The Personal Nightmare of a Man Falsely Accused of Rape
by James Donald Anderson
MY PERSONAL NIGHTMARE
In the summer of 1985 I was 24 years old and naive to the workings of our legal system. I was unaware of the subtle conspiracy against men by the radical feminist movement. I am from a middle class upbringing in California and had a stable family life. In school I had been in a program for mentally gifted minors (MGM), and upon graduating from high school I joined the Air Force. After the service I guess I wouldn't be considered a "choir boy," and had been arrested for several minor alcohol related misdemeanor charges.
I moved to Alaska and worked hard as a commercial fisherman. I played hard, sometimes too hard. I occasionally spent a couple days in a county jail somewhere for a minor alcohol related charge.
The summer of '85 I met a young woman in an alcohol treatment center I had checked myself into. We became friends and on our last night there we had sex. This innocent sexual encounter of so many years ago would change my life forever, take me places I never dreamed I would go, and show me injustices I could never imagine existed. This woman I had sex with would turn out to be sick and would falsely accuse me of rape. Four years later, I would find myself in front of a jury as they pronounced me guilty. I would go to a maximum security prison to serve ten years for my "crime." I would escape, be recaptured and given even more prison time. I would have numerous articles written about my wrongful conviction and I would start a national organization for innocent men in prison. I would even get the attention of the Governor of Oregon who may commute my prison term.
In that summer of 1985, I had been staying with a relative of mine in Oregon. Things were not working out for us. We did not get along. I had been drinking too much and not acting very responsible.
I decided to leave my relatives, visit my parents in California and then return to Alaska. Before I left for California I checked myself into an alcohol treatment center for a five-day detoxification period and then I planned to enter a long-term treatment center. I believed I may have a problem with drinking and decided to get help before seeing my parents.
I checked myself into the detox program located in Salem, Oregon. It was one large building, actually portable trailers that had been attached together. It contained offices, a large living area, and a number of sleeping rooms that patients shared, one side for men and across a hall, the other side for women. As I recall, there were about 20 men and 10 women. I was assigned to a room with three other men.
The five-day treatment consisted of lectures, films, and group discussion on alcoholism. I had decided that my drinking had become a problem and I decided to enter a 90-day treatment center in Grants Pass, Oregon, after my five-day detox treatment and before visiting my parents.
There were a number of women in this "detox." I was 24 years old, unattached, and never had a problem attracting women. One woman began to flirt with me, and not being one to pass up the opportunity to get to know a good-looking woman better, I flirted back. On the third day of my treatment, this woman and I went to the back of this detox building to lie on the grass. One of the alcohol counselors "caught us" giving each other back rubs and we were "reprimanded." While in treatment it was forbidden to fraternize with the opposite sex. This was said to interfere with treatment. This woman was due to leave the next day, so I gave the "reprimand" little thought.
Throughout my stay, up to this point I had been talking to another woman who had arrived the same day as me. We ate some meals together, would sit together on one of the couches and talk. I was reprimanded again after we were "caught" laughing too loudly together. I was told I could be kicked out of the program for fraternizing and told not to sit with her again.
We continued to see each other in the back laundry room secretly and soon began to make out and kiss. She told me she was addicted to "crank," was in hot water with her mother, and may not have a place to live any longer. I felt sorry for her, but I had my own problems.
On our last night there with our "treatment" to be completed the next day, I went to her room. She had been sharing a room with a woman who left that day. When I opened her door and went inside she had been reading. She put her book down and we began to talk. Soon we were kissing and petting heavily. We both undressed and I crawled in bed with her.
We started to have sex on the old hospital bed, but it began to creak noisily. The walls of this building weren't actually walls but more like partitions. We spread a blanket on the floor and continued to have sex, trying to be as quiet as possible since we didn't want to get caught and kicked out. Afterward, we got dressed, said our good byes and I left. I wanted to get back to my room before the hourly bed checks that were made. I got back to my room and went to sleep.
In the morning this woman and I ate breakfast together and said our good byes. I would be leaving for Grants Pass and she was going back to her mother's, if her mother would let her in her house. I remember her giving me her mother's phone number. She said she wanted me to call. I packed up my belongings and left. I never called. To be honest I didn't think of this woman until many years later when she changed my life forever.
After the 86 days I was kicked out of the treatment center in Grants Pass, Oregon, for drinking beer. After that I went to California to visit my parents. After a few months there I went back to Alaska. For the next few years I lived in many small fishing towns on the coast of Alaska and led a rough and tumble life. Just the way I liked it. I was never a 9 to 5 man. I didn't see eye to eye with a time clock. But I always worked hard while I was at sea. I continued to drink from time to time and every now and then would end up in jail for the night. In all my arrests I had never spent more than 20 days in a row in jail and that was only once.
The summer of 1988 found me on the Kenia Peninsula, which is world famous for having the world's highest concentration of bears per square mile. I was living in a tent with my new girl friend, a slightly older woman who was as rough around the edges as I, but extremely good looking. She was also as big a drinker as I, if not bigger. We were in love, but drinking caused its problems between us.
Because we were living with so many bears around, I had bought a shot gun for protection. I would leave it with my girl friend as I went to look for a new boat to work on. I sawed off the barrel and stock to shorten it so that it wouldn't get caught in the heavy bush just in case I needed it quickly. This was a major mistake.
My girl friend and I broke up. We had grown apart and it was time to move on. One night while drinking in a local bar, I was arrested for having a weapon. I didn't have any shells on me, nor was the gun loaded. It didn't matter, though. I was arrested and taken to the county jail.
The next day I went in front of the judge to be arraigned for "possession of an illegal weapon." Not only did I have this charge, the judge told me, but I was also wanted as a fugitive on a first degree rape warrant from Salem, Oregon. I was shocked. I would never force a woman to have sex with me. It must be a mistake. It wasn't.
I plead guilty to the weapons charge and was sentenced to 14 months of which I would serve 8. I was then extradited to Oregon to face the rape charge and 20 years in prison.
I had no idea who was claiming I raped her, or why. After four long months in the Kenia County jail, I finally found out. It was that woman that I had long since forgotten that I had sex with at the detox program I was in so many years earlier. I was contacted by a civil attorney working for the treatment center. This woman had claimed I raped her so she could file a million-dollar law suit for "damages" against the detox center. Money had been her motive! To be honest, I was relieved. At least now I knew who was accusing me of such a horrible crime. The civil attorney wanted a statement from me on how the sex between this woman and I was in fact consensual instead of the wild and bizarre "story" this woman was telling. The civil trial was to begin in a month to see if this woman was raped, and to see if she deserved money from the detox center. This attorney told me a detective would be coming to see me soon.
A few days later, a private detective came to see me in the county jail. I, being innocent, had nothing to hide, and felt I should talk to this man. He was an older gentleman and seemed quite concerned. I spoke with him for over an hour and a half. He said he would make a full report. He seemed sympathetic to me and told me not to worry.
A month later when I called the civil attorney he told me the woman had won her case and I was guilty of rape. He wanted nothing more to do with me and got what he wanted, my statement for him to use in court. He didn't want to hear of my innocence any more and hung up the phone. I was in shock. How could this be? I did nothing illegal!
I phoned my father and related the news to him. He had earlier told me on the phone that since I was innocent I had nothing to worry about. He, too, was now beginning to see how the legal system really works. He hired an attorney for me as soon as he could. He called our relative in Oregon and asked her to find me an attorney. She, in turn asked one of her close friends, a male attorney, if he could handle the case. He said he would and needed $10,000 up front. I phoned him and he said he would start the case as soon as I was returned to Oregon.
After serving eight months in jail in Alaska I was extradited to Oregon. I was shackled and taken aboard a commercial airline with two Oregon detectives as escorts. Throughout the flight I remained chained like an animal. It was a very humiliating experience. In Oregon I was taken to the Marion County jail. After my father somehow scraped together the money for my bail, $2,000 ransom to be paid to the state of Oregon, I was released and free until my trial. As soon as I was out of jail I went to see my new attorney.
He was about 40 years old, over weight, and reminded me of a used car salesman. He was not what I had in mind as a go-getting, hot shot attorney, that my relative assured me he was. He talked fast and always seemed to be sweating. He told me the civil trial meant nothing, but it may to my jury and he wouldn't mention it in court. He also said in civil trials the burden of proof is much lower than in criminal trials. He then said that since this woman had won her money, her goal all along, that she didn't want to go through with the trial, but a rape crisis counselor had put pressure on her to proceed and worked her into a man hating frenzy in which she screamed, "Let's get that bastard!" This rape counselor and her buddies at the local rape crisis center also put pressure on the DA and judge to continue with the trial.
My attorney then relayed the following to me: the "victim's" testimony in the civil trial testimony was very convincing and tears flowed easily. The rape crisis counselor had coached her on her testimony and rehearsed with her how to act like a real "victim" of rape. Also on how to squeeze as much sympathy out of a jury as possible and cry on cue.
This woman also had a history of filing false accusations of rape and even accused her own brother on one occasion when she was mad at him. This woman was forever being sexually assaulted, in her eyes. A jury would never believe such a woman.
I was shown her psychological reports from years before I ever met her. She was one sick woman. I would have never gone near her or talked to her had I know she was so mentally ill. Among her psychological problems were border line personality disorders, amnesia, and organic brain damage (presumably from drug abuse). She fantasized about suicide, liked to view herself as a victim, hated men, was an alcoholic and a drug addict. No jury would believe such a deranged woman.
I learned she had been kicked out of this detox center for not being willing to enter long term treatment, and she was accusing me of rape to get back at this center and to sue them. Also, how could her mother refuse to let her in her home after she had been "raped"? She was a desperate, homeless woman who did the only thing she could think of: cry rape, which had worked for her in the past. She was also known to "hang out" at her local court house and view trials for nothing else better to do and learned all about how accusations of rape and rape trials work.
There was no evidence other than my saying the sex was consensual. This would be used against me. All the staff were to testify on my behalf. The "victim's" report of the "crime" was so bizarre that no jury could believe her. Besides, she had changed her story several times. My attorney also said this woman was going to sue me for "damages" and for child support. She was claiming her kid was mine! My attorney said he would ask for blood tests to disprove this insane accusation of my fatherhood.
My attorney wouldn't let me see the transcript of the civil trial and other information, saying it would be too hard to look for. He said to trust him, not to worry about anything, and to go on with my life until the trial. He would take care of everything.
I believed him and was not too worried. I decided to go to California. Along the way I met a Canadian woman and we stayed together until my trial. I visited my parents with my new friend and then went on a mini vacation with her, touring northern California. I returned to Oregon three weeks later with her, bought a suit, and was ready for my trial. I planned to go to Canada with my new friend after my trial, and then back to Alaska.
Little did I know that my future plans were unnecessary. In two weeks I would be in Oregon State Maximum Security Penitentiary to begin serving a ten-year prison term and fighting for my life.
I soon found out that my trial was not to find justice, but to send me to prison as quickly as possible. Not only was the district attorney prosecuting me, but the judge over seeing my case was also searching for a conviction. Every motion, except one, and every objection about the DA's slanderous comments during my trial was disallowed by the judge. The jury also could not have cared less about my innocence. Eight out of twelve that heard my case were women over fifty years old. During my trial they looked as if they just wanted to get home. With all these factors against me I needed a competent and caring defense attorney. What I got for my "defense" was an incompetent shyster who was too busy counting the money he milked out of my father to give a damn about my innocence or winning my case. My trial, from beginning to end, was a total farce!
The first example of my defense attorney's incompetence can be found in the grand jury indictment charging me with the crime of rape in the first place. This indictment was issued in 1986. If my attorney had even bothered to review this indictment, which is one of the most basic features in preparing a case for trial, he would have found that this indictment was invalid. A grand jury indictment is where a district attorney presents evidence of a supposed crime to members of a jury, the grant jury, and then they consider whether or not have the state file formal charges. A grand jury has the power to either pursue criminal proceedings; arrest of accused, trial and so on--or to vote that no charges are to be filed.
In the State of Oregon a grand jury must have at lease seven members present to make an indictment valid. This is in Oregon's Constitution to prevent corrupt district attorneys from having indictments filed with only two or three jury members that he could easily sway. The grand jury indictment lodged against me was made by fewer than seven grand jury members. The indictment was illegal according to Oregon's own Constitution. The indictment charging me with rape was invalid! A simple check by my attorney would have found this out. I should have never even been charged with a crime, let alone face a trial and risk 20 years in prison. On my own I have found out about my improper grand jury indictment and have appealed the issue. This indictment was the first in a long list of injustices I would face in my "fair trial".
Before my trial began, I had my attorney file a motion to have blood tests performed on myself, my "victim," and her child to prove I was not the father of her child, as she had long claimed. The judge remarkably ruled that a blood test should be done. This is the only motion he ruled in my favor throughout my entire trial. He ordered the tests to be done immediately. I wanted to have these tests conducted to show that not only was my "victim" lying about me being the father, but she was lying about this whole alleged rape.
I had blood drawn a few days after the judge's order. When it came time for the "victim" to have her blood drawn she refused the judge's order. With this refusal she was in direct "contempt of court," and any other judge would have dismissed the whole case for her defiance. Her plan all along was to sue me for child support. This plan was now void. But when she admitted her lies, the judge seemed to forgive her for refusing his order, and now the trial could go on as before, with no action taken by the judge for her "contempt of court."
As my trial date neared, I was enjoying what would be my last days of freedom. The judge made some outrageous decisions that ensured my conviction. This judge's calendar, like most court calendars, was full, mostly with civil and misdemeanor cases. He decided because of his "full" calendar to hold my trail at night. This is unheard of in major criminal trials. I was facing 20 years in prison! and he wanted my jury to decide my fate at night while half asleep. My jury could not possibly make an accurate decision or pay full attention to the upcoming proceedings after having worked all day, being tired and fatigued.
This is exactly why major criminal trials are not held at night! Most people want to get home after work, not sit on a jury during a rape trial. This put undue prejudice on me and my case. My jury seemed to want the case over quickly so they could get to bed.
My attorney filed a motion with the court for a day trial. The judge stood firm: No day trial. My attorney could have pressed the matter knowing full well the injustices of night trial, but instead he dropped the subject. He filed no further motions on this matter. My trail was to be held at night. My attorney then filed a motion that before my trail was to begin my accuser should be examined by a psychiatrist to see if she was competent to stand trail because of her past bizarre behavior and mental illness. The psychiatrist would then tell the jury of his findings.
Past psychological exams showed her to have a number of emotional problems and mental illness years before I ever met her. Tests showed that she viewed herself as a victim of her life's short comings. She had stated in the past that she hated men and was victimized by all men. By introducing this evidence to the jury I could show considerable bias on her part. She was accusing me of rape to get back at men. In her twisted mind, men were to blame for her unemployment, alcoholism, drug addictions, and past suicide attempts. A psychiatrist's testimony about this would show that she would be very much more inclined to make up a rape story than a "normal" woman.
The judge ruled that no psychiatrist exam would be allowed on this "victim," and furthermore no references would be allowed in front of the jury about her sordid past. This ruling fell under rape shield laws that were intended to protect a woman's privacy in rape trials, but in reality hide vital evidence of men's possible innocence and makes fair trials impossible in rape accusations. Again my attorney filed no new motions against this decision. The woman the jury saw on the stand was a fake! By the judge not allowing psychiatrist's testimony nor allowing any references about this woman's unstable mind I was denied my most basic right in what is supposed to make up a "fair" and "impartial" trial, the accused's right to confront his accuser, his true accuser, in front of a jury and cross examine her.
My attorney then filed a motion to the court to present the evidence that my "victim" had a history of making false accusations of rape. This the judge could not possibly refuse. If a man had burned down homes on numerous occasions before and then burned down another to collect the insurance, a judge would never disallow his former acts of arson in a trial. By presenting my "victim's" past false accusations, a jury would have considerable doubt that she had been "raped again" with no evidence to back up her already tainted word.
Oregon's OEC 412 (Rape Shield Law) states, "A defendant to cross examine the complaining witness in front of the jury other accusations she has made if 1.) she has recanted them; 2.) the defendant demonstrated to the court that those other accusations were false; or 3.) there is evidence that the victim has made prior accusations that were false." With this clause, no judge could possibly deny my right to expose my "victim's" past false accusations to the jury, but this is exactly what the judge did. Another one of my attorney's motions was again denied by the judge. It was apparent that the judge was trying to stack the odds in favor of a conviction. My defense attorney would not be allowed to mention or question my "victim" on her many past false accusations. He could have pressed the issue but he dropped the matter. He didn't think it would be worth his time to file more paperwork, even though he was paid handsomely by my father.
My trail began the night of November 27, 1989. The first stage of my trial was the jury selection. A succession of potential jury members were asked a series of questions by the prosecutor and defense. The hope was to pick the best jury that would be most likely to either convict or acquit, depending on what side you were on. This process is extremely important for a defense.
In a rape trial, the prosecution would want all women, preferably older women. The defense would want an educated jury of either men or women, who would rule by the facts of the case rather than by their emotions. My attorney asked me to pick what jury members I liked best. He was the supposed professional. How would I know who to pick for the twelve members for my jury? At that time I was still uneducated about the legal system and one juror would be just as good as another, I thought. My attorney, it seemed, had never been involved in a jury selection, nor did he seem to know the importance of this procedure. The jury of "my peers" who were to decide my fate consisted of ten women, mostly 50 years old or older and two men. Even the jury, I have come to realize, was stacked against me. The trial began the next day. I went home but wasn't able to sleep.
The next day my family and I went to the court house. I was a little intimidated by the vast official building. I was still confident that the jury would easily see that this woman was lying in order to make some easy money. How could they possibly believe a woman with such a sordid past, who had made prior false accusations, and was now making another? How could they ever believe her with no evidence when all the witnesses present at the time of the alleged rape testified she was lying? My attorney conveniently forgot to tell me that none of this woman's past could be used in court. He again assured me instead that I had nothing to worry about. But in reality, because of the way the trial was rigged, my conviction was just a matter of time. Had I known this I would never have shown up for this so-called "fair trial."
In the court house I finally saw the woman who had caused me and my family so much unnecessary pain. She looked pathetic. The prosecutor had positioned her right outside the courtroom door. She was sitting with her mother, who, according to the so-called psychological exam, had tortured her as a child years earlier. Sitting on the other side of her was a rape crisis counselor. All three of these women were crying and wailing in an Oscar winning performance for the incoming jury members.
My family sat in the viewer's benches in back of the court room and I sat with my attorney in the accused's chair facing the judge's desk. My attorney shook hands with the DA. They wished each other luck as if "old friends." I found out later, after I was in prison, that my attorney also worked in the same county in which I as being prosecuted as a city attorney. He probably saw the prosector who was wrongly trying to send me to prison every working day. Maybe he even ate lunch with him or played golf with him. This, of course, is a "conflict of interest." My attorney never informed me of his dual alliances.
The jury entered the court room and I could tell right away the prosecutor's tactic of having the incoming jury view the spectacle of three wailing women outside the court room doors worked. The stares I received from my "impartial" jury were frightening. I could tell by the looks in their eyes I was already guilty and that any evidence I would have to offer would be lies anyway. The judge finally entered the court room and the jury's icy stares were momentarily diverted.
Before my trail, my attorney insisted that I not testify. He did not want me to say a word in court. His reasoning was that if I did not testify the prosecutor could not question me on my former felony weapon charge and my misdemeanor alcohol offenses and that wouldn't look good to the jury. I thought that this was not right and that I should testify. Wouldn't the jury think I was guilty if I did not personally answer the accusation? He assured me that my former police record must be hidden, and anyway the prosecutor did not have enough evidence to convict me. He directed me not to make a sound, and if I saw anything wrong in the trial to inform him and he would bring it up later. I agreed not to testify.
This was a major mistake on my part and it only helped the prosecution. I have come to realize it is imperative in "she said/he said" rape trials that the accused testify on his own behalf. I trusted my attorney in advising me not to testify. This trust was another major mistake.
One of the first witnesses testifying for the state was the doctor who examined the "victim" in the supposed crime the next day. The doctor testified that, yes, he examined the girl, and yes, semen was found. I had all along told the truth, saying I did have sex with her and it was purely consensual. He then testified that the woman had no injuries, "not a scratch on her." This lack of evidence goes directly against what this woman described as a "violent attack" that she claimed she went through. Would she not have at least a "scratch" on her from fighting off an attack as she claimed she had done? From this doctor's testimony would seem that I was telling the truth and that the sex between this woman and me was in fact consensual. This doctor was the only witness that was helpful to my defense.
Other witnesses were called by the prosecutor. One was a woman police officer who took my accuser's report on when she was supposedly raped the day before. This state "expert witness" testified that my accuser showed the "classic" signs of a rape victim. By her comments the jury was led to believe that this state "expert" on rape victims was assuring them that the "victim" should be believed, was a bona fide rape victim, and that I should be convicted.
It has been a long standing rule of law that no witness may directly testify to the credibility of another witness. But this state "expert" on rape cases, who in fact was only a "beat cop" led the jury and suggested they should believe the "victim." This "beat cop" was testifying to the "victim's" credibility.
My defense attorney offered little cross examination. The next witness was the private detective that had come to see me in the Kenai County jail over eight months earlier. The state had flown this detective down from Alaska to testify for the prosecution! This private detective, I would later learn, was an ex-police officer who more than likely would have leanings for the "state." He read the mere one page report that he wrote from our hour and a half conversation about this alleged rape. The concerned and caring private investigator I had met in Alaska had now been transformed into a man only filled with contempt for me. After he read his short report he talked in a tone that suggested disgust. This witness only furthered the jury's already prejudicial attitude toward me. Again, little rebuttal was offered by my attorney.
The next day the staff of the alcohol treatment center testified to the facts of what they saw the night of the alleged rape and the events of the next day. These five staff member's testimony went totally against that of what the "victim" gave.
Surely the jury could not possibly ignore five different testimonies that in short said the alleged victim was a lying fraud. Surely they would see the "victim's" twisted and bizarre testimony for what it was: lies by a very sick woman who was after a quick buck in the form of a lawsuit.
The first staff member testified that on the night of the supposed attack that he did count all the patients every two hours and that on each count the "victim" was sound asleep. This goes against what the "victim" had earlier said in reports and what she testified to. In one report she said she stayed in her room all night and cried. In another she said she went to the bathroom and then back to her room and cried all night. In front of the jury she testified she went to the bathroom after being violently raped, locked herself in one of the stalls, cried all night, and didn't come out until morning. Is this the same woman this staff worker saw sleeping soundly throughout the night? Who was lying? And why?
The other staff members testified the day after the supposed rape that the "victim" appeared to be doing fine. She ate breakfast and did not appear to be disturbed in any way. Two of the staff testified that on several occasions the "victim" and I were seen together talking and laughing.
I was even reprimanded for flirting with her. These witnesses' testimony went against what the "victim" said--that she never met me or talked to me.
On the last day of testimony a female alcohol counselor testified that the "victim" had refused to own up to her drug addictions and would not participate in any further treatment as recommended. As a result she was asked to leave the detox center. Other than her refusal for further treatment, she appeared well and made no complaints. This testimony contradicted what the alleged "victim" said took place.
The "victim" testified that in the morning after the "rape" she was so upset she could not eat and that she desperately tried to tell the staff and fellow patients that she was violently raped the night before, but no one would listen to her. She also testified that she tried to tell this female counselor that she had been raped, but the counselor didn't believe her, was mean to her, and finally kicked her out of the detox.
Could the jury possibly believe that this female counselor was so cold and uncaring that she would not listen to another woman who said she had been raped? What motive would this staff member or others have to lie? Could these staff members by lying to cover up a rape and protect a violent rapist? Could they be committing perjury to save my skin?
During the cross examination by the prosecutor, all five of these witnesses were grilled on their histories. Defense witnesses' life histories are an open book in the courtroom during a rape trial, while the accuser's life history is completely hidden.
All of these witnesses were recovering alcoholics and two of them had police records that were years old. All of these witnesses were badgered and harassed by the prosecutor. These five dedicated counselors trying to help other addicts overcome their own addictions, as they had done, were made to look like five drunken ex-cons who were covering up a violent rape to save their jobs. The jury seemed to believe the prosecutor's wild accusations of deceit, even though three of the five no longer even worked at the treatment center.
My "fair trial" was not going well. I was beginning to get worried.
During the three late nights of testimonies, I noticed several of the older women jurors actually sleeping. How could they make a fair and accurate decision based on all the information when they had missed half of it because they were sound asleep? I informed my attorney of the sleeping jurors. He said he would make a note of it and inform the judge later. He never did. I should have informed the judge myself, but my attorney kept on me not to say a word in court and let him do all the talking.
One of the last witnesses to testify was the alleged "victim." She really put on a performance. Tears flowed as if on cue. She gave her testimony as if reading from a well rehearsed script, which it was. She said I entered her room, ripped off her clothes, dragged her to the floor, and violently raped her. She said she tried to fight me off, but I was too strong. After the "attack" she said she didn't wake any of the other patients but did try to tell the night shift staff. He was sound asleep and she couldn't wake him, she said. Instead she locked herself in a bathroom stall and cried all night. She claimed she didn't eat breakfast the next day and tried to tell someone, any one, of the "rape," but all the people she told were mean to her and wouldn't believe her. Then they kicked her out of the treatment center because she had been "attacked." The staff and her fellow patients were all against her! After she was kicked out of the treatment center she was in a daze, she claimed. While walking home in tears she passed a hospital. Surely they would believe her, she told the jury. They did, and so did the jury.
Her testimony at trial greatly differed from earlier versions she had related in police and investigator reports. I guess she thought that this "version" would have greater dramatic impact. Her testimony at trial went totally against common sense. How could anyone believe such a bizarre story? I pointed out numerous discrepancies to my attorney about the "new and improved" version, but he didn't seem to know what I was talking about.
All during her testimony, the "victim" cried and carried on. This performance worked like a charm for the jury of mostly women. The jury was also in tears and shot me looks that would kill.
In the closing arguments my attorney, as usual, had little to offer. The prosecutor, though, had plenty. He leaned over the defense counsel's table and screamed two inches from my face, "You're the scum of the earth! And I'm going to see you wind up where you belong--behind bars!"
I looked at my attorney to somehow help me in this verbal attack. He was looking at the floor as if ashamed. The prosecutor went on. Why would this woman lie about being attacked? She had no motive. Look at what I had done to this healthy woman! All the time he was claiming these things, he knew she had made a career of accusing men of rape and was deeply mentally disturbed. Everyone knew the vile past of my accuser except the jury. The judge and his partner in crime, the DA, made sure they didn't know.
The trial was over and I went outside to smoke a cigarette while the jury deliberated my fate. What I had been through these last three nights was not a trial but an inquisition. I was in shock. I should have run right then and there. I was ordered back into the courtroom to await the jury's "fair decision."
The jury gave their verdict: "Guilty as charged!" I had only two words for the jury. The only two words I would speak through the whole trial. It didn't matter now. My attorney's advice not to say a word in court aided in my conviction. I told the jury, "I'm innocent" as the courtroom guard applied the shackles to my wrists and ankles. My defense attorney raced out of the doors without saying a word. I turned to see my family in tears. The insane woman who did this to me, along with the "rape crisis counselor" and the "victim's" mother broke out in laughter. The judge congratulated the jury on their fine decision. I was taken away to the county jail to await sentencing.
My attorney finally showed up at the jail a few days before my sentencing. He had since quit accepting my collect calls from the jail. He told me a pre-sentence report would recommend to the judge that I serve six years in prison and judges always go by the pre-sentence report. The six year prison term for a first degree rape conviction was very low, he said, and I received such a low sentence because I had no history of a major violent crime. He said he would start the appeal process just as soon as he received more money from my father.
At my sentencing the judge asked the rape crisis counsellor for her comments. She said I deserved the maximum sentence for causing so much pain to the "victim." She then said that the money the "victim" was awarded from her civil law suit ($24,000) was not nearly enough for all the pain and continued suffering she endured and she needed more. After my prison term she said I would be made to pay the "victim" $10,000 for "restitution." the "victim" of course cried loudly for more money. The judge flatly refused this request for more blood money, saying, "I think the victim has made enough money off this."
Then came the prosecutor's turn. He said because the crime was so violent and that because I showed no remorse for the "attack" that I should be sent to the State Mental Hospital for violent sexual deviants and then after "treatment" spend twenty years in prison.
Next came the "victim's" turn. After she composed herself and wiped the tears from her eyes all she said was, "I hope he gets raped in prison."
That did it. I could not control myself any longer. I shouted, "She's lying pig and did this just for the money!" Then I told the court what a joke of a trial I had gone through and what I thought of this "justice." The court room was in silent shock.
This outburst cost me four extra years in prison. The judge overrode the pre-sentence report and sentenced me to ten years in prison, but he said the case does not warrant my being sent to the State Mental Hospital. I was again shackled. My attorney said he was sorry and was out of the door in a flash. I never saw him again. My father would not throw away any more money on this shyster. In all, he had been milked out of more than $15,000.
I was taken to Oregon State Penitentiary, Oregon's toughest prison, holding the most violent offenders in the state. I slowly adjusted to the harsh realities of prison life. Six months later I was taken in front of five members of the Oregon Parole Board to decide if I would spend the whole ten years the judge had sentenced me to in this hell hole.
Also present at my hearing was the DA who wrongfully prosecuted me, the hate filled rape crisis counselor, and the "victim," looking again pathetic. Throughout the hearing the "victim" cried and blubbered repeatedly, but this time her "show" didn't work.
Since this was not a rape trial, I could present all the evidence to the parole board. I presented them with the "victim's"" past psychological reports that showed her to be very unstable long before I ever met her. I showed them how she lied that I was the father of her child, her motive in making her claim of rape in the first place, the $24,000 profit she gained by her imaginary "attack," and her past false accusations of rape.
These "three stooges," the DA, rape counselor, and the "victim," were stunned. the DA said I was dangerous and had been caught in Alaska with a "loaded" shot gun. I showed the board the arrest record saying the gun was unloaded, nor did I have any shells on me. The DA was warned not to lie to the parole board. The rape crisis counselor said that even though there was no physical evidence nor was this poor girl harmed in any outward appearance, she had suffered greatly and was now under a psychiatrist's care. Again she begged for the "victim" to receive more money.
The Parole Board concluded that "the victim" was not harmed in any way, physically or emotionally, and there were not even threats of violence. The chairman of the parole board questioned the "victim" on her lies that I was the father of her child and also stated there was evidence this "victim" aided in the criminal episode. Six years would be deducted from my prison term.
