Thursday, August 02, 2007

Unfounded Case Then, Big Case Now

A school bus driver who has now been charged with 12 counts of 1st degree criminal sexual contact, 4 counts of 2nd degree sexual contact and one count of 1st degree burglary had a complaint made against him by a boy in 2004 who reported inappropriate sexual comments including an explicit request for the boy to expose himself.

That 2004 report was classified as unfounded because there was no physical contact.

The most serious charges against this man are related to events which occurred between 1993 and 2001 involving a boy who was 8 when the first alleged crime occurred. It was text messages between a boy, 16, and the defendant that were found this summer by that boy's mother which triggered the expanding investigation.

If the 2004 report had led to a wider investigation the most serious charges being brought now might have been brought 3 years ago. We may never know the full impact of this delay. Note: I'm not blaming the investigator in the 2004 case since that person was likely operating according to department policy.

It's important to note that many of those who talk about the huge numbers of false sex crime allegations include cases like this one in their numbers because of the label "unfounded." When they talk about having proof that large numbers of women lie about rape, the 2004 case would be counted as part of their supporting evidence.

Their logic is simple. If a case is labeled as unfounded, a woman lied. Or so their story goes.

Never mind the number of cases which are reported by boys or men. As this case shows many of the unfounded cases can be serious warning signs we truly can't afford to ignore.

Yet that is exactly what many people want us to do. And they want this in the name of justice. Actually many times they want far more than for a report to be ignored, often they want the person who made the report charged with a crime. They want to actively deter these unfounded claims of sex crimes to protect all those who have had their actions reported to the police.

The rabid anti-false/unfounded allegation crowd don't seem to care that sometimes the alleged actions are criminal, but the investigator believes they can't be verified or that an investigator makes a snap judgment about the victim making an accurate claim (women like her are always telling lies) or that the reported behavior stopped or was halted just short of criminal (like a man standing at your window with a crowbar in his hand isn't a burglar because he ran away when you yelled at him).

If these people are consistent across all crimes then they would need to advocate for filing criminal charges against those who report attempted burglaries and against those who walk into their house after vacation, sense something wrong and call the cops only to discover that a bird flew down their chimney and made a mess as it tried to find it's way out. But these people aren't concerned about all crime reports or all suspects. They have adopted only one group of suspects and defendants. Potential and alleged sex criminals.

Tell them that a corrupt cop or corrupt informant planted meth on you and that you were falsely accused or falsely convicted or tell them that an initial positive test result for meth was due to cough syrup and that a later more sensitive test came back negative? Yawn.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 10:28 AM   0 comments links to this post


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