Sunday, December 03, 2006

Anatomy Of A False Rape Accusation Comment - Part 2

This is the second of 3 posts on an anonymous comment I received. Check out part 1 including a comment from someone who tells me what "no means no" really means.

Here's the next section of the anonymous comment:

I was surprise of how many false rape accusations have been made by several independent surveys reveal that 42% to approximately half of all accusations made are false. Most cases involve divorce battles involving the custody of children, some for revenge for withdraw of affection, monetary gains, an excuse for infidelity, or misidentification.
Yeah, right. Surprising. But it's not so surprising that he isn't as skeptical of this claim as he is of rape accusations.

It's also interesting how he slips in misidentification since those are cases where a rape occurred and the only problem is identifying the rapist. I suspect those are stranger rapes and rape/murder cases such as this one where the confession to rape/murder is being disputed or this one where the DNA evidence cleared a man who is still a sex offender because of another conviction which hasn't been overturned.

By bringing up the issue of custody, he seems to be including any reports of suspected child sexual abuse and calling any unproven claims of that type false rape allegations.

His intent is to convince people that it's been proven that nearly half of all girls and women who report rapes were not raped or sexually assaulted but he can throw in everything but the kitchen sink to count as a valid false accusation.

I suspect that if there is a loophole in the law (marital rape excluded from rape law, for example) the person who reported the rape automatically becomes someone making a false allegation according to this commenter's view of false allegations. That same problem may exist in crime statistics collected by different government agencies as well.

While he brings up false rape allegations, he doesn't bring up the strategy of rapists and those accused of rape to make allegations against the alleged victim such as the rape trial of the father of a chess prodigy or the stranger rapist who claimed he was breaking into a woman's home for more consensual sex.

By the logic used by many people like anonymous if these people are convicted of rape, they should also be convicted of making a false allegation when they make claims about the victim that are subsequently proven to be false.

According to the FBI, one of every 12 claims of rape filed in the United States are later deemed 'unfounded,' meaning the case was closed because the alleged victim recanted or because investigators found no evidence of a crime.
This is a blatant attempt to distort data that says one thing to mean another. Just because someone can't prove a crime was committed, or classifies it that way, doesn't mean it wasn't committed. Just because someone doesn't believe a victim doesn't mean that victim was not a victim. Recanting a rape allegation is as problematic as confessions given by those accused of rape.

Howard County Police classified one out of every four rape allegations as unfounded in 1990-91.

Just because they did this doesn't mean one out of every four rape allegations was false as this comment is implying. Or that this number reflects only cases where a girl or woman says she was raped.

The National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers says around 600 teachers a year are falsely accused - a trebling since the 1989 Children's Act.
I looked up this claim and the subject of false allegations was not specific to allegations of rape. One of the problems that leads to unsubstantiated allegations and damage to reputations can be shoddy, incomplete investigations. If claims appear to be dismissed too easily by those in charge, more people will abandon the system of investigation and take their claims public. Rather than the solution being a gag order, the solution should be thorough investigations that document what happened so that the innocent party is protected whether that is a student or a teacher.

Citing a recent USA Today article, discussing the miracle of DNA and FBI studies of sexual assault suspects, DNA testing exonerated about 30% to 35% of the more than 4,000 sexual assault suspects on whom the FBI had conducted DNA testing over the past three years.
Since they had DNA, the problem was not false reports of rape. This mixing of identification of unknown rapists and rapist/murderers with women who accuse specific men of raping them is no accident but a deliberate strategy to inflate the number of women who lie about being raped.

Purdue sociologist Eugene J. Kanin, in over 40% of the cases reviewed, the complainants eventually admitted that no rape had occurred (Archives of Sexual Behavior, Vol. 23, No. 1, 1994).
There are serious flaws in this study, yet people who want to appear as if they have done full investigations always neglect to point out anything that doesn't support their assertion. This number could as easily be caused by the way those charged with investigating rape treated alleged victims. If victims come in scared and traumatized and are treated like suspects who must be badgered and threatened, it wouldn't be that hard to break many of those victims.

