False allegations concern those who advocate for domestic violence victims
By WKTV News
Mar 3, 2014
It wasn’t easy for the man whose job it generally is to prove that a criminal defendant abused his accuser to say.
“Her credibility, with respect to both dockers, was irrevocably compromised by falsely reporting three incidents in the City of Rome and providing at least one false written statement to the Rome Police Department,” said prosecutor Joshua Bauer.
Instead of prosecuting the case against correction officer and accused abuser Craig Lockwood, the district attorney’s office would up asking two judges to drop all the charges after victim Savannah Loce Lockwood admitted she made it up. And while the final charge against Lockwood was dropped Monday, the damage is still done, and some fear it will hurt the system.
“These sorts of allegations that undermine the integrity of our system of justice, and especially in domestic violence cases,” said Honorable Randal Caldwell. “It’s really unfortunate, because we don’t see a lot of false reporting.”
Natalie Brown of the YWCA in Utica agrees with Judge Caldwell, and fears cases like this could keep true victims of domestic violence in their shell.
“It’s difficult enough for people to report that they’re victims of domestic violence,” said Brown. “So that difficulty is going to be enhanced because it’s going to be, ‘Oh, people aren’t going to believe me.’ ”
Not only did Craig Lockwood not harm his estranged wife, his attorney says she assaulted him.
“She did stab him,” said George Massoud, Lockwood’s attorney. “She stabbed him in the shoulder.”
But Massoud says because Loce Lockwood she cried foul first, what she allegedly did faded into the background.
“Generally speaking, in the criminal justice system, they don’t take what they call cross complaints,” said Massoud. “So the first one to file the complaint is the first one that gets heard.”