Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Another astute piece on why the preponderance of the evidence is unjust for college rape cases

Great article by Adam Kissel: Standing Up for Due Process on Campus = "Sticking Up for Penises Everywhere?"

College men at risk: A morally grotesque defense of the new preponderance of the evidence standard at the University of Virginia

The University of Virginia Cavalier Daily applauds the university's new "preponderance of the evidence" standard dictated by the Department of Education's April 4 "Dear Colleague" letter, and has some advice to men to avoid false rape claims:

UPDATED: Federal suit: Male student claims Sewanee: The University of the South rushed to judgment on rape charges against him; shocker--Brett Sokolow testifies for HIM

An unnamed male ex-student of  Sewanee: The University of the South, is suing the Episcopal-affiliated university in southeastern Tennessee for breach of contract and negligence because, he asserts, the university harmed his reputation and career prospects by violating its own rules in response to a sexual assault allegation against him in the fall 2008 semester.  The suit alleges a classic rush to judgment by the school against the male student that sounds typical of many others that we've chronicled on this site. If the evidence supports the male student's version of what happened, he was guilty by reason of accusation alone.  The suit seeks $1 million in compensatory damages. If the jury decides there are punitive damages the amount will be determined in a second deliberation.

We can't make a prediction about what the jury will do because that will depend on the evidence being presented at the trial. But if you want to know how badly the school behaved in this case, this one fact might just tell the whole story: Brett Sokolow, the architect of the nationwide crackdown to make it easier to expel young men accused of sex crimes (dare we say, even the innocent) -- that Brett Sokolow -- testified on behalf of the male student in this case. Read that again. It is true. We just wrote about Mr. Sokolow earlier this week (see here).

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Rope Bridge: A Parable for College Men (Who Do Not Commit Sexual Assault)

You're hiking near the village of Husaini in Pakistan and you come up to the Borith Lake. The only way across is a rickety old rope bridge.  It doesn't look strong enough to hold you, and you're having some serious doubts about this. 

You look to your guide, who's had lots and lots of experience with rope bridges.  He tells you with both a smile and the utmost sincerity, "I'd give it a better than even chance that you'll make it across."

"Better than even chance" you think!  "So there's -- what? -- a 49 percent chance that I won't make it across?!!"

I'd say that's more than a little doubt; that's substantial doubt.

Are you going across that bridge? 

Let me answer it for you: not a chance in hell. I know you -- you don't take risks that huge about important matters.

Well, young man, the Obama administration, for one, is willing to take a risk with you, about something pretty damn important, too. It is willing to let you be expelled from school -- and have your future forever marred -- if you are found responsible for committing sexual assault, even though you didn't do it, and even if they have substantial doubt about whether you did it. 

Read that last part again. It's not hyperbole.

If you've been hiding under a rock since last spring, or playing too many video games, or studying female anatomy a little too intently on the Internet, you may not know that the Obama administration changed the law last April 4 for colleges: if you are accused of sexual assault while attending college, even if you are factually innocent, the school needs to find only a slightly better than 50% likelihood that you did it in order to expel you. Good luck getting into a good school, much less going to grad school, if that happens.

You see, when it comes to your life, they have no problem taking a substantial risk that the school might just get it wrong. They're willing to let you go plummeting into that river just so they can be sure they are catching all the real bad guys. You are collateral damage in their more important war on rape.

Don't take my word on it. Read about it here.

'Dear Colleague' letter was promulgated in secret, and is not just

On Sexual Harassment and Title IX by Robert Smith

Atrocity: Surgeon went to prison after his accuser and her boyfriend lied on the stand

In 2007, Labeed Nouri, then-36-years-old, had a wife and four children and a thriving medical practice as an orthopedic surgeon in Michigan. He was vice president of the church council at St. Toma Syriac Catholic Church where he worshipped. A Chaldean who had emigrated from Iraq in 2003, Dr. Nouri often treated other Chaldeans in his tight-knit community.

Former prosecutor Scott Turow gives Cyrus Vance passing grade on handling of DSK matter

Excerpt: " . . . the standard that Vance and his assistants employed in deciding to dismiss the case is noteworthy and laudable. "If we do not believe her beyond a reasonable doubt," the prosecution wrote in its motion to dismiss, referring to Diallo, 'we cannot ask a jury to do so.' This is not the bar all prosecutors set in deciding whether or not to go forward. Ethical rules prohibit lawyers from calling a witness whose testimony they know to be false; but the rule is not the same when the testimony is possibly true but dubious. Particularly in urban criminal courts, where caseloads tend to be overwhelming and the police sometimes push cases aggressively, prosecutors are often not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt about the truthfulness of particular testimony. Frequently they leave it to jurors to determine the credibility of a particular witness. In trying to talk prosecutors out of weak cases, I have been told more than once, "I wasn't there, man, and neither were you. Let the 12 of them figure it out."

A malicious mother with an axe to grind

Contentious divorces, where children are involved, tend to contain false accusations. The following is exactly that situation. The interesting part? The ex-wife has been given a jail sentence, even if it really isn't much of a punishment. And from the information supplied, she still has custody of their daughters.

Monday, August 29, 2011

'DSK case exposes rift between feminists'

We have explained here how women's advocates do a disservice to rape victims by telling them that justice was not served in the DSK case.  Read our summary. I suspect any objective reader will agree.

Along the same lines, feminist Ludy Wadham writes for CNN:

". . . the Strauss-Kahn case has uncovered the divide, not between men and women so much as between old and new feminists. Old feminists, from Genevieve Clark to Erica Jong, believed that the goal was political and sexual freedom for women, not the political and sexual subordination of men.

"I cannot accept the idea that womanhood automatically implies victimhood, nor do I think that it is a desirable state of affairs when women see men as the enemy.

"The man-hating tirades of my female colleagues are nothing but puritanism in disguise and I suspect that our feminist forebears would be dismayed by the climate of inquisition that seems to dominate relations between men and women today." (Read the entire piece here)

Bravo!  Ms. Wadham isn't the first feminist to discuss the DSK case in an intelligent way, but hers is the bluntest criticism I've seen directed at other feminists.  It is criticism richly deserved. The "new" feminists she writes about have proven themselves too childish to have an adult discussion about a very complex, and very important, matter. They start and finish every discussion the same way: the male is guilty, period. If that sounds overly simplistic, then you haven't read our piece on DSK referenced above. That's exactly what they did.  On this basis, they have proven themselves unfit to be part of the public discourse on rape. (Even though this blog gives voice to the wrongly accused, we were careful to try not to prejudge the case. When Susan Brownmiller said she believed Ms. Diallo, we expressed our dismay about "believing" anyone when the facts weren't available to us.)

Persons of goodwill need to step up and insist that serious matters be discussed seriously, without the shrill, politicized, gender-divisive, knee jerk, and conclusory rhetoric.

From the archives: Brilliant 21 year old article about consent could have been written yesterday

Read it here.

