Tuesday, July 11, 2006

If False, Sex Abuse Allegations May Be Symptom of Alleged Victim's Mental Condition

For those who see false allegations everywhere, this case isn't like the majority of cases where defenders of the accused cry out "false allegation!" simply because something about the case doesn't fit their vision of what a real rape, perpetrator and victim should look like.

WCCO: Prosecutor Wants Sex Case Charges Reconsidered
(AP) Aitken, Minn. In what some legal experts are calling a rare move, the Aitkin County prosecutor has asked that a case involving lurid accounts of sexual abuse be sent to a grand jury so charges can be reconsidered. Attorneys say Thomas Murtha IV's request may mean the defendants might not have been properly charged.
Here's a previous story on this case:

WCCO: New Evidence Contradicts Some Rape Allegations
(AP) Aitkin, Minn. New evidence contradicts some of the allegations of rape and violence made against a mother, father and uncle by a 23-year-old woman in her diary. The allegations led Aitkin County prosecutors to charge the trio last month with 59 counts of sexual assault, threats and abuse. The diary was cited as evidence.


[Prosecutor] Murtha said it was up to a jury to decide on an alleged victim's credibility, and that while he considers an alleged victim's history, "We should not let that freeze people's ability to report crimes."

In this case, the alleged victim's history of making a false rape allegation (related to mental health issues) is supported by evidence rather than lack of evidence or merely the lack of a conviction. But I don't think an accusation should be ignored simply because of the credibility of the alleged victim. Many times those who are no longer considered by many to be credible witnesses are targeted by rapists for that very reason. Exploiters know most people won't believe these victims.

What's needed is a skillful investigation that carefully examines all of the evidence.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:13 AM   0 comments links to this post


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