Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby Indon » Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:27 pm UTC

JonoEPD wrote:Maybe we should have a law that if a prosecutor is found guilty of charging someone incorrectly with the knowledge that the defendant did not commit said crime, then the prosecutor should serve the sentence they tried to press on the innocent?

That would sure fix this bullshit.


No, it wouldn't. As Blacksails notes, it will be extremely hard to prove, and furthermore, I'm pretty sure there are laws against it already in that form.

What it would do is decrease the rate of reporting crimes like rape, which are already undereported due to fear of persecution by the victim.
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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby Random832 » Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:39 pm UTC

Indon wrote:No, it wouldn't. As Blacksails notes, it will be extremely hard to prove, and furthermore, I'm pretty sure there are laws against it already in that form.

What it would do is decrease the rate of reporting crimes like rape, which are already undereported due to fear of persecution by the victim.


With any other crime we say that sending even one innocent person to jail is a problem and will do anything to prevent it. Using a term like "underreported" when even one false accusation is known to have occured demonstrates this is treated as an exception - that there is considered be an acceptable cost in innocent lives destroyed to make sure everyone who should go to jail does. By that logic, maybe this should have been covered up.

The problem of fear of persecution by the victim is a difficult one, but is the solution really to make it so that a false accuser has no consequences to fear? 18 months is a slap on the wrist.

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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby Indon » Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:04 pm UTC

Random832 wrote:With any other crime we say that sending even one innocent person to jail is a problem and will do anything to prevent it. Using a term like "underreported" when even one false accusation is known to have occured demonstrates this is treated as an exception - that there is considered be an acceptable cost in innocent lives destroyed to make sure everyone who should go to jail does. By that logic, maybe this should have been covered up.

The problem of fear of persecution by the victim is a difficult one, but is the solution really to make it so that a false accuser has no consequences to fear? 18 months is a slap on the wrist.


Oh, yes, only 18 months in jail. We should just start shooting them instead, right?

And yes, rape is underreported, and we know this as a fact. I'll tell you why.

You know how earlier in this thread I described a US military policy that allows for unprosecuted cases of rape, in order for the victims to get the proper therapy and such? A substantial amount of those are never prosecuted. They are thus obviously not false accusations, as no accusation is ever made. They are cases in which people who have been raped, come forth and ask for help but never press charges.

Rape is an underreported crime. It is an underreported crime because rape victims are afraid to come forth and face their accusers, and the stigma of even making the accusation from people more inclined to think they're lying than telling the truth. I'd rather not add in, 'and because they're afraid of getting decades in prison if they don't have an airtight case' to that list.
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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby BlackSails » Wed Jan 20, 2010 9:12 pm UTC

All crimes are almost certainly underreported crimes.

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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby Jessica » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:29 pm UTC

Actually that's probably false, what with many crimes being covered under insurance, or having evidence, or not having shame attached to being the victim of the crime.

I'm sure there are crimes which are underreported, but I'm pretty sure grand theft isn't one of them.
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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby CueBall » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:51 pm UTC

Random832 wrote:The problem of fear of persecution by the victim is a difficult one, but is the solution really to make it so that a false accuser has no consequences to fear? 18 months is a slap on the wrist.


Since when is 18 months in prison a minor thing? I suspect if you've been to prison for 1 1/2 years for what is, in effect, bullshitting, whether correctly prosecuted or not, most people (employers doubly so) would be much less inclined to trust you. This would have a serious effect on your life.
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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:53 pm UTC

I know plenty of people who won't report anything to the police, regardless of the crime. They think that justice, much like pie, always taste better when it's homemade.
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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby CueBall » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:58 pm UTC

The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:I know plenty of people who won't report anything to the police, regardless of the crime. They think that justice, much like pie, always taste better when it's homemade.


Vigilanté-ism isn't really something that needs encouragement.
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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby BlackSails » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:58 pm UTC

CueBall wrote:
Random832 wrote:The problem of fear of persecution by the victim is a difficult one, but is the solution really to make it so that a false accuser has no consequences to fear? 18 months is a slap on the wrist.


Since when is 18 months in prison a minor thing? I suspect if you've been to prison for 1 1/2 years for what is, in effect, bullshitting, whether correctly prosecuted or not, most people (employers doubly so) would be much less inclined to trust you. This would have a serious effect on your life.


