That supposedly rarest of crimes, a false allegation of rape, is back in the news as a woman in Wales is given a 20 month sentence.
There have been so many of these worldwide of late that we can but scratch the surface. We begin with the UK.
In May last year, Angela England accused a taxi driver of rape. Last week she was given a 20 month sentence at Mold Crown Court, where earlier this year paedophile Mark Bridger was given a life sentence for the murder of April Jones. Fortunately for the victim, his vehicle was fitted with a tracking device which quickly established the truth, although according to the BBC, the allegation was enough to cause him the inconvenience and at times public humiliation any man accused of rape suffers.
Across the border in England, a false allegation of rape earned Essex girl Cathy Richardson a 12 month sentence for perverting the course of justice. Unlike most allegations of false rape which involve a single act - either by a person known to the non-victim or by a stranger - Richardson claimed to have been sexually abused over a period of two months. This compounds the felony, and she might consider herself lucky to escape with a year behind bars, which with remission will be half that.
Last month, an 18 year old claimed to have been raped in Ewell, Surrey. The unnamed teenager from London was lucky to escape with a caution because officers wasted an entire day investigating this non-offence.
A case that could have had extremely serious consequences was that of an unnamed Iranian woman in India who claimed to have been kidnapped, robbed and raped by two men.
Since the outrageous case in Delhi last December in which a young woman was literally raped to death, feelings have been running high. If the alleged perpetrators had been arrested they would not have been handled with kid gloves. As things turned out, the “victim” had lost her handbag and was afraid of telling her husband. Unreal.
The aforementioned Delhi rape case made headlines all over the world, and according to one correspondent, it has been responsible for Delhi being labelled the “rape capital”. At least one judge appears to be mindful of this; Virender Bhat cleared Bhopal Sharma of raping his maid. Mr Sharma is 75 years old!
On the other side of the Atlantic, a young woman, apparently a student, reported a rape to police in Rexburg, Idaho, but when they investigated, it transpired that this sexual encounter was entirely consensual. According to police spokesman Captain Lewis, this sort of thing is not uncommon in Rexburg. He might have added on campuses generally across America. The name Landen Gambill springs to mind.
He added that no action would be taken against the complainant; presumably he would not have said the same about the alleged perpetrator if her claim had been considered credible.
Finally, still in the United States, we end on a happy note. Sort of. In 2002, Brian Banks was a 16 year old teenager who dreamed only of playing professional football. That dream was torn from him, and his life fell apart after he was accused of raping Wanetta Gibson. In the UK, he would if convicted have been received at most a five year sentence like Ched Evans, most likely less in view of his age. They do things differently in America though, most of the time, and he was given a ten year sentence, being parolled after five. Then something incredible happened. The girl who had trashed his life decided she wanted to resume their "relationship". She ended up confessing the truth. Now, Banks has achieved his dream; earlier this month he made his professional debut for the Falcons.
[The above article was first published August 18, 2013. A minor correction has been made; Captain Lewis was previously alluded to as Captain Travis. I have no idea how that came about.]
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