This still left me to serve four years in a prison for a crime I did not commit. A month after this hearing I escaped from prison. I was a "free man" for 18 months until my recapture. I was sent back to prison in Oregon and given more prison time.
As for my "victim," I hear she bought a new truck with her "blood money" and spent the rest of it on drugs. She is now broke, back on welfare, and continues with her sorry life. I wonder if she has been "raped" again and has filed another law suit for "damages." It was easy enough the first tim
False accusations of rape are nothing new. From the Bible, Egyptian Potiphar's wife tried to seduce Joseph. When this failed, she accused him of rape and had him thrown in prison.
Motives for falsely accusing men of rape make up a long list.
The justice system in the U.S. used to recognize that false accusations are easily made and common place, and used to require some sort of evidence in charging a man with rape, bringing him to trial, and then throwing him in prison.
In this day and age, however, no evidence is needed, just the accusation. The American public has been so programmed by the radical Feminist controlled medias that no one even seems to realize that false accusations of rape have been destroying men's lives and their families for years. The media is full of bias against men and over inflated statistics to keep the fires at the stake burning on the over reported rape issue.
Here is an example of the male hating rhetoric I have read. Some of these are so ingrained into the public's mind they are taken as fact:
"One in four men are rapists."
"Only ten percent of rapes are reported."
"Most women do not know when they've been raped."
"All women are victims of men."
"Rape is the most under reported crime."
"Even innocence should not be a defense in an accusation of rape."
"Any sex between a man and a woman is rape."
and so on ...
Even though these and other statements go against proven fact and common sense, the medias continue this type of feminist propaganda and myth that portrays all men as predators. That only promotes false accusations.
In The Liberator's "Statistic of the Month, April 1992", we see the way Feminist propaganda is exposed by fact:
"Percentage of female students estimated by feminists to have been raped on the UC Berkeley Campus: 25 percent. Number that comprises 25 percent of the females on the UC Berkeley campus in an average year: 3,000. Over the last two years the number of rapes actually reported at the UC Berkeley: two."
Here we have an example of feminist rhetoric that would have us believe that 3,000 rapes are committed at UC Berkeley every year. But when one looks at the facts only two rapes were actually committed in a two year period--we can see that the statistic given by the feminists is outrageously overblown. Why do they wish to make UC Berkeley appear so dangerous to women? It is clear they do not wish to promote equality and justice, but these types of feminists wish to promote hatred and fear among the female population at the campus to that they in turn will join the noble cause of the Militant Man-Hating Feminist movement. Be creating a false rape hysteria at the school they hope to further their cult of eternal victims of men.
In Alan Dershowitz's column, "Justice" that appeared in Penthouse November 1992 here's what he has to say about the false accusations of rape crisis:
"The reasons why rapes are over reported are far more complex. A "need for attention," a "Need to feel important," a "desire to exact revenge on a former boyfriend," and attempts "to hide [consensual] sexual relationships from their parents or husbands" were among the reasons cited by psychologists, rape counselors, and law enforcement experts in a recent Washington Post survey.
Many unfounded rape accusations involve interracial accusations. For example, one young black woman accused a young white man of hurling racial epithets at her and slashing her with a razor after abducting her from a Silver Spring, Maryland, supermarket and raping her. She later admitted slashing herself "to make the rape more believable." A white teenager made up a similar story about nonexistent black attackers in the Washington D.C. area. Social scientists explain that women who make up such accusations "expect society's racism to work in their favor."
Other women are recidivists, such as the one who charged a man with raping her at gunpoint in New York's Central Park. She admitted that she make up the story after investigators discovered that she had Filed 11 false accusations in California. A Washington woman falsely accused a newspaper deliveryman of raping her because she needed an excuse for having been late for work. A year earlier this same woman had been prosecuted for filing another false rape report.
Some rape counselors are beginning to take this phenomenon seriously, but others deny or down play it's significance. One counselor said, "It doesn't compute to me. Why should a woman go through interviews with police and the horrendous experience of taking a [physical] exam?" (It may be because some false reporters are mentally ill and need to be perceived as victims of both the [supposed] rapists and the legal system.) Another counselor trivialized the problem of false rape reports, arguing that the under-reporting of rape costs "society a lot more than the small percentage of false reports." A third counselor agreed, stating that under-reported rape is a "far more tragic" problem than over reported rape.
But our legal system is premised on the principle that "it is better than ten guilty defendants go free than one innocent man be wrongly convicted." That is why proof of guilt must be "beyond a reasonable doubt." Every false report of rape can lead to a false conviction. indeed, it is precisely because rape is such a horrendous crime that false reports are so serious a problem."
And a serious problem it is. The F.B.I. has recently stated that 8.5% of all reported rapes turn out to be false. That would mean that the average of 100,000 rapes reported every year (feminists like to say that over one million rapes are committed yearly, yet of course have no proof to back up this myth) over 8,500 of these reported rapes sturn out to be false. And this 8,500 is only the number proven to be false. What of the ones that slip by and of the innocent men imprisoned?
In the F.B.I.'s Behavioral Science Unit's study on False Allegations conducted in 1983 of 556 rape investigations, a total of 220 of these reported rapes turned out to be false. Over one fourth of these 556 turned out to be hoaxes. And yet, some feminists and rape counselors claim that only two percent of rape reports are false. In this F.B.I. study 27% of 566 reported rapes they investigated were false. Is 27% a small percentage? Again this 275 is only the number proven to be false. The actual number is undoubtably much higher.
Again facts are facts. No matter what rhetoric feminists or their allies try to say. Take what Charles McDowell had to say in the June 1985 issue of Chicago Lawyer about the number of rape accusers who lie. Here being interviewed by Rob Warden, the editor:
Q: How was the model developed?
A: It is based on a study of 1,218 cases that were initially investigated as rapes. Of those, 460 were proven rapes, 212 were disproved allegations, and 546 cases remain unresolved.
Q: What were your criteria for classifying a rape accusation as disproved?
A: There was just one criterion. In each case, the victim ultimately admitted that the allegation was a hoax.
Q: All 212 of those cases are now admitted to have been false allegations?
A: Yes. That's the reason that we have a leftover category of 546 cases. My personal opinion, based on the evidence, is that many of those also are false allegations. but they are not admitted hoaxes, and we have not classified them as disproved. We have been extremely conservative in classifying an allegation as false for purposes of the study.
Q: What were your criteria for classifying an allegation as proved? Are these all conviction?
A: They're not all convictions. Some are, but the remainder are cases in which the overwhelming preponderance of the evidence support the allegation so strongly that there really is no other logical conclusion.
Q: Then your standard for classifying an allegation is false?
A: Definitely. If there was a margin for error, if there was any area in which we gave the benefit of any doubt, it was in favor of a rape."
Charles McDowell, the subject of this interview is an experience Air Force Criminal Investigator and has been called "probably the world's leading expert on false rape accusations." He has stated that falsely accusing a man of rape is a crime as reprehensible as rape itself and that the former happens about as often as the later. With false rape allegations as high as 25% and higher there is a serious problem going on. The medias must educate the public to these true statistics instead of the ones (largely deflated) that feminists give when talking about the percentage of false reports.
Another important area is the shift that over the years has been the burden of proof required in an allegation of rape. In any other crime, the burden of proof that a crime wa even committed lies with the victim. This is not so with rape accusations. When detectives want proof that a rape was ever committed, feminists go up on arms saying this is "blaming the victim." How can there be a "victim" if there is no evidence of any crime? And how do we send countless innocent men to prison on the mere word of only one witness, the supposed victim, when the motives for lying in rape accusations are so well know?
The definition of rape over the past years has evolved so that now it is so vague no evidence is even needed these days to throw a man in prison, only motive. In Mr. Dershowitz's article mentioned earlier, he stated that rape being such a horrendous crime that men accused should only be convicted "beyond a reasonable doubt" of guilt. This is far from the case.
Take the bizarre allegation described i the article, "Rape of Justice Continues" that appeared in the St. Petersburg Times August 1990:
"While rape allegations are not new, the willingness of courts and legislatures to presume guilt before innocence of such charges does seem to be a current phenomenon. Others might say we are returning to simpler times. Either way, we present an example of relaxed standards in bringing such allegations into a court of law.
In Oshkosh, Wisconsin, a 29-year-old man is on trial for having sex with a 26-year-old woman. Although the woman consented, several of her 21 personalities claim they were raped. The man who faces up to ten years in prison if convicted, said he had no idea the woman was mentally ill. According to the prosecution, however, consent is not even an issue in this case.
"It is like statutory rape," the prosecutor said. "Even if the woman agrees to have sex, a crime has been committed.
On the stand, the woman easily moved between personalities at the request of the prosecutor. Each time she changed selves, they made her take a new oath. The man, or one of her, testified that Emily, a six-year-old personality, kept emerging during the intercourse."
Why do Feminists and lawmakers wish to redefine rape so that it can be easily charged and all accusations believed? For man-hating feminists it is time to get even with men and what better way to do this than to accuse him of a crime he can not defend himself against? The more men in prison the better. Women have always been victims of men and its time for payback. Lawmakers on the other hand, who bend over backwards to please these man-haters also have a motive. Men wrongly convicted of rape are just another notch on their gun belts and "cattle" to be fed into the growing prison industry. How else do we explain the shocking 47% increase in the prison population of so-called sex offenders? Convictions at all costs are the norm now in alleged rape cases.
Hear what Norman Podhoretz says in his article, "Rape in Feminist Eyes":
What on earth is going on here? Why should the feminist movement be promulgating a conception of rape that comes so close to turn seduction, and even heterosexual intercourse in itself, into a criminal act?
One possible explanation is that the influence of lesbian and other man-hating elements within the movement has grown so powerful as to have swept all before it. No doubt lesbians are only a small minority among feminists, but like other radicals in other political movements they tend to be more passionate, more energetic, and more ideologically coherent than moderates, whose waverings and ambiguous feelings make them easy to manipulate. Once the moderates have been subjected to "consciousness raising" they begin to find more and more truth in the radical deconstruction or demystification.
"If the "experts" get their way, any male who has intercourse with any female, including his wife and or girlfriend with whom he has been sleeping with all along, without first getting a signed and notarized consent form to cover that particular episode, will wind up in jail."
The date rape controversy is a prime example of the way the definition of rape has become so vague and that woman are now to be considered the "victim" in any situation, no matter how innocent. women no longer are responsible for their own actions. I am not saying "date rape" does not occur, it just doesn't occur at the proportions feminists claim. Being a "victim" of a date rape is almost in vogue these days to some women.
Take what Terry White wrote in his article, "Date Rape Redux" in Playboy August 1993:
"Recall, if you will, our not-so-popular position a couple years ago on the issue of date rape. We stated then that statistics wreaking havoc on college campuses were questionable. We found it hard to believe that one in four female students was ravaged by a drunken, hormone-crazed frat boy who wouldn't take "no" for an answer. With in pages, author Stephanie Gutmen raised an appropriately skeptical eyebrow at the Ms. magazine--funded research that was the source of these statistics.
Now even the mainstream commentators are voicing similar doubts. Their reevaluation reveals a crucial point. The date rape crisis became a crisis because of a broadened definition of rape among crusading feminists.
A recent article by Peter Hellman in New York magazine argues that sexual assault as a major campus issue is fueled by politics, not genuine concern. At Barnard College, for instance, Hellman found no rapes were reported by any of its 2,200 students in the 1991 school year. He found that, in the same period, Columbia University statistics cited only two rape accusations for a student body of almost 20,000. Neither of these accusations held up under investigation--one of the women admitted that her "attacker" had actually only pushed her to the bed.
But the date rape crisis rallies continue. One featured a victim who claims, "I have counted the times I have had a penis sin me that I hadn't wanted, and I had to stop at 594." Do you ask as sociologist Pepper Schwartz did, "What is she, a professional?"
None of the testimony is challenged by the movement. The self proclaimed survivors and potential survivors are too frenzied to let reality interfere.
In response to the date rape hysteria, many colleges open campus crisis centers. Hellman gives the impression that they stand empty and unused. One center reported treating a mere 79 clients, and only ten percent of these cases were a result of recent sexual assaults. Most involved post incidents of childhood incest or molestation.
Moreover, there is some tension between the women driven by rhetoric and those moved by compassion. Hellman describes how feminists at Columbia held a rally and recruiting drive, while volunteers who actually counsel "victims" sat lonely as Maytag repairman, in the rape crisis center unwilling to join the sound and fury of the debacle outside.
A guerrilla technique pioneered at Brown University in the beginning of the date rape controversy a few years ago (and now used at other schools) scrawled the names of students accused of rape on campus walls. Maybe it's time men responded to unfounded slander: Next time you see guerrilla graffiti, add your name and the name of every other man on campus.
Camille Pagilia adds this about date rape from her book, Sex, Art and American Culture:
"In dramatizing the pervasiveness of rape, feminists have told young women that before they have sex with a man, they must give consent as explicit as a legal contract. In this way, young women have been convinced that they have been victims of rape. On elite campuses in the Northeast and on the West Coast, they have held consciousness-raising sessions, petitioned administrations, and demanded inquests. At Brown University, outraged, panicky "victims" have scrawled the names of alleged attackers on the walls of women's rest rooms. What marital rape was to the 70's, "date rape" is to the 90's.
I would like to point out that contrary to popular belief, the number of men who are in fact true rapists is extremely small to the overall population of men in the U.S. These sick and deranged men who commit these violent acts against women are not representatives of all men or even most men. Most men do not hold women in contempt. The men who do harm women should be locked up, but do not classify all men as predators or potential rapists because of the acts of a very few. Feminists in their "war" against men and manhood are now and have been using scare tactics to frighten women into their ranks in their "battle" against men.
Another myth that some feminists like to use is that women just do not lie when they accuse a man of rape. Even though studies indicate as many as 25% or more rape accusations are lies. Feminists and their allies like to cite that no woman would go through the trauma of falsely accusing a man of rape.
to counter the myth that women never lie when accusing men of rape, Scott Kuehl says,
"Why would a woman lie? Why would a woman put herself through such an ordeal unless she was telling the truth? Why would she subject herself to police interrogation, humiliating physical examinations, testimony in open court, cross-examination by a defense attorney, attacks on her credibility and integrity and character, etc., simply to accuse an innocent man?
"Obviously, when women cry "rape," the compelling nature of their reasons for lying, the intensity of their hatred, desire for revenge, fear, desperation, or whatever, outweighs the inconvenience, discomfort, and embarrassment of police questioning, physical tests, testifying in open court, and cross-examination.
(In my own case, I am sure my so-called "victim" wasn't fazed at all in accusing me of rape from the "discomfort" of questioning or testifying. She had a lot riding on her accusation as far as financial gain was concerned.)
"Reasons for lying include hatred, vengeance, an attempt to conceal pre-or extra marital sex and other activities, the elimination of a feared and/or despised male, the alleviation of shame and guilt, the absolution of responsibility, money (extortion or civil suits), and mental illness.
The false accusation is always instrumental. It solves a problem from the victim's perspective. It many explain a pregnancy, venereal disease, or otherwise conceal evidence of promiscuity. It may assuage guilt or enable the false accuser to avoid responsibility for her acts. It may exact revenge. Obviously, these categories aren't mutually exclusive.
There's not a single cogent, persuasive argument, not a scintilla of compelling tangible evidence, to support the contention that women never lie in accusing men of rape. It is dogma, an article of ideological faith, espoused with religious intensity, it is a lie to devise and manipulate, a myth of propaganda, disseminated, whether sincerely or insincerely. For tactical or political reasons.
Police and district attorneys who have been trained by feminists to believe women "don't lie" about rape, who know little or nothing about women's reasons for lying, and have nothing but contempt for the accused only encourage women to bring false rape allegations."
We all remember the outrage over the acquittal of William Kennedy Smith. Feminists were outraged. Mr. Kennedy was found innocent because the jury could not in good faith sentence him to prison because they could not be sure a crime was even committed. This was too much for the Storm Trooping Feminists. They held protests and lengthy articles were written on this great injustice against all women. They wanted blood, Kennedy blood! An accusation was made, so of course a crime was committed. It didn't matter that there was no evidence. This was a woman accusing a man of rape! Didn't the jury know that no evidence is needed or that women don't lie when accusing men of rape?
What could possibly be her motive in accusing William Kennedy Smith of rape at this parents' estate? I wonder if she planned on suing the Kennedys for "damages"? or that her accusation was some sort of sick publicity stunt. After Mr. Kennedy's acquittal of any wrong doing, Patty Bowman, the accuser, became America's new sweetheart victim. After the trial she hit the lecture circuit and I hear plans to write a book on her "ordeal," naturally making a healthy profit.
As for William, he will always be known as the rapist who got away. His reputation is forever ruined because rape accusations are so easily made and believed, no matter what the evidence suggests, or a "victim's" motive. William has since tried to put this all behind him. After the jury found him innocent he moved to New Mexico to continue college. But the New Mexico chapter of the man-hating feminists continues to harass him at his school and place of residence. They also track his movements and stage protests where ever he goes. William Kennedy Smith has learned one thing: False accusations just don't go away, even after a jury finds you innocent.
The false accusations of rape crisis continues to grow every year. Innocent men in droves are being rail roaded into the prison grown industry because the media refuses to report the truth on the false rape issue. The lies of radical feminists must be exposed for what they are, and the true statistics must be given.
False allegations will continue to ruin men along with their families until the general public becomes well aware that false reports are not only mae, but are common place in the overall reports of rape. The myth that women do not lie in allegations, is just that, a myth. The media must end their bias against men in reporting on rape issues. Men accused of rape, as in no other criminal proceeding, are guilty until they can prove themselves innocent. This goes against every ideal in our American Justice System and must end.
CHILD ABUSE HOAXES
What worse crime could there be than to sexually abuse a child? None! Men who molest children deserve prison and the longer the prison term, the better. These animals are the scum of the earth. I can assure you that once these slime are caught and slither into prison, they're in for the ride of their life. A lot of child molesters are killed in prison within the first year of their sentence. Most are confined in Protective Custody (PC) to keep the rest of the prisoners from getting at them. Child molesters are the most despised vermin in prison. I have no sympathy for a man who would victimize a child and any unpleasant fate he may face while in "the joint," he richly deserves.
When I started SAFAR in 1990 I had no idea that the problem of false accusations of rape also extended to false reports of child abuse. Since the abuse of an innocent child is the ugliest crime one could commit, where does that leave a man falsely accused of this atrocity? In the worst nightmare I could imagine. SAFAR now has a large number of members in prisons who are victims of child abuse hoaxes. I believe their innocence wholeheartedly since educating myself of this hysteria.
My research into false allegations of child abuse has shocked me. I have read studies that indicate 125,000 men each year are falsely accused by their wives of child molestation. In others, 33% to over 50% of reported child abuse cases turn out to be hoaxes. I am now aware that in some cases a man in prison for child abuse is innocent and probably doing a longer "stretch" than a true child molester. Men guilty of child abuse usually take a "plea bargain" from the prosecutor and get away with minimal prison time. While an innocent man refuses a "plea bargain" and will go to trial. But as in adult female rape trials, child abuse trials are also "rigged" for a conviction. So in the end, an innocent man gets "slammed" with the highest degree of child rape while a true child molester, after being "rewarded" by a prosecutor for being guilty and accepting a plea bargain skips out of prison after a much reduced stay, only to molest again. It's a Catch-22 for the innocent man.
Take the Oregon case of Dean A. Schwartzmiller who had a 23-year record of molesting children. Over the years he had kidnapped and molested 13 boys in six states. At his new conviction for raping a 15-year-old boy, he was "rewarded" for pleading guilty, and was sentenced to a mere 49 months. Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Jim Hayden said after his sentencing in May 1993, "Schwatzmiller will serve about three years if he gets time off for good behavior."
This animal will get out of prison before I do! And I have already served a total of three years in prison! Because I wouldn't wheel and deal with the District Attorney due to my innocence, I was convicted of the highest degree of rape and sentenced to ten years. Is the justice system in Oregon telling me I am twice the "menace to society" that the scum, Dean Schwatzmiller is? Something is extremely wrong with this picture.
Even with my contempt for the real villains who commit crimes against children, I have total compassion for the innocent man faced with a false allegation or the man who is already in prison due to this injustice. In the following series of articles we will see not only how wide spread child abuse hoaxes are, but also who is being falsely accused, who is doing the accusing, why, who are their "partners in crime" in the false reports, how do they profit from false reports, and finally what can men do when faced with the growing nightmare of a false allegation of child abuse.
Take the case of a young girl forced by her mother to send her uncle to prison in "Teen Recants Rape Story Against Uncle; Says Mother Threatened Her," from the Milwaukee Sentinel, November 12, 1987. Though this is not an allegation of child abuse, but rather rape, it clearly shows the power mothers have over their children to force them to lie.
LOUISVILLE, KY--An 18-year-old woman has recanted the testimony that sent an uncle to prison for sexual abuse nearly eight years ago, saying that her mother threatened to kill her if she did not lie on the witness stand.
In a sworn statement filed October 27  in Jefferson Circuit Court, Webster said, "The story that I told to the court and to the jury was completely and totally false, a lie. I told that false story because my mother told me what to say and forced me to lie under oath.
"Sharron Jeffries [the mother] threatened to drown me if I didn't tell the police what she told me to say...Sharron Jeffries threatened to kill me if I didn't tell the jury what she told me to say."
Webster told the Courier-Journal of Louisville that she decided to make her recantation public because she turned 18 and was no longer under her mother's control.
"For a man to stay in prison so long for something he didn't do, my conscience couldn't live with that," she said.
Webster first maintained her charges were false less than two months after she made them, trial records show. During trial in December 1980, Jeffries testified she did not like Edwards and wanted him out of her house but not enough to lie.
One of Webster's aunts, Mary Mannong, testified that within two months of the alleged crime, the girl confided to her that nothing had happened.
Several people, including her father and a psychiatrist, testified that Webster lied a lot. No physical evidence was presented against the defendant. After three hours of deliberations, jurors acquitted Edwards of rape but found him guilty of sexual abuse.
In another child abuse hoax, teenager Twana Brawley went so far as to cover her body with dog feces just to falsely accuse a gang of imaginary white men of rape. She had not been home for two or three days, and her motives for lying were apparently to concern the facts of and reasons for her disappearance. The truth in her case may have never come out were it not for six newspaper reporters who investigated the story at length. Their investigation resulted in a 400-page book, Outrage: The Story Behind the Twana Brawley Hoax, Bantam Books, 1990.
From Hustler magazine, September 1991, we see the full range of the child abuse Hysteria in Larry Wichman's article, "Framed Fathers":
When Jacqueline Belton discovered that after nine years of marriage her 37-year-old husband, Larry, was sleeping with a younger woman, the Sacramento, California, mother of three decided that divorce alone was not punishment enough. She didn't want just the car and the kids and Larry's federal retirement pay. She wanted to see her husband rot in prison.
Her plan was a malicious as it was effective. Before filing for divorce, Jacqueline went to the police and falsely accused Larry of molesting her 12-year-old daughter, Monique. The girl hated the way her step-dad was always disciplining her for wearing too much makeup and talking to boys. She was easily persuaded to corroborate the lies.
Within hours, Larry Belton was taken into custody.
At the preliminary hearing, Monique's testimony proved so convincing that the judge raised the charges from three counts of molestation to well over 50. She even fooled Belton's defense attorney, who was overheard congratulating Superior Court jurists on their verdict minutes after they'd found his client guilty.
"I couldn't believe the panel bought her story," recalls Sacramento private detective George Wimberly, a defense investigator. "The child made so many bizarre allegations. She claimed Larry got her pregnant and performed an abortion with a coat hanger--which she then said had to be surgically removed from her vagina at the hospital! There was no physical evidence, no hospital records, nothing."
Although several alleged participants in Jacqueline's conspiracy have recently come forward, Larry Belton remains behind bars. He has 105 years left to serve on his 111-year sentence.
Belton's is not an isolated case. An estimated 40% of all reported incidents of sexual child abuse in the United states spring from bloody divorce/custody battle, with 80% of the allegations being vindictive hoaxes.
"All your wife has to say is, 'My child was molested,' and you won't see your kid for a year...automatic," explains Seattle, Washington, PI Larry Daly, whose firm averages 60 new false allegation cases each month. "As soon as there is an accusation, there is an immediate assumption of guilt."
For falsely accused fathers--an estimated 125,000 each hear--the repercussions are devastating. Although saddled with crippling legal fees, 80% lose their jobs or get laid off. They become prone to deep depression and suffer public humiliation. Many spend months in jail awaiting trial. A false allegation is quick, efficient and brutal. All a mom needs to do is turn the child against her father, rehearse a few lines of testimony and let the county Child Protection Service (CPS) rubber-stamp the charges. Presto, Dad's hung out to dry!
"Our judiciary resolves everything in what it perceives as the best interest of the child," explains attorney Peter Sokaris, a men's rights activist from Albany, New York. "False allegations are considered unimportant in comparison."
The rules of evidence in family court are looser than in criminal court. "If you're the defense, you've got everybody working against you," says Chicago, Illinois, family law attorney Alan Hoffenberg. "Chances are, the judge will admit every piece of [so-called] evidence and then decide a case on [so-called] evidence that should never have been allowed."
"We definitely sacrifice civil liberties," admits Howard Davidson, director of the American Bar Association's Center on Children and Law. "The alternative is to sacrifice the ability to protect children."
The moment a father is accused of sexual abuse, he is forbidden to have any contact with his children until the court decides whether to file criminal charges or otherwise modify his custody rights.
Meanwhile, the alleged victim undergoes evaluation by CPS. If she's assessed to have been abused, she's put into therapy, where, as Daly puts it, "she spends six months learning with other little girls about how daddies molest."
Once prosecutors get a conviction, they won't give it up, despite a valid recantation by both the mother and the child.
Thirty-four-year-old Robert Glenna is presently serving 36 years in Folsom Prison for allegedly molesting his nine-year-old daughter. During his 1986 criminal trial, the girl tried to retract her testimony, but was told that if she did, she would be prosecuted for perjury.
The original charges were leveled against Glenna shortly after he left his wife and child for another woman. The girl, seeing how devastated her mother was over the breakup, lashed out at her father, accusing him of abuse.
For months, the child and her cousin had been secretly watching an uncle's porn videos. When investigators asked her to describe the sex acts her father had allegedly forced her to commit, she easily rattled off lurid details.
The jury only heard the child's account as stated in transcripts of the preliminary hearing testimony. Two months prior to trial, the girl had admitted to her mother that she had lied on the stand and that her father was innocent.
"Jill Glenna called and told me there might be a problem," explains Wimberly, who'd been hired to investigate the case for the defense. "When I interviewed the girl, she broke down and cried and said, 'I can't sleep. I can't go to school. Daddy didn't do anything!'"
Glenna's attorney filed a write of habeas corpus with an affidavit from the mother attesting to what the child has said. Yet, the mother and daughter soon had second thoughts.
Neither the girl's counselor nor the investigating officer believed her when she told them she'd lied. According to her mother's sworn statement, they scared the girl out of recanting.
"She said she was afraid that by telling the truth she would go to jail for lying in court or be put in a foster home," Jill said. A week later police warned Jill that if Robert was released as a consequence of her actions, they would see that she lost custody of both her children. "They definitely got the message," says Wimberly. "Robert is still in prison, and the child and her mother are too afraid to speak out. It's a nightmare."
According to Larry Daly, the financial cost of defending against even blatantly false accusations runs anywhere from $50,000 to $75,000. "The investigation costs $5,000 to $10,000," he explains. "Attorney fees are another $10,000 to $45,000. Then your psychologist and court costs. I have a client who's already paid out $200,000. And if you don't have any money, you go to prison."
Some divorce attorneys actively advise their clients to use false charges as a weapon. "It occurs regularly in New York State," admits Peter Sokaris. "We don't have joint custody as an option--it's winner take all. Unethical behavior is widespread among attorneys and clients."
"If an accusation is made," adds Larry Dale, "the lawyer stands to earn more money for the additional litigation. He's assured of making $25,000 minimum.
"I've begun to pinpoint attorneys in Seattle who are doing this. I'm onto one right now, and I'm going to make her ass suffer."
According to news stories, Attorney Peter Gianino of Stuart, Florida, reportedly advised a client that the only way to gain sole custody of her four-year-old daughter was to claim that her ex-husband, Cecil Don Smith, molested the girl.
A week later, Gianino's client, who'd initially lost custody of the child after attempting suicide, filed the charges. Within hours, a judge had returned the girl to her mother's care.
As a result of his ex-wife's allegations, Don Smith was charged with capital sexual battery, which carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no parole for 25 years. Although a jury eventually found Smith innocent, he spent over seven months in jail awaiting trial.
"I spent the first five weeks in maximum security with rapists, armed robbers and murderers," recalls Smith. "It was degrading. Inmates threatened to beat me up."
Many states have made it a crime to deliberately file false accusations of child abuse. Sokaris notes, however, that in New York the law proved ineffective. "Authorities are reluctant to enforce it," he says. "To my knowledge, no one has ever been prosecuted."
Left unpunished, there's no limit to the atrocities. For the past six years, 37-year-old Kevin Shea has been serving what amounts to a death sentence at the California State Medical Facility in Vacaville.
Kevin was not a bad husband. He didn't beat his wife or drink his paycheck. His only sin was that at 24, he met another woman, fell in love and got divorced. For this, neither his first wife, Stephanie, nor their three-year-old son, Christopher, ever forgave him. When the time was right, they took their revenge.
The ax didn't fall until Stephanie decided to remarry six years later. By then Kevin and his new wife, Cheryl, had a family of their own--two girls and one boy. Christopher lived with his mother and saw his father during regular weekend visitations.
Stephanie announced to Kevin that Christopher wanted to be adopted by her new husband. Wishing to retain his right to see his son, Kevin refused to allow it. A month later, he and his wife were arrested and charged with 25 counts of child molestation.
As Sacramento police officers drove off with his children, Kevin suffered a mild heart attack and was rushed to the hospital. Neither he nor his wife--against whom charges were eventually dropped--have seen the children since.
"Christopher claimed his father molested everyone, including his ten-year-old niece," Kevin's mother, Elaine Shea, recalls. "But she kept saying she'd never been molested. She said so on the stand, but no one would believe her."
The trial was a nightmare. According to Mrs. Shea, the judge, Benjamin Diaz, was on probation because he'd been caught getting head from a hooker in an alley. "It was as if he was proving to the world that he was sorry," Elaine says. "It was hand over Kevin to save himself."
And hand over Kevin they did. The jury even found him guilty of having molested his 18-month-old son for a period of over three years.