Back to school special: Informative sources regarding the Department of Education's April 4 "Dear Colleague" letter

NCHERM, which plays a leading role in setting campus policies on sexual misconduct, thinks the example below is misconduct. What do you think?

The National Center for Higher Education Risk Management (NCHERM) advises colleges on sexual assault policy and plays a major role in shaping the public discourse about sexual misconduct on campus. It's client list reads like a who's who of American institutions of higher learning. The federal initiatives reflected in the Department of Education's April 4 "Dear Colleague" letter were a reaction to its efforts.  (See, e.g., here.) 

Here is an example of what NCHERM thinks constitutes sexual misconduct (found on page 9 of this document). What do you think?

Foolish teens file false sexual assault report

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I don't know what scares you, but Brett Sokolow scares me

Sandy Hingston proved that the sexual grievance industry isn't some imaginary bogeyman concocted by rape apologists, but that it's alive and well and living on campus, and that mothers and fathers of college-aged sons should be afraid. Very afraid. Read Hingston's New Rules of College Sex here.

If Hingston is correct, the leader of this industry is a Villanova law grad from Malvern, Pennsylvania -- a sexual assault activist and a true believer who has capitalized on his convictions named Brett Sokolow.

Hingston writes: "IF YOU'RE CURIOUS as to how student sexual misconduct became a federal civil-rights liability for colleges, the man with the answer is perched in shorts and bare feet on a big, comfy sofa in the vault-ceilinged living room of his stone home in Malvern. Brett Sokolow, a ’97 Villanova Law grad, is founder of the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management, or NCHERM (pronounced 'en-kerm'). For more than a decade, the genial 39-year-old has been warning colleges and -universities—he’s of counsel to more than 20, and has advised thousands—that the day was coming when courts would allow Title IX claims against them for sexual assaults. 'The ‘Dear Colleague’ letter was one of the most important moments of my professional life,' he says."

Here's the chilling part. One of Sokolow's models for sexual assault judicial procedures is the NCHERM CAMPUS SEXUAL MISCONDUCT JUDICIAL TRAINING MANUAL (now in revision, so download this version quickly) found here:

We will have much to say about this document, and others written by Mr. Sokolow, but for now, let us focus on just one: Mr. Sokolow's take on whether the "clear and convincing" standard of proof or the "preponderance of the evidence" standard should be used in college disciplinary hearings for sexual assault. Don't trust my characterization -- read for yourself on pages 21-22.

The gist of it is that Mr. Sokolow understands why some colleges want to use the higher "clear and convincing" standard due to considerations of "fairness" for accused students who might be expelled. However, he declares, that is not the best practice because the clear and convincing standard doesn't allow the "victim" (his word) to "win" under certain sexual assault scenarios.

Let that sink in. Sokolow seems to understand the concern about the danger of punishing the presumptively innocent, but dismisses it in the face of his fear that "victims" can't "win" with the "clear and convincing" standard.

And Blackstone's formulation (it is "better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer," Commentaries on the Laws of England, 1765) -- which, I'd guess, young Mr. Sokolow doesn't think should apply in this setting -- is not a concern.

I don't know what scares you, but Brett Sokolow scares me.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The man behind the Dept. of Education's crackdown on campus sex: Brett Sokolow

Must reading:

Daily Mail: 'Wicked' women jailed for accusing man of rape after he showed police pictures of their consensual threesome

Court told they lied because they had partners and felt ashamed by what they had done

By Sarah Graham

Two 'wicked' women who falsely claimed they were raped by the same man were jailed today after he showed police photos of them enjoying a threesome.

Women's advocates do disservice to rape victims by telling them that justice was not served in the DSK case

FRS Reveals What's In the Motion to Dismiss: It's Eye-Opening

This is a post intended for rape victims. Although this blog gives voice to victims of wrongful rape charges, we also want rape victims to be able to seek healing and justice. A close a family member of mine was a victim of a brutal sexual assault. We do not harbor rapists at FRS nor do we advocate for them to elude justice.

To all victims of sexual assault we say this: do not -- we repeat -- do not allow the decision by New York County prosecutors to dismiss the charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn ("DSK") to dissuade you from reporting that you've been raped. 

You are being terribly misled if you listen to the persons or groups who suggest that the DSK case sends a "very bad message to women vulnerable to sexual abuse" that rape victims have to be "perfect" in order to get justice. It is most distressing to read the following: ". . . for many feminists and victims' advocates, the victory for Strauss-Kahn is a defeat for women who have been sexually assaulted or raped, and who may already have been nervous about coming forward." See here.

By failing to tell the whole story, and by publicly insisting that women can't get justice unless they are "perfect," those victims' advocates, themselves, are improperly discouraging rape victims from coming forward.

The accuser in the DSK case, whose name is Niasfatou Diallo, wasn't just not perfect; according to the very prosecutors who arrested and charged DSK (and allowed him to experience a humiliating and high profile "perp walk"), she was "persistently" and "inexplicably" untruthful to prosecutors. But don't believe me -- read the motion to dismiss that was filed by prosecutors. I suspect that very few, if any, of the persons who are alarming rape victims have read it. See here:  We are going to explain it, below. We suspect it will be eye-opening for a lot of people.

A prominent French intellectual's j'accuse against a nation that accepts lies to justify war, while extra-marital sex is the equivalent of 'national betrayal'

A provocative piece in Le Monde -- a French intellectual tries to comprehend America's twisted sexual values, here:

Man's claim of rape false, police say

Sadly, we are starting to see more men falsely claim rape. I don't know (hopefully one of our readers can better inform us) if New Zeland has a Compensation scheme such as the U.K. does, and if that is a factor.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Note to Russlyn Ali, assistant secretary for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Education

Paul Elam obtained her email address:

Dear Ms. Ali,

The goal of holding sexual offenders accountable for their misconduct is one that is universally shared by all civilized people. However, and most respectfully, the Department's April 4 directive unacceptably enhances the risk of holding innocent persons responsible for such offenses in furtherance of the objective to hold true offenders accountable.

There is, in fact, no basis to believe that tramping on the rights of the presumptively innocent will cure the problems that some schools have experienced in properly handling claims of sexual harassment. The one has nothing to do with the other. It is both possible and imperative to hold sexual offenders accountable while at the same time insuring that the rights of the presumptively innocent are protected.

Among other things, the April 4 directive requires schools to conduct disciplinary hearings for such alleged offenses using the preponderance of the evidence standard. This mandate unconscionably enhances the risk of holding the innocent responsible for wrongs they did not commit.

It is a hallmark of the American legal tradition, and a universally accepted tenet of our jurisprudence, that it is preferable to let the guilty go free rather than hold innocent persons responsible for wrongs they did not commit.

A student’s interest in obtaining a college degree, with all it entails, is of such weight and gravity, and the damage attendant to a determination that a student committed sexual assault or a similar offense is often so severe, that institutions of higher learning should have the right to decide for themselves whether to impose a standard of proof greater than a mere “preponderance of the evidence.”

