Wednesday, March 14, 2018

A handy list of "believe the victim" cases where "the victim" was wrong

If you believe we are all equal, you believe anyone can make a mistake or lie. A better slogan than "believe the victim" is "take every accusation seriously".

Here's a short list of times when "the victim" should not have been believed.

1931

Scottsboro Boys:
The Scottsboro Boys were nine African American teenagers, ages 13 to 19, accused in Alabama of raping two White American women on a train in 1931. The landmark set of legal cases from this incident dealt with racism and the right to a fair trial. The cases included a lynch mob before the suspects had been indicted, all-white juries, rushed trials, and disruptive mobs. It is commonly cited as an example of a miscarriage of justice in the United States legal system.

1987

Tawana Brawley rape allegations:
Tawana Glenda Brawley (born 1972) is an African-American woman from Wappingers Falls, New York, who gained notoriety in 1987–88 for falsely accusing four white men of having raped her. The charges received widespread national attention because of her age (15), the persons accused (including police officers and a prosecuting attorney), and the state in which Brawley was found after the alleged rape.
1987 - 2013

Centurion Ministries:
...secured the release of 53 (as of 12/11/2013) wrongly convicted men and women from all across the United States and Canada.
1989 - present

Innocence Project:
The work of the Innocence Project has led to the freeing of more than 350 wrongfully convicted people based on DNA, including 20 who spent time on death row, and the finding of 150 real perpetrators.
70% of those wrongful convictions were due to eyewitness misidentification.

1996

From Who says women never lie about rape?:
'Thank goodness,' writes New York prosecutor Linda Fairstein in her book 'Sexual Violence,' '[the victim's] testimony -- when it is credible -- is all that is needed to convict a rapist, as it is any other criminal.'

But what is 'credible'? In 1996, Los Angeles police officer Harris Scott Mintz was accused of rape by two women who were said to be 'very credible': a woman in the neighborhood he patrolled, then his own wife. At a pretrial hearing, the judge pronounced that he had no doubt about Mintz's guilt. Then, Mrs. Mintz admitted that she made up the charge because she was angry at her husband for getting in trouble with the law; subsequently, Mintz's attorneys uncovered evidence that the first accuser had told an ex-roommate she had concocted the rape charge in order to sue the county, and that she had tried a similar hoax before. By the time the case collapsed, Mintz had spent five months in jail.
2001

Your biggest fan! Tucker Carlson's account of being charged with rape by a delusional fan he had never met.

2002

Brian Banks:
Banks was a standout high school football star at Polytechnic High School (Poly) in Long Beach, California. In 2002, his Junior year, Banks verbally committed to USC.[6] After being falsely accused of rape by a classmate, he spent more than five years in prison and five years on strict custody parole, but had his conviction overturned in 2012 after his accuser admitted she had fabricated the entire story.

2005

Runaway bride:
The runaway bride case was the case of Jennifer Carol Wilbanks (born March 1, 1973), an American woman who ran away from home on April 26, 2005, in order to avoid her wedding with John Mason, her fiancé, on April 30. Her disappearance from Duluth, Georgia, sparked a nationwide search and intensive media coverage, including some media speculation that Mason had killed her. On April 29, Wilbanks called Mason from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and falsely claimed that she had been kidnapped and sexually assaulted by a Hispanic male and a white woman.

2006

Duke lacrosse case:
The Duke lacrosse case was a widely reported 2006 criminal case in which three members of the Duke University men's lacrosse team were falsely accused of rape. The case evoked varied responses from the media, faculty groups, students, the community, and others. The case's resolution sparked public discussion of racism, media bias, and due process on campuses, and ultimately led to the resignation and disbarment of the lead prosecutor, Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong.
Gang Rape Was a Lie, O.C. Woman Concedes - latimes:
A Dana Point woman pleaded guilty Monday to falsely accusing six men of kidnapping and raping her in 2004, a lie that could have led to life sentences for the accused if not for a videotape that showed that the sex was consensual.
2009

Hofstra University rape case:
The Hofstra University rape case was a 2009 false accusation of rape in which 18-year-old Hofstra University student, Danmell Ndonye, falsely accused fellow student Rondell Bedward, and his friends Jesus Ortiz, Kevin Taveras, Arvin Rivera and Stalin Felipe of holding her down, tying her up and gang raping her in a Hofstra University dormitory bathroom stall on the morning of September 13, 2009. A few days later these claims were revealed to be false when a video of the event was given to the police which showed that the entire encounter was consensual.

2010

Families Advocating for Campus Equality:
Seefeld's son, Caleb Warner, was accused in January 2010 of sexually assaulting a fellow University of North Dakota student. He was initially suspended from the university, but the sanction was later lifted after no criminal charges were filed against Warner, and his accuser was charged with making a false report to law enforcement, with a warrant being issued for her arrest. Seefeld says, "It's pretty hard to say, 'Well, you know, some people are falsely accused,' because immediately, you are accused of being a rape apologist, it is assumed that your son is a rapist and you're lying for him."
Woman Who Lied About Rape Sentenced To 1-3 Years: Gothamist:
The woman whose false rape claims put an innocent man behind bars for nearly four years was sentenced to one to three years in prison on perjury charges. After pleading guilty to making up a story that she was gang raped in Upper Manhattan in 2005 to elicit sympathy from friends, Biurny Peguero Gonzalez was hit with jail time.
Mother of three jailed after making false gang rape claims - to win back her former lover | Daily Mail Online:
A young mother who falsely claimed she had been gang raped has been jailed for six months.
Cops: Woman's lie about rape led to lover's beating, sodomy - Philly:
Renada Williams told her alleged cohorts in crime that her lover had raped her.
2011

NYC meteorologist Heidi Jones pleads guilty to falsely reporting rape:
Heidi Jones, former New York tv meteorologist, admitted Wednesday she'd made up claims of being repeatedly attacked by a stranger on the city streets, allegations that sparked an extensive investigation before police said she told them she'd invented the story to get attention.
2013

Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight):
The student Sulkowicz accused was found not responsible in 2013 by a university inquiry into the allegations. He called Sulkowicz's accusation "untrue and unfounded" and Mattress Performance an act of bullying. Sulkowicz filed a police complaint in May 2014; the district attorney's office did not pursue criminal charges, citing a lack of reasonable suspicion. In April 2015 the student filed a lawsuit against the university, its trustees, university president Lee Bollinger, and art professor Jon Kessler, Sulkowicz's thesis supervisor, alleging that they exposed him to gender-based harassment by allowing Mattress Performance to take place on campus for course credit. The suit was dismissed in March 2016. The student filed an amended complaint on April 25, 2016, which resulted in the university settling for undisclosed terms, and expressing regret about his "difficult" time and promising to reform its policies so "accuser and accused, including those like [the student] who are found not responsible" are "treated with respect" in the future.
2014

A Rape on Campus:
"A Rape on Campus" is a Rolling Stone magazine article, written by Sabrina Erdely and originally published on November 19, 2014, that describes a purported group sexual assault at the University of Virginia (UVA). Rolling Stone retracted the story in its entirety on April 5, 2015.
See also:

False rape accusations: Why must we pretend they never happen?

False accusation of rape

False allegation of child sexual abuse

Hate crime hoaxes present burdens, lessons for college campuses

Fakehatecrimes.org