Stephanie was delighted. When the judge sentenced Kevin to 30 years in prison, she reportedly turned to her mother-in-law and laughed.
Tragically, eight years ago Kevin underwent open heart surgery, at which time he received a heart valve that doctors said would last ten to 15 years. But Kevin has another nine years to serve before being eligible for parole, at least two years too late to save his heart.
Defending against trumped-up child molestation charges means battling a three-headed monster. In addition to a vindictive ex-wife and a judiciary that errs on the side of children, men face a potent child abuse industry.
"They've helped put many people in prison who don't belong there," claims Leslie Wimberly, president of the National Association of State VOCAL Organizations (P. O. Box 1314, Orangevale, CA 95662).
VOCAL (Victims of Child Abuse Laws), a nonprofit organization with 14,000 national members, was established to provide moral and professional support to those falsely charged with child abuse. Wimberly decries privately operated social services that profit from unwarranted finding of molestation. "A lot of people are deliberately abusing the system," she says. Many communities rely upon quasi-independent investigatory agencies. One such operation, California's Child & Family Institute (CFI), is under a grant by the Sacramento County board of Supervisors to investigate allegations of child abuse, and to provide counseling for those involved.
CFI runs a slick operation. When charges of sexual abuse arise in court, the child is sent to CFI for evaluation. Should CFI find evidence of molestation--which it reportedly always does--the father is told that unless he wants to drag his child through a traumatic trial, he must plead guilty and enter a therapy program that lasts four to eight years and costs a minimum of $485 a month--payable to CFI. Should the father drop out of therapy at any point, he goes immediately to prison without a trial.
"CFI," Wimberly charges, "has literally built itself into the system. It makes a tremendous amount of money by creating its own caseload."
A state fund to aid victims of crime allows CFI to make money off the children as well. If a child is assessed to have been abused, the agency can put him or her into therapy and bill the state for up to $42,000.
"We interviewed a girl who was sent to CFI when she was nine years old," Wimberly recounts. "Her mother wanted her to falsely accuse her father of sexual abuse. She said that during group therapy at CFI, the children would sit in a circle, and each would tell the group how they'd been molested. If a child claimed nothing had happened, she was placed in the center of the circle and stared at until she finally admitted to being molested."
According to Berkeley, California, psychiatrist Dr. Lee Coleman, most interviewers use a subtler coercive technique. "They take the iron-fist-in-a-velvet-glove approach," he explains. "If a child says that nothing happened, they'll say, 'Well, we know something happened. We know it's hard to talk about, but you would make your mom proud. So let's put on our thinking cap. If something did happen, what do you think it might have been?'
"Pretty soon, the child comes to believe that something did happen, because this powerful grown-up who knows all these things believes it did. That's how you send an innocent man to prison."
Interviewers assume that children don't lie about being molested.
In 1983, such unwarranted assumptions lead to an outbreak fo child abuse hysteria in Bakersfield, California. At one point, law enforcement officials believed that 77 local residents had formed a satanic molestation ring that had sacrificed 30 infants and subjected 60 children to physical and sexual abuse.
The insanity began with the Dill-Pitts case. Ricky Pitts and his wife, Marcella, were falsely accused of sexual abuse while trying to gain custody of two sons by a previous marriage. By the time the case went to trial, the number of charges stood at 377, and the list of defendants included Marcella's mother, brother, sister, brother-in-law and a close female friend.
It was alleged that the Dill-Pitts family had sexually abused six young children and had assaulted them with guns and knives and made kiddie porn films. Despite testimony from two of the girls who swore under oath that they had never been molested, the seven defendants were found guilty and sentence to a combined 2,619 years in prison.
Within two years, children began to retract their statements. The first to recant was Ricky Pitt's 13-year-old niece, who blamed her perjured testimony on pressure from the prosecution. "None of it's true," the girl, who'd been ten at the time, admitted. "I told them it didn't happen, but they kept after me and after me."
The girl estimated that during the six weeks prior to her testimony, the DA's child abuse coordinator, Carol Darling, had interviewed her 30 times. "She told me that she knew I was molested," the girl recalled. "I told her I wasn't, but she said that all the other kids had been saying that they had seen it happen.
"She kept saying, 'Why don't you just tell me it's true?' Finally, I did, because I was sick of her questions."
The seven defendants remained in prison until December 1990. After six years, California's Fifth District Court of Appeals overturned their convictions, citing 500 counts of prosecutorial misconduct.
"I've handled over 120 felony appeals," says local Shingle Springs attorney Richard Power. "I've certainly seen misconduct before. But I have never seen anything that was within telescopic sight of this case."
The prosecution's case hinged on accusations that the children had been subjected to frequent intravenous drug use and bondage, but there were no needle marks or bruises to show the jury.
So they brought in Dr. Bruce Woodling, a family practitioner turned child abuse expert who claimed he could detect evidence of prior molestation by interpreting such anomalies as anal-sphincter reflex (aka perianal wink) or unusual patters of blood vessels on the hymen. With Woodling on the stand saying he had seen physical evidence of abuse, the jury forgot all about the nonexistent bruises and needle marks.
"Much of the testimony presently used to support false accusations in these cases comes from supposed medical experts like Woodling, who don't know their butt from a hole in the wall," says Powers.
Woodling, whose views are so widely accepted that they're taught in medical schools, developed his theories without performing a single scientific study. He simply examined children who were molested, never looking to see if his indicators for abuse were also present in children who hadn't been abused.
Recognizing the value of Woodling's' techniques in securing convictions, law enforcement and child protection workers began to seek out medical examiners who subscribed to his teachings. Soon Woodling-trained "specialists" were in such demand that professionals came from far and wide to be tutored by the Master and his disciples. Each would then return home to teach the theories to dozens of others, who have since testified against falsely accused fathers nationwide.
It wasn't until 1988 that the first solid data disproving Woodling's theories surfaced. A study of 300 prepubertal children performed in Fresno, california, by Dr. John McCann, found that most of Woodling's indicators for molestation were present in up to 50% of all unabused children.
By then it was too late to mend the shattered lives of countless men and children who'd been victimized. According to Lee Coleman, plenty more carnage is yet to come. "Anyone who thinks the problem is going to go awry," he warns, "doesn't know what's happening."
In Daniel Goeman's article, "Taking a Child's Word on Sex Abuse: Researchers Find New Land Mines" for the New York Times Service, he explores the way very young children are apt to give false testimony.
The testimony of small children is usually considered truthful unless proved otherwise--a belief that had led to convictions in many child abuse cases. The younger the child, the less likely the child was making up a story, psychologists have thought.
But now there is new evidence that persistent questioning can lead young children to describe events that never occurred. The new research fuels the debate over the question of how much judges and juries should rely on a child word when that is the only evidence of abuse. These studies are the first ones based on the questions commonly asked children in legal cases.
"Many people who specialize in these (sex abuse) cases have a preconceived notion of what happened, and in the course of questioning suggest it to the child, who then reports it as though it were true," said Dr. Maggie Bruck, a psychologist at McGill University. She and Dr. Stephen Ceci, a psychologist at Cornell University, reviewed studies of children suggestibility in the current issue of Psychological Bulletin.
Some researchers fear the new findings will be used to muzzle investigators, leaving them unable to get children to report sexual abuse when it has actually occurred.
"It may take a certain amount of leading questioning to get a sexually abused child to disclose it," said Dr. Gail Goodman, a psychologist at the University of California at David who is co-editor of "Child Victims, Child Witnesses: Understanding and Improving Testimony."
An estimated 20,000 children testify in sex abuse trials each year.
Repeated questions can breed fantasy
The new research focuses on children 6 years old and younger.
Certain investigative techniques appear to increase the likelihood of false reports. One technique is repeated questioning over several weeks. When sexual abuse is suspected, children typically are asked the same questions by case workers, police, parents and lawyers before they testify in court.
That repetition may lead some young children to concoct stories, according to a study by Ceci and colleagues.
In the study of children ages 4 to 6, parents helped researchers make a list of two events that had occurred in each child's life and eight that had not. In weekly sessions, the researchers reviewed the list with the child, asking for each event, "Has this ever happened to you?"
One 4-year-old boy, for example, answered truthfully, "No, I've never been to the hospital," the first time he was asked if he had ever gone to the hospital because his finger had been caught in a mousetrap.
But the next week, in response to the same question, he volunteered, "Yes. I cried." By the eleventh week of questioning, he was offering an elaborate tale about his brother's pushing him into the mousetrap.
Such accounts were common. By the eleventh week, 56 percent of children reported at least one false event as true, and some children reported all the false events as true, Ceci said.
"The more often you ask young children to think about something, the easier it becomes for them to make something up that they think is a memory," he said.
Accounts of their false memories are often quite believable. Ceci has shown videotapes of children recounting both true and false "memories" to more than 1,000 professionals who specialize in cases of child abuse, including lawyers, social workers an psychiatrists.
The experts can tell truth from fantasy only about a third of the time, Ceci said. "That's worse than chance."
The research also casts doubt on anatomically detailed dolls, which often are used in investigations of child abuse. Ceci and his colleagues reported on a study in which they questioned 3-year-olds who had just had a physical examination.
Half the exams included a genital inspection. Of those children who received no genital exam, 38 percent answered "Yes" when a researcher pointed to the doll's genitals and asked, "Did he touch you here?"
When the question was posed in a leading fashion, using the child's own word for genitals, 70 percent of children who had received no such exam said the doctor had touched their genitals.
The children are not being intentionally misleading, Ceci said, but are simply very poor at recalling and explaining what happened.
That uncertainty may help explain why adults who think they know what has happened to a child can often get the child to agree.
Then from Louis Kiefer's "Defense Considerations in the Child as Witness in Allegations of Sexual Abuse," 1989, in the journal, Issues in Child Abuse Accusations 1989, we see the motives of older children and why they lie in knowingly accusing adults of sexual abuse.
My theory as to why older children would lie about sexual abuse is one of a small lie getting out of hand. The results were unforeseeable to the child at the time the false allegation first came to life. Consequently, one should consider the motive for the little lie and attempt to learn how it goes wild. Based upon general reading, it appears that the motives in the adolescent victim may include one or more of the following:
(a) Shift blame from a boyfriend.
(b) Get even, revenge, i.e., against a teacher for a bad grade, against a parent for perceived unreasonable punishment.
(c) Get attention--I guarantee you that there is no bigger hero or heroine among the mental health and police community than the child who claims sexual abuse.
(d) Imitation of movie scripts--A child who has seen a TV movie about incest or rape may identify with the heroine. Check to see if such movies as, "The Trouble with Amanda," or "Kids Don't Tell" have been viewed by the alleged victim.
(e) Imitation of real accusations. Adolescents are fad conscious, and if this becomes a fad, then other children may be prone to join the fad. Consequently, do not discount, especially when a teacher is involved, that other teenagers want to get in on the action. A child can become a real hero with her peers if she, too, can claim that she was the object of a teacher's affections.
(f) Psychotic delusional thinking --some children are simply out of touch with reality.
(g) Jealousy--the child is jealous of the attention given by a natural parent to a stepparent or a step sibling.
(h) Take the heat off for doing poorly in school or for other behavior problems. Once the false allegation is made, it is guaranteed that no one will mention the word "homework" again.
Now what do you do once faced with a charge of child abuse and sexual assault? You'd better do something because it sure isn't just going to go away. If you think it is, just wait a couple months and do nothing. I assure you that in no time you'll be in prison labeled a "child molester"and it won't be a day at the beach for you.
Here Sidney Siller, president of the National Organization for Men, 11 Park Place, New York, NY 10007, gives us some tips on what to do when faced with a false allegation. from his column, "Men's Rights" in Penthouse magazine, March 1993:
There is no greater horror than to find out that your child has been a victim of sexual abuse, physical abuse, or emotional neglect. But equally--or probably more devastating, is when a false charge of child abuse is made in a custody case. The media has been quick to draw attention to cases involving the issue of child abuse. Most recently, we've seen this in the ongoing battle between Woody Allen and Mia Farrow. In fact, allegations of child abuse in divorce proceedings have become so common that intellectual bureaucrats have given them their own acronym--SAID (sexual allegations in divorce). Such accusations can be extremely destructive and can cause you the loss of your child, your career, and your civil rights. The essential question is, what can you do when you're faced with becoming a victim of false abuse accusations?
Dean Tong, a father falsely accused of child abuse and the author of the book, Don't Blame ME,Daddy helps us answer this question. Tong's book is important not only for the painstaking descriptive narrative of his case, but also for the advice he gives readers who may find themselves in a similar situation.
Tong emphasizes the importance of remaining in the marital residence, "unless ordered to move out by the court or advised to do so by a professional you trust." Leaving can be considered an abandonment of your child, and once you leave, your ex-wife will have full control of the child.
He also states that it is important to "document everything throughout the divorce/custody suit" and to keep notes of what the kids say during their visits. Record any denials of visitation. These can raise questions as to whether your wife is sincere in her efforts to do what is best for the child.
Have an eyewitness present at all visits that you have with your child. This will help corroborate your testimony at trial. Don't be alone with your child if you have any suspicions about your spouse's actions or potential actions.
If you foresee a bitter divorce/custody battle ensuing, hire an expert attorney who is familiar with SAID syndrome cases.
Tong writes that you should "do everything possible to halt any further interviewing or treatment [of your child], unless there is some guarantee the individuals involved will avoid teaching the child that he/she has ben abused. Continuous interviews and/or therapy may be used to train the child to give desired responses or tell preprogrammed stories." Repetition is often a device used to brainwash a child.
If you have been previously prevented from seeing your child "attempt to regain custody or visitation immediately, with the understanding such custody or visitation will include constant supervision by a third party."
Never offend the child protection agency personnel or a court appointed law guardian. These civil servants may look for any opportunity to turn on you.
do not verbalize any ill feelings you have about your spouse to your child. This form of influence often backfires and may injure your cause.
Lastly, never concede that you are guilty of child abuse charges when you are not. Never waver in asserting your innocence.
Another excellent article on what to do in cases of false reports was written by William Bender, Ph.D. (University of Georgia) in The Liberator June 1993. It shows men how to fight not only false reports of child abuse, but also covers the full spectrum fo false allegations.
Every man in our society today is at risk. It happens like this...At work one day you see a police officer at your door. Your immediate thoughts are for the safety of your wife, your children, or your parents. And while you are in the process of asking questions about those individuals whom you love, you realize that the police officer has begun to advise you of your rights. You vaguely hear the word "arrest" as they put the handcuffs on you. And in front of your co-workers and whoever else happens to be in the building, typically in a very public display with disgust written on their faces, the police officer will lead you out of the building an take you downtown. You are sitting in the back of a police car, you don't even know what is happening, you vaguely recall someone having mentioned the word abuse.
Sexual harassment, child abuse, spousal abuse, sexual abuse of minors; these are the crimes that our society has become more cognizant of.
Unfortunately, with our increasing awareness of these issues, our society has seen a drastic increase in false allegations of all of these types of crimes. Dean Tong, in his recent book, Don't Blame ME, Daddy indicated that 56% of allegations of child sexual abuse in custody cases are false. Other data indicate that as many as 3 or 4 allegations of sexual harassment may be false.
These false allegations cost unbelievably in terms of time and money, but the biggest price is paid in reputations destroyed. Further, our courts have not determined an efficient, reliable manner to distinguish between true and false allegations. The implications are clear; every man in society is presently at risk.
These are the days of the Salem witch trials. The demagoguery, the mistrust, and the overt bigotry of those bygone days have returned. In Georgia, as one example, one's name can be added to the state registry of "abusers" with no investigations and no trial. The allegation is sufficient. We are clearly in the McCarthy era again. These are the times when an allegation is synonymous with conviction, at least in the court of public opinion, and many of us who have been through false allegations and survived, believe that the court of public opinion is much more important than the court of law. We tremble, we know that one more false allegation begins to sound like truth; we know that two false allegations sometimes result in a conviction. We live in fear
False Allegations: The Available Evidence
Only in the context of these lies, half truths, and overt bias against men can the issue of false allegations be understood. This bias accounts for the drastic increase in false allegations, as documented by the national press, as well as numerous practitioners. Still, only a few research articles have investigated this phenomenon. In the "Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy," Besharov suggested that 35% of the allegations of abuse in 1976 were determined to be unfounded. However, by 1985, that percentage had soared to 65%.
In Thoennes and Thaden's work, recently published in the "International Journal of Child Abuse and Neglect," 169 cases from 12 district courts throughout the U.S. were studied. Two percent of the custody/visitation cases involved allegations of sexual abuse of children, and in only 50 % of those cases was abuse actually demonstrated. In 33% of the cases, the accusations were found to be false, and 17% of the cases were ruled in determinant. An error rate between 33% and 50% indicates a very serious problem; false allegations are prevalent, pervasive, and disproportionately discriminatory (against)men.
What can I do?
There are some ideas and strategies which seem to emerge from the literature that you should consider if you are the victim of false allegations. The first point is do something! As soon as any type of accusation is made, retain an attorney and demand to see any evidence of abuse or harassment. Often, in cases of harassment, an employer will caution the accused to "Keep a low profile." The employer may not even reveal who made the allegation, and may advise you not to obtain a lawyer. That is unsound advice, since the accused, may then be victimized at whim (e.g., merit pay allocations, bonuses) while never having the opportunity to confront the accuser. It is crucial from the outset that you view these charges as something serious enough to take your freedom and your life savings. If yo are male, you are at great risk and you should act accordingly.
Next, become as knowledgeable as you can on the issues of false allegations. You should investigate the several books available on the subject, and obtain copies of the available scholarship. You should not assume that the judge, hearing officer, or human services professionals are aware of the drastic increase in false allegations. You should be prepared to present the evidence on false allegations to your attorney and these practitioners in the field to let them know that you will not "roll over and play dead" when confronted with false charges. Tong and many others in the field suggest that men should assume that human services workers are as biased against men, as the courts. The best strategy is to present your case assertively; stand up for yourself because no one else will.
Next you may wish to consider a psychological exam for yourself, a personality assessment. While this can be a double edged sword, you should have yourself evaluated and, if the resulting report is favorable towards your case, use that psychologist as an "expert" witness to testify that your personality is not the "typically abusive" personality.
Next, accused persons should challenge the definition of "abuse." In the psychological literature, for example, there is no single definition for spousal abuse. For example, it is quite frequent in our society when marriages fail for there to be one, two, three, or five incidences of pushing, slapping, or shoving. In some cases there are multiple incidence of these behaviors. However, there is a great deal of difference between two slaps, or four slaps over the lifetime of a marriage--as socially unacceptable as that behavior is--and spousal abuse. courts tend to consider whether or not those slaps took place in the context of an argument, if there was no use of alcohol or other drugs involved when those slaps took place, if there was contextual disagreement of the parties at the time those slaps took place, and a number of other factors. Practitioners and courts tend to consider abusive behavior as highly repetitive behavior, aggressive assaults, both in and out of the context of arguments that result in serious injury. Abuse often takes place in the context of the use of "recreational" drugs.
Still women have found that if there has been one or two shoving incidents or a slap or two over a two or three year period prior to the dissolution of the marriage, that the use of false allegations is an effective tactic. The court will spend hours listening to the man's exact description of what he did and then will deliberate for hours whether or not abuse took place in that context. The use of false allegation as a tactic is disreputable and repugnant; however, it is very frequently used and frequently effective given the pervasive anti-male bias.
No one, I repeat, NO ONE, in this field wishes to excuse real abuse or wishes to go back to the days when real abuse was swept under the rug. However, it is not conducive to society's growing understanding of these issues to use inflated and exaggerated claims of what happened. Every push, slap or shove is not abuse. Abuse takes place when there are repetitive, extremely violent, occurrences independent of ongoing arguments, and where it can be documented.
Next, force your attorney to confront the "experts" who testify against you. The testimony of expert witnesses is some of the weakest of evidence. As an "expert" myself, with experience testifying, I can assure you that expert testimony is often recorded as relatively weak evidence. However, in the context of a woman making false allegations against a man, the assessment of"experts," with their anatomically correct toys, does increase in importance. Rather than challenging the credentials of the "expert" making that assessment, attorneys need to challenge the assessment itself.
Ask tough questions about the reliability of the exact assessment procedures used. Ask if the expert used a standardized assessment procedure, and ask that professional to explain that procedure to the court. ask that professional if the reliability of that procedure allows for a certain margin of error and then explore in depth how big that error may be. This challenge of the assessment procedures rather than challenge of the professional credentials, often works to discredit expert testimony.
You should encourage your attorney to interpret false allegations of child abuse, leveled against you, as abuse of the child by the person who made those fable allegations. If you have been falsely accused and cleared of those charges, either informally by an investigation by human services agencies or formally by a "not guilty" court verdict, and those charges resulted in a forced separation between you and your child, that separation from a loving parent figure can be interpreted as child abuse on the part of the person making the charges. You may need a psychologist to testify concerning the importance of the continuity of the bond between the child and both parents during the turbulent times of divorce, and that severing that bond injured the child. Therefore, the person who used false allegations to sever the bond has abused the child emotionally.
Next, victims of false allegations must begin to exercise their legal right to counter sue for libel and/or defamation of character. Once an allegation has been investigated and is shown to be unsubstantiated, the accused should sue the person making the allegations for both pain and suffering damages and attorney's fees. You should document the pain and suffering caused to you and your family, and use expert testimony on the prevalence of false allegations.
Our society will witness a decrease in false allegations only when the use of this tactic becomes overly expensive.
Finally, I believe all men should join an organization whose goal is to fight false allegations [such as SAFAR]. Men have seen their human rights and civil rights denied, denigrated, and ignored in our nation's recent history. Our rights have been slowly eroded. Only through collective action can we begin to reverse the primitive stance of the radical feminist agenda. We must, as men, step forward to reclaim our right to a fair and impartial trial on accusations made against us. As Americans, we should demand no less.
We can see by this article that false allegations just do not go away and immediate action must be taken. William Bender, Ph.D. has written a number of books on false allegations. For more information on his books write to:
William Bender, Ph.D.
1250 Overlook Ridge
Bishop, GA 30621
You may also wish to have an expert on false charges of child abuse testify at your trial. Both of these experts are probably very expensive; but if you can effort it drop them a line:
Henry Krop, Ph. D.
1212 N.W. 12th Avenue
Gainesville, FL 32601
Richard Gardner, M.D.
155 County Road
P. O. Box 522
Cresskill NJ 07626-0317
And lastly, for the innocent man awaiting trail or already in prison due to a false child molestation charge, a how-to manual and resource materials are available from:
P. O. Box 472
Monrovia, CA 91017
Good luck! Hopefully, like the false accusations of rape crisis, the child abuse hysteria will end soon before any more men and their families become victims to these growing nightmares.
RAPE, TRIAL BY MEDIA
We all remember the trial of William Kennedy Smith and his supposed "victim" who all through the well-televised trial had her face hidden by the "Big Blue Dot" and the media circus that surrounded the trial. Not only did the "big blue dot" cover the fact of the "victim" to shield her identity, but also no reporter dared reveal her true name out of pure fear.
William's life, however, was gone over with a fine tooth comb by the media. His privacy was destroyed by the media. After the jury found him innocent of any wrongdoing he was still chastised by the media as "the rapist who got away." And to this day the media still harasses William Kennedy Smith.
The "victim," Patricia Bowman, whose identity was concealed under a cloud of secrecy, finally volunteered to come forward and face America. She did this, she said, to help other women. She would soon hit the lecture circuit, appeared on talk shows, is in the process of writing a book, and a movie deal may be made. While William's life is forever ruined from the accusation, Ms. Bowman has seemed to make a pretty healthy profit from the whole ordeal.
Soon after the Kennedy trial, the media blood suckers were at boxing heavy weight champion, Mike Tyson's throat. His case almost mirrors Kennedy's. After consensual sex with a woman, she cried "rape!" The accuser's identity was kept secret, while the accused's life is butchered by the media and then finally the trial. Mike Tyson's verdict came back guilty and he is now in prison, even though just as with Mr. Smith's case, there was considerable doubt any crime was committed. But the media never focused on possible innocence for these two men.
Desiree Washington, Mike Tyson's "victim," like Patricia Bowman, has decided to expose herself to help other "victims." Desiree has appeared on the cover of People magazine, has given endless interviews, and has hired an attorney for possible book and movie deals. I wonder if all the money Desiree is making off her "rape" she plans to donate to help the other "victims?"
Why is there such a double standard in reporting rape accusations? Has the feminist brown shirts manipulated the media this far? It appears so. In every accusation the media automatically assumes guilt on the part of the accused and tries to sway public opinion for a conviction. No matter how bizarre the accusation, the motive, or lack of any evidence on the part of the so-called victim in a report of rape the media bends over backwards to portray her in the most positive light possible. Why did no one in the press report the obvious in the Smith and Kennedy rape accusations? That these two women used the false accusations of rape hysteria that we are in, to accuse two well-known public figures of a crime, they would not have to prove took place, to reap the rewards in the accusations. These two "victims" motives were pure financial, as was the "victims" motive is my own false accusation.
Here's what Melinda McAdams, a free lance writer from New York City, has to say about the media's treatment of the accused in her article, "Trial by Media," November, 1992, in Gauntlet, Exploring the Limits of Free Expression:
Should men accused of rape be named in the news media?
Journalists routinely name people accused of murder, robbery, child abuse, and other crimes. The announcement of an arrest or a search for a known suspect gives the reporter license to publish or broadcast that person's name and other relevant facts such as the individual's address and place of employment
The media's right to do this has long been established, partly because once the police identify a suspect, that person's name becomes public record. The public record becomes public in the media.
But the rape victim's name is also a matter of public record. The police do not withhold it from the press; the press has traditionally withheld it from the public. Students in journalism schools all over the United States learn the rule early in their first basic reporting class: Do not publish the name of a rape victim.
"Unless the victim died, or she's a very public figure, most newspapers and broadcast media decline to name the victim unless she requests to be identified. "That's the prevailing way that journalists have decided the question," said H. Eugene Goodwin, Professor Emeritus at Penn State's School of Communication and author of the book, Groping for Ethics in Journalism.
"In other kinds of crimes, we try to give the victims and the accused equal treatment," Goodwin said. "The argument against that in rape cases is that the rape is a special kind of violent crime that carries a special stigma that in some ways makes the victim a double victim."
Not all media outlets follow the rule at all times. In some highly publicized cases recently, the name of the accuser in a rape case has been revealed. In response, debate about using a rape victim's name has flourished among journalists, media watchdogs, feminists, and others.
Few people question the publication of the name of the accused. Why should they? We are accustomed to seeing killers and terrorists--that is, alleged killers and terrorists--apprehended on Page one or at the top of the 11 o'clock news; we expect to see their faces, hear their names. But for those crimes, and others, we have also learned the names of their victims and their accusers.
Only the person who alleges rape is anonymous. Only she, among adult victims, levels a charge from a protected position. She can avoid the stigma of rape at least so far as the harsh light of publicity is concerned. But the accused cannot escape stigmatization. And the accused, whose name, face, and personal life might be slathered across front pages nationwide (you can think of at least one), could be an innocent man.
Could be. Maybe not, but the cornerstone of our justice system is that he could be. The decision is supposed to be made in a court of law and not in the minds of the public, and certainly not on the front page of the local newspaper. The special situation of rape, however, invites us to jump to judgment. She knows who did that to her, we think. And she wouldn't put herself through this if it hadn't really happened.
If we believe that to be true in every single case, then it is time to reread To Kill a Mockingbird. Any number of women might have any number of reasons to fabricate a rape. Given the undeniable trauma of going to the police with an accusation of sexual assault, not many women would do it without real cause. But some have.
It is distasteful to me, a woman, to admit that the charge of rape is sometimes a lie, because saying so makes some people less likely to believe the real victims. A woman who has been raped should be believed. She should be treated with respect and kindness, gently handled, listened to with the greatest seriousness. No one should say they doubt her word. No one should ask what she was doing in a pool hall after midnight, or where her husband was, or why she wears short skirts.
That does not mean that a woman's word alone should be allowed dot send a man to jail. There are courts, juries, judges; there will be a trial.
But should the woman's word carry enough weight to put an innocent man's reputation in question?
Should her word alone--her anonymous word--put his picture on the front page with the weighted label ACCUSED RAPIST beside his name?
At the end of July in Sanford, Florida, near Orlando, a 33-year-old woman told police she had ben abducted and raped by more than a dozen men. Three men and a juvenile, 16, were quickly arrested and held without bail. About 50 deputy sheriffs had accompanied the accuser to Midway, the neighborhood where the alleged rape occurred, to identify and pick up the suspects, according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel, which named the four men but not their accuser.
The accuser's charges were called into question almost immediately. People who had been in or near the boarding house where the alleged crime occurred said that the accuser had agreed to trade sex for drugs and was not forced to do anything. Eventually the accuser admitted she had make up parts of the story she told police.
A grand jury considered the evidence and issued a "no true bill," meaning that there was no indictment; the criminal investigation was closed and the accused men were let go, according to assistant state attorney Jack Scalera in Sanford.
In the Midway case, the ability of the accuser to identify her alleged attackers set a train of events of intimation: the police had seemingly solid grounds for arrest; they were able to find the accused men in the community where they lived; the press had a straightforward story about four men arrested on sexual-assault charges. But after the men's names were published on page 6 of the Sentinel (in the continuation of a Page One story), the case unraveled and ultimately came to nothing.
"These are judgment calls," journalism professor Goodwin said. "There might be cases where everything a journalist knows about it suggest that it may not be a legitimate charge of rape. In that case, you might not want to identify the accused man. I think we have to be more careful about naming the accused rapist in those cases where there are real doubts. But we also have to be careful about creating more policies about not telling what we know."
It's a journalistic cliche that when you get arrested in a topless bar your picture will be on Page One, and when you win the town's good citizen aware you'll be on Page 65. There begins the argument for caution in publishing names of men accused of rape: Will any story about dropped charges be noticed as much as a story about an arrest?
"Our sense of fairness is that if you run the charges on the front page, you should run it on the front page when they're clear," said Greg Miller, an assistant metro editor at the Orlando Sentinel. When the grand jury declined to hand up the indictment in the Midway case, the Sentinel put the story on Page One, Miller said. The next day, the paper also ran a Page One story on reactions from people in the Midway community.
WFTV, the ABC-affiliate station in Orlando, covered the Midway case as a major story, using the four men's names and repeatedly running video of their arrest. The station also ran reactions form the accused men after the charges were dropped. "We did many stories on the grand jury meeting and making the decision, and two or three stories after the men were clear," said Tom Cook, 6 o'clock news producer at WFTV. "That was probably as big a story as the original story."