No, its not in effect bullshitting. Its in effect attempting to kidnap someone and steal hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby CueBall » Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:01 pm UTC

BlackSails wrote:
CueBall wrote:
Random832 wrote:The problem of fear of persecution by the victim is a difficult one, but is the solution really to make it so that a false accuser has no consequences to fear? 18 months is a slap on the wrist.


Since when is 18 months in prison a minor thing? I suspect if you've been to prison for 1 1/2 years for what is, in effect, bullshitting, whether correctly prosecuted or not, most people (employers doubly so) would be much less inclined to trust you. This would have a serious effect on your life.


No, its not in effect bullshitting. Its in effect attempting to kidnap someone and steal hundreds of thousands of dollars.


I have absolutely no idea what you mean.
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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby Freakish » Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:24 pm UTC

CueBall wrote:
BlackSails wrote:
CueBall wrote:
Random832 wrote:The problem of fear of persecution by the victim is a difficult one, but is the solution really to make it so that a false accuser has no consequences to fear? 18 months is a slap on the wrist.


Since when is 18 months in prison a minor thing? I suspect if you've been to prison for 1 1/2 years for what is, in effect, bullshitting, whether correctly prosecuted or not, most people (employers doubly so) would be much less inclined to trust you. This would have a serious effect on your life.


No, its not in effect bullshitting. Its in effect attempting to kidnap someone and steal hundreds of thousands of dollars.


I have absolutely no idea what you mean.


False Arrest = Kidnap
The cost of everything = Stealing
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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby dedalus » Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:25 pm UTC

Well, by 'kidnapping' I assume Blacksails means the fact that the victim goes to jail, and stealing money is because the criminal has a chance of compensation.

Personally, I would think that the laws should be like this: the police investigate the case, and figure out what they think is most likely, and then if they have the evidence to prove to themselves and a jury that it was rape, they do it. If they have the evidence to prove that it was completely unsubstantiated and the accuser is lying through their teeth to themselves and a jury, they do that. Oh wait... that's what happens most of the time. The only problem I have with the entire thing is that the man's name was released somehow to the public; I would say that until charged and proven guilty, the police shouldn't even be admitting to the general public that he was arrested. However, no doubt word of mouth from the neighbours did a fair amount.

But definitely, the two victims here are people who have to go through the process of accusing someone of rape, and the person being raped. And any verdict the judge places with the intent to placate one group damages the other. It's much better for him to be fair, and treat the case for what it was; a false accusation. Saying 'you should get 8 years for claiming someone raped you' is stupid. It's also important to note that she didn't actually accuse the victim, she just said she was raped and he happened to fit the description. If she'd been doing this for revenge on a specific person, no doubt she would have gotten more time.
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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby BlackSails » Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:28 pm UTC

dedalus wrote:Well, by 'kidnapping' I assume Blacksails means the fact that the victim goes to jail, and stealing money is because the criminal has a chance of compensation.


Actually, the stealing I was referring to is the money the victim will have to pay for bail (bondsmen usually take 10% of the bail amount), plus the cost of hiring a lawyer, plus the lost wages while you are imprisoned.

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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:34 am UTC

Plus the cost to prosecute.
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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby Malice » Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:19 am UTC

CueBall wrote:
BlackSails wrote:
CueBall wrote:
Random832 wrote:The problem of fear of persecution by the victim is a difficult one, but is the solution really to make it so that a false accuser has no consequences to fear? 18 months is a slap on the wrist.


Since when is 18 months in prison a minor thing? I suspect if you've been to prison for 1 1/2 years for what is, in effect, bullshitting, whether correctly prosecuted or not, most people (employers doubly so) would be much less inclined to trust you. This would have a serious effect on your life.


No, its not in effect bullshitting. Its in effect attempting to kidnap someone and steal hundreds of thousands of dollars.


I have absolutely no idea what you mean.


When you falsely accuse someone, you can end up getting that person imprisoned (kidnapping) and possibly fined (stealing) and certainly it'll all cost the government a lot of money (stealing).
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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby Jessica » Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:27 am UTC

It's committing perjury. Or, a similar crime (as... well perjury's the only crime I can find about lying under the law).
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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby Kulantan » Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:31 am UTC

In a couple of Commonwealth countries there is also "perverting the course of justice" (what she was convicted for).
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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby Jessica » Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:34 am UTC

thank you :)

The point I was making was that the crime has a name, there's no need to attempt to make it something else.
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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby masher » Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:01 am UTC

"Making a false statement" is another...