Institutions of higher learning also should be permitted to allow the accused or his or her counsel to question the accuser directly. The integrity of the hearing process, and fundamental notions of fairness to the presumptively innocent, demand nothing less.


Anatomy of how a boy's rape lie, and the media's rush to judgment, can turn an innocent life upside down

There is a villain in the false rape milieu who is rarely blamed.

He or she is typically pretty, articulate, and damn scary.

The villain is your local television news journalist reporting on a rape claim, and he or she often does more harm to the accused than the actual rape liar. 

This is an important, and almost entirely overlooked phenomenon that can and needs to be corrected.

Jocelynn Mackenzie Carter sentenced to eight months jail time

According to Frederick County Commonwealth's Attorney Glenn Williamson, on October 12th (2009 or 2010 we don't know) Jocelynn Mackenzie Carter filed a complaint that she was raped by a Front Royal police officer. She claimed that the officer pulled her over on the 24th of April in 2009, made her get out of the car and then took her to an undisclosed location and raped her.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Man Accused In Abbeville Rape Released After Accusations Were Found False

The man who was accused of raping a woman Sunday in Abbeville has been released after police say the woman admitted her accusation was false.

Not a good reason to risk penalizing the innocent

See the comment under this post -- Scholars oppose Dept. of Education's extremist April 4 directive by Anonymous on Aug 24, 2011 2:35:00 PM.  I responded at 3:01 PM.

Scholars oppose Dept. of Education's extremist April 4 directive

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP), an organization with 47,000 members, sent a letter to the Education Department outlining its concerns over the sexual harassment guidelines in the agency's April 4 directive. The group cited the “preponderance of evidence” standard for proving an instance of harassment. The previous wording for the type of evidence required had been “clear and convincing.”

NOW's reaction to dismissal of charges against DSK signals that it should have no voice in the public discourse on rape

There is a widespread international consensus among objective observers -- observers who do not speak regularly on gender issues and have no axe to grind in the matter -- that the sexual assault charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn were properly dismissed. That consensus was generated not by any sympathy for Mr. Strauss-Kahn, who is not a sympathetic figure, nor by antipathy for his accuser's gender, race, or ethnicity, but because it is painfully self-evident that the charges simply are not sustainable.  Many thoughtful observers, including Naomi Wolf and a host of serious commentators in the European community, viewed with alarm American law enforcement's zealousness in bringing the charges in the first place.  Whatever Ms. Wolf's other views about men, she's been on the right side of some important false rape issues lately.

But the National Organization for Women has issued a statement condemning the dismissal of charges that is so extreme and discordant with fundamental values cherished by our jurisprudence, and that strays so far from the mainstream of serious and reasoned thought, that NOW has lost any rightful claim to participate in the public discourse about the serious issues relating to sexual assault.

NOW's statement said it "deplore[d]" the decision to dismiss the charges against Strauss-Kahn. The decision was, NOW asserted, a "miscarriage of justice" that "exhibits all the hallmarks of a society that tolerates sexual violence by blaming and shaming the survivors . . . ." Further, NOW "applauds Ms. Diallo for bravely coming forward to tell her story. . . . she stands as an example to all women that we can, with dignity, demand justice for ourselves -- that women who are sexually assaulted need not be perfect in order to be believed."  NOW added: "This case underscores the fact that we still have a long way to go in ending violence against women, and NOW will not rest until we achieve that goal. Ms. Diallo's courage gives us inspiration to hold our heads high and keep striving."  (Contact: Latoya Veal w. 202-628-8669, ext. 116, c. 301-660-3447)

Most troubling about NOW's reaction is the absence of even passing concern for the rights of the presumptively innocent. 

Beyond that, NOW does rape survivors and future rape victims no favors by tying its reputation to a sexual assault accusation that, by common consensus, was highly questionable.

The prosecution of sexual assault raises a host of complex issues that require the nuanced balancing of critical and delicate interests: we must, on the one hand, strive to punish malefactors, and on the other, insure that the innocent are not punished with the guilty. The balancing of those two imperatives is difficult enough in the rape milieu without injecting shrill politicization into the discourse. NOW has proven that its voice on these issues is not one that should be taken seriously. 

Jury clears teenager of sex assault

A SCARBOROUGH man has been cleared of sexually assaulting a teenager who had sneaked out of home to spend a night with friends on the streets of the town.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Calling all law students, retired attorneys

I need your help.

If you have access to Lexis or Westlaw, or even an old fashioned law library, and know how to do relatively simple searches, and if you could spare a few hours, I need to update a list of state statutes on false reporting. Given my schedule, it will take me a long time to get through the 50 states. I suspect that this will require an entire afternoon's work.

If you'd like to help out, I'd gladly keep your name anonymous. You would have (1) the joy of knowing you are contributing to a worthy cause and (2) my undying gratitude.  Write to me at


No punches pulled

Paul Elam on Ellen Gloria Ryan.

Our take on her here.

The Strauss-Kahn case: Have we handed lone rape accusers too much power to destroy the presumptively innocent?

Suite 2806 of the Sofitel Hotel near Times Square will always be known as the place where Dominique Strauss-Kahn, then one of the world’s most powerful men, had a brief sexual encounter with an immigrant maid named Nafissatou Diallo, which led to a spectacularly high profile sexual assault claim. The charges were officially dismissed today, but the damage to Mr. Strauss-Kahn can't be undone.

Even liars can be raped, but rape seems most unlikely here. Diallo repeatedly lied to police, and she possibly lied under oath to a Grand Jury, about matters important to the case. Her moving target account of what transpired was the evolving narrative of a woman groping for victimhood, and her lies may justify false reporting or more serious charges against her.

The Power of a Lowly Maid . . . .

Monday, August 22, 2011

Extremist Boobz Taylor and Futrelle

First, let's excerpt an astounding debate between conservative blogger Rob Taylor and Prof. Alan Dershowitz, who recently appeared with others in a panel discussion about the Casey Anthony case.

Prosecutors Seek Dismissal of Strauss-Kahn Charges .

In a 25-page filing asking for the dismissal, prosecutors said that "proof of two critical elements—force and lack of consent—would rest solely on the testimony of the complaining witness at trial." Prosecutors added that the evidence points to a "hurried sexual encounter" between Ms. Diallo and Mr. Strauss-Kahn, but "does not independently establish her claim of a forcible, nonconsensual encounter."  The prosecutors added, "If we do not believe her beyond a reasonable doubt, we cannot ask a jury to do so."

Read it all here:

Erin Gloria Ryan proves herself incapable of an adult dialogue about rape

Women Threatening To Ruin All College Fun is a singularly childish, mean-spirited, and hysterical rebuke of Peter Berkowitz's carefully crafted explanation about the dangers to presumptively innocent men presented by the Department of Education's April 4 directive.  Someone named Erin Gloria Ryan wrote it, and she seems incapable of dealing with a very serious issue in an adult manner. One example: "And as for the whining over fear of an impending wave of false rape accusations that will never come? I think that I speak for many women who were victimized in college only to face doubt and intimidation when I say: 'Boo-fucking-hoo.'"