While the station did not change it policy on rape stories as a result of the Midway case, "it brought home to us that when people are cleared, we need to make
some public announcement of that," Cook said. "In the past we may have been less likely to do that. This holds true for any crime, not just rape cases."
Steve Olson, a reporter for WFTV in Seminole County who covered the Midway case, concurred. "If you're going to give it a big splash when the men are arrested, you have to give it just as much coverage when the men get a no true bill."
Until some legal evidence is pieced together, a rape case rests on a woman's word against a man's. There are seldom any witnesses to corroborate her accusations. If the man did not do it, the facts that prove it will not emerge right away.
The accusations stands, however, in the man's community. Long after the charges are dropped and the newspapers have been buried in landfills, the accused man's neighbors will remember.
In Rhode Island last May, a young man was accused of rape by his former girlfriend. Soon it became obvious that he could not have raped her; he had not left Chicago, where he lived.
Within two days, the accuser's story had disintegrated and the man was cleared. Police charged the woman with filing a false report, to which she eventually pleaded no contest and received a suspended six-month jail sentence. But the man's name and picture had already been broadcast in local TV and radio news reports and printed in the newspaper.
"Your name is really all you have. Without your name, you're nothing. Customers have to be able to trust a person before they'll buy something," the man told the Providence Sunday Journal. At the time of the charge, he was planning to go back to Rhode Island to work at his stepfather's marketing firm. "Once I say my name, they're going to thin, `K-- E--. that's that kid who raped that girl not long ago.'"
The accuser's story convinced state police, who were brought in because the fabricated crime involved taking the woman from one town to another. The health service at the University of Rhode Island, where she was a student, confirmed that the woman had had sexual intercourse. Because she said she had been abducted at gunpoint, the state police wanted to move quickly, a police captain told the Journal.
Police issued an arrest warrant on a Friday afternoon, several hours after the woman made her accusation. The TV evening news carried the story, along with a picture of the accused man. The Saturday Journal-Bulletin ran the story, with a picture of the man, at the top of page 3. On Sunday, the Journal carried a story on Page One declaring that the police felt no rape had occurred.
In the Rhode Island case, it is difficult to say that anyone acted irresponsibly--except the woman who lied. The man, who was clearly innocent, spend a sleepless night chain- smoking and wondering why his ex-girlfriend would want to do such a thing. He was never arrested. But his plans to return to his home state were thrown into question. "Now I don't want to [go]," he told the Journal several days after the incident. "I'm afraid to see people."
E-- did move to Rhode Island this fall, but in December he went back to Chicago. "People come up and say things about it," he told Gauntlet the day before he left Rhode Island. "I would go play basketball, and I'd hear people on the tennis courts beside the basketball court saying it. There were several instances like that."
It happened at his job, too, he said. "I started working with my [stepfather]. It's selling; he represents jewelry lines, so you're dealing with the public. You know, Rhode Island is a small state. People are always saying something. In Chicago they won't know me."
The man went back to his job as a computer operator in Chicago, but the pay, he said, "is a third, or even a fifth, of the money I could get here." If not for the rape accusation, he said, "Probably I would stay in Rhode Island."
He never found out why the woman accused him. The frightening part of the experience, he said, was that "if I'd been in Rhode Island [at the time of the alleged crime], I could have been convicted and got 20 years in jail." Even so, it's not over. "I'm still suffering now, and it's seven months later," he said. He is now suing the woman for slander. [I strongly urge any man falsely accused to sue their accuser for all she's worth.]
In his case, the man said, the newspapers were not at fault. He blamed the state police for not investigating his whereabouts more thoroughly before issuing a warrant.
Ken Mingis, a reporter for the Providence Journal-Bulletin who covered the false rape story, said that afterward there was "some feeling that the state police should have checked things out more before they released [the accused man's] name." But he did not think the newspaper had done anything wrong. "The paper did its best to try to track this kid down before we ran our story," Mingis said.
The paper's policy on rape stories has not changed as a result of the incident, Mingis said,"but there's a very clear sensitivity now, and maybe we would not be so quick to use the name of the accused." In the future, reporters will be more likely to discuss with editors whether to print the accused's name, but the decision will be left to the editors and will be decided on a case-by-case basis, he said.
The Providence papers, like the Orlando Sentinel and WFTV, maintain a policy of not naming rape victims (although the sunday Journal named the woman who accused E-- in the same story that reported his having been in Chicago). Many journalists disagree with the policy, Mingis said. "You can't say use the victim's name in all cases, but many reporters, including me, believe that by shielding the victim we set rape aside as a different kind of crime," he said.
"Rape crisis centers emphasize that rape is not about sex; it's violence. If that's the case, the rules that apply to other kinds of violent crimes apply to rape," Mingis said. "By withholding the name, you make it seem different, and maybe that implies that the victim somehow invited this crime."
Some people argue that printing the accuser's name would eliminate false rape charges, but victims' advocates say it would only reduce the number of reported rapes. A better guarantee might be to hold back the name of the accused until a prosecutor get an indictment.
"The threshold for us is clear when the proper agencies involved make a determination that they have enough evidence to arrest someone," said Miller of the Orlando Sentinel. "If they had gone straight to the grand jury without arresting anyone, we probably would not have printed any names. We can't determine whether someone is guilty or innocent. We can only report what is known and what is being done by the supposedly responsible agencies. There's news value in that. The public wants to know."
Let's assume, for the sake of the women who have suffered the awful reality of rape, that most women who say they were raped are telling the truth. And certainly it is less traumatic for those women to remain unnamed in the news media than for them to cope with public prying into their experience, although that question is not the issue here.
Now let's also put a little faith in the U.S. criminal justice system; let's assume that a rape case doesn't go to trial unless there is some solid evidence (which of course still does not mean the man is guilty). Once the man is indicted or enters a guilty pleas, there is ample reason to identify him in the media.
But before that--before there is anymore evidence than an accusation form an alleged victim who speaks from behind a veil of anonymity--the press could tread with more caution. All the journalists interviewed for this article agreed that the question of naming the accused in a rape case is a legitimate one precisely because of the custom of protecting the accuser's identity. In the two cases described here, though, the reporters felt that the media had acted responsibly, even admirably, and no one regretted having used the name of the accused.
But the journalists could afford to let the dust settle before printing names and pictures; the story can be told just as well with anonymity on both sides. There will be time enough later to fill in the details if the charge turns out to be supportable.
We all remember the false accusation of being gang raped by five police officers by Twana Brawley in New York City. Teenager Twana needed an excuse for being out late from home and also desired to get sympathy from her mean step father so she came up with an insane story of being gang raped by five police officers. She even went as far as to smear herself with feces to make her story more believable. The media went into a feeding frenzy. New York was at a standstill. How could these policemen do this to such an innocent young girl! For months the Twana Brawley case was headline news. When the case finally came in front of a New York grand jury it turned out that the accusation was a hoax and the motive for ruining the reputation of these police officers lives was this sick little girl who needed an excuse for being out partying. The story died and no more was heard about it except the book which investigating reporters wrote on it. What about the outrage from the press for what this false accusation had done? The media was silent. I guess that's why the book was written.
In another example of the bias against men in the media and how, at all costs, the media must promote the rape hysteria in this country, we only need to look at the Gary Dotson case. After spending over six years in prison for a rape he didn't commit his "victim" confessed to "making the whole thing up." This is how the media reacted, writes John O'Sullivan about Dotson's false accusation and wrongful conviction:
But the case was surely no less interesting as a social issue. Here is the ultimate liberal nightmare: a person sentenced to a long imprisonment for a crime he did not commit...The indignant questions as themselves: How had this miscarriage of justice occurred? Why had a poor youth, from a deprived background, been railroaded into a fifty-year sentence? Who and what was responsible for this crime--the legal establishment? Ronald Reagan? The climate of fear? The new McCarthyism? Such were themes that I expected to come piping from a thousand liberal voices. Yet the paladins of the liberal press, upon hearing the news, shuffled their feet uncomfortably, coughed behind their hands, and looked fiercely into the middle distance.
Here, then, is the explanation of the initial liberal reluctance to rally to Dotson's standard. Rape has become politicized...It is now a liberal cause. Liberals see rape victims as facing not just the assaults of rapists but also discrimination at the hands of hostile police, prosecutors, and judges who are, in the official lingo?...mainly white, male, and middle class. What is going on here?...the answer is that a feminist theory of rape, itself too extreme to be accepted in its pure form by any but the terminally ideological, has entered the liberal mind in a diluted form."
Scott Kuehl adds this on the Gary Dotson Nightmare:
But the "paladins of liberal press" did far more than shuffle their feet and look fiercely into the middle distance. Rather than decrying the conviction and imprisonment of an innocent man, or asking how and why this occurred, and what can be done to prevent future false allegations, or calling for a return to more exacting standards of evidence and so forth, left-liberal passions and energies were concentrated on a massive exercise in damage control. Since the myth that women never lie in accusing men of rape was damaged by her [the alleged victim's] recantation, Webb was slandered as a liar who had undergone a bizarre religious conversion.
Moreover, according to the left-liberal articles, news stories, editorials, letters, etc., Webb's bogus recantation would dissuade many victims of rape (a tragically under-reported crime) from seeking justice and retribution, would make police, prosecutors, judges, jurors, and the general public even more hostile to rape victims and even more skeptical of their allegations, and would be invoked by defense lawyers to discredit the testimony of rape victims and thus exonerate rapists.
the media coverage of and reaction to the Dotson affair proved that leftists and liberals are willing to sacrifice the lives of clearly innocent men so not to undermine the credibility of alleged rape victims and precipitate a return to stricter standards of evidence, and will abandon what are thought to be their most cherished principles, even the right to a "fair trial" in which one is presumed innocent until "proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt," if harmful to the goals and dogmas of feminism.
The media must report the truth behind the rape crisis and quit bowing to the feminist "bully boys." Why must they only further the myths, untruths, and encourage even more false accusations.
I strongly urge all men to write to the editors of newspapers and magazines and to the producers of television shows to tell the proven facts and truth behind the growing false reports of rape and child abuse hysteria this country is in. Only with the media's fair reporting will the false rape hysteria end.
CONVICTING THE INNOCENT
Through my years in prison I have personally met a number of men who, I am convinced, are innocent. Contrary to popular myth, not all men claim innocence once in prison. As a matter of fact, not many do. I am one who does.
Even though I can prove my trial was unconstitutional, I have been unable to receive a new trial. The reason a succession of my appeals have been denied is due to my 1990 escape and not my numerous arguments for a new trial. It is because I messed a court deadline to file one of my earlier appeals. I was not even in the state! I was a fugitive! I am now being denied my right to prove my innocence because of a missed court filing deadline! More than likely, I will be held hostage in an Oregon prison until my release date years from now.
In an article which appeared in Convictions magazine in the summer of 1990, Jim McClosky describes the process of "Convicting the Innocent," a process I like many others know only too well:
When the wrong person is discovered to have been convicted for another's crime, the local law enforcement community usually assures the public such instances are rare. This view is shared by most of the public, as well as nearly all lawyers and judges.
I believe the innocent are convicted far more often than the public cares to believe, or than those who operate the system dare to believe.
An innocent person in prison is about as rare as a pigeon in the park. Although no one knows the proportion of convictions, the "convicted innocent" has reached, I perceive at least ten per cent of those convicted of serious and violent crimes are innocent. Those whose business it is to convict or to defend would likely concede such mistakes in only one per cent of the cases, if that.
Regardless of the estimate, these percentages tell us that thousands and even tens of thousands of innocent people languish in prisons across the nation.
As all lawyers and jurists know, innocence or guilt is irrelevant in the appellate courts. Attorney F. Lee Bailey observed, "Appellate courts have only one function, and that is to correct legal mistakes of a serious nature made by a judge at a lower level. Should a jury have erred by believing a lying witness, or by drawing an attractive but misleading inference, there is nothing to appeal."
So, if the imprisoned innocent person is unable to persuade the appellate judges of any legal errors a trial--and generally he cannot, even though he suffered the ultimate trial error--he has no recourse. Nothing can be done legally to free him unless new evidence somehow surfaces that impeaches the validity of the conviction. Commonly, the incarcerated innocent are rubber-stamped into oblivion throughout the appeals process. Where does that leave the innocent person once convicted? Dead in the water!
One of our beneficiaries told the sentencing judge, "Your Honor...I will eat a stone, I will eat dust--I will eat anything worse in the world for me to prove my innocence. I am not the man. I am innocent. I am not the man!"
The jury didn't believe him. The judge didn't. The prosecutor didn't and, more importantly than all these put together, neither did his trial attorney nor his appellate lawyer. The cries of the convicted innocent forever fall on deaf ears and cynical minds.
It seems the only question that is important is whether he "legally" received a fair trial, not whether the trial yielded a factually accurate result. Appellate attorneys are not expected to--nor do they have the time, inclination, and resources to--initiate an investigation designed to unearth new evidence that goes to the question of a false conviction.
What elements commonly combine to convict the innocent? We see constant patterns in cases that cross our desks. After reflecting on them, it is so obvious how easy it is, in every courthouse in America, for wrongful convictions to take place.
The first factor to consider is "presumption of innocence." We want to believe that a defendant is truly considered innocent by those who represent and judge him, but this is just not so. Once accusations have matured through the system and the accused is brought to trial, human nature is to suspect deep down or even believe the defendant probably did it.
The average American wants to think law enforcement people have earnestly investigated the case and would only bring a suspect to trial if there was bona fide evidence against them.
However, judges and defense lawyers tend to become cynical and callous with time. After all, weren't most of those defendants paraded before them in the past guilty?
Furthermore, if defense lawyers really believe in their client's innocence, why do they so often urge the client to quickly take a plea for a lesser sentence than the one he would get with a fair conviction?
It is clear, by the time a person is in the trial docket, the system (including the media) has already tarnished him with its multitude of prejudices.
The recent district attorney of Philadelphia said, "In almost any factual hearing or trial, someone is committing perjury; and if we investigate all of those things, we would literally be doing nothing but prosecuting perjury cases!"
It is assumed, and even expected, by the jury and the judge that, even if a defendant is guilty, he and his supporters would lie to save his skin. But what would shock most jury members is the extent to which police officers lie on the stand to reinforce the prosecution.
The words of one veteran senior officer of a New Jersey police force still rings in my ears, "They [the defense] lie, so we [police] lie. I don't know of one of my fellow officers who hasn't lied under oath." Not long ago, a prominent New York judge who was asked if perjury by police was a problem responded, "Oh, sure, cops often lie on the stand."
The primary witnesses for the prosecution often commit perjury for the state under the guidance of the prosecutor. Criminals in deep trouble with the prosecutor or police are employed as star witnesses. For their false testimony, their own charges are dismissed, or they are given noncustodial or reduced prison sentences. The witness is paid for his fabricated testimony with freedom!
If I have seen one, I have seen a hundred "jailhouse confessions" spring open the prison doors for witnesses who will tell a jury the defendant confessed to the crime while they shared the same cell. When the state needs important help, it goes to the county jail and brings in one of the ace relievers housed there to put out the fire. As several of these "jail house priests" have told me, "It's a matter of survival: Either I go away or he [the defendant] goes away, and I'm not going."
Jail house confessions are a highly effective prosecutorial tool. Part and parcel of a jailhouse confession is the witness lying to the jury when he assures them that he expects nothing in return for his testimony.
The right decision by a jury largely depends upon prosecutorial integrity. If law enforcement officials manipulate or intimidate witnesses into false testimony, or suppress evidence that impeaches the prosecution's own witnesses or support's the defendant's innocence, the chances of an accurate jury verdict are greatly diminished. Sadly, we see this far too often. It is frightening how easily people respond to pressure or threats of trouble by the authorities.
Another common trait of wrongful convictions is the prosecutor's habit of suppressing evidence he is obliged to provide to the defendant. Clarence Darrow said, "A court room is not a place where truth and innocence inevitably triumph, it is only an arena where contending lawyers fight not for justice but to win." Often this hidden information not only "favors" the defendant but would clear him.
The prosecutor is the "house" in the criminal justice system's game of poker. The cards are his, and he deals them. He decides whom and what to charge for crimes, and if there will be a trial or whether a plea is acceptable. He dominates. His power is virtually unchecked, because he is practically immune from punishment for offenses, no matter how flagrant.
According to many state and federal courts, prosecutorial misbehavior occurs with "disturbing frequency."
It is human nature to resist indications that we have grievously erred. This is particularly true of prosecutors when presented with new evidence supporting the innocence of a person convicted by their office. They are coldly unresponsive to such indications but move quickly to suppress or stamp them out.
New evidence usually comes in the form of a state witness who, plagued with a guilty conscience, admits lying at the trial; or from a person new to the case who comes forward with exculpatory knowledge. In my experience, the prosecutor's office always treats such people with contempt and usually succeeds in forcing them into silence.
Skilled detectives are few, and their case loads are overwhelming. The "burn out" syndrome is well documented within police ranks. Interdepartmental politics and the bureaucracy stifle initiative and energy. The pressure to "solve" a case is intensely felt by the line detective.
Too often, police officers take the easy way out. Once they suspect someone, often early in the investigation and based on flimsy information, the investigation blindly focuses on that "target." Crucial evidence is disregarded. Some witnesses are not interviewed who should be. Others are seduced or coerced into telling what the police want to hear.
Evidence or information that does not fit the suspect of the prevailing theory of the crime is dismissed or changed to implicate the suspect. Good old fashioned leg work is replaced by expediency and short cuts.
The wrongly convicted invariably find themselves between the rock of police/ prosecutorial misconduct and the hard place of an irresponsible defense attorney. The correct decision by a jury hinges both on a fair prosecution and on dedicated and skilled defense.
Not only are there very few highly competent defense lawyers, but there are very few criminal defense lawyers period. They are rapidly becoming an extinct species.
Eighty-five per cent of those charged with a crime cannot afford an attorney, so they are forced to use the public defender system. The public defenders are overwhelmed by the volume of cases; none can give high quality attention to any case. So cases are farmed out to "pooled" attorneys who are paid a pittance relative to what they earn from their private clients.
These pooled attorneys often have scant experience in criminal matters and often do not bring the desired level of heart and enthusiasm to their cases for indigent clients. The defendant is left with an attorney deficient in will, effort, resources, and experience. Thus, the defendant goes to trial with two strikes against him.
I think of the Nate Walker case. At Nate's 1976 trial for rape and kidnapping, the doctor who examined the victim testified he found semen in her vaginal cavity. Walker's privately-retained attorney had no questions for the doctor in the cross-examination, nor did he even ask anyone to test the vaginal semen for blood type. Twelve years later, that test was performed at our request. Walker was exonerated and freed.
The public largely and erroneously believes convictions are mostly obtained through the use of tangible evidence. This impression is shaped by shows such as "Perry Mason" and "Matlock."
In reality, the verdict in most criminal trials usually hinges on whose witnesses, the state's or defendant's, the jury chooses to believe. Typically, no "smoking gun" evidence clearly points to the defendant. This heavily burdens the jury.
For example, can a jury accept a victim's positive identification of the defendant as her assailant when she had previously described her attacker as very different from the actual physical characteristics of the defendant, or when the defense has presented documented evidence.
- Four teenage girls identified Russell Burton as their rapist--even though Burton introduced evidence that on that day his penis was badly blistered from a wart removal operation two days before.
- A Virginia woman was certain Edward Honaker was her rapist--even though her rapist had left semen within her and Honaker had a vasectomy well in advance of the assault.
Criminal prosecutions that primarily or exclusively depend on the victim's identification of the defendant as the perpetrator must be viewed skeptically unless solid corroborating evidence is also introduced.
Traumatized by a crime as it is occurring, victims frequently look but do not see. They are extremely vulnerable and can easily be led into identifying a particular suspect by unduly suggestive police techniques.
For example, the victim in Nate Walker's case was with her abductor/rapist for two and a half hours and had ample opportunity to clearly view him. But, eighteen months later, she told the jury without hesitation, "he's the man" even though Walker had an ironclad alibi. The jury struggled for several days but, in the end, came in with a guilty verdict. As mentioned earlier, Walker was vindicated twelve years later.
Another type of evidence that can mislead or confuse jurors is that of laboratory scientists. Results of lab tests presented by forensic scientists are not always what they appear to be, but they strongly influence juries.
A recent New York Times article pointed out there is a "growing concern about the professionalism and impartiality of laboratory scientists whose testimony in court can often mean conviction or acquittal."
We share this mounting concern because we see instance after instance where the prosecutor's crime laboratory experts cross the line from science to advocacy. They exaggerate the results of their analysis of hairs, fibers, blood or semen in such a manner that it devastates the defendant.
The defendants are put at a further disadvantage because the defense attorneys do not educate themselves in the forensic science in question and therefore conduct a weak cross examination. In many cases the defense does not call in its own forensic experts, whose testimony frequently could severely damage the state's scientific claims.
One case profoundly reflects this common cause of numerous unjust convictions. Roger Coleman sits on Virginia's death row today primarily because the Commonwealth's Bureau of Forensic Science expert testified the two foreign pubic hairs found on the murdered victim were "consistent" with Mr. Coleman's and that it was "unlikely" these hairs came someone other than Mr. Coleman. The defense offered nothing in rebuttal, so the testimony stood unchallenged. In a post-conviction hearing, Mr. Coleman's new lawyer introduced the testimony of a forensic hair specialist with 25 years of FBI experience. He testified that, "It is improper to conclude that it is likely hairs came from a particular person simply because they are consistent with that person's hair, because hairs belonging to different people are often consistent with each other, especially pubic hairs."
Another problem we continually observe is that physical evidence is lost or untested. Often, especially up to the early 1980's, specimens with potential to exclude the defendant were not tested and got misplaced. At best this is gross negligence of both the police and the defense attorney.
A past president of the New Jersey Division of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America said, "Juries are strange creatures. Even after taking part in many, many trials, I still find them unpredictable. The jury system isn't perfect, but it does represent the best system to mete out justice. They're right in their decisions more often than not."
Compare this to a quote of a former district attorney who said, "In almost any factual hearing or trial someone is committing perjury."
Clearly, a wide margin of error exists when earnest but all too fallible juries are only right "more often than not" and when trial testimony is so frequently and pervasively perjurious. My contention is that at least two per cent of those convicted for serious, violent crimes are incorrectly convicted.
I contend the system is far leakier than any among us had imagined. Untold numbers of innocents have tumbled into the dark pit of prison. Some of them have eventually gained their freedom, but most remained buried in prison, completely forsaken and forgotten by the outside world.
Other than my own wholly inadequate organization, no person or agency, private or public, exists anywhere that works full time and exclusively as an advocate and arm for the innocent in prison.
The body of justice, evolved over the centuries, has many members. However, not one part within its whole has been specifically created, or properly equipped, to secure freedom the incarcerated."
Mr. James McClosky is the founder of Centurion Ministries. His organization has aided in the release of innocent men throughout the country. His group has freed a number of innocent men that had been on death row. Like Mr. McCloskey's group, SAFAR is also wholly-inadequate but at the same time as equally dedicated. The injustice of "convicting the innocent" can only be stopped, just as the false accusations of rape hysteria can only be stopped, when the public is fully educated to both of these grave injustices.
Convictions magazine that first published James McClosky's article is no longer in business. However, a new magazine, Prison Life, came on the scene in 1993. I highly recommend Prison Life magazine to anyone concerned with the rights of the prisoner. To contact write to:
Prison Life Magazine
111 S. 9th Street, Suite 3
Columbia MO 65201
RAPE SHIELD LAW
Rape Shield Law is why I am in prison today, not because I committed any crime.
This unconstitutional law "shields" the lies of false accusers and those of corrupt district attorneys from unaware jurors. Vital evidence that would cause doubt that a man is guilty or that even a crime was committed is not allowed in the court due to the rape shield law. Since the 1977 enactment of this federal law, men on trial for rape are presumed guilty. Any evidence that he and his defense attorney would have to offer a jury is considered irrelevant. Rape Shield Law has probably sent more innocent men to prison than any other federal law.
What exactly is this insane law and how did it ever come into being? More importantly, why has nothing been done to stop this vast injustice? Rape shield law came into effect in 1977 under pressure from feminists and victim's right's advocates. The description of the Oregon version of this law is as follows:
The principal purpose of ORE 412 is to protect victims of sexual crimes from the degrading and embarrassing disclosure of intimate details about their private lives. It does so by narrowly circumscribing when such evidence may be admitted."
ORE 412 goes on to say, however, that rape shield law does not violate the accused's constitutional rights to a fair trial.
This is an outright lie. Take my own case, for example, and see if you do not come to the conclusion that rape shield law is biased against men, prohibits by its very nature the concept of fair trials, and is also extremely unconstitutional.
The first way rape shield law sent me to prison is that because of this law I was unable to present to my jury evidence that my accuser had made false reports of rape in the past. My "Victim" had falsely accused her own brother and then another man of sexual attacks. My "victim" had a long history of being emotionally ill and viewed herself a victim of all men. She blamed all of her life's troubles and failures on men and to get back at them she would accuse them of rape. Her false accusations as well as her many psychological problems are all documented. Because of rape shield law the judge disallowed this evidence into court, even though rape shield law has a provision that states in OEC 412 1. (14.30) Prior False Accusations.
The consensus among commentators is that a complainant's prior false accusations of rape do not fall within the scope of OEC 412 because they do not constitute sexual behavior...The issue has received scant attention in the literature. One commentator opines that if the defendant's right to a fair trial means anything, surely he must have the right to introduce evidence that the victim has previously made similar accusations against others that were proved to be false.
Even with this clause, the judge in my case ruled against our motion to prove she had made false accusations before. I guess he thought it would be too stressful or embarrassing to the "victim" if the jury heard she had made false reports in the past. Why was it so important for the jury to hear of these past false reports? Because in my case as in many others it is only the "victim's" word that a rape was even committed.
Also, considerable doubt would have been raised in the jury's eyes seeing how my "victim" was forever crying rape, where none existed. There was no physical evidence or any witnesses on her behalf. She was lying again, but how would the jury even know this? In the judge's effort to protect the "victim" he denied me a fair and impartial trial.
It is not the judge's job to protect anyone, anyway. His job is to make sure that trials are run under the prescriptions of the Constitution. By not allowing the evidence of my alleged "victim's" pasts false accusations, he took it upon himself to rewrite the U. S. Constitution.
The insidiousness of rape shield law and my judge's interpretations of these laws worked another way to hide evidence about the character and sordid past of my "victim." My "victim" had been seeing a psychiatrist for years before I had ever met her. She was the classic eternal victim. She blamed men for all her troubles including her alcoholism and drug additions. Also, with her vendetta against men, her alcoholism, drug addictions, and other emotional problems she was diagnosed to have Borderline Personality Disorder, Memory Recall Problems, Amnesia, and organic Brain Damage. She was a very sick woman over all, but the jury never heard of this woman's clearly unsound mind. She was made to appear as emotionally and mentally healthy as the jury itself and there was nothing I could do about it. The judge had again overruled our motion to present her past psychiatric reports to the jury. I was denied one of the oldest rules of law that is protected by the Constitution, the right to confront my accuser.
My jury never heard the true facts on this woman and even during cross examination my defense attorney was barred from not only asking her about her past false accusations, but also her history of mental and emotional illness. The woman the jury was on the witness stand was a fake, shielded by the unconstitutional rape shield law.
My "victim's" motive all along in accusing me of rape was a fraudulent lawsuit. Any reference in court to this law suit was also not allowed. I am not positive that rape shield law excluded this evidence also, but no mention to the jury of this woman's motive was allowed.
In short, my so-called victim is in fact a victim to all men in her twisted mind. She's a drunk and an I.V. drug user who was under the care of a psychiatrist for numerous emotional and mental problems. She found a way to make some easy money off a lawsuit and she took it. Why not, she had falsely accused men before and almost got away with it. This time she might make some big bucks. She can't care less that I'm in prison. I heard she bought a new car with the money she stole from her lawsuit. She used the system, as did the district attorney. Mine is not the only case where rape shield laws helped convict an innocent man. Rape shield laws have aided in the wrongful convictions of men throughout the country for years.
If you're not convinced by now that rape shield laws make a mockery of our justice system, listen to how Scott Koehl exposes these laws for what they really are, in his article, "Rape Law and Feminist Ideology":
Given the "theory" of rape as a "political crime," both cause and effect of "patriarchal oppression," the feminist definition of rape, the assumption that rape is pandemic and vastly under reported, the moral and political urgency of reducing the incidence of rape and ultimately eradicating it, and, perhaps most importantly, the myth that women never (or rarely) lie in accusing men of rape, politicians and judges have rushed to contrive the rules of evidence and procedure to facilitate the prosecution and punishment of those accused of rape. In the 1970's, with the emergence of the anti-rape movement, our ruling elites imposed dramatic reforms: the elimination of all requirements of corroboration, "rape shield laws," the policy of suppressing the names of accusers while exposing those of the accused, the redefinition of rape and the lowering of the burden of proof in respect to consent and resistance, "rape crisis centers," the repeal of the "marital exemption," etc. Given the myths and dogmas of feminist ideology, such reforms are not only just, but imperative.
If women don't lie about rape, there's no need for corroboration. Requirements of corroboration, constitutional protections, due process, presumption of innocence, etc., were (are) part of a "rape ideology," a conspiracy to perpetuate the enslavement and intimidation of women. If the allegations and testimony of women are unimpeachable, the rights of the accused only protect the guilty, the "guerilla terrorists" and "shock troops" (Susan Brownmiller) of patriarchy, frustrating the goal of eradication. Given this view, advocates of defendant's rights, rather than protecting the rights and lives of the theoretically innocent, are conscious agents of or accomplices to the crime of rape and, by extension, the subjugation of women. Most egregiously, requirements of corroboration and the right of the accused to cross examine his accuser about her sexual conduct and history were vital elements of this patriarchal conspiracy. First, requirements of corroboration prevented most rapists from being arrested and prosecuted. Secondly, if ordered to stand trial, the right of the accused to cross examine his "victim" about her sexual conduct and history and disclose such details in his summation and opening statements, by manipulating the "sexist" and misogynist prejudices of the jury, insured the acquittal of most rapists. Thus the elimination of all requirements of corroboration and "rape shield laws" were the first reforms to be imposed.
