Monday, March 26, 2007

False Rape Allegation Charges Supported By Real Evidence

Too often when people talk about false allegations of rape or make that assessment, the conclusion is based on nothing more than assumptions about the alleged victim's credibility and lack of proof for the rape.

This case however is based on multiple pieces of real evidence. The admission of the false claim was not the only evidence and it was clearly not made under duress since it was first made privately to a friend while the police still believed her.

Zoe Davydaitis made up the allegation about ex-soldier Phillip Young, 49, in a bid to win back her lesbian lover. Davydaitis, 24, Fenlake Road, Bedford, pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice at Luton Crown Court. [...]

When police arrested Mr Young he was recovering from a broken back he had suffered in a fall. His spine had been broken in eight places and he was wearing a body brace. Despite his protestations that it would have been impossible for him to have raped her, the Crown Prosecution Service decided he should be charged with rape. [...]

Davydaitis finally withdrew her statement on 22 March 2005 after her friend told police how she had confided in her about making up the rape allegation.

Given his physical condition, I believe the police made a mistake by charging this man so quickly. Since the woman alleged that she was the victim of a stranger rapist, the police might have rushed their investigation due to the pressure to make the public feel safer with the announcement of an arrest.

They may have also relied on stereotypes about false reports of rape. They may have assumed that since she didn't know the man included in the line up (Why was he even in the line-up if he was physically incapable of the crime?) that she wouldn't point to an innocent man.

The stereotypical false accuser is motivated by hard feelings toward a particular person or group of individuals.

Committing a serious crime to help win back an ex is nothing new and it is nothing unique to women. In a small town in my state several years ago the police chief set a fire so he could impress his ex-girlfriend with his heroism at putting out the fire. Thankfully nobody was hurt, but the fire wasn't so easily controlled and it gutted a significant portion of the town's main street.

Their MO might be different, but the motivations were identical. Yet nobody takes this man's case or others like it and uses it to make generalizations about all small town police chiefs or all men.

So why do so many of these same people make generalizations when the crime is committed by woman filing a false report of rape?

If it is only because we can't put ourselves in the shoes of the person who owned the building or those who depended on the businesses which were destroyed, then the generalizations are based on lack of empathy and ignorance.

The question we then need to ask is: Who benefits from this different response to 2 criminal acts committed for the same reason?

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 11:59 AM   0 comments links to this post

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