1985 the Air Force conducted a study of 556 rape accusations. Over 25% of the accusers admitted, either just before they took a lie detector test or after they had failed it, that no rape occurred.
This data is meaningless since one of the ways to get false confessions is to use props such as lie detector tests to induce a confession. Where's the study of the matching alleged rapists and the results of their lie detector tests? Oh, wait. Alleged rapists have rights.

1996 Department of Justice Report, of the roughly 10,000 sexual assault cases analyzed with DNA evidence over the previous seven years, 2,000 excluded the primary suspect, and another 2,000 were inconclusive.
Again we get the mixing of unknown rapists with the assertion that no rape occurred.

Linda Fairstein, who heads the New York County District Attorney's Sex Crimes Unit. Fairstein, the author of Sexual Violence: Our War Against Rape, says, "there are about 4,000 reports of rape each year in Manhattan. Of these, about 50% simply did not happen."
But what data supports this assertion reportedly made in Penthouse magazine in the late 1980s? And what constitutes a report of rape? Does it include calls where someone says they think someone is being raped or sexually abused? If a call came in about a rape in progress and the police find nothing and nobody related to the call, is that considered a false allegation? If a cop refused to believe a report and labels it a false report without any investigation, how do we know the cop's instincts were correct?

Craig Silverman, a former Colorado prosecutor known for his zealous prosecution of rapists during his 16-year career, says that false rape accusations occur with "scary frequency." As a regular commentator on the Bryant trial for Denver's ABC affiliate, Silverman noted that "any honest veteran sex assault investigator will tell you that rape is one of the most falsely reported crimes." According to Silverman, a Denver sex-assault unit commander estimates that nearly 50% of all reported rape claims are false.
This is so generic we have no way of knowing what all of the scenarios are which are being called false. Just because he was zealous in the rape cases he prosecuted doesn't mean he's skilled at assessing the validity of all rape cases.

And how do we know honest veteran sex assault investigator always equals skilled at assessing cases between people who know each other and where there wasn't great physical trauma? Sometimes veteran equals cynical and eager to be rid of the half of the cases which are assumed to be false. Get an ex-con victim with an attitude and a drug habit who says she was raped? False report. "Next!"

I'm sure coping with the workload is easier if you believe that the cases which were dumped are all false reports.

Through all of the proof given to show that nearly half of those who report rape are liars, this commenter shows that he only cares about beyond-a-reasonable-doubt proof when it comes to accused rapists. Accusations against alleged victims don't need no stinking proof just the lack of a convicted rapist.

Where are the statistics on the number of convictions for making false rape accusations? What's the ratio between convictions on sexual assault charges and convictions on false accusation of rape charges?

The possibility of a report on real criminal behavior being labeled nothing more than a false allegation seems beyond this commentor's comprehension or it brings up issues he'd rather pretend don't exist. Yet he can think of every possibility where innocent men are called rapists. Does that fit under the label of being objective? I don't think so.

Part 3 gets into the issues of the rape trial.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 10:18 AM   2 comments links to this post


At December 03, 2006 8:43 PM, Blogger Gracchi said...

Great post. I like the distinction you make just because a perpetrator isn't found doesn't mean there isn't a crime. Also in my opinion- don't know what you think- but lets say I can't prove x is a rapist and there was a rape. That does mean that x isn't a rapist and shouldn't be treated as one- accusation isn't conviction. But neither does it mean that I've proved that y, who claimed the rape, is a liar. To do that, I'd need to prove it beyond reasonable doubt again- so y shouldn't be accused of lieing unless I can prove it. There can be a grey area in some cases- where there just isn't the evidence to say anything- but to heap that all on the victim and say she must be a liar is stupid. She should still be offered support as though she had been raped and someone been convicted, its just that without teh evidence he shouldn't be stigmatised as a rapist or sent to jail.

Great fisk though you've got this guy. Looking forward to part 3

At March 18, 2008 7:16 PM, Blogger Pro-Choice Committee said...

Thank you for this post. It gives me hope.


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