Given feminist assumptions, rape proceedings, have two paramount objectives: to convict the accused who, given the dogma that women never lie, is ipso facto guilty; and secondly, to protect his accuser (i.e., "victim") from further traumatization. These observations by Philip Jenkins are also true of rape trials: "In the courtroom, 'Believe the Children' means that judge and jury are no longer expected (even in theory) to be neutral between accuser and accused. The court exists to assist the child victim to secure justice against the abuser, for there is no longer any doubt about the guilt of the accused...The main priority of reform is to prevent innocent victims from suffering further trauma in the court itself, to reduce the 'jeopardy of children on the stand.'" j (Philip Jenkins, "Believe the Children?", Chronicle, January 1993, p. 22.) (In fact, the undermining fo the rights of the accused in rape cases set the precedent for the evisceration fo the rights of the accused in child sexual abuse cases. The latter is inconceivable apart from the former.)
"It is precisely because rape has always been taken so seriously by our society that the legal system has been especially careful to have it proved beyond a reasonable doubt," wrote Barbara Amiel. Our judges recognized that it was a charge that could easily be made falsely against a person. But Anglo-American law (rightly in my view) never subscribed to the maxim of testis usnus smullus, which prohibits conviction on the evidence of a single witness....It was because Anglo-American law was more lenient in this respect that a defendant's lawyers used to be given a pretty free rein in the cross examination of complainants..."
But according to feminists, there is no doubt as to the guilt of the accused. Thus, in the pre-feminist era, the "victim," not the "rapist," was "on trial." Vilified and bullied by the defense, subjected to a "second assault," a psychic rape more traumatic and humiliating than the physical assault, the "victim" suffered more intensely during the trial than the "rapist." Ergo, feminist histrionics about "only women being on trail," the putative reluctance of almost all victims to come forward because of the cruelty and iniquity of male society and its criminal justice system, the assumption that millions of rapes went unreported, the canard that women and girls don't lie about rape, the general politicization and symbolization of rape, the urgency to alter the rules of evidence to facilitate convictions, the "main priority" of preventing "innocent victims from suffering further trauma," of reducing the "jeopardy" of women on the stand--all of this led to "rape shield laws."
Under Federal Rule 412 and similar state statutes, "introduction of reputation and opinion evidence concerning the past sexual behavior of the alleged victim is never admissible.(emphasis mine) Federal Rule 412 (RAPE CASES: RELEVANCE OF VICTIM'S PAST BEHAVIOR) states: "(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in a criminal case in which a person is accused of rape or of assault with intent to rape, reputation or opinion evidence of the past sexual behavior of an alleged victim of such rape or assault is not admissible." (Michael H. Graham, Federal Rules of Evidence [St. Paul MN: West Publishing Company, 1987], p. 117.) (Quoted in Graham, p. 115.)
But is such evidence always, or even usually, irrelevant? In cases of stranger rape, in which the paramount legal and factual issue is not whether or not a rape occurred but whether or not the man accused committed the assault, such evidence is surely irrelevant. But what of cases of stranger rape, however rare, in which the accused insists not only that he didn't commit a rape but also that his accuser actually invented the crime? And, far more importantly, what of date and acquaintance rape, in which the paramount legal and factual issue is that of consent versus non-consent? Is the "introduction of reputation and opinion evidence concerning the past sexual behavior of the alleged "victim" always or even usually irrelevant in such cases?
As Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and defense attorney James Neal both observed during a PBS round table debate, if a woman's past sexual conduct weren't relevant, "rape shield laws" wouldn't be necessary. To many jurors, perhaps most, such evidence is relevant to the determination of guilt or innocence. Such information is irrelevant only if one believes that women never lie in accusing men of rape, or that a woman's sexual conduct is irrelevant to the issues of consent and truthfulness. Because such evidence is relevant to many if not most people, "rape shield laws" must be imposed by feminists and their sympathizers.
Reasons and motives for lying include hatred and vengeance, an attempt to conceal pre or extra marital sex (especially if it results in pregnancy, as in the dotson case, or venereal disease) and other activities, the elimination of a feared or despised male, the alleviation or exorcism of shame and guilt, the absolution of responsibility, money (extortion and civil suits), a desire for publicity and/or attention, and mental illness. What if such motives and reasons cannot be understood, fully or largely, apart from "the introduction of reputation and opinion evidence concerning the past sexual behavior of the alleged "victim"? And what of an "active sex life" in itself?
The point is not that a rich and varied sexual life, a licentious, hedonistic "life style," or even promiscuity excluded the possibility of rape. The point is that such behavior, in many instances, enhances the possibility of consent and the likelihood of perjury. And in cases of date and acquaintance rape, the paramount legal and factual issue is that of consent versus non consent. Ergo, in many cases, its absurd to contend that such evidence is irrelevant to the determination of guilt or innocence.
Even if one concedes that, in most cases, such evidence should be ruled inadmissible, is it always, or even usually, irrelevant? In our age, for example, a rich and varied sex life is hardly anomalous or even exceptional. For a modern woman to have slept with dozens of men could now be defined as normal behavior. but what of a woman who is compulsively destructively promiscuous, particularly one who is an alcoholic and/ or drug addict, and/or suffering from mental illness or grave emotional problems? A women's sexual history, no matter how sordid or even pathological, doesn't automatically make her a perjurer or exclude the possibility of rape. But are such women no more inclined to lie and cry "rape" than women without such problems and characteristics?
Moreover, what if there's a causal relation between promiscuity and mental illness and/or grave emotional problems? And what if such evidence is substantiated, compelling, incontrovertible? If promiscuity is caused by mental illness and/or emotional problems, and if the woman's mental state and consequently her proclivity to lie and cry "rape" cannot be understood fully or largely apart from the promiscuity, how can anyone seriously contend that such evidence is irrelevant to the determination of guilt or innocence? But given the unconditionality of "rape shield laws" concerning such evidence, and the myth that women don't lie about rape, it doesn't matter.
No matter how relevant, such evidence is never admissible. Never! In both theory and practice, moreover, "rape shield laws are often used to suppress even more relevant evidence. "Most legislatures," writes Betsy Clarke, "looking for that rare opportunity to appeal to both their law-and-order and feminist constituencies, have rigged the rules of evidence so that those accused of rape cannot present to the jury evidence in their defense. The 'rape shield statutes' prohibit the defense from submitting relevant evidence of the prosecutrix's past sexual conduct and are particularly dangerous because a conviction for rape can rest on the testimony of the accuser without any corroborating physical evidence. Designed initially to avoid planting the notion in the juror's mind that a woman with an active sexual history is either more likely to lie under oath or to give consent to sexual activity than a person without such a history, trial courts now routinely deny defendants the right to rebut the state's case. Evidence showing their accuser's bias, and in some states even evidence of past consensual sex between the accuser and accused, is often prohibited...Furthermore, even the exceptional bit of admissible evidence that will reveal the prosecutrix's past sexual conduct must overcome all sorts of procedural hurdles of advance notice and special hearings in order to get before a jury." (Betsy Clarke, "The Politics of Rape," Chronicles, March 1992, p. 46.)
Thus even if one has evidence that "tends to prove that someone else may have been the source of the semen found on the victim after the alleged rape," or "evidence of other instances in which the victim consented to sexual intercourse with him as relevant to the question of her consent on this occasion,": the court may determine that "the danger of unfair prejudice" outweighs "the probative value of such evidence."
The first exception largely concerns stranger rape, in which the paramount legal and factual issue is not whether or not a rape occurred but whether or not the accused committed the assault. Logically, in such cases, given the issue of misidentification, I can't imagine why the court would rule that "the probative value of such evidence" is "outweighed" by the "danger of unfair prejudice." The second exception largely concerns date or acquaintance rape, in which the paramount legal and factual issue is that of consent versus no-consent. Concerning this exception, given the issue of consent and, by extension, the question of whether or not women lie in accusing men of rape, the court is far more inclined to rule that "the probative value of such evidence" is "outweighed" by the "danger of unfair prejudice."
Unless there is demonstrable corroboration, compelling physical evidence of rape, not coitus in itself, and/or credible material witnesses other than the alleged victim, how could a "fair" and "impartial" judge possibly rule that evidence of prior consensual intercourse between the accused and his accuser relevant to the issue of consent is "outweighed" by the"danger of unfair prejudice"? Unless he (or, increasingly, she) believes that women don't lie about rape and consequently that the accused is ipso facto guilty, how could a judge rule that such evidence is "irrelevant" and thus inadmissible? Ergo, without compelling material evidence, the decision to prohibit the introduction of such evidence must be based on the certainty of a defendant's guilt or perhaps on the subordination of actual issues of guilt and innocence to the protection of allege rape victims and the empowerment of women according to feminist orthodoxy. Unless the accused is presume presumed guilty, and/or unless the purpose of a trial is not to determine guilt or innocence, but rather to convict as many "rapists" as possible while shielding the "victims" from unnecessary trauma and humiliation, how could a judge make such a partial and prejudicial ruling?
If so, a judge has abdicated his position of neutrality, his role as referee, in the adversarial process, to become an advocate of feminism and alleged rape victims. "Courts justify such outrages by invoking a 'special interest' in seeing that victims feel protected enough by the judicial system to report sex crimes," writes Betsy Clarke. "As one federal judge pontificated in 1991, 'The right of the petitioner to present relevant and competent evidence is not absolute and may bow to accommodate other interests in the criminal trial process.' Other than determining guilt or innocence based on relevant and competent evidence?" In other words, possible innocence is often irrelevant. The right to present relevant and competent evidence of one's innocence is not absolute. In this context, "unfair prejudice" can only mean that relevant and competent evidence of prior consensual sex between the accused and his accuser will prejudice many juries toward an acquittal. And most judges, including feminists and their fellow travelers, know that the introduction of such evidence will make a conviction less probable. And of course some judges are simply cowardly. "As a result of court watching programs by anti rape groups," writes Allan Dershowitz, "some judges seem fearful of making legal rulings in favor of rape defendants." Some judges? Seem(?) fearful.
Moreover, in practice, "rape shield laws" are used not only to suppress the introduction of evidence that the accused and his accuser engaged in prior consensual intercourse, but also to suppress the introduction of evidence that the two parties engaged in consensual kissing, hugging, fondling, etc., prior to the alleged rape. If, for example, witnesses claim to have seen the accused and his accuser engaged in affectionate or salacious behavior at a party or in a bar an hour or two before the alleged rape, many judges will now rule that such evidence is inadmissible--that its probative value is "outweighed" by the "danger of unfair prejudice." In this context, the "danger of unfair prejudice" obviously means that a jury, when presented with such information, is likely to feel that the accuser was "leading" the accused on or, perhaps, "asking for it," or, far more importantly, that such conduct is of probative value in judging whether or not a female later consented to sexual intercourse with the accused. As a New Hampshire appellate judge, Supreme Court Justice David Souter ruled to over turn a rape conviction because the trial judge had ruled such evidence inadmissible. This decision generated the most protest and controversy at his confirmation hearing. The trial judge in the Tyson case made a similar ruling. Especially in the case of a male with no history of violence or criminal record, suppressing such evidence is a dire and flagrant violation of due process. Moreover, even if a male is guilty, isn't such evidence usually mitigating?
Finally, what exactly is meant by "relevant"? Relevant and relevance, like many words and legal terms, is precise and subjective. What's relevant to me, to the accused, to a defense attorney, etc., isn't relevant to feminists and feminist sympathizers, to prosecutors, to alleged victims, to many judges, etc. Moreover, in such cases, the question of relevance is based in large part on whether or not one espouses the dogma that women never (or rarely) lie in accusing men of rape. If a judge believes that women never lie, he (or she) will rarely if ever believe that evidence of past consensual sex between the accused and the prosecutrix is relevant to the determination of gilt or innocence. If women don't lie and the accused is ipso facto guilty, all evidence not directly related to the alleged crime is irrelevant. Logically, if one carries the dogma that women never lie to its logical conclusions, all testimony and evidence is factually irrelevant in determining guilt or innocence. Given feminist assumptions, what is the purpose of a criminal trial? to promulgate feminist propaganda?
Rape shield law has been, and continues to be, the biggest tool used to convict innocent men of rape. These laws must be exposed and amended!
Hearsay as described by Webster's II Dictionary 1984 Edition is, "Information heard from another person: rumor." Hearsay evidence in a court room is when a witness under oath stands in front of a jury and claims to have overheard or has been told from another person evidence that a district attorney can use to ensure a conviction.
The classic example of hearsay evidence is the jailhouse snitch, or "rat," as they are known in prison, who testifies a defendant told him while they were both in prison that he did in fact commit the crime of which he is accused. The rat is then rewarded by the district attorney for his sworn testimony. The motive to commit perjury for the snitch is clear.
The reason hearsay evidence is not allowed in some states is that the chances for untruthful sworn testimony is too high and motives to deceive from hearsay too great. hearsay evidence presented to a jury can easily be exaggerated or simply out and out untruthful and thus unconstitutional to be used in a fair trial.
However, the rationale that hearsay evidence is unconstitutional and can easily make a mockery of our system of justice is often overlooked in a case of supposed sex crime. In my so-called victim's civil trial, a close friend of hers testified that, yes, her friend told her all about the rape and what a traumatic experience it was and how she is still suffering. This testimony was taken as fact.
No one questioned the fact that these two "friends" might have gotten together and rehearsed this testimony. My so-called victim's friend sounded as if she were reading a script for the jury. Maybe she was even promised to share in some of the loot from my so-called victim's unjust lawsuit in exchange for this testimony.
Here's what Butler Schaffer has to say about hearsay evidence in his article, "The New Ruling Class":
Suppose there has been a major hotel fire, and during the police investigation that occurs afterwards, an unidentified person tells a police officer that he saw you leaving the building with a gasoline can just before the fire began. Because this individual cannot be found, the state, in its prosecution of you for the crime of arson, put the police officer on the witness stand to testify not to what he saw, but to what this unknown person told him he had seen. Suppose, further, that the court allows this police officer to so testify and, on the strength of his testimony, you are convicted. You appeal your conviction all the way to the United States Supreme Court, and your conviction is upheld, with the court rationalizing the use of such hearsay testimony against you as not being a denial of due process of law. You might find such a decision beyond the realm of what even this court might find acceptable in its mission to create a full blown police state and yet this is precisely what the Supreme Court upheld just a short time ago.
You not have heard much about this decision. Had it arisen out of a criminal trial for arson, burglary or murder, the court's opinion might even have shocked the conscience of the L. A. Times, or the Orange County Register, and even engendered a spate of television talk shows or news specials to ponder the course of American Justice.
But this case involved the crime of child abuse, a sexually defined offense, and as a consequence, little if any criticisms was offered. Had the child been kidnapped and her alleged kidnappers brought to trial and, at the trial, instead of having the kidnap victim testifying against the defendants, a police officer or a social worker was permitted to testify in place of the child as to what the child told them, there would likely have been a good deal of reaction to such a wholesale attack on the principle that hearsay testimony, the testimony of non-witnesses to the criminal event, out not to be the basis of a criminal conviction.
But when a child has been allegedly sexually fondled, the Supreme Court declares that it is prepared to suspend this centuries-old prohibition against hearsay.
How "conservative" can a court be when it is willing to throw over such long-standing common law traditions?
My point is this: had this case involved any other crime than a sex crime--murder, burglary, arson, embezzlement, assault--the Supreme Court would not have dared such an assault on the Hearsay Doctrine.
Also consider what Trevor Armbrister has to say about the nightmare of hearsay evidence: (Reader's Digest, April 1993, "When Parents Become Victims")
In the Seattle suburb of Bothell, people were flabbergasted to hear that Bill and Kathy Swan had been charged with sexually abusing their three-year-old daughter. Bill, an electrical engineer, was a devout church goer who reveled in his role as a dad. Kathy, equally religious, was an accomplished musician and spoke twelve languages.
But the Swans' backgrounds didn't matter, prosecutors insisted. This case was proof that anyone could commit child abuse and when the trial began before Superior Court Judge Anne Ellington in April 1986, it seemed the prosecutors were right.
Lisa Conradi, the day care center worker who triggered the investigation, testified that the Swan child and her best friend had come forward with horrifying tales of sexual molestation by the Swans. Cindi Bratvolt, Conradi's boss, said much the same thing.
Jurors needed less than three hours to convict Bill and Kathy on two counts of statutory rape each. They were sentenced to serve fifty months in prison, while their daughter remained in the custody of the Washington Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).
During the trial, however, defense attorneys had been prevented from inquiring about Conradi's background. The prosecution had argued successfully that such information was irrelevant. One month after the verdict, however, Conradi confided in an interview with a free lance writer that she had been abused for over twenty years.
"Damn near everybody that came near" abused her, Conradi claimed. "I was used regularly, daily, by three or four hundred guys," she later said. "There are more perverts out there than normal people."
Conradi asserted that she "did drugs everyday," that she hated men and that on at least twenty other occasions she had attempted to turn in sex offenders to authorities. "I went through the neighborhood, and every other house had abuse in it."
Others stepped forward to challenge Bratvolt's testimony as well. But Judge Ellington appeared to give little weight to the challenges and dismissed Conradi's comments to the reporter as "typical puffery to a reporter!"
Moreover, although she had ruled in preliminary hearings that the Swan girl and her friend were incompetent to testify at trial, Judge Ellington allowed statements the girls allegedly volunteered to Conradi and Bratvolt--statements corroborated neither by tape recording nor contemporaneous notes--into the record as evidence to convict the parents. Thus the jury never heard the two girls tell their story! They heard only Conradi's and Bratvolt's version of it.
In August 1990, Bill and Kathy entered separate penitentiaries. The DSHS had placed their daughter, then eight, in a foster home. Neither Kathy nor Bill had been allowed to see her since 1986.
After watching a television account of the Swans' ordeal, Charles Nesson, professor of evidence at Harvard Law School, decided it couldn't be true. "The show's producers," he thought, "must have presented the story unfairly by leaving out crucial evidence against the Swans."
Then Nesson looked into the proceedings and changed his mind. "The Swan case," he wrote in a Friend-of-the-Court brief filed with the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, is "The most extreme example of erosion of the confrontation clause of which I am aware!"
In an interview Nesson explained, "The Constitution says you have the right to confront your accusers, and that means the right to cross examine them. When a hearsay accusation is introduced, you don't have that right. Here two people were sent to prison and their little girl taken away, on the basis of pure hearsay that was not only uncorroborated but contracted by the evidence."
As you can see by the Swan case, hearsay evidence is not only unconstitutional but it can also make sure you unjustly wind up behind bars and totally destroy your family.
DO NOT ALLOW IMPROPER HEARSAY EVIDENCE TO BE USED IN YOUR TRIAL! Make sure you understand all aspects of your upcoming trial. If hearsay evidence is planned to be used by the prosecutor against you to ensure your conviction, make sure your defense attorney files motions with the court to make sure such unconstitutional evidence is not used.
Hearsay evidence can destroy not only your life, but also the lives of your family. Be aware of it and MAKE SURE HEARSAY EVIDENCE IS NOT USED IN YOUR TRIAL!
THE CONSENT DEFENSE
You meet a woman in a bar somewhere. A short while later you and this woman have sex. In the morning you leave. This is the typical "one night stand," but wait--there's a twist. For some sick reason, after you leave, this woman calls the police and says she's been raped. When you're arrested you point out that both of you agreed to have sex and that absolutely no force of any kind was used. This is what is known as the Consensual Defense. Your defense in the accusation is that the woman consented to have sex with you. Therefore how could it be rape? You're telling the truth.
Now, however, some law makers wish to outlaw the Consensual Defense as they bow and scrape to the radical feminist lynch mob who claim that women just don't lie when they say they've been raped.
The woman with whom I had sex claimed I raped her to file a one million dollar lawsuit. Money was the root of her false accusation. There was no physical evidence nor any witnesses. Only the two of us know what happened in that room. There are rarely witnesses to sexual intercourse. Only the two people involved have stories to tell. But in the future if the feminists Nazis have their way, men accused in "she said/he said" rape cases will be muzzled by the court in telling their version. In short, by law the jury will only hear the woman's version.
In alleged rape cases where there is absolutely no evidence nor witnesses and all the jury hears is a so-called saying he did it, the burden of proof, as in any other court action, should rest upon the accuser.
How on earth can a jury send a man to prison for years on the word of one person with no evidence to back up her word? Is it because the man cannot prove his innocence 100%? I can never prove my innocence 100% nor can any other man in "she said/he said" accusations. The only way to prove my innocence 100% to a jury is if I produce a video tape showing that the sex between this woman and me was in fact consensual. This, of course, is impossible.
The fact is, in rape trials as in witch trials, the burden of proof rests on the accused. The age old concept of "innocent until proven guilty" is gone in the 1990's rape trials. So what do men do who find themselves falsely accused after having consensual sex with a woman?
The most important factor to remember when you find yourself accused of rape after consensual sex is REMAIN SILENT! Do not talk to police or any investigator. REMAIN SILENT! There's a reason why, when police read you your Miranda Rights they warn, "Anything you say can be used against you." Not only will anything you say be used against you, but everything you say will be used against you! REMAIN SILENT!
One reason why I was wrongly convicted is that I did not exercise my rights to keep silent about the accusation. I was uneducated on how the law works in alleged rape cases and I felt that since I was innocent I should tell the truth as soon as possible. This was a major mistake and brought me another step closer to being wrongly convicted and imprisoned.
I spoke with a prosecuting investigator for over an hour and a half about the accusation. I told him I was innocent, that I was being falsely accused, and that I did have sex with this woman three years earlier but it was purely consensual. This investigator was very nice to me and seemed almost concerned. He told me I probably had nothing to worry about.
I was shocked to learn that from this hour and a half meeting this investigator wrote a mere one page report. When it came time for this investigator to take the witness stand over eight months later he totally twisted my words around. Instead of the caring investigator he now sounded as if he only had contempt for me. He was a pawn for the District Attorney. Because I used to believe in the law and justice I told the truth. My official statement to this investigator was perverted not only by himself but by the prosecutor. I could do nothing about it.
I can't stress enough, no matter how badly you want the truth to be known in "she said/he said" rape proceedings, wait until you're in front of a jury to tell your side, the truth. Until then REMAIN SILENT! You'll be happy that you did when you're on a beach somewhere instead of rotting in a prison cell feeding your pet cockroach.
Here's why you need to be so careful: Too many legislators, editors, and even jurists are listening to people like Susan Estrich who writes, "Non-consent has traditionally been a required element in the definition of a number of crimes, including theft, assault, battery, and trespass. Rape may be the most serious crime to allow a consent defense...Rape is unique, however, in the definition that has been given to non consent--one that has required victims of rape, unlike victims of other crimes, to demonstrate their 'wishes' through proper resistance."
Along the same line Irene L. Murphy says, "The 'consent defense' has meant that a defendant in a rape case may plead that the victim consented and the burden of proof is on the victim to prove that she did not consent (e.g., a person who has been robbed or assaulted does not have to prove that he or she did not consent to the theft or attack). In no other crime is this necessary."
In a brilliant argument to Ms. Estrich's and Ms. Murchy's twisted logic on the consent defense Scott Koehl, author and anti-feminist dispels the myth that women don't lie about rape and the consent defense should be outlawed gives us this:
Obviously, people rarely consent to beatings or willingly give money to mendicants. Moreover, these crimes rarely involve any degree of exculpatory ambiguity or ambivalence. Conversely, tens of millions of women and girls consent to sex each and every day. And in cases of "simple rape" (Estrich) "rapes" that do not involve aggravated assault, a weapon, or explicit threat of violence--how can consent be distinguished from non consent, how can normal sex be distinguished form rape, unless there is forceful and unambiguous resistance? In "simple rapes" how else can the alleged victims "demonstrate their wishes" with unambiguous finality except through physical resistance?"
If a male is accused of date or acquaintance rape, if a woman or girl consents to sex and then cries "rape," the only defense he has is the "consent defense." The blatant iniquity of this position is not that a guilty man would be denied the right to lie in invoking the consent defense, but an innocent man would be denied the right to tell the truth in an attempt to exonerate himself. The only way to protect the rights of the innocent is also protecting the rights of the guilty.
The sheer absurdity of this argument is based on the myth that women don't lie about rape and, secondly, on the premise that any degree of ambiguity or ambivalence proves rather than disproves rape or "sexual assault." If women never lie, if ambivalence and ambiguity are substantively inculpatory, the "consent defense" is contrived as a male conspiracy to protect rapists.
In contending that women accusing men of rape shouldn't have to "prove" that they didn't consent, a feminist-sympathetic male law professor gave this example: If someone takes your wallet from a restaurant table, is it theft if you didn't resist? The answer, of course, is yes.s But if millions of people handed over their wallets to beggars, it would be necessary to "prove" that you didn't consent, and proof of resistance would be vital in "proving" that you didn't consent.
Since people rarely consent to beatings or hand over their wallets to beggars, or willingly give money to mendicants, there is no need to "prove" one didn't consent. Generally, under these circumstances, the issue of consent and resistance is factually and substantively irrelevant. conversely, since tens of millions of women and girls consent to sex each and every day, the issue of consent and resistance is paramount in cases of alleged rape that do not involve aggravated violence of the explicit threat of violence.
Here Scott Koehl uses common sense when addressing the "Consent Defense" issue instead of the man hating rhetoric that feminist storm troopers use. Take what Catharine MacKinnon has to say on consensual sex versus non consensual, "If you feel that you are going to be raped when you say no, how do you know you really want sex when you say yes?"
What the hell is this supposed to mean? Does this absurd statement tell us that if a woman says yes and then days or months later regrets the decision, that a rape was committed? This is exactly the type of eternal victimism that has been leading up to the false accusations of rape crisis that we are in today. An article entitled "Slightly Editorial Stepford Husbands and Ken Dolls" that appeared in the excellent men's rights news magazine The Liberator, gives us another common sense view of the consent defense,
In its apparent ongoing effort to create the perfect man (the non-man, or Ken doll), feminist ideology continues to broaden society's definition of rape. In recent years, spousal and date rape have accordingly risen to public prominence.
A recent article, "Rape is Rape" (Walt Sheppard, Syracuse News Times, April 1990), deals with a spousal rape charge lodged by Margaret Walker, who alleged that her husband raped her while she was asleep. Since Walker claimed that force was used, New York law permits that her husband be charged with aggravated assault, but currently that state's "marital exception" does not recognize spousal rape.
Walker, however, contending that "rape is rape" has organized a grass roots effort to get New York to change its definition of rape. Her organization is called Partners Against Spousal Rape; and her definition of the crime is that "Rape is forced sexual intercourse against somebody's will, and that's not part of the marriage agreement." She has since had her husband incarcerated for allegedly making threatening phone calls.
Stephanie Gutmann takes a moderate approach in her article, "It Sounds Like I Raped You!" Her topic is date rape, and she disapproves of the lately broadened definitions of the supposed crime. At Swarthmore College, for example a rape prevention workshop manual states that, "Acquaintance rape...spans a spectrum of incidents and behaviors ranging from crimes legally defined as rape to verbal harassment and INAPPROPRIATE INNUENDO." [emphasis added by Gutmann]
"Although largely driven by feminist ideology," says Gutmann, "This redefinition of rape casts women as eternal victims, undermine's personal responsibility, and trivializes the very idea of sexual violence...the new definition of rape gives women a simple way of thinking...bad or confused feelings after sex becomes someone else's fault...a one way event in which the woman has no stake, no interest and no active role. Assuming the status of victim is...an easy answer--but not one befitting supposedly liberated victim."
Having just presented these two basically opposite points of view, this editor [Richard Doyle] must admit agreement with both. He is certainly in accord with Ms. Gutmann and he must allow Mrs. Walker's case, assuming that force and violence were sued. Nonetheless, he notes a fundamental problem with both positions. while both women attempt to redefine rape, pro temporo, they both typically fail to emphasize the need for proof of such allegations. Ms. Gutmann maintains that consent is the crucial issue in defining rape. The problem is determining when consent has been given.
The distinction between rape and voluntary sexual intercourse, she says, is more subtle than the difference between borrowing and stealing. Generally, we ask for permission before using someone else's property. In the case of sex, permission is granted through a range of verbal and nonverbal cues.
She says that in absence of evidence to the contrary, it is reasonable to assume that a woman who engages in sex without protest does so willingly. If she does not really want to have sex but keeps this information to herself while participating in the act, her partner can hardly be held culpable. Clear communication, she says, is a responsibility shared by both men and women."
Here's Scott Koehl with his views on "marital rape":
With marital rape laws, wives can frame their husbands for rape. Hatred and the desire for vengeance are not only intensified by the legal and psychic warfare of modern divorce; false allegations of marital rape are also a means for the wife or ex-wife to gain custody, often immediately and permanently, eliminate or restrict the father's visitation rights, and receive more generous monetary and material reparations.
The primary reason that far more women haven't framed their husband for "wife rape" is because it is easier and less painful, embarrassing and troublesome for the wife or ex-wife to falsely accuse them of child sexual abuse. Thousands of wives, usually in divorce and related proceedings, have falsely accused their husbands of child sexual abuse. Deprived of this recourse to exact vengeance, to manipulate and prevail in divorce and related proceedings, many of these women would have surely accused their husbands with "marital rape."
Moreover, the threat of rape is a form of blackmail. "In a nasty custody fight where a husband and wife are really playing hardball, a woman could threaten that unless her husband becomes more reasonable, she would charge him with a rape she says he committed six months earlier. Given how embarrassing it might be to have to face these charges, they could become a very powerful weapon." (Yale Kamisar, quoted in "Rape in Marriage is No Longer Within Law," by David Margolic, The New York Times, December 23, 1984)
To acknowledge this fact of life, this incontrovertible reality of modern divorce, one must concede not only that there are many lying, scheming, vindictive women, but also that wives have enormous power over their husbands--morally, emotionally, and legally. But according to feminist mythology, not only do women never or rarely lie in accusing men of rape, even as a weapon in a divorce or custody battle, they are also powerless in male-female, husband-wife relationships. And a reason they never or rarely lie, of course, is because they are powerless.
When common sense and not feminist propaganda is used in discussing the "consent defense," if it should be made illegal because women supposedly never lie, and the "consent defense" will only add undue trauma to an alleged rape victim, we can see the "consent defense" is extremely relevant in "she said/he said" accusations of rape. If a man is denied the right to claim that the sex he had with a woman was in fact consensual, what would be the use of even having a trial? As soon as an accusation of rape is filed after what you assumed was consensual sex, don't bother hiring an attorney, just sell all your belongings, give the proceeds to your supposed victim, and show up at the front gate of your local prison. This insane scenario is exactly what the feminist bully boys want. For now, though, the idea of justice and fair trails hasn't eroded this far.
But even with the "consent defense" still intact, fair trails are hard to come by in "she said/he said" accusations.