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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby dedalus » Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:13 pm UTC

Murder often takes the life of someone who has the ability to earn much more money, but we don't try murderers for robbery too.
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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby The Reaper » Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:25 pm UTC

dedalus wrote:Murder often takes the life of someone who has the ability to earn much more money, but we don't try murderers for robbery too.

That's because poor people get murdered as well.

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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby Jessica » Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:27 pm UTC

So, it wouldn't be grand theft, just petty theft?
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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby BlackSails » Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:29 pm UTC

dedalus wrote:Murder often takes the life of someone who has the ability to earn much more money, but we don't try murderers for robbery too.


Actually, in the civil trial that often followed the criminal one, thats exactly what the defendant is being sued for, in addition to noneconomic losses.

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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby Indon » Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:50 pm UTC

BlackSails wrote:Actually, the stealing I was referring to is the money the victim will have to pay for bail (bondsmen usually take 10% of the bail amount), plus the cost of hiring a lawyer, plus the lost wages while you are imprisoned.


That's less stealing and more destruction of property.
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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby dedalus » Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:55 pm UTC

BlackSails wrote:
dedalus wrote:Murder often takes the life of someone who has the ability to earn much more money, but we don't try murderers for robbery too.


Actually, in the civil trial that often followed the criminal one, thats exactly what the defendant is being sued for, in addition to noneconomic losses.

But we're not talking about the civil lawsuit, we're talking about the jailtime from the criminal trial. And the point of the matter is that this lady has committed a case of perjury. I don't think that she was intending to get the man jailtime, the act itself seemed more like a cry for help then anything; she stands to gain nothing from it. Saying 'well, if she'd succeeded he would have gone to jail for 8 years' doesn't mean that she should suffer equal punishment. Personally, the only reason why I could see this even being 18 months is to make it very clear to people considering false rape claims that it's not tolerable. In terms of a punishment fit for a crime, I would say counselling and a 6-12 month sentence would be more fair.
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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby Random832 » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:45 pm UTC

Indon wrote:I'd rather not add in, 'and because they're afraid of getting decades in prison if they don't have an airtight case' to that list.


Who said "if they don't have an airtight case" - the only thing that's been proposed here is for if it has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that they knew it was false. You know, cases like this one.

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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby Indon » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:58 pm UTC

Random832 wrote:Who said "if they don't have an airtight case" - the only thing that's been proposed here is for if it has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that they knew it was false. You know, cases like this one.


But that's already illegal, and sufficiently difficult to demonstrate that we have no reason to believe that such severe punishment for it would function as a deterrent for anyone who would premeditate such an act, and it would obviously not function as a deterrent at all for those most likely to get caught, being those who don't premeditate such acts and would do so impulsively or compulsively.

Without changing the standard, it wouldn't work as a deterrent. With changing the standard, it would deter legitimate reports.
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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby Random832 » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:26 pm UTC

Indon wrote:Without changing the standard, it wouldn't work as a deterrent. With changing the standard, it would deter legitimate reports.


So what you're saying is what we already know: There exists a limited set of possibilities that are actually achievable for the percentage of real cases that are reported and the number of false accusations that go undetected, and the harsh reality is that 100%/0 is not in that set. The question then becomes, how many false accusations are an acceptable cost to make sure that all real rapists go to jail?

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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby Indon » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:37 pm UTC

Random832 wrote:So what you're saying is what we already know: There exists a limited set of possibilities that are actually achievable for the percentage of real cases that are reported and the number of false accusations that go undetected, and the harsh reality is that 100%/0 is not in that set. The question then becomes, how many false accusations are an acceptable cost to make sure that all real rapists go to jail?


You're assuming that the path to increased reporting is one that would necessarily generate more false positives.

The US military program that I have previously mentioned is an example of a measure that would increase reporting of rape cases (and it did, while not all of the confidental cases were reported, some were) without increasing false reporting.
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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby mythago » Sun Jan 24, 2010 5:20 am UTC

Random832 wrote:
With any other crime we say that sending even one innocent person to jail is a problem and will do anything to prevent it.