Ms. Ryan blithely, and profanely, blinks at the fact that the directive indisputably increases the risk of expelling innocent young men. (Her solution seems to be, just trust women.) Heaven forbid that we should engage in serious dialogue about respecting the rights of both rape victims and the presumptively innocent accused of rape! I suppose doing both isn't possible in Ryan's world.

If there is ever to be a real dialogue, they need to stop talking only about rape every time we bring up the rights of the accused.  Both sides need to talk about both rape and false rape claims, free of the politicized rhetoric that elevates agendas over human beings.  We must be willing to talk about how terribly traumatic rape can be to women. And about how terribly traumatic a false rape claim can be to men. We must come up with ways to teach our young people to better communicate their desires. We must honestly face  the role alcohol plays in bad sex that results in sexual assault, false rape claims, and misunderstandings, and we need to ask if our colleges are enabling drunken sex with dubious policies.

After thirty years of rape reforms, we are told underreporting is still the norm. So, exactly how will tramping on the rights of the presumptively innocent help solve that?  That's one of the things adults should be discussing.

But Erin Gloria Ryan needs to sit at the kids table while this discussion is going on.

College Rape Accusations and the Presumption of Male Guilt: Wall Street Journal

This is a brilliantly conceived piece.  Read it here:

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Jackson Katz doesn't want us to call Nafissatou Diallo what she is: DSK's "accuser"

Jackson Katz has penned a carnival curiosity of a piece advocating that we stop referring to Nafissatou Diallo as exactly what she is, DSK's "accuser."  See here.

Katz declares: "Every time someone calls her an 'accuser' they undermine her credibility and bolster his."

Alas, Katz's garbled rationale for this strange and fantastic epiphany is nothing more than a cavalcade of tired, politicized incantations, proving once more that it is possible to say nothing with words. 

Katz's solution to the "problem" he has manufactured from whole cloth?  "It's simple: refer to the complaining witness in a rape case as 'the victim.'"

By labeling the accuser the "victim" before a single scrap of evidence has been admitted at trial, Jackson Katz signals that he is nothing more than an ideologue whose pronouncements may be salve for like-minded partisans but add nothing of value to the public discourse on a critically important issue. 

As a matter of course, and for no reason other than that a rape accusation has been made, Katz would rush to judgment and, in effect, declare the accuser's allegation to be factual -- after all, if the accuser is a "victim," the accused must be a rapist.  Such a description does a grave disservice to: (1) the presumptively innocent who are accused of such crimes; (2) actual rape victims, because we trivialize rape when we include among its "victims" women who might only be false accusers.

Among Katz's curious rationales is that use of the term "accuser" somehow fuels "the mistaken impression among the public that it's a 'she said, he said' matter. But it's not. . . . . Ms. Diallo reported that she had been sexually assaulted. But she's not the one who brought the charges. That's what the district attorney did after weighing the available evidence that a crime was committed."

But of course it's a "he said/she said" matter, and Mr. Katz is too smart not to know that.  It is widely accepted that DSK was arrested, charged, and forced to participate in a humiliating, high profile "perp walk" prematurely, without adequate investigation, based solely on the accuser's say so.  This is all-too common, as we saw in the Hofstra false rape debacle and too many others.

In fact, Katz seems intent on igniting yet another discussion about the rush to judgment that has destroyed this presumptively innocent man.  This is well-trodden ground.  Naomi Wolf, Alan Dershowitz, Stuart Taylor, Roy Black and any number of others have written about it, and there is nothing to be gained by engaging a foot soldier from the paid sexual grievance industry, who likely is incapable of anything approaching objectivity, in a dialogue about a matter so important.

Katz grudgingly would accept a "compromise" term between "accuser" and "victim": "alleged victim."

Awfully generous, that Katz.  We should "compromise" between using a term that is, by any measure, perfectly appropriate, and one that is, in this context, patently wrong. Sorry, Jackson, I'll pass on that and stick with "accuser" since that term is both entirely accurate and not in the least offensive to women who make rape claims.

Katz's piece serves no discernible purpose and seems to be the literary equivalent of a hissy fit aimed at this blog especially, but others, too, that have the audacity to remind people that the presumptively innocent have rights and should be afforded dignity as human beings. Heaven forbid!

I don't know about Katz, but I have no idea whether DSK's accuser was raped. (This is in contrast to Susan Brownmiller, best known for popularizing the canard that only two percent of rape claims are false, who declared: "I believe her story." See here.) But my guess is that an actual victim of rape wouldn't care if she is called an "accuser" as opposed to "alleged victim." One thing I am certain about, because they've told me, is that actual rape victims do not appreciate it when rape liars are called "victims." They seem to loathe and detest rape liars almost as much as their rapists. That, of course, is not a concern to Katz.

For the uninitiated, Mr. Katz seems to have a problem with men in general.  He doesn't seem to think much of what he recently called "traditional white male conservatism," and believes that when it comes to sexual abuse, cautioning women to take the well-lit route back to their dorm doesn't get at the root cause of the problem. "The root cause," he said, "is men."  Not "men who rape." Not "men who abuse women." Just "men."  See here.

That tells you all you need to know about Jackson Katz and his misguided agenda.

Friday, August 19, 2011

In want of a free abortion, 17yo Chinese girl reports false rape

A 17-year-old girl falsely reported she was raped in order to receive a free abortion, said officials at a hospital that operates the city's only hotline offering help to girls and young women with unprotected sex and pregnancy.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Words matter: Make VAWA gender neutral

The necessity for, and the excesses of, VAWA and similar laws have been written about by many others. The subject of this post is far more limited.  At the very least, VAWA needs to be renamed, and the gender references need to be neutral.  There can't be any plausible dispute about that.

It is only fair when we talk about our armed forces that we refer to "the men and women" serving in the military, not just "the men." The proportion of males to females in the military is still heavily lopsided in favor of the former, and men continue to suffer nearly all military fatalities, but a failure to refer to "women" would be unfair to the many dedicated women who serve. 

Use of gender inclusive language has become the norm in virtually every other aspect of life as well. As but one example, writers of texts routinely are given editorial guidelines to insure that their language is gender neutral, regardless of whether the particular subject matter is one that would more likely involve one gender than the other. 

Even on this blog, we include "women" in our subtitle even though males have a near monopoly on victimization from wrongful sex claims. Why do we do this?  Because some women also suffer--directly, and more commonly, indirectly--from false sex claims, and it is important to signal to them that their victimization is worthy of attention, too.

So isn't it time to rewrite VAWA as gender neutral?  It is now clear that men, too, suffer from domestic violence in significant numbers. "A number men's and father advocacy groups often cite statistics and studies from the Department of Justice to the Centers for Disease Control to State Universities, that show women are the perpetrators of violence against men as often as men are the perpetrators of violence against women."  See here.

