There’s a silver lining to false rape claims: they show how quickly law enforcement springs into action when serious allegations are leveled

October 11, 2013

Last Sunday morning at Union College in New York, an official emails alerted students about an atrocity that never happened. It stated that a female freshman had been sexually assaulted by three “males” (one of whom might have been approximately 16-years-old) at 1:41 a.m. The alleged victim refused any medical treatment, and did not seem traumatized. Police investigated for two days until finally the alleged victim retracted her statement and left the school. A video camera reportedly had captured the young woman on her phone at the time she said the assault occurred. After she ended the phone call, she jumped into a clump of bushes, and stayed there until her friends arrived and pulled her out, the sources said.

Schenectady police Lt. Eric Clifford said she “needs help.” She will not be charged because it was her friends who called the police. (Because, you see, people aren’t responsible for the clearly foreseeable chain of events they intentionally set in motion.)

So how did the local newspaper report this false rape claim? It suggested there was a silver lining to it: “The false alarm showed school and city officials spring in to action when such serious accusations are leveled.”

Have you ever heard a newspaper tout the benefits of an arson because it showed that firefighters respond to fires quickly?

Did the local newspaper express even a modicum of concern that the false rape claim could have led to a wrongful arrest? No, the problem with false rape claims is the following, according to the local newspaper:

The district attorney’s office was involved. School officials spent hours as well. Those were resources that couldn’t go to actual crimes.
More importantly, the concern is that false reports might make another sexual assault survivor more scared to come forward, if she is concerned that her story will be doubted.
The writer of the newspaper article would do well to spend a few weeks reading through this blog to understand that the paramount danger of false rape claims is to the wrongly accused.

In the student newspaper, the president of a campus club that serves as a resource and advocate for students who have been sexually assaulted said she fears the student “could have been bullied into retracting her allegations.”

Lieutenant Mark McCracken of the Schenectady Police Department said this in response: “local police commonly witness situations in which a woman makes a claim of sexual assault that later proves to be false.”

Thank goodness for all those false rape claims. They show that police are doing their job!