening thing of all is that the same sorts of scenarios continue to play out with cookie cutter redundancy.  Remember this case?  Sidney Zion at the New York Daily News prophetically asked the following: "Will the law and the media learn the lessons of The Woman vs. Dallas Cowboys?"  His answer was not encouraging.  "The first returns look bleak. The sportswriters who vilified the players have been surly, at best, in their half-apologies. Some have said, 'Don't worry, they'll do it again.'"

Indeed, thirteen years later, we know the answer to Mr. Zion's question.  No, Sidney, the law and the media have learned nothing from the case.  Or the countless cases that followed.  Absolutely nothing.

Sources:
http://www.nytimes.com/1997/09/17/sports/nfl-off-day-panthers-re-sign-carrier.html

http://christianpartynet.com/dlasrape.htm

http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/news/1997/01/12/1997-01-12_cowboy_rape_hoax_imperils_re.html

http://blackathlete.net/artman2/publish/The_Sporting_Life_44/Apology_Rejected_Part_I_printer.shtml

http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/opinions/1997/01/16/1997-01-16_write_false_accuser_s_name_i.html

http://www.dallasobserver.com/1997-08-21/news/payback-time/

http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20611FD3D5B0C708DDDAB0894DF494D81

http://www.nytimes.com/1997/01/13/sports/a-woman-s-false-accusation-prompts-reflection.html

http://amarillo.com/stories/011797/accuser.html

http://books.google.com/books?id=mzkDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA51&lpg=PA51&dq=Shahravan+and+rape&source

http://www.texnews.com/cowboys/maysue011197.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/03/nyregion/03zion.html