Congressman Ted Poe, Texas Republican and longtime I-VAWA supporter, doesn't agree that men suffer from domestic violence in equal numbers, but says he would now support re-writing the legislation as gender neutral.  Poe says that even though the current law is also applicable to male victims of domestic violence, he thinks it might be time for a name change. He also favors replacing references to "women" in the act with gender neutral language.  “The Constitution uses ‘person.’ They thought of it long before we did, so 'person' is an appropriate term,” he noted.  Id.

The fact is, "[n]othing in the act denies services, programs, funding or assistance to male victims of violence.” See here.  So why is it necessary to make the language of VAWA gender inclusive?  Because words matter. The very title, and the gender exclusive language, of the current VAWA serve as a de facto "MEN NOT WELCOME" sign that only reinforces eons of harmful, gender constricting cultural stereotypes--stereotypes that make it very difficult for men to acknowledge their victimization from domestic violence, much less to do anything about it.

And while we are insisting on the importance of gender inclusive language in VAWA, we need not bother reiterating what has become a near obsession in some quarters--insisting that men's victimization is equivalent to, or worse than, women's. This is done to counteract the blithe and inexcusable omission of male victims from the public discourse about domestic violence, but it's not necessary. It is enough to assert that, by any measure, men suffer from domestic violence in significant numbers, without trying to pin down a mathematically precise percentage, which is likely as impossible as pinning down a percentage of false rape claims.  No one requires equivalency when it comes to any other aspect of life where gender inclusive language is now the norm, and the never-ending debate about gender "equivalency" in the domestic violence milieu creates an artificial hurdle to treating male victimization with the seriousness it deserves.  It is enough to assert that too many women, and too many men, are victims of domestic violence.

Congressman Poe wants to see clarification about VAWA's aims, as well. He wants to see clarification in terms of how domestic violence is defined. "We’re talking about people getting hurt. We’re talking about people having to flee in the middle of the night for their safety and that this bill is addressing violence not name calling—not suggestive behavior--but the word violence," he said.  "When we get to re-drafting the bill, it must be clear enough that we are talking about somebody getting hurt. Physical harm and serious bodily injury is a good definition of domestic violence. But I agree. I think that needs to be very clearly defined and not some abstract feeling or [someone] getting their feelings hurt."


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sexual Assaults in Melton deemed false

In Australia: After a message was put out on Facebook that there have been two abductions in a week and a half, the police say that the claims are false, and are just creating hysteria in the community.  According to Detective-Sergeant Robert Henley of the Melton CIU:

“There have not been a series of sexual attacks on females in public places in Melton, these posts are just creating hysteria in the community.”
A 13 year old girl was found by a passerby on July 26th, in a "distressed" condition, and was unable to remember what had happened. She was taken to the hospital in a stable condition with pain in her neck and head.
Detective Sergeant Henley stated that police have ruled out sexual assault, but are “exploring the possibilities of an assault, a medical or accidental” reason for her collapse. 

“At this stage police and medical staff are trying to determine what happened,” he said. “Police do not believe it was a sexually motivated crime (and) are not discounting other possibilities.”


'Rape should be tough to prove'

By Cynthia Bell
Philadelphia Inquirer

For better or for worse, the Casey Anthony trial is over and she has been released from jail.

The crux of the verdict was the lack of evidence to convict Anthony. For a criminal trial, the standard of evidence is "beyond a reasonable doubt." Anthony could have received the death penalty if convicted, so it makes sense that there had to be no reasonable question in a juror's mind that she was guilty. Having lied and refused to report her child's death, Anthony definitely seems morally culpable for whatever she did, but to put someone to death in this country, a jury cannot rely solely on feelings or popular sentiment. Jurors must know someone is criminally guilty with almost complete certainty.

One valuable lesson from the trial is the reminder that every American enjoys the protections afforded by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. These amendments restrict the power of federal and state governments by recognizing our right to due process, the canons of fairness in judicial proceedings that safeguard the innocent. Basically, due process affords Americans the presumption of innocence until proved guilty.

And for all the emotion and hype over the Anthony trial, the real threat to that presumption is in the world of higher education.

In April, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a letter stating that all colleges and universities receiving federal funding must employ a "preponderance of the evidence" standard for all student complaints involving sexual assault or harassment. If this standard is not used, universities receiving federal money (only a handful don't) risk losing their funding.

"Preponderance of the evidence" means "more probable than not." There are two common standards of proof that are higher: "clear and convincing evidence" and "beyond a reasonable doubt." In the U.S. judicial system, the higher the stakes, the higher the standard of proof required.

A high standard of proof ensures that people aren't wrongly imprisoned or, in the most dire circumstances, executed. One shouldn't receive the death penalty just because jurors thought it was "more probable than not" that the defendant committed a crime.

Yet, after the OCR issued this letter, many colleges rushed to change their student handbooks to lower the standard of proof for sexual crimes. To be sure, sexual assault is a horrible crime. It is a complete violation of a person's mental and physical dignity, and it makes sense that our nation's universities would go to great lengths to combat such behavior.

But sexual assault is a criminal offense, and a felony to boot. It is a serious crime that should be reported to the police, not dealt with by campus judiciary systems with a low standard of proof. Lowering the burden of proof in these cases puts more college students at risk of being wrongly found guilty and having their reputations permanently damaged. How many innocents does OCR want to see mistakenly expelled as rapists in the name of getting tough on crime?

Real accusations require real evidence, and it is grossly unfair for students nationwide not to be afforded the rights they deserve simply because they want a college education.

Ms. Bell is a rising senior at Seton Hall University and a former intern at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education


Couple booked for abetting suicide of Dalit youth

A woman and her husband have been booked for allegedly abetting suicide of a Dalit youth by levelling false rape charges against him, police said.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

New trial ordered on sex conviction because jury was not allowed to hear evidence of accuser's prior false sex complaint

In Kings County New York in 2009, a stepgrandfather of an eleven-year-old, was convicted of a course of sexual conduct against a child in the second degree and endangering the welfare of a child stemming from the following alleged incident:  In January 2008, when the complainant was in the fifth grade, she told her mother that the defendant had been sexually abusing her for more than a year, starting when she was eight years old. In this initial outcry, the complainant stated only that the defendant had tried to pull her pants down, had played X-rated videos for her, had touched her around the breast area, and had masturbated in front of her. At trial, the complainant testified that, in addition to the above, the defendant, among other things, had forced her to have sexual intercourse and anal and oral sex with him on multiple occasions.