"Anything"? Really? We could simply abolish sending anyone to jail, ever. Then we would never, ever have to worry about sending an innocent person to jail! Or if you're obsessed with false claims of rape, then let's just repeal laws making rape illegal; we would then never have to worry about false allegations of rape.
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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby dedalus » Sun Jan 24, 2010 6:47 am UTC

At the same time, sexual assault is one of the worst crimes people are capable of doing (arguably worse then battery, arguably comparable with murder), and a unique crime in that there are a number of cases where it becomes difficult to prove not only A. that the defendant was the one committing the crime but B. that a crime was actually committed. Unfortunately, there's a blurred line between rape and false accusations, and possibly a lot of overlap too. So comparing it to other crimes isn't making a fair comparison. Especially as because there's often little physical evidence (as compared to murder, which has the whole dead body thing going on) it means someone has to actually make the accusation themselves rather then the state doing it for them because the crime is obvious.

The justice system has to make sure that as many criminals have appropriate sentences metered out, AND that as few innocents are unjustly convicted. Whilst you could set a ratio between the importance of both acts, saying 'if we find that you were just stirring up trouble, then you get 8 years' is going to make any woman in a precarious scenario that gets told what happened to her 'isn't rape' think twice before coming forward to the authorities. And personally I would rate making that happen as much as possible above punishing people for attempting to disrepute others.

But, in reality, other measures can be taken to protect both sides. Such as police discrepancy in keeping rape cases hushed down, so as to prevent public outlash against the ill-accused.
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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby General_Norris » Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:41 am UTC

dedalus wrote:y arguably comparable with murder),


Wow, just wow. I know you said "arguably" but hell, no. It's bad? Yes. It's as bad as murder? No, prove it first. I don't want to play devil's advocate but there's something wrong with a society that thinks rape is worse than murder. I can't see any reason so as to why they can be comprable that doesn't end in nihilism.

I think that overblowing important problems make them harder to accept by the population and provides cracks in your logic that will be exploited. Al you will find is less support for your worthy cause.

Also I don't think that the justice system has as a goal to punish criminals. Or it shouldn't.

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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby dedalus » Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:53 am UTC

GN: Comparable doesn't mean equivalent. It means it's in the same ball league. Then again, using maths to equate rape and murder is always going to lead to giving disgustingly arbitrary values to the effect rape has on someone's life. But the point is that rape is a pretty terrible thing; personally I'd consider it a type of torture.

And punishment is probably the wrong word there, sentencing would be more appropriate. Thanks for pointing that out.
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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby General_Norris » Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:56 am UTC

dedalus wrote: But the point is that rape is a pretty terrible thing; personally I'd consider it a type of torture..


I also consider it a form of torture. So we agree on that.

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Re: Woman jailed for making false claim of sexual assault

Postby MrGee » Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:29 am UTC

dedalus wrote:At the same time, sexual assault is one of the worst crimes people are capable of doing (arguably worse then battery, arguably comparable with murder), and a unique crime in that there are a number of cases where it becomes difficult to prove not only A. that the defendant was the one committing the crime but B. that a crime was actually committed. Unfortunately, there's a blurred line between rape and false accusations, and possibly a lot of overlap too. So comparing it to other crimes isn't making a fair comparison. Especially as because there's often little physical evidence (as compared to murder, which has the whole dead body thing going on) it means someone has to actually make the accusation themselves rather then the state doing it for them because the crime is obvious.

The justice system has to make sure that as many criminals have appropriate sentences metered out, AND that as few innocents are unjustly convicted. Whilst you could set a ratio between the importance of both acts, saying 'if we find that you were just stirring up trouble, then you get 8 years' is going to make any woman in a precarious scenario that gets told what happened to her 'isn't rape' think twice before coming forward to the authorities. And personally I would rate making that happen as much as possible above punishing people for attempting to disrepute others.

But, in reality, other measures can be taken to protect both sides. Such as police discrepancy in keeping rape cases hushed down, so as to prevent public outlash against the ill-accused.


Well there is a world of difference between "the sex was actually consensual" and "I've never seen the girl in my life" as defenses to rape. Regardless of problems with interpreting the first situation, the second is much more likely to be provable and much closer to objectively wrong.

Also it's "discretion" not "discrepancy".


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