The media has recently spotlighted numerous cases of young men accused of rape, some of which allegedly occurred on university campuses. What is particularly disturbing about some of these cases is that the presumption of innocence until proven guilty appears to no longer be a valid premise.
Not all rape accusations lead to convictions. However, when an accuser levies rape accusations at someone, whether he (or she) is ever convicted of the crime often has no bearing on the havoc that is wreaked in his (or her) life. Sadly, false rape accusations are made all too frequently.
There are some definite red flags for investigators to alert them to potentially false accusations. Some of those include:
— The rape report was initiated by someone other than the complainant (unless the alleged victim is too young or otherwise unable to self-report).
— Great detail may be present in every aspect of the report except for the attacker’s description.
— The complainant cannot state or otherwise locate where the alleged rape occurred.
— The reporting of a sexual assault also serves as an alibi for time for which the accuser is otherwise unable to account.
— The accuser can describe events before and after the alleged attack, but when asked specific details of the assault, attempts to deflect by crying, getting angry, etc.
— Accuser’s injuries are consistent with self-inflicted injury patterns.
— Details of the alleged attack closely mirror similar scenarios from movies or TV shows.
— The complainant’s story is at odds with the physical evidence.
False reports of sexual assaults of any kind can destroy lives and derail otherwise promising careers or academic or athletic futures. Those facing such charges must be prepared to present a robust defense to the allegations. In the state of New Jersey, those convicted of making false statements to law enforcement could face up to 18 months behind bars and a fine as high as $10,000.
Source: falserapearchives.blogspot.com, “Rape Investigation Handbook,” John O. Savino and Brent E. Turvey, accessed May. 14, 2015