The defendant appealed his conviction, and recently, in People v Diaz, 2011 NY Slip Op 5518 (2011), the Supreme Court of New York remanded the case for a new trial. The court noted that "the evidence against the defendant was far from overwhelming, consisting as it did solely of the complainant's testimony and that of her mother," and that the trial court erred in refusing to admit evidence of the complainant's prior false claim.  The court explained:

"[I]t was error for the trial court to preclude the testimony of one of the defendant's proposed witnesses, the ex-boyfriend of the complainant's  mother and the father of the complainant's younger brother (hereinafter the ex-boyfriend). The ex-boyfriend would have testified that, when the complainant was approximately five years old, and he and her mother were living together, the complainant had accused him of 'touching her private parts,' but that subsequently, in the presence of the ex-boyfriend and the complainant's mother, the complainant had recanted and admitted to having lied. Under cross-examination, the complainant denied having made the prior allegation against the ex-boyfriend and, under direct examination, her mother denied any knowledge of that allegation. We agree with the defendant that the testimony of the ex-boyfriend was admissible . . . .
. . . .
"Evidence of a complainant's prior false allegations of rape or sexual abuse is admissible to impeach the complainant's credibility (see People v Bridgeland, 19 AD3d 1122, 1123, 796 N.Y.S.2d 768; People v Badine, 301 AD2d 178, 180, 752 N.Y.S.2d 679; People v Harris, 151 AD2d 981, 982, 542 N.Y.S.2d 71). Where, as here, a 'defendant establishe[s] that the [prior] allegation may have been false[, and] that the particulars of the complaints, the circumstances or manner of the alleged assaults, or the currency of the complaints were such as to suggest a pattern casting substantial doubt on the validity of the charges made by the complainant," it is error for the trial court to preclude evidence regarding the prior allegation (People v Bridgeland, 19 AD3d at 1123 [internal quotation marks and citations omitted]; see People v Badine, 301 AD2d 178, 752 N.Y.S.2d 679; cf. People v Mandel, 48 NY2d 952, 953, 401 N.E.2d 185, 425 N.Y.S.2d 63; People v Hill, 17 AD3d 1081, 1082, 793 N.Y.S.2d 800)."

Woman falsely tells man she was raped, man kills alleged rapist and gets life prison term

Concepcion Rodriguez, 35, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for gunning down Anastacio “Taquito” Torres over what turned out to be a false rape rumor.

Rodriguez heard a rumor that Torres had raped Rodriguez's girlfriend, Andrea Garcia, so Rodriguez and a friend confronted Torres, bound his hands together, and drove him to Rodriguez's apartment where Rodriguez, waving a gun, questioned Mr. Torres and Ms. Garcia about the rumor.  Rodriguez said it was going to be Torres or Garcia, but somebody was going to tell him the truth.

Garcia said she was, indeed, raped by Torres, even though she later testified at trial that it was a lie. She was taken out of the room and Rodriguez shot Torres, according to the prosecution. Garcia testified that she felt to say Torres raped her during the tense moment.

Comment: This case is reminiscent of too many cases we've reported here where rape lies have had disastrous consequences -- we've collected some of them here. See this one, too. These cases have nothing to do with "feminism" or progressive politics or any so-called sexual grievance movement. They are remnants of a twisted strain of chivalry that causes too many men to overreact to claims of sexual abuse, even when the claims are false. They underscore the power of rape lies.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Prisoner files false rape accusation

Isn't this an interesting turn? Florida has a statute--Fla. Stat. § 794.011--that makes false rape claims against law enforcement officers and other government agents and employees a felony. A false accusation directed at an ordinary person typically merits only a misdemeanor charge per Fla. Stat. § 817.49 (2011).

Wife forces daughter to file rape charge against father in India

After family and officers of the law failed to stop the alcoholism of her husband, a woman made her minor daughter accuse her father of rape, hoping that it would force him to mend his ways. District and Additional Sessions Judge Justice Sunita Gupta of the Karkardooma Courts on Thursday acquitted Sanjeev, a rickshaw puller who resides in Gokulpuri village, of charges of rape. The acquittal came after his wife and daughter admitted before the court that they had falsely alleged rape.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The prosecution of false rape accusers "must be stopped," says Lisa Longstaff

Lisa Longstaff of the UK's Women Against Rape bemoaned the fact that some women are prosecuted for making false rape claims. "Such prosecutions must be stopped," she declared. "It is a galling diversion for women to be jailed when the vast majority of rapists are not – 90% of rapes are never reported and only 6.7% of those that are reach conviction on a full charge of rape. The prosecution of women and the disproportionate media coverage they get are putting rape victims off reporting and leaving all of us more vulnerable to attack. Is that what they want?"  Source:

Longstaff once said this: "Every prosecution [of false rape claims] puts women who have been raped off reporting it." Another time, she called such efforts "a concerted witchhunt."

Longstaff's is not the advocacy of a serious social reformer; it is the advocacy of ugly gender get-evenism that has no place in the public discourse about a critical issue.  The notion that society can only combat one form of criminality, namely rape, by ignoring other serious criminality, namely false rape reporting, or that society can only wage the "war on rape" by elevating the victimization of one group of our citizens, our daughters, over that of another, our sons, is as puerile as it is patently unjust.

Holding criminals accountable for their crimes is not a zero sum game, and Longstaff's suggestion paints her as an extremist whose pronouncements are not to be taken seriously.

If some women are being unfairly prosecuted for false reporting, such unfairness is as deserving of society's attention as is the unfairness in wrongly prosecuting persons for rape. In fact, women are rarely prosecuted for false reporting, and typically, charges are lodged only where the evidence is clear and manifest. Instances of unjustly charging women for false reporting are extremely rare and receive inordinate media attention. The problem isn't that too many false accusers are being prosecuted but not enough.

In addition, the suggestion that rape victims are put off from reporting because a few women are prosecuted for making false rape claims is posited without any supporting evidence,  and is absurd on its face.

As a general matter, the unfortunate gender politicization of rape renders it impossible to discern whether serious underreporting even exists, much less its extent. See, J. Fennel, Punishment by Another Name: The Inherent Overreaching in Sexually Dangerous Person Commitments, 35 N.E.J. on Crim. & Civ. Con. 37, 49-51 (2009).  Yet, paid sexual assault counselors posit every imaginable percentage of alleged underreporting as if there were a scientific basis for it, and none of those figures can be reconciled with the numbers of women they claim are actually raped.  For an interesting, and even-handed, assessment of the games played when it comes to claims about the prevalence of rape, see Chad Hermann's landmark One-in-One-Thousand-Eight-Hundred-Seventy-Seven.

Beyond this, there is no evidence whatsoever to support the proposition that holding a liar accountable for her lies will significantly deter women from reporting legitimate rapes, any more than prosecuting some people for arson deters people from reporting fires. 

At last year's Specter rape hearing, a feminist writer live-blogged the testimony of Scott Berkowitz, President and Founder of the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN). Berkowitz's testimony cast an interesting light on Longstaff's claims as to why women don't report:

"On reporting [of rape]: More victims may not be reporting their rapes, but the reasoning has changed over the past few decades. 'A generation ago,' the reasons were things like, 'fear of not being believed; fear of being interrogated about and blamed for their own behavior, and what they were wearing. In short, they feared that they would be the one on trial.' Today, 'the perception of many victims has evolved.' Now they don't report for these reasons: 'they don't want their loved ones to know what happened; they're ashamed themselves; they just want to put it all behind them.' Today, 'fear and shame of how the police wil [sic] treat them' has moved down on the list of reasons victims provide for not officially reporting the crime. As much as we need to educate police to take reports seriously, Berkowitz says, we also must 'educate victims on the importance of reporting.'"