In my own case it was my word against my accuser's. Vital evidence that would have cast considerable doubt on whether she was raped and her motives in accusing me were not allowed in court. The jury was not allowed to hear my whole defense. At my parole hearing in August 1990, six months after my conviction, the Oregon Parole Board stated my conviction showed, "No breaking and entering, not a stranger to stranger, no actual or threat of bodily or emotional harm to victim." The chairman of the parole board, Vern Faatz stated, "There is evidence that misconduct by the victim contributed to the criminal episode." With all these facts I'm still trying to figure out the rationale of my conviction and continued imprisonment.
The Mike Tyson rape case is another example of the"consent defense" and unfair trials for men in "she said/he said" accusations. Mike Tyson is now serving six years in prison. You may not have heard the facts of his wrongful conviction. The majority of the press seemed to overlook facts about his accuser, Desiree Washington, and Mike Tyson's railroad job into prison. In a detailed and excellently written essay, Tyson's attorney, Alan Dershowitz, exposes Desiree Washington for what she really is and Mike Tyson's joke of a fair trial. This is an example of what can happen to any man, no matter how rich and powerful after having consensual sex and then being falsely accused of rape. The following is an excerpt of Mr. Dershowitz's informative article that appeared in the April 1993 edition of Penthouse magazine:
Desiree Washington knew full well that Mike wanted to have sex with her when she went to his hotel room at two o'clock in the morning. Yet she testified that she had no idea that Tyson had any interest in having sex with her in his hotel room at two o'clock in the morning. How any rational person could believe that, especially in light of what is now known about Washington, is mind boggling.
The truth is, she was willing to have sex with him in order to exploit him the way Robin Givens did. She hoped that after having sex with her, he would want to see her again and continue to go out with her. She was obviously disappointed and hurt when he treated her like a groupy-one night stand--rather than as a continuing romantic interest. She realized that she could not exploit his sexual interest in her the way Robin Givens had done, and she was afraid of the reaction of her friends and family when it became known that she indulged in a one night stand with Tyson. At first she said that he had "tried" to rape her. She initially denied having sex with Tyson. Then she said it occurred "on the floor." She gave the female chaplain at the hospital the sense that there had been "participation" and consensual physical involvement on her part before he forced her. Finally, she settled on the account she gave at the trail: he had raped her on the bed with no prior consensual involvement on her part. To provide "evidence" of that account, she contrived with her mother to place a phone call to the 911 operator a full day after ascertaining that the call was being recorded--told the 911 operator the story she eventually recounted at the trial. That contrived recording became the corroboration for her testimony.
Despite the absence of physical evidence to corroborate Desiree Washington's story, the jury eventually believed her because there was no compelling reason to disbelieve the testimony of a young, religious, sexually inexperienced "girl" who had no possible motive to put herself through the agony of a rape trial. But it turns out there are very good reasons for not believing her. As one juror recently put it, "She was very, very credible (at the trial, but now she's not credible at all. Right now I wouldn't believe anything she said. I would sign an affidavit that if I had known about the money [from her upcoming lawsuit against Tyson for "damages"], I could not have voted to convict him. Mike Tyson deserves a new trial."
The only remaining question is whether Mike Tyson will get a new trial or be required to complete his sentence, despite the compelling information that he was denied a fair trial and that he is innocent of raping Desiree Washington. The case is now before the Indiana Appellate court, and a decision is expected soon. It would be a shocking miscarriage of justice if Mike Tyson were not given the opportunity to prove his innocence in front of a fairly selected judge and a jury that hears all the evidence--including the suppressed evidence eyewitness testimony that Desiree Washington was necking with Mike Tyson on the way to the hotel room, and the document evidence of Washington's financial motives to frame Tyson. That was deliberately kept from the first jury. I am confident that if Mike Tyson receives a new trial, he will be quickly and unanimously acquitted."
Mike Tyson as well as I have yet to receive new and fair trials. We are still in prison while our so-called victims with nothing but motive in their accusation enjoy the "free world." Remember what I said about false accusations of rape that were in fact consensual sex. The golden rule is, REMAIN SILENT! This still doesn't ensure that you will receive a fair trial with all your defense evidence allowed in court and that you won't unjustly wind up in prison, but remaining silent until you are in front of a jury will greatly increase your chances of finding some sort of justice, remaining a free man, and trying to put your life back together after a false accusation of rape.
MISTAKEN IDENTITY AND D.N.A.
From "The Wrong Man" by Gary Burdick, in High Society Magazine, April 1993:
You dream you're in a police line up. A woman you've never laid eyes on points at you and screams, "That's him! That's the man who raped me!" Suddenly, the judge is banging his gavel and telling you you're about to spend the next 25 years in the slammer. Then the alarm goes off and you wake up, covered in sweat, your heart pounding.
That nightmare turned into reality for Gary Dotson. In 1977, he listened in disbelief as a judge handed him a 25 to 50 year prison sentence for raping a 16-year-old girl he'd never even met. Eight years later, after becoming a born again Christian, Cathy Crowell came forward and admitted she'd fingered Dotson because she was worried that she'd become pregnant by her boy friend. Bowing to public pressure, Illinois Governor James Thompson ordered Dotson paroled but refused to overturn the conviction.
The brutal years in prison and the burden of still being presumed guilty took their toll. Dotson's marriage began unraveling and he started to drink heavily; a dispute landed him back in jail.
Just when it looked like his life was about to fall apart again, Dotson's attorney got the court to release evidence from the he trial--Cathy Crowell's semen-stained underwear--for D.N.A. analysis. The test, which compares the genetic material in the sperm with that of a suspect, proved his innocence. Still, Governor Thompson refused to act. It took a court order to overturn the conviction and finally clear Dotson's name. "I feel like I've been chewed up by the system," says an understandably bitter Dotson. "The evidence that I was innocent was there, but people didn't want to look for the truth."
Legal experts believe DNA testing could exonerate other men falsely imprisoned for rape. Strangely, many officials will not administer the test voluntarily. "A lot of prosecutors would rather see a man spend 25 years in jail, than admit they were wrong," notes defense attorney Stan Worth.
DNA testing will not do my case any good. I admitted having sex with the woman who falsely accused me. DNA testing is useless for those of us who used the Consensual Defense in a rape trial. But for those of you that had never even met your so-called victim and there is no possible way any physical evidence could have come from you, DNA testing could keep you from wrongly being convicted. This is what USA Today had to say about DNA testing in a piece titled, "Free the Innocent" June 30, 1993:
USA Today says DNA should be more widely used to ensure justice. Where justice has failed, science can sometimes balance the scales.
The latest beneficiary is Kirk Bloodsworth, a Maryland man released from prison Monday after serving nine years for a rape and murder he did not commit. His ticket to freedom: a DNA test.
Bloodsworth is one of about a dozen prisoners lucky enough to be liberated by this miracle of modern science. Others who have ben wrongly convicted deserve the same shot at freedom.
No one knows how many of them there are, but F.B.I. studies suggest the number may be high. DNA testing exonerated about 30% to 35% of the more than 4,000 sexual assault suspects on whom the F.B.I. has conducted DNA testing over the past three years.
Without the test, some easily could have wound up behind bars, misidentified by witnesses, as Bloodsworth was, convicted on circumstantial evidence or fingered by corrupt informants. Many suspects probably have been, since the test has been available only a few years.
When done by a reputable lab on even a tiny sample of blood or semen, the DNA
test can indisputably identify who didn't commit a crime. If the suspect's DNA doesn't match, someone else committed the crime. It is far less reliable at saying who did, since DNA testing can't yet narrow the field to a single suspect.
Despite the tests's usefulness, prosecutors often fight its use. And many states severely limit the filing time for new trial motions based on new evidence. This extraordinary tool should be available to all prisoners who believe they are innocent. While they languish, the guilty are walking free.
Further evidence of the way DNA testing is fast becoming a Godsend to innocent men in prison is this article that appeared in The Oregonian newspaper May 5, 1993:
A man convicted of rape seven years ago went free Friday because the governor granted a pardon based on genetic tests that cast serious doubt on his guilt. Outside prison, Walter T. Snyder, Jr., hugged his girl friend, a former prison guard who quit to help Snyder clear his name.
Governor L. Douglas Wilder said that recent DNA test clouded the verdict.
Snyder, 26, has been imprisoned since he was convicted of breaking into a woman's apartment and raping her in her bedroom. Snyder requested clemency in February, saying the test of DNA found at the scene virtually ruled him out as a suspect. Commonwealth's attorney John E. Kloch endorsed the test's findings, which included a new analysis of semen samples taken from the victim after the 1985 rape. The test used a new method that allows analysis of extremely small and old samples, even on saliva.
What exactly is DNA testing, and can a bungled DNA test wrongly send an innocent man to prison? This other side of the coin in DNA testing was explored in an excellent article by Michael Ryan for Parade Magazine in April 1993, titled, "Is DNA Testing Foolproof?"
Leonard Callace understand how powerful DNA testing can be. Until a few months ago, he was living a nightmare, locked up for six years in a New York State penitentiary for a crime he never committed. At his trial, a young woman had identified him as the man who had raped her. Despite his alibi and protestations to innocence, the jury believed her, and Callace was sentenced to 25 to 50 years. His appeal was rejected. "Basically, the system said, 'Forget about Leonard Callace,'" says his lawyer, Thomas McVAnn.
While serving time in the maximum security prison at Dannemora, Callace met another inmate, a jail house lawyer named Cory Hammond, who told Callace about a new investigative technique. Hammond explained that this technology, called DNA testing, would allow authorities to examine any body fluid, hair or flesh found at the scene of a crime and determine if it came from a suspect. Hammond filed a motion with the court that had convicted Callace, asking that a stain fo the victim's clothing be tested. Two years of legal wrangling followed. "In July of 1992, the victim's blue jeans were finally test," says McVann. "The DNA left on the girl's clothing and the DNA of Leonard Callace were not the same." Leonard Callace was a free man.
Since it was introduced in England eight years ago, DNA testing has been called the most powerful investigative tool of the twentieth century. The theory behind the procedure was ingenious. Every cell in our body contains DNA--the chemical that forms the building blocks of genes. Genes, in turn, are the blueprints for our bodies. They make our eyes brown or our hair black, give us our mother's nose or our uncle's ears. These genes follow fairly standard patterns, but in between them are segments of "noncoding" DNA. This DNA doesn't make anything happen, but follows a distinct pattern in each individual--so unique that scientists theorized that DNA patterns could be used, like fingerprints, to identify the person they came from with a high degree of certainty. Both coded and non coded DNA are used for identification.
In the last decade, DNA evidence has become a crucial part of the criminal justice system. "This technique has been applied in thousands of cases in both state and federal courts around the country," says John Hicks, assistant director of the F.B.I., who heads the bureau's crime laboratory. Juries throughout the U.S. have convicted hundreds of defendants after hearing experts link their DNA to crime scenes. Many others, like Leonard Callace, have been exonerated by DNA testing."
"DNA typing has great potential benefits for criminal and civil justice," the report said, "However, because of the possibilities for its misuse or abuse, important questions have been raised about reliability, validity, and confidentiality."
The questions center around two issues: the skill of the person doing the testing and the validity of the interpretation. The first problem arises from the very nature fo DNA test. It was once commonly referred to as "DNA fingerprinting," suggesting that complex skills were not involved. "That term is misleading," says John Hicks. "It's true that everyone's DNA is unique, but you don't test all the DNA. You test only parts of it." When juries are shown the test results--often called bar codes, because they resemble the computerized price marking on super market items--they aren't seeing DNA itself. They're seeing a computerized imaging of a chemical reaction that occurs when the DNA is exposed to an electrical charge.
These bar codes are not as precise as finger prints, and correctly performing and interpreting the test requires considerable skill. "DNA testing has led to an upgrading of the competency level of lab personnel across the country," says Hicks. "They have had to take courses to increase their qualifications." A committee coordinated by the FBI has sets standards for police labs nationwide, but many still use unregulated private laboratories.
"This test isn't magic," says the defense attorney Thomas McVann. "Something as complex as a DNA test, like any scientific procedure, can be botched. You have to ask whether the technician had the right training, the laboratory was clean, it had the right equipment an used the right techniques." To avoid such problems, the National Research Council has recommended a mandatory accreditation program for laboratories and technicians, to be administered by the federal government.
But a far more controversial aspect of DNA testing arises in the interpretation of the results. In 1991, for example, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ordered the retrial of a man found guilty of rape after the jury had been told the chance was one in 59 million that the DNA found at the scene belonged to someone else. The court did not dispute the test; it rejected the astronomical odds. "Statistics have the potential of being vastly inflated," says Bonnie Barnes, a defense attorney. "That creates a false sense of confidence in the numbers. We end up with scientists saying that a certain statistical probability can substitute for the concept of reasonable doubt, and that invades the province of the jury."
An article in The Oregonian newspaper June 3, 1993, tells of a botched DNA case and the head of a crime lab who may have sent hundreds of innocent men to prison with his incompetence. The articled was titled, "Prosecutor Wants Convictions Reviewed" says,
Hundreds of rape and murder convictions should be reviewed because a former state police chemist's testimony helped obtain a rape conviction against a man later found innocent, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
Fred Zain was chief of serology for the state police from 1985 to 1989 and testified about hair, blood, and semen samples in up to 600 cases, Kanawha County Prosecutor Bill Forbes said.
Zain gave erroneous testimony at the 1987 trial of Glen Dale Woodall, who served five years in prison for two rapes before DNA tests proved he could not have had been the assailant, said Woodall's attorney, Lonnie Simmons. Experts believe Zain stated as fact things he could not scientifically prove, she said. Woodall sued, claiming police and prosecutors fabricated some evidence against him and suppressed other evidence that would have shown his innocence. This case was in West Virginia.
So, you see, if you're currently in prison due to DNA testing, a new test can prove your innocence. Getting the courts to allow a new test is the hard part. We all know they don't want us to prove our innocence. Hit your law library in your prison and maybe you can figure out a way to get a new test done.
If you're still awaiting trial for a rape you are innocent of, have your attorney file a motion to have your DNA compared to that of any physical evidence. Make sure, though, the state's crime lab is not some fly-by-night operation your state has contracted to do this test. A bungled DNA test can easily send you to prison.
In any case, the new technology of DNA testing, if done properly, will greatly reduce wrongful convictions and may help the innocent men already in prison due to a false accusation of rape finally find justice, belated though it may be.
F.B.I.'S BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE UNITS MANUAL
ON RECOGNIZING FALSE ALLEGATIONS
The following manual which comprises this chapter is the best I've ever read on false reports of rape. It was written by Charles P. McDowell, Ph. D., Chief of the Special Studies Division of the U.S.A.F. Office of Special Investigations. Charles P. McDowell is the leading expert on False allegations of rape. This manual appeared as a chapter in Practical Rape Investigation: A Multidisciplinary Approach. Edited by Supervisory Special Agent Roy Hazelwood and published by Elsevier North Holland, Inc. (summer, 1985).
The ambiguity of many rape allegations is a genuine test of an investigator's ability: an inherent conflict arises between the investigator's obligation to accept the victim's complaint as legitimate and his obligation to remain open to the possibility that there may be a "hidden agenda." Tragically, the investigator's quest for objectivity can make the victim feel defensive even though she is the one who has been wronged. Actually, the criminal justice system can and does impose an unfair burden on rape victims simply because rape is easier to claim than prove (MacDonald, 1970). This is compounded by the fact that virtually all experienced investigators have been misled in the past and are likely to project a certain amount of suspicion. If investigators could distinguish legitimate rape allegations from those which are false, the tasks of all parties would be simplified. Although this dilemma is well recognized, there has been little careful research into the dynamics of false allegations. this chapter will explore their framework and will place the false rape allegation in that context.
THE IMPORTANCE OF UNDERSTANDING FALSE RAPE ALLEGATIONS
It is important to understand the dynamics of false rape allegations because these deceptions impact on all who are involved. First and foremost, they create problems for legitimate victims. The rape victim has suffered the fear of dying, possibly pain or shock, and humiliation. The possibility of pregnancy or venereal disease combined with her shattered sense of personal well-being produce an enormous emotional burden. The foremost consequence of false complaints is that they engender skepticism on the part of investigative and medical authorities. Consequently, the rape victim is victimized again by having to prove the validity of her allegation.
Second, investigative, prosecution and medical personnel must make a determination as to the validity of a complaint amidst many other compelling responsibilities. These professionals are usually busy and typically look to "shorthand" cues to help assess the validity of complaints. These cues are typically based on experience and conventional wisdom (neither of which is infallible). Thus understanding the dynamics of false allegations can be helpful in identifying and validating cues that aid in sorting out true allegations from those which are false, thereby allowing more effective management of resources.
Finally, those who make false allegations may have legitimate problems worthy of attention in their own right. Yet if their false allegations are accepted at face value (rather than as symptoms of other needs), their actual problems may go untreated and result in future difficulties. It should also be clear that false allegations, especially when they are based on malice, have the potential for resulting in grievous injustice. Understanding the dynamics of false allegations will help reduce the possibility that those wrongly accused will be punished for a crime they did not commit.
ON BEING A VICTIM
To be victimized by a crime can be one of life's most difficult experiences.
As Bard and Sangrye have noted, it "forces victims to question themselves and their world because it destroys two essential beliefs: their sense of trust and their sense of control over their lives." (1979).
When rape occurs, the victim needs understanding, support, and the willingness of others to aid in her recovery. Because of these needs, the criminal justice and health care systems have devised a variety of responses such as rape crisis centers and victim assistance programs. This assistance is provided as circumstances and availability dictate, and is usually oriented toward restoring the victim to "normalcy"--or as close to it as possible. Attentive support and understanding can also attract those who would misuse it in the service of their own needs, which have nothing to do with having been victimized.
People who make false claims hope to gain the concern and support of friends and relatives which they mistakenly believe genuine rape victims receive.
Response by the law enforcement community will be compassionate and supportive. For the legitimate victim, this is scant compensation for what they have been through; however, if a person needs this type of attention, a false claim can provide a plausible means by which the system can be manipulated into providing it.
A false allegation is likely to be more dramatic than the "victim's" genuine problems (i.e., feelings of inadequacy), and more likely to evoke prompt action by the authorities.
A claim of rape is far more likely to engender support than a truthful admission to feelings of inadequacy based on rejection. Therefore, false claims are especially opportune (and likely)when they help meet some real or perceived need for which the "victim" lacks adequate coping responses.
SELF-ESTEEM AND THE NEED TO COPE:
THE FRAMEWORK OF FALSE ALLEGATIONS
Perhaps the central feature of human personality is the concept of self-image. How one views oneself also colors his vision of the rest of the world. As Schlengker has noted, "One's self-concept and social identity are composed of numerous interrelated images of oneself; each image is discrete yet part of the whole." (1980) Since self-image has to be positive to the individual, people try to create and maintain a sense of self-esteem, a belief in their own worthiness. As a developmental process, self-esteem must first be constructed and then maintained. It is acquired by internalizing a set of values, beliefs, and expectations. It is reinforced by earning the approval and acceptance of oneself and others by living up to those values and expectations. the "others" from whom the individual seeks external approval consist of the "significant others" in their lives--parents, friends, co-workers, and those whom the individual respects and admires (and whose respect and admiration he values).
Self-esteem is maintained by behaving in ways that earn the approval of both the individual's "external audience" and his won conscience. Unfortunately, life is not always fair or easy, nor are people perfect. People occasionally violate their own values as well as those of their role models. In so doing, however, they threaten their own sense of self-esteem. When this happens, the need to maintain self-esteem acts like a thermostat, triggering corrective responses. thus, when people do something which is in conflict with their values, they can either maturely accept responsibility for their act, or they can protect their self-image by denying the acts or by offering excuses. Sometimes the act itself or its consequences are so overwhelming that the person cannot accept responsibility for them or, in some instances, even acknowledge them. When this happens, defense mechanisms are employed (Snyder, Higgins and Study, 1983).
PROTECTING SELF-ESTEEM: THE USE OF DEFENSE MECHANISMS
Defense mechanisms protect self-esteem. They do so by selectively "forgetting" what happened, denying responsibility, projecting blame to someone (or something) else, overcompensating, or by seeking escape in a world of fantasy. These reactions most often occur spontaneously, and are not usually a matter of conscious awareness. They protest the individual form a sense of failure, bolster feelings of adequacy, and help maintain a sense of personal worth. Defense mechanisms naturally distort the individual's perception of reality and encourage self-deception. In the extreme, defense mechanisms are not only incapable of solving one's problems, they become a part of the problem.
When a person falsely claims to be the victim of a crime, an alternative reality is created. The focal point of that alternative reality becomes the crime itself, reducing the role fo the"victim" to passive non-culpability. The false claim enables the individual to weave a complex set of defense mechanisms designed to recover self-esteem and avoid responsibility for blameworthy conduct. This process usually involves the combined use of several defense mechanisms. False allegations therefore result form the need to defend or reassure self-esteem in the face of threats for which these people are unprepared, unwilling, or unable to accept responsibility. The defense mechanisms discussed below are normally encountered in false allegations.
At the very core of the false allegation is the denial of responsibility. A key to understanding false allegations therefore lies in understanding what really threatens the victim. This can include the person's concept of his or her courage, integrity, honest, competence, loyalty, decency and so on. When they engage in acts which contradict their self-concept in one or more of these regards, a false allegation in effect denies the act and replaces it with a situation that explains the problem away while allowing the victim to deny responsibility.
Denial works best if accompanied by projection. If a person wants to deny responsibility for some act or failure, then blame must be placed elsewhere. In the case of a false allegation, this necessitates the shifting of responsibility and control from the "victim" to the "offender." What follows is the creation of the fictitious belief that the victim was exploited, mistreated, or otherwise taken advantage of by someone whose actions were beyond the victim's ability to control. Thus, responsibility is "projected" or displaced to the criminal.
The handmaiden of denial is escape. By denying responsibility, the individual seeks to escape accountability. By claiming to be the victim of a crime, he or she in effect creates a crisis that shifts corrective responsibility to the police. Furthermore, if the "crime" cannot be solved, then ultimate responsibility for failure can be placed on the police rather than the victim. The result is that the person making the false claim "escapes" responsibility for his own actions and is thereby able to maintain a positive self-image.
For the fabric of a false allegation to be credible, it must be logical and believable. This requires the construction of a story which not only "explains" the crime but also protects the claimant. The intriguing part of the is manipulation is that many people who falsely claim to have been raped have no understanding of what real victimization actually entails. As a result, they create a report based on what they believe happens. Their imperfect understanding of rape is often transparent, raising the suspicion of investigators who are sensitive to allegations that are either atypical or unrealistic.
Self-handicapping (Secondary Gain)
In self-handicapping, the individual places himself at an apparent risk or disadvantage, but does so in a manner which makes the disadvantage an effective evasion of responsibility. The result is that being at risk actually becomes advantageous. The effect of the deception is more potent than their own interpersonal skills (Snyder, Higgins and Stucky, 1983). For example, the person who claims he cannot meet some obligation because of illness defers responsibility to a circumstance over which there is no control. The handicap must appear to be beyond the responsibility of the individual, but must eventually result in his favor. In false claims of criminal victimization, it is automatically assumed that claimants are at a disadvantage by virtue of being harmed. Their innocence (lack of responsibility) is assumed because of the presumed actions of others who exploited them. In some cases these individuals engage in an additional relinquishment of responsibility by claiming to have bene lost, intoxicated, frightened, confused, or otherwise incapable of preventing their victimization. By claiming to be the victim of a crime, an individual is thus able to manipulate a situation "beyond his control": to one in which he is awarded protected status. This status offers further protection by enlisting the support of people and causes which serve as advocates on behalf of victims of crime.
FALSE ALLEGATIONS AND
THE ADAPTATION CONTINUUM
The creation of a factitious crime to avoid personal responsibility for some act or failure represents a significant departure from how mature people normally deal with their problems. The extent to which false claims capitalize on actual events or to which they create entirely fictitious reports varies widely. There appears to be a continuum of factitious crimes which ranges from self-serving, distorted reports of actual events to completely false reports of assault or rape. In their most extreme manifestation, they can include the creation of bizarre scenarios supported by self-inflicted injuries and even self-mutilation. In some cases elaborate props are employed to support claims of intimidation, extortion or assault and may include the use of threatening letters or even messages written in blood. Although cases at the more extreme end of the continuum are relatively rare, it is likely that factitious claims of criminal victimization at the "normal" end of the continuum are much more frequent than is suspected. This is certainly the case with falsely claimed illnesses (Aduan et al, 1979; Carney and brown, 1983; Meadow, 1977; Haddy, Weber, and Joglekar, 1983). It is of interest to note that while information on false reporting by adults is virtually absent in the professional literature of criminal justice, it is a well recognized phenomenon in medical literature.
Severe cases of self-inflicted illness in which medical attention is sought have been termed "Munchausen's Syndrome" (Asher, 1951). The name derives from the central figure in a book of tall tales and fabulous adventures who was named after Hieronymous Karl Friederich, Frieherr von Munchausen, a retired soldier known for his generosity and graphic conversations with took the form of the "serious narration of palpable absurdities." The key to understanding Munchausen's Syndrome lies in awareness that the patient is trying to use hospitals and clinicians in the service of pathological psychological needs under the guise of seeking medical treatment for an ostensibly legitimate illness.
Munchausen's Syndrome is based on a preoccupation with manipulation. These patients appear to be compulsively driven to make their complaints. As Gowan has noted, "While he is aware he is acting an illness,...he cannot stop the act." Therefore, their reports may capitalize on circumstances and occur only occasionally, or they may be a well-developed means of adapting and be part of an extensive history (see Figure 1). The degree to which Munchausen's patients defend their claims is in direct proportion to their need to be seen as victims. Dramatic, extreme cases are not likely to confess to the hoax, and those who present such cases are prone to become enraged at the suggestion that their illnesses are anything but genuine (Nadelson, 1979; Pankratz, 1981).
In must the same way that Munchausen patients manipulate hospitals and doctors, fraudulent claims of rape can be interpreted as a form of manipulation directed at the criminal justice system. This kind of manipulation is conceptually similar to other kinds of behavior (malingering, hysterical conversion reactions and self-mutilization) which are well documented as medically achieved coping mechanisms (Ford, 1973). In Munchausen patients there is also a continuum, ranging from exaggerated claims of infirmity to actual self-induced illness (Grinker, 1961). At the extreme end of this continuum, life threatening injuries are masqueraded as being legitimately contracted (Carney, 1980; Carney and Brown, 1983). Even child abuse, disguised as natural illness, is suspected of being an under-recognized means of gaining attention (Hodge, et al, 1982; Kurandsky et al, 1979; Meadow, 1982,; Waller, 1983; and Vaisrub, 1978).
Although police officers and investigators are used to seeing people who have been harmed or injured by others, they are less accustomed to seeing those who have harmed themselves. When self-inflicted injuries support a claim of rape or assault, it is therefor "logical" to accept them at face value, at least initially. This is especially so in cases at the extreme end of the continuum where self-mutilation is apt to be especially convincing because it seems so unlikely that anyone would do such a thing to themselves. Where self-inflicted injuries are recognized as such and are either serious or appear to be very painful, it is understandable that police officers may look upon the victim as being mentally ill. Typically, however, even those who reinforce their claims with severe self-inflicted injuries are not insane. While these individuals may be psychiatrically impaired, they are not nor do they appear to be crazy.
At the lower end of the continuum of false rape allegations, the false complainant may simply misinterpret her own willing involvement in a sexual episode. In order to assuage subsequent feelings of guilt she may claim rape, even though she may realize the it is not in her best interests to permit a thorough investigation of her. As one proceeds along the continuum, false allegations of rape increase in both intensity and focus. At each point along the continuum the amount of violence the individual claims was used against her increases, and the presenting dynamics of the case becomes, like Baron Munchausen's fabulous tales, increasingly extraordinary. Keep in mind, however, the legitimate rapes can also incorporate some degree of distortion or fantasy. Because of this, many other aspects must be scrutinized. For example, physical evidence and patterns of injury are always vital aspects of rape cases and require their own careful analysis. Case data and physical evidence must be considered both independently and in combination to support or refute the allegation.
FALSE RAPE ALLEGATIONS: ILLUSTRATIVE CASES
The defense mechanisms previously described are illustrated in the case studies which follow. These cases also illustrate the movement of false allegations along a continuum of personal pathology. Each case presented below is a synopsis of an actual investigation, and each was determined to have been a false allegation as a result of incontrovertible physical evidence or because the individual admitted that the complaint was a hoax.
Case 1. An 18-year-old woman reported having been raped by a man who grabbed her as she left a disco. She later admitted that she had spent the evening drinking and dancing with the man, whom she had met for the first time that night. They left the disco together and subsequently had consenting intercourse. Later, she felt guilty about "having had intercourse with a stranger" and as a result claimed that she had been raped.
In this case, the young woman's sense of self-esteem was diminished by her belief that she was far too "easy." By rationalizing and self-handicapping (claiming to have been intoxicated and hence vulnerable), she convinced herself that she had been less willing than was actually the case. She concluded that she had been "taken advantage of," and by projecting blame onto her companion she was able to deflect a sense of shame by the face-saving explanation of having been raped.
Case 2. A 22-year-old female attended a party. While there she had consenting intercourse with her date. She admitted to being intoxicated at the time and subsequently began to feel ashamed because others at the party knew what she had done. She then decided to claim that she had been raped by her date.
In this case, the "victim's" sense of self-esteem was threatened by her perception of social pressure (the disapproval of her friends at the party). By claiming rape she was able to deny her own culpability and thereby avoid the disapproval of her peers. She did this by projecting blame to her partner. This is a classic case of denial evolving into self-handicapping. Her willingness to accuse her date of a major crime, however, represents a serious and unjust coping effort.
Case 3. A 21-year-old woman lost some money and a watch in a card game. She believed the game was rigged and that she had been tricked. Earlier in the evening she had engaged in consenting sex with one of the card players, but after losing her money and watch, decided to claim that she had been raped in order to get back at him.
In this instance, the claimants self-esteem was not diminished by having sex, but by being taken in through the trickery used during the card game. The loss of both money and possessions angered her, yet she was able to restore self-confidence in a kind of one-upmanship. She turned the tables on her partner and dealt him a hand he didn't expect.
Case 4. An 18-year-old female who was living as home with her parents reported to the police that she had been raped two weeks previously. Many of the elements of her story were illogical in structure and juvenile in content. When confronted with contradictory statements, when admitted that she was sexually active and had engaged in intercourse with a date. She came to believe her partner had a venereal disease and she reported being raped so she could be examined and treated "at the insistence of the authorities."
