Sunday, July 09, 2006

AIDS speaker charged with feigning illness


ALLENTOWN, Pa. - A woman who traveled the lecture circuit with her account of being raped and infected with AIDS as a child has been charged with defrauding the state of Pennsylvania of $66,000 by falsely claiming to have the disease.

Cassey Weierbach, 27, was arraigned Friday [June 30] on charges of theft by deception, forgery, tampering with records and making false statements. She has told her story for years to news reporters, churches, youth groups and medical conferences. But in June, The Morning Call newspaper of Allentown published a story in which a pastor accused Weierbach of duping her congregation.

With the lie about AIDS there may also be a lie about being raped, but that is by no means certain.

Unlike many cases where people assume an alleged rape victim is lying simply because the defendant seems like a nice man who couldn't do something terrible, this woman had a clear financial motive and there was evidence indicating this woman wanted to be helped financially, but not medically.

I suspect that many people believed this woman for so long for the exact same reasons people believe nice accused rapists. They don't look or act like we expect criminals to look and act.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:19 AM   0 comments links to this post


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