Ironically, claims that "only 6.7% of [rape claims] reach conviction on a full charge of rape" may be contributing to whatever underreporting exists. Last year, the Stern Review in the UK said that claims by rape advocates that rape is not being properly prosecuted might actually put women off from reporting. Here is why: in the UK, the Home Office, and politicians seeking to jack up rape convictions, have long cited the attrition rate for rape, which is the number of convictions as a percentage of number of reported crimes. That rate is 6%. But, the Home Office, and everyone, uses the conviction rate (the number of convictions secured against the number of persons brought to trial for that given offence) for all other crimes. In fact, the conviction rate for rape is 58%. The result of such dishonest advocacy has been to make it appear that law enforcement is terribly, and uniquely, ineffective when it comes to rape. The Stern Review noted that use of the attrition rate instead of the conviction rate "may well have discouraged some victims from reporting." Stern Review, see page 45 (emphasis added).

Refusing to prosecute rape lies hurts not just innocent men and boys, but actual rape victims. For every criminal act, our society accepts the notion that punishing the wrongdoer will promote, among other things, deterrence. In false rape case after case after case, judges and law enforcement officials bemoan the harm to actual rape victims done by the lies of false accusers. With every rape lie, the integrity of every rape claim is diminished.  In order for rape to regarded as a serious social malady, the general public, including prospective rape jurors, must be assured that the police are not unfairly prosecuting innocent men and boys and are holding rape liars accountable for their crimes.

Friday, August 12, 2011

A follow up to our story HERE.

Since two mental health "experts" say that she really does believe she'd been raped, she isn't going to go to jail. My question for them is, if she really believes she has been raped, why exactly did she admit that she lied about being raped? That doesn't really seem to work.

Woman accused of false claim said two black men raped her at knifepoint

Woman accused of fabricating rape

QUEBEC CITY - QUEBEC CITY - A New Brunswick woman whom police say falsely claimed that two black men raped her at knifepoint, triggering a major police investigation, was found fit to stand trial Tuesday.

Vanessa Roussel, 21, was charged with criminal mischief after undergoing a psychiatric evaluation. She was freed on $7,000 bail.

Roussel is accused of contacting authorities to say she had been raped in a wooded area in Saint-Michel-de-Bellechasse, near Quebec City, last month. Police uncovered inconsistencies in her story and turned their investigation towards Roussel last week.

If convicted, Roussel faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Her lawyer says she is bipolar, has been seeing a psychiatrist for some time and had talked about suicide.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Comment Moderation

We have toyed with this in the past, and for a time, it appears to help cut down on the extremist who like to post inflammatory statements and things that violate our comment policy. Therefore we have re-instituted FULL comment moderation. We ask for patience in your comments appearing. We will approve (or not) as quickly as we are able.

Thank you for your understanding and patience with this.

When a rape lie claims the liar is guilty

The Innocence Project details the causes of false confessions. The following is a disturbing case that did not lead to charges against the mentally disturbed man.

Child rape confession 'fabrication,' prosecutors say

Charges dropped against man who said he was HIV-positive

A Silverton man who allegedly told police last month he was HIV-positive and had sexually abused an infant had charges against him dismissed Friday as prosecutors called his story "the fabrication of a mentally unstable person."

A Hamilton County grand jury ignored rape and felonious assault charges against Lenny Love, 29. That means the criminal case is over.

After police said Love told a relative he raped a 6-month-old and was infected with the deadly virus, the infant was examined by doctors who found no injuries or evidence consistent with Love's statement. An exam of Love also showed he isn't HIV-positive.

Prosecutor Joe Deters said Friday mental health authorities have been contacted about Love's condition and statements.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Rape 'victim' recants, then says her recantation was a lie . . .

Courts properly reject some recantations, and any recantation made under circumstances where it appears a woman might have been pressured by her accuser should be examined with heigthened scrutiny. This news story about a recantation, then a recantation of the recantation, leaves no clues as to when the accuser was lying--but it's fairly clear she was lying about this incident at some point. In the absence of any clarifying evidence, this matter should not go to trial because, even though the man certainly might have done it, it's also reasonably possible that he's innocent, so there is reasonable doubt about his guilt. Read the story below.

Woman who changed story about location of 'sexual assault' charged with making false report

Portsmouth police allege woman lied about rape

PORTSMOUTH - Police arrested a Strafford woman Friday on charges she told police she had been raped when she had not.

Corey Krongard, 22, with a last known address of 139 Ridge Farm Road, reported to police that she was sexually assaulted early the morning of June 4 by a man whose name police declined to release.

Police said Krongard first told them she was assaulted in the bathroom of The Page Restaurant and Bar and then later said the incident occurred at the Hanover Street parking garage. The charges allege the entire story was fabricated.

Krongard is charged with two counts of false reports to law enforcement, the first alleging she lied about the rape and the second that she told police her name was “Lindsay Conrad” during their investigation.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

When something is defined as an offense just because someone else feels it is . . . .

The 2009-2010 student handbook of Stoneham High School in Massachusetts contains a curious section on harassment that includes the following, which speaks for itself:

"Students are encouraged to report harassment in any form to the administration. Harassment is defined as anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or unacceptable regardless of intention."

'Women like this hurt women like me who have survived sexual assault'

From the blogger who wrote this:

"We wrote about a Montgomery County woman who got in an argument with a man and threatened to tell the cops he raped her. She went ahead with her threat and likely thought she had the guy by the balls, until he pulled out a recording for the officers of her making the threat.

"One reader noted how such false claims can cause big problems.

"Lucky Star wrote:

"'You know it is hard enough for women who finally find the courage to report what happened to them to get the police to take them seriously without stupid bitches like this casually throwing around accusations that have no basis in reality. Women like this hurt women like me who have survived sexual assault. What a horrible thing for her to do!'"


Entry from a Houston Press blog: woman made false rape claim because man made her leave apartment, video to the rescue

"The man was looking out for himself," by recording the incident, said cop

If You're Going to Falsely Tell Cops a Guy Sexually Assaulted You, Don't Get Caught on Camera Announcing Your Plans

"Gotcha" moments don't come more classic than the one that happened in Montgomery County recently.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Should the falsely accused be forced to rely on the mercy of their false accusers?

COMMENTARY: From time to time, the question is posed whether false accusers should not be prosecuted because prosecuting them only discourages them from recanting, thus harming even further their falsely accused victims.

Relying on rape recantations to spare men and boys from incarceration for false rape claims is a snare and a delusion. It is critically important to prosecute false rape claims to a greater degree than is currently done. Serious systemic problems that beset our justice system will only be exacerbated by granting rape liars de facto immunity for their crimes, and it is likely that adopting a policy of not punishing rape liars will have the effect of reducing recantations.