In this case, the young woman felt no particular shame because of her sexual activity. Her sense of self-respect was threatened by her fear that she might have contacted a social disease. Moreover, she wanted medical treatment without having to accept responsibility for having contracted the illness in the first place. Ironically, she did not have a venereal disease.
Case 5. A 22-year-old woman was having an affair with the husband of one of her friends. After an afternoon tryst she noticed "hickies" on her neck and breast. Knowing that her husband would see these marks and become suspicious, she claimed to have been raped by a man who broke into her house and overpowered her--even though she claimed to have offered spirited resistance.
The individual in this case was caught in the classic dilemma which confronts many people who have extramarital affairs: evidence of her conduct was suddenly clear and she needed to do something about it. Since it was impossible to hide the tell-tale signs from her husband, she needed a plausible explanation. By claiming to have been raped, she was able to deny responsibility, shifting blame to an anonymous offender who had "overcome her resistance."
In this case the victim became highly abusive toward the investigators when they drew attention to inconsistencies in her story. She demanded a polygraph examination, and when the result indicated she was practicing deception, she confessed that the "rape" was a hoax.
Case 6. A 25-year-old housewife reported receiving obscene phone calls and threatening letters which were either carefully lettered or made out of words cut from magazines and newspapers and pasted on a blank sheet (see photos #1 and #2). A short while later she reported being raped by an unidentified intruder who threatened to come back and kill her in a particularly brutal manner if she reported the rape to the authorities. She had numerous bruises and bit marks on her left breast. During the course of a subsequent polygraph examination she admitted to fabricating the entire series of events. She described how she had inflicted rope burns on her hands, bit her won breast, and ran face-first into a support post in her basement in order to acquire the injuries she though would support her claim of rape. She said her husband did not understand her or pay enough attention to her, and she wanted to "test his love."
This woman's self-esteem had been eroded over time by her insensitive and uncaring husband. By claiming to be the recipient of obscene phone calls and letters, and by claiming to have been raped, she was effectively making a desperate statement of her worth--both as a person and as a sexually desirable partner. Her willingness to engage in self-injurious behavior to support her claim underscores the seriousness of her emotional state.
Case 7. A 20-year-old woman entered a local hospital and claimed that she had been raped by one of five individuals who accosted her from an alley as she passed by. She claimed that t she passed out when the individuals grabbed her. When she regained consciousness she noted numerous scratches on her neck, breasts, and stomach (see photos #3 through #5). During the course of her interview, she admitted that the rape was a hoax. She said she scratched herself with her fingernails and washed the wounds with peroxide. She then reported the "rape."
This woman had a history of emotional problems which she felt increasingly powerless to control. Her decision to report being raped, and to inflict painful (but not serious) injuries represented a desperate effort to establish control in her life and to obtain concern and sympathy from others.
Case 8. A 27-year-old housewife was found lying on the ground in a dazed state in a wooded rea near her house. A threatening letter was found tucked in her panties. She claimed to have been assaulted, but not raped. She sustained a number of scratches and bruises but was not seriously injured. About a week later, she claimed to have been assaulted in her basement, resulting in serous lacerations (see photos #6 through #12). A message, written in her blood, informed her that she had been "warned."
This woman had been previously discharged from the armed forces for having made a false rape allegation which was accompanied by self-mutilation. She had a long history of hospital admissions for suspicious injuries and illnesses. She was experiencing serious marital and financial problems and was having difficulty in an evening college course. Her claim of rape and serious assault was an effort to deny the many difficulties which she faced. The allegation provided her with an opportunity to become a "legitimate" victim and to receive care, sympathy, and support which were otherwise missing in her life.
INDICATOR OF FALSE RAPE ALLEGATIONS
To better understand the dynamics of false rape allegations, the authors of this chapter carefully reviewed the results of 556 rape investigations (McDowell, 1983). Of this total, 220 were determined to have represented rape and 80 represented verified false allegations (the remaining 256 could not be conclusively verified as rapes, although they were ere thoroughly investigated and are currently carried as unsolved sex offenses). Consequently, about 25% of the claims were found to have been false. An analysis of these groups revealed common as well as distinctly separate characteristics. The differences between the two groups appear to be quite important in illustrating the characteristics of a false rape allegation.
The Victim-Offender Relationship
Approximately 75% of 220 rape victims studied by the authors were attacked by individuals whom they knew or which whom they were associated. Many of these rapes were assaults by friends, acquaintances, co-workers, associates, ore even relatives. In fact, this affiliation often created problems for the victim, inasmuch as she had to continue to face him (as well as mutual acquaintances during and after the legal proceedings. However, women who made false rape allegations generally indicated a substantially different degree of association with the offender. Approximately half the false complainants claimed they were raped by a total stranger and about one third claimed to have been raped by men who, although they were not strangers, were vaguely described as either "slight acquaintances" or as a "friend of a friend." The practical importance fo offering a vague description of the assailant is that the victim does not have to subsequently confront a specific offender.
By creating an essentially anonymous rapist, the pseudo-victim also effective absolves herself of any responsibility for a relationship with the offender, thus affirming her basic innocence. In addition, by claiming to have been raped by an unidentifiable person, she makes in impossible for the police to "successfully" resolve the case and thereby shifts responsibility from herself to the offender and ultimately to the police.
Force and Resistance
One of the striking features of rape is that its victims typically report being overwhelmed by fear. Resistance is generally minimal or even non-existent, and the actual force used by the rapist may not go beyond verbal threats. Of course, in the absence of an overt threat, the victim may assume the threats are implied.
Even though the rapist does not brandish weapons, strike or threaten her, she may well believe that she is in extreme danger. Invariably, rape victims are properly concerned about their safety. It is most understandable to conclude that submitting to rape may be the best alternative under the circumstances.
Women who make false allegations almost invariably claim to have been assaulted by a violent person who made his intentions clear. Yet, in the face of what they considered to be an extremely dangerous situation, false claimants normally claim to have fought with all of their ability. They typically report punching, kicking, and scratching their assailants until they are overpowered. Others support an inability to resist by claiming to have been raped by more than one person.
Occasionally they claim to have been subdued by one assailant while his accomplice consummated the rape. In other cases the individual claims the assailant was exceptionally big or powerful and were able to overcome her resistance with relative ease.
Nature of the Sexual Acts Performed
Although common law traditionally defines rape as an act involving sexual intercourse, the crime may also involve any number of other sexual acts. In approximately 20% of the 220 cases studied, women who were raped also reported acts other than or in addition to sexual intercourse. This figure should be interpreted with caution, however, as it is possible that some victims were reluctant to report other sex acts which they may have found humiliating or repulsive. On the other hand, women who made false allegations tended to indicate far fewer sex acts other than intercourse. They specifically underreported being force to commit felliatio or being subjected to anal violation. Interestingly, when a false victim reported either fellatio or anally intercourse it was determined that such acts had taken place, but as part of a consenting experience which was subsequently masqueraded as a rape.
Apparently, the report of rape was not typically seen by false claimants as requiring collateral reports of oral or anal sex--unless such acts were a component of the person's sexual repertoire. Thus, the typical false claim of rape was found to be narrow in its construction and seldom include much more than allegations of penile penetration and the manual manipulation of breasts or genitalia. This consistency may arise from the fact that a false allegation does not require forced anal or oral sex to support the claim. Therefore, if a person finds such acts personally repugnant, it is not necessary to debase self-esteem by claiming to have been subjected to them. Just as important, this under describing of the assault may be another manifestation of the false claimant's naivete as to what actually occurs in these crimes.
Recall of Details of the Rape
Actual rape victims are invariably able to provide detailed descriptions of the rape, including the nature and sequence of the sexual acts performed and whether or not the rapist experienced an orgasm. Although the description of the rape may evoke considerable emotion as it is recounted, the rape victim is almost always able, if willing, to provide such a description.
By contrast, women who make false allegations typically do not provide clear descriptions of what happened. They frequently report that they had their eyes closed at the time, that they "passed out" and do not recall the penetration, or that they cannot recall the specifics of the actual sex act itself.
Conversely, in the extreme, false complainants may provide emotionless but exquisitely detailed descriptions of the event, and may seem to take pleasure in doing so.
It is because of these extremes (under-reporting or over-reporting) that false claims differ from valid reports.
A word of caution, however, is in order. Actual rape victims may also provide an emotionless description of what happened. This reflects a "sealing over," a method by which the victim disassociates herself from the unacceptable experiences to which she was subjected. When this occurs however, the retelling does not convey the kind of satisfaction that is sensed in the descriptions provided by those who give detailed false allegations.
For the rape victim, recounting the rape may be embarrassing and emotionally unpleasant, but it is basically a recitation of what occurred. The woman making a false complaint is in a different situation. She must either "invent" the acts she alleges, or she must convert a consenting sexual experience into a "rape." In so doing she finds herself in a culturally anomalous situation.
In our society, women are not encouraged to discuss their sexual behavior with others---especially strangers (e.g., police officers). Reporting a false rape places the woman in just that circumstance. Unable to objectively recount something that wa done other, she becomes either vague and evasive, or completely crosses the cultural barrier and becomes overly descriptive. Either way she is sure to get the attention she wanted.
In approximately one third of the 220 rapes studied, some form of actual violence was used against the victim. In most instances this amounted to hitting or slapping the victim; knocking her to the ground, or forcibly tearing off her clothes. In about thirteen percent of these cases, extreme violence was used, as the following cases illustrate.
Case 9. Victim was awakened at her residence by a co-worker and was told she was needed at her workplace, and that he had been sent to provide her with transportation. She went with him and was abducted. He curse cursed and beat bear her and told her he was going to kill her. He attempted to strangle her with her shirt, burned her breasts with cigarettes, punched and slapped her. She was repeatedly raped and subjected to multiple forms of sexual abuse during which she was continuously beaten and threatened. The attack lasted several hours. He finally agreed not to kill her if she promised not to tell anyone what had happened.
Case 10. Victim, a 26-year-old housewife put her children to bed one evening while her husband was at work. Afterwards, she sat down on a couch where she fell asleep. She awoke to find the offender standing over her. He grabbed her, beat her viciously in the face, ripped off her clothing and screamed at her using lewd and abusive language, threatening to kill or mutilate both her and her children. He raped her and performed sodomy in a very violent fashion.
Rape victims who are physically assaulted (beyond the rape itself) often sustain serious injuries, including broken bones, the loss of teeth, mutilation of the genitalia and breasts, and internal injuries. Indeed, some rape victims are murdered during the assault. False complainants do not usually present serious physical injuries; however, as one moves along the continuum of personal pathology, the amount of self-inflicted harm can increase (see cases 6 and 8). However, self-inflicted injuries are typically different from those which result from actual sexual assaults.
There are at least two characteristics of false rape allegations involving injury which will be of interest to the investigator. the first involves the wounds themselves, and the second concerns the victim's reaction to her injuries. False victim who self-injure may present a wide array of wounds. None the less, they almost never injure extremely sensitive organs or tissues, such as the eyes, nipples, lips, or genitalia. Self-inflicted injuries are typically caused by scratching with fingernails or by cutting with a razor or other sharp instrument (see case 8). Consequently, the wounds are located on parts of the body available to arm's reach. Thus, the angle of these wounds tends to reflect arcs described by the movement ability of the person's arm or hands. This is particularly noticeable in cuts or scratches on the sides, front, and lower back of the torso (see photos 3, 4, and 5). Although these wounds may range form minor scratches to life-threatening lacerations or punctures, they usually appear more severe than they really are. They are inflicted for the purpose of supporting the individual's claim. Premeditation includes care to insure that the wounds appear compelling. This often reflects a sophisticated understanding of anatomy (i.e., major arteries or tendons are avoid and the likelihood of permanent disfigurement is minimal).
The second characteristic is that false victims who self-mutilate tend to be largely indifferent to their wounds. They accept the injuries with a degree of equanimity not found in people who sustain similar injuries (Marcus, 1981; Ross and McKay, 1979). This syndrome is often referred to as the "la belle indifference".
This feature is noticeable in diminished or absent concern over injuries, although general anxiety about the incident may be present (Freedman, et al, 1975). Panken hypothesizes that this lack of pain serves at least two purposes. First, the injury is the source of attention--a mechanism for obtaining the interest of others.
Second, because the wound is self-inflicted, it is a form of punishment for guilt associated with being unable to otherwise persevere.
In combination, these are masochistic acts which alleviate anxiety and serve as a form of self-directed retribution for the individual's perceived inadequacy. The result is a dramatic opportunity to further avoid responsibility by projecting blame to an amorphous assailant and relying on others to resolve the difficulty. Hence, the injury is operationally so satisfying that its physical discomfort is underperceived. (1983)
SUSPECTED FALSE RAPE ALLEGATIONS
The key to any successful criminal investigation lies in knowing both what to investigate and the construction of a logical sequence of the investigative procedures (Kirk, 1974; O'Hara, 1977). At the point in a rape investigation the allegation itself becomes suspect, effort should focus on the validity of the claim. This redirection of attention necessarily involves many investigative elements that are also required in identifying a rapist, but economically confirms if such a quest is unwarranted. Validating allegations, therefore may be helpful in the timely resolution of false rape complaints.
The information presented in the preceding sections discusses many of the key distinctions between actual and false rape allegations, and suggests the investigative considerations which follow.
It is extremely important to remember that no single element is diagnostic; it is the combination of these factors which suggests the likelihood that an allegation is false. The cues to identify have been grouped by their logical relationships.
The Initial Complaint
The manner in which a rape allegation comes to the attention of law enforcement authorities is very significant. Variables frequently associated with reports of false allegations include the following:
-- Complaint is not timely and is made to friends, associates, or to a hospital or medical
authorities in order to justify tests for pregnancy or venereal disease.
-- Victim is indifferent to apparent injuries.
-- Victim relates the incident either in a monotone or
with excessive zeal and relish.
Nature of the Allegation
The concept of rape is deceptively simple, and women who make false allegations often structure their complaints in a fashion that seems to meet the "requirements" of rape but which ignore its reality. Allegations which contain unusual elements (either because of the simplicity, complexity, or rarity) thereby may decrease their credibility and invite suspicion.
-- Victim states she cannot describe her assailant because she kept her eyes closed.
-- Victim alleges she was assaulted by more than one person.
-- Victim claims she offered vigorous resistance but was forcibly overcome.
-- Assailant was a total stranger or a person she cannot otherwise describe or identify (e.g. a friend of a friend but she cannot describe him).
-- Victim claims she also receive threatening notes or phone calls prior to or after the assault.
-- Victim claims rapist did not perform oral or anal sex.
Law enforcement authorities correctly place a high priority on physical evidence which supports an allegation. Evidence is especially important in rape cases, and false allegations tend to provide numerous evidentiary cues for the investigator. It is in fact the consistency or inconsistency of these data that is often strongest in the validation process. The absence of evidence is obviously also important.
-- Victim cannot recall exactly where the crime took place even though she should have been able to.
-- Crime scene does not support story (i.e., ground cover not disturbed; no footprints where there should be some; no signs of struggle when there should logically be present).
-- Damage to her clothing is inconsistent with any injuries she reports (bites., cuts or scratches inconsistent with tears or cuts clothing or no damage to clothing when there should have been).
-- Victim present letters allegedly from rapist in which death or rape threats are made.
-- Absence of confirming serological evidence.
The nature of the individuals' injuries can tell a great deal about what did nor did not happen. Women who make false rape allegations and attempt to support them with injuries tend to present a consistent picture as the cues suggested below indicates:
-- Injuries made either by fingernails or by a sharp instrument (usually not found at the scene).
-- Injuries are extensive but do not involve sensitive tissues (i.e., lips, nipples, genitals, etc).
-- Victim reports seemingly painful injuries with an air of indifference.
-- Victim's statement alleges wounds were incurred while she attempted to protect herself, yet the location and angle of injury in inconsistent with defense wounds.
-- Hesitation marks are present.
Personality and Lifestyle Consideration
In false rape allegations, extensive and important information on the complainant is often available. In general, this information suggest that the victim has experienced numerous personal problems in her life and that her ability to cope is impaired:
-- She is having difficulty in her personal relationships (e.g., with her husband, boyfriend, or parents).
-- Victim has history of mental or emotional problems (particularly referencing self- injurious behavior, with hysterical or borderline features).
-- Victim has previous record of having been assaulted or raped under similar circumstances.
-- Crime occurred after a similar crime received publicity. (Suggesting modeling, or "copycat" motive in which the similarity to the publicized crime offers credibility.)
-- Victim has extensive record of medical care for dramatic illnesses or injuries.
-- Victim becomes outraged when asked to corroborate her victimization.
HOW TO DEAL WITH FALSE RAPE VICTIMS
Obviously, meeting with the victim to discuss concerns which develop should occur only when doubts raised during investigation outweigh information that support the allegation. Confronting a person suspected of making a false rape complaint is always a difficult matter. The critical issue is that if the doubts are incorrect, a confrontation is also likely to destroy the relationship developed with the victim, resulting in her estrangement from the investigation. Certainly if the claim were true, any doubt by the case investigator would compound the victim's trauma.
Fortunately, there is an effective way to handle this challenge to the victim's credibility without sacrificing her capacity to maintain rapport with authorities.
The principle investigator needs to be available to the person alleging rape and should maintain a non-judgmental relationship with her. It would be counterproductive for this person to raise doubts as to the veracity of her report. Issues regarding inconsistencies, conflicts or the lack of supporting date should be made by an investigative supervisor. In this way the most important relationship is the one she shares with the key investigator, and that rapport is maintained.
The supervisor's style of confrontation needs to be supportive. This is because false allegations are made to protect self-esteem, harsh challenges to credibility are only likely to increase the need to defend.
It is simply more effective to present the information which raises doubt calmly and without judgement. In so doing, the confrontation arises from investigative results which are derived from what the victim herself has provided. this decreases personal conflict while communicating that investigators have been thorough and objective. It also allows for further explanation should the victim correctly insist that her claim is true.
The framework for the supervisor's presentation should detail investigative progress addressing those elements, which of their own merit, challenge the allegation. This is often made easier by mentioning how"understandable it is" that the sequence of events developed as they have, adding that this occurs much more frequently than she might realize. After all, false claims are never publicized because they are understandable signs of great distress; it would be irresponsible to add to what was already a crisis. Yet police have the need, indeed the right, to know what actually did or did not happen, because they have the duty to protect the community. Certainly, the false claimant also want to see herself as a responsible person and"now is the time to be responsible."
The reactions of factitious victims to this approach vary. At the low end of the adaptation continuum there is usually an emotional confession, mixed with both despair and relief. the amount of energy required to maintain their story has been exhausting. Yet this is a time for these people to seek solace an forgiveness, hence they tend to be compliant. Exaggerators and malingerers often provide great detail as to how and why they masqueraded as a rape victim. those who adhere to this statement in the face of overwhelming contradictory evidence may be more disclosing after a polygraph examination is offered in good faith.
At the extreme upper end of the adaptation continuum claimant's distortions have been internalized; they need to believe what they say because they are terrified of losing control. Consequently, their denial is intensified no matter how the confrontation is handled. They predictably react with outrage. To limit the potential for severe protest, the families of these individuals can sometimes be taken aside just before the individual is confronted. Yet, because of the disordered life these extreme manipulators maintain they are often estranged from their families. Nonetheless, if the family recognizes the real needs of the false claimant, they may be better able to tend, and help in implementing mental health intervention when that is indicated.
False allegations of rape are frequently not recognized as such by investigators and are almost totally neglected in the professional literature. The reason for this seems obvious, these are acts which ar designed to appear plausible. The key to understanding false allegations lies in determining how the false allegation "helps" the claimant manipulate, control, or recoup. Therefore, it is the context in which the allegation occurs that provides the framework for understanding the dynamics of the case. It is also important to remember that many of the defense mechanisms used in false allegations may also be found in genuine rapes. A final word of caution: even those who are emotionally prone to make a false allegation can be raped. Basic principles of police professionalism require that officers who investigate rapes remain objective and compassionate, otherwise the veracity of an allegation may never be known.
FALSE MEMORY SYNDROME
You're a father who has worked hard all his life to support your family. You're five years into your retirement and your golden years are feeling pretty good.
One of your daughters you were never that close to. Of course, you loved her and always provided, but you had other children so you couldn't focus all your attention on this one daughter.
You're a grandfather now and all your children seem well adjusted and happy.
Then one day police show up at your door. You're to be questioned on accusations of child abuse of your daughter twenty years earlier.
It seems that your daughter entered psychotherapy and has come to the conclusion that her unsatisfied and unfulfilled life is your fault. You sexually molested her for years and the pain was so great this abuse was suppressed all these years, says the psychotherapist.
Your family is shocked. No one had a clue. The police want answers.
Soon you're in front of a jury. How could you have done such a thing to your own daughter? How in God's name could it have gone so undetected so many years ago?
The reason the abuse went undetected is because it never happened. You're a victim of False Memory Syndrome. This is little comfort to you, though. Your reputation is ruined and you may end up in prison an innocent man.
An article by Gayle Hanse, "Total Recall versus Tricks of the Mind," in May 1993 Insight magazine describes this new phenomenon:
Families are being torn apart as adult children suddenly appear to recall childhood sexual abuse. Yet there is an eerie similarity among these cases. Nearly all the accusers are white, college-educated women in their 38's and 40's and in virtually every case the memory of an alleged sexual abuse occurs only after psychotherapy. Are the shrinks to blame?
False Memory Syndrome (FMS) refers to a particular kind of false or questionable accusation. It describes sexual misconduct which presumably occurred many years earlier in the victim's childhood. It was so traumatic that it was repressed, so deeply that only extensive psychotherapy could bring it once more to the surface. At that point the patient not only strives to deal with this newly exposed reality, but also, in many cases, levels a stunning accusation against the alleged perpetrator. The most famous of these was made by [television actress] Roseanne Arnold against her father. [All family members have denied the truthfulness of the wild accusations.]
As a circular from the FMS Foundation states, "False accusations are tearing families apart." What is particularly disturbing about this trend is that most, 80%, of these families are single marriage, intact families. The often sensationalized reports of recalled atrocities have also tended to increase the popular suspicion about presumably normal or traditional families. Behind the Norman Rockwell cover, presumably, lurk scenes of sexual horror.
In "Defending Parents From Ugly Charges" Lucia Herndon says this about this new and improved effort to railroad innocent men into prison by the "sex-crime witch hunters":
A group of young people met recently in a pleasant family room in a suburban house. "How ironic", I thought, "meeting in a family room to hear tales of families torn apart."
The group was made up of people whose siblings have accused the parents of incest--a crime that the parents hotly deny. The group members had gathered to find ways to support one another and their parents in the face of these ugly accusations.
Their stories were disturbingly similar--and nearly always involved women. A sister undergoes therapy for depression or some other emotional disorder. She announces that she remembers instances of childhood incest. She then wants her parents to confess to the abuse and she wants other family members to admit that they were aware of the situation. If that doesn't happen, she may very well cut off contact with the entire family.
Devastating to parents, yes. But equally devastating to those siblings who question the allegations. They are the peers, the ones left to sort through the situation from ground level. Initially, the stories sound authentic because they are recounted with such sincerity. But one woman said that when she questioned her sister, she discovered that the sister's accusations failed to hang together. The sister told of being abused as a two-year-old, but gave the location of the abuse as a house the family moved to years later.
A high school student said her older sister's revelation initially made her fearful of her father. "I couldn't believe it was true," she said, "But my sister seemed so sure it happened. After she told me, I didn't want to see my father. It took me a while to realize that it wasn't true. My sister nearly wrecked my relationship with my parents." Others told of their sisters trying to convince them that they, too, had been incest victims but were in a stage of deep denial.
"For a while you ask yourself, 'Did this happen to me and I forgot it?'" said one woman. "But I realize now that our sister basically has written a play and has assigned us roles. I'm supposed to be the repressed victim. My parents are the bad guys."
The question these family members ask is not whether the incest occurred--they, finally, do not believe that it did. But they do wonder how these "memories" suddenly materialized. Some think the answer lies in over-eager therapists who plant the notion of abuse that an emotionally unstable patient then believes actually happened.
"We're not denying that incest and sexual abuse does occur," said Pamela Freyd, executive director of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, a Philadelphia-based organization of parents whose children have accused them of sexual abuse. "But we question charges that surface in a particular situation; one where adults have spent their entire lives with no memory of these incidents. When they get into therapy, these memories suddenly appear. We ask the therapists to use extreme caution, especially if they are using hypnosis to tap these so-called memories, and [we ask that] every attempt be made to verify the charges."
Patricia Dice, a family therapist who attended the recent meeting, said she has dealt with many cases of childhood sexual abuse. But in those cases, the victims never forget the episodes. The memory does not fade away, only to return decades later.
Since its inception in March 1992, the False Memory Syndrome Foundation has been contacted by 1,200 family members across the country who have been accused of incest [14 months].
"Parents are understandably upset," said Freyd, "But the siblings also suffer." One result frequently is alienation, and not only of the accuser. Family members have missed graduations, weddings, and other gatherings because of the rift caused by the accusation--especially if the siblings are divided about which people they believe. One woman said that her sister accused their father not only of years of incest but also of the ritualistic killing of the family dog in the bathroom.
"It is very clear to me that none of these things happened," said the woman, "but what is true is that my sister believes it happened and has pulled away from the family because none of us believe it. I was close to my sister, but now I rarely see her."
Freyd said that incidents such as this are why her organization is "hard at work to put some restraints on this. The memories tend to get more and more bizarre. They move on from sexual abuse into satanic rituals...it's not that bizarre things don't happen, but the pattern of these memories ought to make therapists stop and say, 'Wait a minute'."
Efforts to reason often fail. "I tried to talk to my daughter about her accusations" of father-daughter incest, said one woman. The daughter's therapist nixed the conversation. The mother continued: "I asked her to let me talk to her therapist, but she refused to give me the name. There is no way we can get to the bottom of this." One sibling blamed unscrupulous therapists for nurturing the type of accusation.
"They pick on upper-middle-class women," she said. "Those are the women who have the money for therapy. You won't find poor people making these kinds of charges. And you won't find therapists going to the ghetto to look for patients. There's no money there."
"Research has shown how easy it is to influence memory," Freyd said. "I think that most of the therapists involved are sincere, caring people who are concerned about their patients. But there is a tragic lack of understanding about the nature of memory." There was a lot of heartache expressed at the meeting. Yet these participants seemed to feel they need to try to maintain a relationship with their sisters. It was hard for me to believe that they could continue the effort, especially when they often were rebuffed.
"They can maintain a life line to their sister," Patricia Dice said. "They can keep the lines of communication open. A place should remain for that missing family member should they want to return. Often a sibling can ensure that that space is available." "Even though it's upsetting for me, I try to keep in touch with her," said one woman. I would like my sister back."
As you can see, long forgotten memories of childhood sexual abuse can destroy a family, even when no evidence of any wrong doings can be found. Be it an emotionally unstable woman who suddenly "remembers" childhood abuse, or unscrupulous therapists trying to milk money out of wealthy unsuspecting women, something is seriously wrong with these allegations. False Memory Syndrome appears to be a new symptom in the growing false accusations of rape hysteria. If you or a member of your family is being falsely accused, you are not alone. Learn all you can about this new phenomenon. For help contact:
False Memory Syndrome Foundation
3401 Market Street, Suite 130
Philadelphia, PA 19104
phone (215) 387-1865 or (800) 568-8882
You may also wish to contact Dr. John Kihlstrom who is an expert on this subject:
Dr. John Kihlstrom
Amnesia & Cognition Unit, Department of Psychology
University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona 85721
Imagine you're a producer of a smash hit television show. One of your wardrobe assistants, a 30-year-old woman, is a slacker. She sneaks off during work and takes naps, spends hours in the bathroom primping, and was constantly late for work, when she shows up at all. You, the producer, do the logical thing. You fire this incompetent and order her off the set.
Several days later after completely forgetting about the fired employee your lawyer contacts you. The woman you fired has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit--not against you, but against the star of your show--a 16-year-old boy! this woman claimed she couldn't do her job because the 16-year-old star of the show kept asking her out for a date and tried to hold her hand on several occasions. Now, at great expense, you have to hire lawyers to contest this obvious extortion attempt.
A few years ago this lawsuit would have been seen for what it is: a fraud, a disgruntled employee fired because she didn't do her job, now seeking revenge and trying to make a couple bucks while she's at it. But this is the '90's and sexual harassment charges are everywhere. It's the new fad in Hollywood and must be taken seriously. This woman has no evidence, but none is needed. Your set was once a family-like atmosphere with nothing but trust. Now you have to order that no one is to hug or kiss anyone because it might be seen as sexual harassment. It's really sad, you think, that one obviously deranged woman could destroy the morale of your entire set, but you must take action. Sexual harassment charges are everywhere in Hollywood and your fellow producers are being milked dry with extortion attempts of sexual harassment. This is exactly what happened on the set of the ABC sitcom, "The Wonder Years" as described by People magazine on April, 5, 1993 in their article, "A Ploy Named Sue."
Unlike false allegations of rape, men faced with false sexual harassment charges rarely go to prison. Yet these charges have become so vague that every man and his business has become a potential victim to sexual harassment charges.
The motives in false allegations mirror those of false reports of rape--revenge, mental illness, hysteria, man-hating, and so on, but with sexual harassment charges the accusation always includes a lawsuit for money. Money is the root to all sexual harassment charges, not some far fetched notion of ending harassment of women. This is why I have included this chapter. The exploding false charges of sexual harassment is another symptom of the war on men and manhood.
Attorneys are even advertising for "victims" of sexual harassers promising big financial rewards from "damages." It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the profits in sexual harassment charges has become big business. What's next? Advertisements for date rape victims and former child abuse victims! Radical feminists now have "sexual harassment" hysteria, along with rape hysteria to use in their war against men. Man-haters now wish to re-educate the public on sexual harassment and to them every man is a sexual harasser with nothing but contempt for women.
Here Alan Dershowitz describes the vagueness of sexual harassment and how every man is views as a predator, in his "Justice" column for Penthouse magazine, April 1993:
The latest back-door assault on freedom of speech by some radical feminists has taken the form of an expanded definition of "sexual harassment." At its core, sexual harassment prohibits a person in an hierarchically superior position (for example, a boss or teacher) from exploiting that position to coerce sexual favors from an unwilling subordinate (for example, an employee or student). Limited to that core, rules against sexual harassment make good sense and should be vigorously enforced.