A rape liar makes a false claim to fulfill a personal need -- often to give her a handy excuse, to exact revenge, or to gain attention. The rape liar is unlikely to drop the lie unless she believes that doing so will fulfill an even greater, more pressing, personal need than the one that prompted the lie in the first place. Most rape lies are recanted due to the belief that the lie is likely to be exposed and that the liar will be punished more severely if she refuses to admit it.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Help stop the injustices to Vladek Filler

Activist and iconoclast Paul Elam almost singlehandedly brought the injustices to Vladek Filler to the attention of vast numbers of people in recent months. Paul is looking for your help prior to Mr. Filler's sentencing hearing. Read Paul's post here:

Friday, August 5, 2011

Man kills self after being falsely accused of rape

In the news this week, a neighbor falsely accused a 30-year-old married man of rape as a result of a "minor altercation" between families. The man couldn't bear the thought of what might happen to him, so he consumed several tablets of Sulphos. He was taken to a hospital where he was declared dead.  Charges were filed against both the woman and, for reasons not explained, her husband.  Story is here.

We have reported a fair number of stories here in which young men either contemplated or committed suicide following claims that they committed sexual misconduct.  A few of these stories stand out, either because of their tragic quality or the way they were reported:

Taxi driver threatened with false rape claim

Once again, a taxi driver was the target of a false rape threat. (Taxi drivers are not infrequent targets of false rape claims. See here:

Mohammed Asif, who works for Brighouse Taxis, picked up Natalie Woods, Nicola Cliberon, and Mark Mbye in Rastrick this last November, and was asked to take them to Huddersfield town centre. During the drive, one of the young women began making sexual advances to Mr. Asif, which turned out to be insincere.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Woman who accused Standing Rock Indian Reservation officer of sexual assault admits lying

Technology to the rescue once again. This time, a woman made a false accusation pf sexual assault after she was arrested for disorderly conduct.

University of Virginia's sexual assault guide for students has a section for accused students . . . but read it

Scrolling through a sexual assault guide issued to students at the University of Virginia, I noticed a section about how victims of sexual assault are afforded all manner of assistance, treatment and care. Among other things it says: "We recognize how difficult it is to seek help and redress, whether through criminal, civil, or internal University procedures, and will provide support to survivors as they see fit."

Right beneath that is a section called "FOR ACCUSED STUDENTS," and I assumed it would be geared toward advising accused students of their options and rights. Instead, it seemed only to allow for the possibility that the accused students are guilty and in need of counseling because they are abusive. (It mentions "CAPS," which stands for the Student Health’s Counseling and Psychological Services.)

The greatest need an accused student has, of course, is for legal assistance, and nowhere is such assistance specifically mentioned.

See the section for accused students below:

He said/she said rape claim was a false accusation, video shows

Until relatively recently, to make a rape charge stick, corroboration beyond the lone accusation of the alleged victim was required. Innocent men and boys were not subjected to the possibility of wrongful arrest and conviction based solely on whether their accusers presented a convincing story. Now, the requirement of corroboration has been removed almost everywhere in the United States.

In practice, a peculiar thing has occurred. There are many examples where the old corroboration rule has been flipped on its head. Now, the prosecution no longer needs to corroborate the accuser's claim in order to forge ahead; instead, the accused is often arrested and held until there he is able to corroborate his innocence.  That was not the intent of the law, but that is how it is often applied.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Slate's DoubleX Gabfest Hits Nail on the Head About Rape Cases

The DoubleX Gabfest (Jessica Grose, Kate Julian, and Hanna Rosin) nailed it in discussing rape. See here:  The women were discussing the civil case Jamie Leigh Jones lost against KBR and what it means for rape reporting (approximately 16:30 into the podcast).  They hit upon a lot of the topics that are typically covered, e.g., underreporting, binge drinking. We have different views on some of these matters, but the women tackled the issues thoughtfully and in good faith. They noted that the Jones and the DSK cases involved alleged victims who are problematic in terms of credibility. They noted that it's possible something happened but given the circumstances, for example, the Jones verdict seemed proper.

The most significant aspect of the discussion for the community of the wrongly accused occurs at approximately 22:50 into the podcast when one of the women noted that part of her was wishing for a "clean" rape case because it’s been so long since we’ve had one. She specifically mentioned Hofstra. (For the uninitiated, see here.)

Another woman noted that people seem to be so hungry for cases about men misbehaving, that these cases are getting blown way out of proportion -- they are turned into huge things where people are declared guilty before the trial has even started, which is really damaging.

Another woman noted that we seem to be weirdly in an era where district attorneys are jumping on rape cases. All of the recent high profile cases have been blown way out of proportion.

We agree.

Drunk Teen Makes Fake Rape Report

Drunk and underaged? Nothing else to do? Why not call 911 and report you've been raped?

According to police, that's exactly what William Seebold, 18, did this last Thursday night.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Media Matters Calls DSK accuser a "victim"

Media Matters, the self-proclaimed "progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media," attacked Geraldo Rivera for suggesting that the "new immigration racquet" is for immigrant women to claim they've been raped in order to stay in this country. 

In fact, Mr. Rivera did not say that this occurs in "all instances," as Media Matters asserts, but Media Matters is correct that Mr. Rivera did not provide evidentiary support for his assertion.

Then Media Matters writes this: "Sadly, attacks by the media on women who have reported being sexually assaulted are not new. But Rivera did more than merely attack the victim here; he used this opportunity to dismiss all instances in which immigrant women are the victims of rape as "a scam," further claiming that these are plots by greedy women to steal from 'hapless' American men. And he pushed these offensive claims based on nothing but one story. Rape is a serious and horrific crime made even worse by denying it or condemning the victim."

Given the context, it is clear that Media Matters referred to DSK's accuser as "the victim."

Not all women who report being sexually assaulted are necessarily "victims," and that includes DSK's accuser.

Another news report that insisted a rape occurred when it didn't; false report targeted black male with "Afro hair"

"[A] woman was attacked," intoned the first sentence of Tyler, Texas' KYTX in a news report posted yesterday morning.

Monday, August 1, 2011

"Statutory rape is statutory rape. Unless, of course, the statutory rapist is a woman."

". . . child support (ahem) 'owed' by a raped boy should be happily paid to his uncharged, unjailed female rapist, without recourse or complaint. Protection under the law from sexual assault should mean one thing for girls, quite another for boys. And double standards — legal, sexual, rhetorical — are alive and well and reprehensible in the direction, and to the detriment, of both genders."

Read the entire thing here:

News report of rape that turned out to be false suggests that news media needs to proceed with greater care

The following news story raises critically important issues about the way rape claims are covered by the mainstream news media. The issues are complex, and do not lend themselves to simplistic analyses. Respect for the rights and dignity of the falsely accuser and the presumptively innocent suggest a need for greater care and balance in the way these stories are reported.