But now efforts are under way to broaden the definition to include constitutionally protected speech. For example, one proposed formulation of the new sexual harassment would cover "verbal conduct of a sexual nature which has the purpose of effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment." This so-called hostile-environment addendum to sexual harassment has virtually nothing to do with the core offense. It is an entirely different concept, and it threatens freedom of expression as well as the equal protection of the law.
Lest these concerns seem fanciful, let me relate to you a recent experience at Harvard Law School, where I teach. A group of feminists in my criminal law class threatened hostile-environment charges against me because of the way in which I teach the law of rape. They found the atmosphere of my classroom hostile because I spent two days discussing false reports of rape and because I made arguments in favor of disclosing the names of complaining witnesses in rape cases. Despite the fact that the vast majority of students wanted to hear all sides of the important issues surrounding the law of rape, a small minority tried to use the law of sexual harassment as a tool of censorship.
Although the students in my class eventually decided against bringing the charges, the fact that it is even thinkable at a major university that controversial teaching techniques might constitute hostile-environment sexual harassment demonstrates the dangers of this expandable concept.
The hostile-environment angle also gives special power to women that is not available to others who may be the subjects of discrimination. consider this scenario: A factory owned by bigots has reluctantly added several women, blacks, Latinos, and Jews to what was previous an all-male, all-white, All-Christian work force. In a deliberate effort to encourage these newcomers to quit, the owners place offensive signs throughout the factory. These signs are sexist, racist, and anti-Semitic. Under the hostile-environment subcategory of sexual harassment, only the offended women would have the right to sue, because they have been "sexually harassed," while the others have just been deliberately offended. That is simply not fair. If the law seeks to prohibit hostile environments in general, it ought to do so as part of an across-the-board regulation, and ot as a subcategory of sexual harassment.
And accusation of sexual harassment is an extremely serious charge that should be reserved only for cases at the core. By extending the core concept to include verbal conduct that has nothing to do with sexual favors, radical feminists are trivializing real sexual harassment, and creating an unnecessary conflict between protecting vulnerable women from unwanted sex and the important protections of our Constitution.
We all remember the hoopla of the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas sexual harassment scandal. to say the Anita Hill made her claims against Judge Clarence Thomas to bring the sexual harassment "cause" out of the closet and to help women everywhere is a farce. Anita Hill charged Clarence Thomas for her own selfish reasons. Her motive was easy to see. To gain the publicity that accusing a prominent man would bring her. Her plan worked like a charm. She quickly became feminist's victim darling. She was even voted Woman Of The Year! Again the media played to the hype of the self serving Anita Hill. No one in the press dared suggest that Clarence Thomas could, in fact, be innocent.
Another recent sex scandal has been the Tailhook sexual harassment charges that have recently rocked the defense department. As with the Anita Hill Hoax, no evidence is needed to have millions of dollars wasted in investigations of supposed mistreatment. And let us not forget the fine careers being ruined by these "claims." Here's what The Liberator has to say about the Tailhook scandal in its July 1993 issue in an article titled, "Our Moral Superiors."
Tailhook lives on as both a scandal and an opportunity. The event was scandalous enough, a classic wild party, which, according to the Defense Department, resulted in assaults on 83 women and seven men. In its wake is an ever-growing casualty list of wrecked careers. A Secretary of the Navy and several high-ranking admirals have already lost their jobs. Now 140 more naval officers, some with brilliant records and one-promising futures, face punishment.
But Tailhook will live longer as an opportunity, an event out of which feminists will make political capital well into the next millennium.
One sample is provided by "moderate" feminist Ellen Goodman, whose recent expression of outrage enabled her to assault traditional institutions headed by men.1 She cited not only the men of Tailhook but a Catholic priest convicted for child molestation and a New York State judge convicted for extortion. Her point: these men, supposedly the best and the brightest, expose the hollowness of the institutions they represent.
Then she uses a phrase I heard previously only from radical ideologies. She called the male tradition of duty and service to women a "protection racket," a scam by which men used their protector role to exploit the women they presumably protect.
There's more to be said about her argument and I'll get back to it later. At this point I want to refer you to a part of the Tailhook investigation that has received relatively little media attention.
One newsmagazine said that the Defense Department report "reveals that a surprising number of women, not all of them prostitutes or strippers, consented to the raucous activity.
Some displayed their breasts or grabbed men in the crotch; others dropped their clothes or pulled up their dresses to allow men to shave their legs at several `free leg shaving' sites."2
This small paragraph makes a big point: that, except for gays, men can't have wild sexual parties without cooperative women. That if "women" refused to have anything to do with priapic men, refused to go to their parties, refused to date them, refused to take their money and gifts, refused to get into bed with them, "men" could not misbehave sexually.
The Defense Department report, for example, mentions couples copulating "in their rooms, in the pool area and even near the tennis courts in full view of spectators.
Strippers stripped, then performed sex acts as aviators watched." Could any of this have happened without "women?" Saying as much does not deny that some men do in fact impose themselves on emphatically unwilling women and that some women, including several Navy women at the Tailhook Convention, may find themselves at parties they had no idea would get out of hand. But it does reveal one simple way for "women" to protect themselves from "men" at wild parties. DON'T GO.
1 Ellen Goodman, "Special Warriors, Special Damage," San Jose Mercury April 30, 1993.
2 "Many Officers, Not Many Gentlemen," U. S. News and World Report, May 3, 1993, page 44.
And also from The Liberator, an article, "San Francisco's Soap Opera" from May 1993:
In "Baghdad by the Bay" a sexual harassment scandal has kept the media busy. It has involved an attractive policewoman, her attractive boyfriend who is also a SF Supervisor, and the SF Police Chief, a Kojack lookalike. Seems the boyfriend may have exerted political pressure to get the girlfriend a cush job as press secretary for the police chief, who, she alleges, then sexually harassed her with unwanted hugs and kisses.
The charges almost cost the police chief his job, but the revelations of political intrigue and the fact that the policewoman twice failed a lie detector test caused the authorities to let everyone off with a scolding. The lady has been transferred to a district station; her boyfriend has issued an apology;and the chief continues his duties with a tarnished public image.
The thing is still brewing. The policewoman swears she will continue to press charges with the EEOC. But her credibility is now very much in doubt.
All of this has, of course, been very closely monitored by San Francisco's influential feminist lobby. And what is their concern? It is not that false charges might have damaged the reputation of a high public official. It is that false charges might have damaged the reputation of the sexual harassment campaign.
The same reaction occurred, you may recall, when a woman recanted her rape accusation against Gary Dotson, who had already spent years in prison. What concerned feminists at the time was whether the case would hurt their rape crisis campaign. Damage control efforts were so intensive that one weekly news magazine put out a lengthy cover story that reinforced feminist policy: that rape was a ubiquitous atrocity and that women never--well, almost never--lied about it.
All this confirms the suspicion that militant feminists have little concern for victims of false accusation. These men do not exist because, in their world view, they cannot exist. Which is why Will Hetherington [a SAFAR member] remains, in spite of some media attention, essentially an invisible man.
The way these men have been dismissed as necessary casualties in a higher struggle shows something about feminist ideology and strategy and power hunger. It show us nothing about their alleged moral superiority.
And again from The Liberator, June 1993, "Skepticism About Female Sexual Purity."
However, some people retain strong doubts about automatic female innocence in sexual encounters. Many of them are women themselves. Take for example Suzanne Fields, who recently commented on the U. of Virginia Code. Here's part of what she said:
"Women students today can't have it all--a sense of independence, personal responsibility, rights to privacy--and then run to big Daddy to punish the professor when a romance sours...
"In this age of harassment awareness, a professor with any `sexual smarts' is wary of the woman who says `I'll do anything for an A.' Women are not always the victims. Ever since Eve led Adam from the Garden of Eden, women have known how to lead a man, even a professor from the cocoon of the ivy towers, by book or by crook to just where she wants him."
Several years earlier, Phyllis Schlafly, testifying against pioneer sexual harassment legislation, said that women bear some responsibility for controlling the sexual temperature in bi-gender environments. She said that women can deploy preemptive measures that send clear signals to men still in the thinking and wishing stage of a sexual move.
And Camille Paglia is going around the country telling women what they can do after a guy makes an unacceptable move. Camille says the response should be one on one, my face in your face, here and now without literally making it a federal case.
Fields and Schlafly and Paglia and every other woman knows that such measures won't work on some men. But they know enough about men...and about women...to know, as Suzanne Fields puts it, that "the victims are not always the women."
We can easily see that the motives in sexual harassment charges are many and the victims are not always women. Cold cash appears to be the motive in many sexual harassment hoaxes. So why doesn't the media expose the sexual harassment fad for what it truly is?
Charles Geshsekter, Professor of History at California State University, Chico compares the sexual harassment hysteria to the Salem witch hunts of long ago in his article, "Witches, Satanists, and Sexual Harassers":
Sexual harassment vigilantes returning social tensions into a moral panic.
Anti-harassment groups resemble people who hunt witches or believe in satanic conspiracies. They demand action against a threat that looms everywhere. As guardians of public virtue, they are ready to reconfigure evidence and ignore all presumption of innocence.
Take the case of Allan Mandelstamm, a middle-aged, pear-shaped professor of economics at Virginia Tech who sometimes used sexually-oriented jokes to explain abstract principles. Students loved his self-deprecating style and rated him their outstanding professor.
In 1986, three women (out of 500 students) charged Mandelstamm with sexual harassment, complaining that his "offensive" jokes caused them "discomfort." Their charges were dismissed. But university officials delayed Mandelstamm's pay increases and badgered him to change his teaching methods, although students expressly asked him not to. Tech officials never relented. In 1990, dejected and beleaguered, the popular professor retired after sixteen years of teaching.
Modern witch hunts date from the 16th century when churchmen turned customs like muttering spells or using herbal medicines into the mental "crime" of witchcraft. Their guidebooks proved the witches' handiwork was everywhere.
If your house burned down, cattle died, or milk spoiled, then witches caused it. Children were taught by their parents to report "offensive" comments uttered by suspicious, disliked neighbors. With unimpeachable gifts of detection, with-finders blamed the devil's work for any "discomfort" from toothaches to miscarriages.
When courts admitted "spectral" evidence (visible only to the accuser) and allowed torture to obtain confessions, the witch hunts intensified. With few legal restraints applied to the accusers, it was impossible to "prove" innocence. An accused witch was a convicted witch in most cases. Once torture and spectral evidence was declared inadmissible, the witch craze was over.
Witch hysteria reflected the collapse of medieval society and uncertainty about the future. Panicky people longed for social stability in an "age of melancholy." The witch hunt became a community campaign to restor order be identifying scapegoats.
In our current "age of anxiety," people who take advantage of their authority by pressuring subordinates for sex must be dealt with severely. Sexual harassment is a real problem but how extensive is it?
The latest rash of sexual harassment accusations recalls the 1980s paranoia when social workers and fundamentalists fantasized a Satanist conspiracy that abused children. Legitimate concerns for children's safety became an unquestioning, unsubstantiated belief in underground networks of kidnappers, child pornographers, and devil worshippers.
Overzealous policemen, evangelists and feminists exploited working parents worried about inadequate childcare facilities. Gossip and rumor were manufactured into the "facts." Child protection advocates insisted that everyone uncritically "believe the children." Coaxed by anxious parents, afflicted children "remembered" fictitious incidents of ritual abuse. Many times the presumed-guilty suspect was uncomfortably close--the adversary in a divorce or child custody dispute.
Evangelism posed as criminology. Satanist hunters like Patricia Pulling of Richmond and Faye Yaeger of Atlanta created a cottage industry of fear that clouded the trail of real abusers and hurt innocent people. When Maryland investigators found no trace of alleged satanic rituals, Baltimore policeman Donald Thompson was not surprised: "a true Satanic cult skillfully covers things up." In other words, no evidence is evidence.
In a 1989 sexual abuse case, San Diego Deputy Counsel Jane Via ignored compelling proof of innocence, claiming "just because we can't find evidence that this man molested that child doesn't mean that he is not guilty."
Sexual harassment now covers a kaleidoscope of behavior from leers or sexual jokes to blocking one's path or standing too close. National expert Dr. Bernice Sanders agrees that "sexual harassment is in the eye of the beholder."
This elastic definition perpetrates an essentially Victorian view of women that denies them responsibility and paints them as innocent victims. Investigators find sexual misconduct so pervasive that nothing is beyond scrutiny. They will discover exactly what their sexual conduct codes ("detection manuals") expect them to find. Each accusation becomes the "tip of the iceberg." It demands more surveillance and swifter prosecution to fight the epidemic.
With 16,000 students and 900 faculty, my University, Chico State--America's #1 Party School according to Playboy--averaged four sexual harassment complaints per year form 1987-1991. Yet, according to one faculty zealot, harassment on our campus is pandemic.
Women accusers may blame job dissatisfaction or petty, personal resentments on any discomfort over sexuality. Like witch-hunters looking for witches, these watch-dogs seek signs of male misbehavior. They'll surely find it. Demands for precise gender etiquette in the workplace re-create a medieval village atmosphere where everyone is on edge--either waiting to be charged of looking for opportunities to accuse others.
This trivializes sexual harassment into what writer Ishmael Reed calls "reckless eyeballing." Beware, a careless day-dreamer could be charged with "eye-rape." Next, someone could be guilty with their eyes closed.
The harassment watchdogs must be brought to heel. We must all open our eyes and see this hysterical witch hunt for what it really is--a blind fury.
Sexual harassment hoaxes like the false accusations of rape can only end when the medias end their love affair with the man-hating and male bashing feminist and print the truth about both of the crises.
THE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT
SHAM OF 1993
The Violence Against Women Act of 1993 was a bill offered to and passed by our U. S. Congress that furthered the myth that all women are pitiful victims and all men are predators. When Congress voted on this bill they came to the conclusion that rape is not the act of a lone, desperate, violent and sick man. They did not believe that men who commit this terrible crime are but a small percentage of all men. What Congress concluded was that when a woman is raped it is the fault of all men, all men are to blame, because all men want to victimize women and women must be federally protected.
Here's what the National Review of March 29, 1993 had to say about The Violence Against Women Act:
Certain to be given respectful attention by the congress this year is the "Violence Against Women Act" sponsored by Senator Biden. It's very title assures its a majority in the "world's greatest deliberative body." VAWA is an attempt to sidetrack the public's obvious frustration with crime levels by "making violent crime against women a major law enforcement priority."
Not violent crime generally, mark you, but violent crime against women. Though inspired by feminism, the bill would be better justified on the chivalrous grounds that men can look after themselves, but they have a duty to protect the little lady. Of course, because liberals can not bring themselves to tackle crime seriously, the bill would increase spending, regulation, bureaucracy and symbolism far more than it would increase public safety.
It would double penalties for federal cases of rape (currently a dozen or so each year on Sioux Indian reservations or at Andrews Air Force Base); create "High Intensity Violence Against Women areas" to which federal grants will flow; invest federal funds ins lights for parks and subway stations; encourage states to "increase arrest and prosecution rate" for violence against women; and require colleges to prohibit and report all violent crimes against women. It would also create the first federal law barring spouse abuse, and categorize violence against women "bias or hate crimes."
But there is more. As with much of liberal legislation, the aim of VAWA is less to protect the public than to re-educate it. VAWA would afflict us everywhere with feminist rhetoric. There would be rape education seminars directed at "date rapists;" education programs about gender bias for judges; youth education programs about violence "among intimate partners;" education programs about domestic-violence myths among racial and ethnic groups; and grants directed toward overcoming sexual stereotyping and the "physical, psychological, and economic impact of rape and sexual assault."
VAWA is a caricature to anti-crime legislation and trivializes the serious matter of violent crime. The Republicans would do well to reply to this initiative with a strong equal-opportunity anti-crime measure, and to ask, as the Democrats would do if the roles were reversed, why their opponents don't seem concerned about attacks on children and law abiding men."
How did this bill ever get in front of the congress and more importantly, why did they pass it? By the usual scare tactics that feminist Nazis have been using all along: There is a grand conspiracy by all men that not only encourages rape, but protects rapists when caught. Thus, women need to be federally protected from men. Our congress took this Big Lie hook, line, and sinker, just as they did when rape shield laws were passed years ago.
What's next in the war against men? Now, not only has this man-hating propaganda, that was first perpetuated by a minority of man haters and lesbians in the early feminist movement brainwashed the rest of the so-called feminists and the media, but has also brainwashed our Congress! The brainwashing techniques used on Congress used the old standard of over-inflated statistics that go totally against fact and common sense to further the myth that all men are by their nature evil and rapists.
I would like to thank editor Richard Doyle and The Liberator who exposed the statistics used in the VAWA for what they are--lies. In his August 1993 article Richard Doyle paraphrases the San Jose Mercury June 3, 1993 editorial, "Federal Rape, Why the Violence Against Women Act is a Sham." From the "Statistics of the Month" column:
According to Senator Biden, the percentage of victims of rape who never see their attacker caught, tried, or imprisoned: 98%.
Once again, the significance of these numbers are drawn from their context, in this case, the feminist leaning San Jose Mercury. They are quoted not in supporting but in opposition to Biden's infamous male-bashing bill.
The Mercury begins an editorial like this, "The Violence Against Women Act is a sham." Why? Because Biden's committee uses statistics that are "if not cooked, then heated."
How did Biden manipulate the statistics?
With regard to the highly dramatic 98% figure which appears above, the editorialist writes that "Biden's 2.5% conviction figure is not 2.5% of the 100,000 rapes reported annually; its 2.5% of 600,000 rapes estimated [by man-hating feminists] to occur, assuming 84% of rapes are not reported." (The criminal justice system never convicts for unreported crimes.)
"Statistics also show it's harder to convict [alleged] rapists than robbers and murderers. Of course. Some people consent to sex with dates or acquaintances; few people consent to give their wallets, rings, watches, or lives.
"How easy is it to make non-sexual assault charges, say, when two guys get into a fight outside a bar, and one claims the other started it?
Difference between "date" and "street" rape:
"When the victim knows the perpetrator, there is a tendency to consider the crime a product of a private relationship, not a matter of public injustice," Biden said.
"Certainly, police, prosecutors, judges, and juries will be slow to treat acquaintance rape as public injustice as long as victims treat it as a private matter, by not reporting it promptly, for instance.
"Biden's truly shocking statistic is that one in five convicted rapists get probation, and one in four serves less than a year in a local jail.
"According to his California numbers only 55% of convicted rapists were sentenced to prison in 1990. The real number of men convicted on forcible rape is 100% sent to prison; including rapes not involving physical force or the threat of force, 90% of those convicted non-violent rapists go to prison, according to Sentences Practices Quarterly. Biden's figures do not refer to convicted rapists; they refer to people convicted of some crime who were originally arrested for rape.
"In Santa Clara County [California], the rape conviction rate is 90%, according to the district attorney's office, the probation and local jail rate is 0, and the average sentence is eight to ten years in prison. In most cases, the perpetrator was at least a casual acquaintance of the victim."
There is hope that some liberals are recognizing the rape hysteria.
It's encouraging to see an often politically correct newspaper dig in behind feminist-inflated statistics which are now influencing state and federal legislation.
And Supreme Court decisions. Remember that in the Casey decision which finally solidified abortion's judicial foundation, one of the justices struck down spousal notification on grounds that, "in an atmosphere of male-generated domestic violence, it might endanger women."
In the gender wars, statistics are major weapons. In this case, at least one newspaper did not uncritically pass on to its readers the weaponry manufactured in the feminist arsenal.
Here's what John Leo said in his column "On Society" in U. S. News and World Report July 19, 1993 regarding the VAWA:
A year ago, I was invited to join a late-night TV talkathon on rape hosted by Peter Jennings. Before we went on, participants had to watch an ABC special on the subject that seemed to buy into the radical feminist analysis. Sitting nearby was Catharine MacKinnon, the current North American champion in the category of most ideological feminist. When she caught the drift of the ABC show, MacKinnon couldn't control her jubilation. "They got it!" she cried out, "It's systemic!"
I took that to mean what is usually means in radical feminist theory: that rape is not a horrible crime perpetrated by individual criminals but an integral part of a patriarchal system, either tolerated or tacitly approved as an expression of male domination.
The systemic argument is a casual group libel implicating all men--and presumably all courts, prosecutors and legislatures--in the crimes of individual rapists. But the gender feminists now dominate American feminism, so the systemic argument is entering the mainstream. In fact, it will be written into federal law if Congress passes the Violence Against Women Act of 1993, sponsored primarily by Senator Joseph Biden.
This Senate bill would turn many rapes and much domestic violence into federal civil rights violations. But jurisdiction over almost all violent crime belongs to the states. Why federalize it? The main rationale is the feminist theory that rape is an expression of group oppression. Taken from this feminist perspective, a major advantage of the bill is that it codifies the true nature of rape.
Woman haters. Specifically, the bill classifies all "gender motivated" acts of sexual violence as civil rights violations if they are "due, at lease in part, to an animus based on a victim's gender." So civil rights are violated when a rapist rapes because of hostility toward women in general. This approach would bog courts down in analysis of biased attitudes. Instead of just prosecuting rape, thoughts would be sifted, comments would be judged. It's a form of federal hate-crime legislation based on gender.
How is this useful? It isn't. Like medieval theologians trying to classify angels, authorities would have to spend alot of time classifying animuses, deciding which rapist's animus was particular and which was generalized and aimed at all women. Then different punishments would be doled out in different courts on the basis of elaborate guesswork.
Why not skip all this and just try to put every rapist away as long as possible? There's only one clear advantage of stretching rape into a civil rights violation: It props up the group-oppression model of rape, using law to strengthen the weak analogy between random rape and racial subjugation.
There's much more tucked away in the bill. It allows victims of gender-bias violence to sue in federal courts for compensatory and punitive damages. The additional filings could increase the total civil rights caseload of federal courts by 57 per cent, according to a Judicial Impact Statement filed by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.
The bill further burdens an already bloated judicial system. An alleged victim could bring a civil rights suit in federal court, press criminal charges in state court, or both.
This would be a bonanza for lawyers. It would provide a financial incentive to expand the definition of rape, a constant goal of radical feminists. It would also open the door to shakedowns based on a threat to sue for rape. A weak allegation that would be dismissed quickly by a criminal prosecutor might suffice in civil court. (Many falsely accused men would presumably pay off to avoid the publicity.) And it could invite publicity-oriented trials in which the desire is not so much to win as to call attention to the supposed injustice of American society.
The bill is lavish in creating model programs and encouraging more sensitivity training for everyone from judges to school children. There would be a task force, studies, grants to examine sexual stereotyping, plans to deal with runaways and national parks and subway lighting.
The money that would be paid out can only be called the first big helping of feminist pork. Rape crisis centers would share in an annual pool of federal grants. "It would be a great boon to the rape-crisis movement," said Christian Sommers, a professor at Clark University. She does not mean that the money would be spend on victims of rape. She means it would be used to fund the radical feminism currently organized around rape as a paradigm of male-female relations.
Radical feminists realize what's at stake. The Senate, clogged with recovering harassers and other guilty males, does not. Andrea Dworkin, who surely ranks among the most extreme feminists, told Ruth Shalit of the New Republic that the only possible explanation of the bill's popularity in the Senate is that "senators don't understand the meaning of the legislation they pass." She seems to be right. Shalit told me she interviewed seven or eight Senate sponsors of the bill, and none had a clue about what's in it. It's time to read up.
And let us not forget the true drafters of the VAWA. The VAWA is the brain child of notorious man-haters Andrea Dworkin, Mary Koss, and other hysterical so-called feminists who have been spewing false data on the rape issue for years.
Here's what Stephanie Gutman had to say about the VAWA in her article, "Are All Men Rapists?" for National Review, on August 23, 1993:
In December 1991 (soon after the rape acquittal of William Kennedy Smith and Clarence Thomas hearings), Catharine MacKinnon published an op-ed in the New York Times in which she laid out the rationale behind her long crusade to make rape a civil rights violation. "What," she asked, "if Florida's case against William Kennedy Smith had been a sex equality case?" Miss MacKinnon answered her own question: "Instead of asking did this individual commit a crime of battery against that individual, the jury could ask did this member of a group sexually trained to woman-hating aggression commit this particular act of woman-hating aggression?...set in a context of women's enforced inequality to men, the alleged victim would not have been seen as an exception. It would be clear that infinitely more rapes that do happen are not reported that are reported and do not happen."
Biden's office, which was spectacularly uncooperative for this article, wouldn't say whether Miss Mackinnon was a consultant on this bill, but we do know that her frequent collaborator Andrea Dworkin (famous for her statement that "intercourse is the pure, sterile, formal expression of men's contempt for women:) was a consultant. The committee report cites a book by Stanford law professor Deborah Rhode, who recently announced at a conference that "white men make up only 8 per cent of the world population. I find that such an encouraging fact.." Mary Koss, the mother of rape revisionism (her study is usually used to supply the national statistics in "date rape epidemic" new stories), makes many appearances in the report as well, especially to shore up claims like: "According to conservative estimates, as many as 84 per cent of rapes remain unreported." National Organization for Women (NOW) Legal Defense has, as National Republic writer Ruth Shalit put it, "complete hegemony over the bill." When Miss Shalit said she needed someone to "walk her through the bill," Biden's office directed her to Sally Goldfarb, of NOW Legal Defense.
The point is, the view of rape as systemic is leap-frogging from the feminist fringe into more and more areas of our lives. Miss Mackinnon was the drafter of the final language of our new federal sexual harassment law, the one that defines sexual harassment as pin-ups, jokes, states--anything that creates "a hostile and offensive environment." (I remember a lawyer at a feminist law conference crowing that, now that the premise of actionable "hostile and offensive" work places was accepted, there is no reason not to press on with the concept of a "hostile and offensive world!" ) The "rape crisis" feminists' obsession is that life is pervaded with men's hatred for women, that women are systemically pushed down, that the most intimate relationships are never free of this one-sided power dynamic. "Rape as an expression of male dominance has been tolerated because of our society's sexist attitudes," explained Sally Goldfarb. "One of the advantages of the Bill (VAWA) is that it codifies the true nature of rape."
The worth thing about VAWA is how anxious the Senate Judiciary Committee seems to be to see the world through the redefiners' eyes."
Why should we be concerned about the small number of feminist nazis (like Mackinnon, Dworkin, etc...) whose propaganda "Big Lie" about the evils of all men? For the very reason that these "twisted sisters" have gained so much influence not only with the rest of the feminist movement, and our media, but now with our own law makers.
to say that all women hold the views of Mackinnon and Dworkin and their obvious man-hating rhetoric is like saying all men are allied with Ted Bundy. Most women do not hate men just as most men do not hate women. This is exactly the reason the real drafters of the VAWA must be exposed. And to suggest that these "rape crisis frenzied feminists" only care about the well-being of other women, one only needs to look into their bank accounts to see the real "profit" and "motives" for their endless lectures, books, and seminars on the "evils of all men."
Stephanie Gutman closes with this in her article about the real VAWA:
In VAWA, 62 mostly exhausted, cowed senators think they have found an easy way to ingratiate themselves with the "authentic" women's lobby. But the damage this bill can do is not likely to be limited to the money wasted on sensitivity training or the encouragement to added litigation. Much of the education it funds will paradoxically belittle the crime the bill wants to punish, by confusing the real crime of rape with any sexual intercourse the woman regrets the next morning. And at the same time it would officially affirm the most toxic attitude of the "gender feminists"--that, as Catharine Mackinnon put is, men are a "group sexually trained to woman-hating violence."
Bills like the VAWA only fuels the fire in the gender wars and further separates the sexes. It is time for man-hating propaganda to stop. My suggestion to all men is to write your local papers and expose the VAWA for what it is: LIES!
If the VAWA, Rape Shield laws, and other methods now being used to help convict innocent men of rape are not stopped, the prison population of innocent men will continue to explode. Not that that would bother male-bashing feminists and their deranged allies to put more innocent men behind bars, but it should bother level-headed, law abiding, honest men--and women.
YOUR DEFENSE ATTORNEY
Your defense attorney is going to be your best friend in a rape trial. He's the guy that is going to make sure the district attorney doesn't violate your constitutional rights when he will surely try to do as he tries to railroad you into prison
Your defense attorney holds all your cards. He's the one that is supposed to make sure you walk out of the court room a free man or he is the guy that bungles your case and you wind up making license plates for the next fifteen years.
Sue Titus Reid, in Crime and Criminology states, "The function of a defense attorney is to protect the legal rights of the accused. The defendant, even if guilty, is entitled to a fair trial in which the State must prove guilt `beyond a reasonable doubt' and in accordance with the rules of the game."
In short, your defense attorney is the most important person on your team. His job is to look out for your best interests, clear your name, and keep you out of prison.
In Criminal Justice, James Inciadi has this to say about defense attorneys,
As advocate for the accused, the defense counsel can perform many functions while representing a defendant in the criminal process. Such functions generally include the following:
1. Representing the accused immediately after arrest to provide advice during interrogation and to ensure that constitutional safeguards during pretrial procedures are not violated,
2. Reviewing police reports and further investigating the details of the [alleged] offense,
3. Interviewing the police, the accused, and the witness, and seeking out additional evidence and witnesses in behalf of the defendant,
4. Discussing the [allegations] with the prosecutor to gain insight into the strength of the state's case,
5. Representing the accused at bail hearings and during plea negotiations,
6. Preparing, filing, and arguing various pre-trail motions,
7. Preparing the case for trial,
8. Participating in jury selection,
9. Representing the accused at trial,
10. Providing advice and assistance at sentencing,
11. Determining and pursuing the appropriate bases for appeal,
12. Presenting written or oral arguments at appeal."
You would think that all defense attorneys would always work in your best interest. I have four words about defense attorneys that is a must to remember: DO NOT TRUST THEM! At least not 100%. Only a fool puts his life entirely in the hands of another man. You must be sure at all times that your lawyer is working for you, not against you.
I trusted my lawyer 100% and look where I am today--in prison. My father paid this shyster over $15,000 to defend me in court. Up until my trail began, he was all smiles and assured me I had nothing to worry about. But at my trial he fed me to the wolves, took my father's money, and ran.
Because of his incompetence and lack of preparation I am in prison today. I was naive in the workings of law and attorneys in general. I trusted him whole heartedly and he stabbed me in the back.
To date I have had eleven different defense attorneys working on different aspects of my case. Of those eleven I would say only four gave a damn about my innocence or my case. Again I can't stress enough, DO NOT TRUST DEFENSE ATTORNEYS 100%!
Your defense attorney is not the one facing a long prison term due to a false accusation, you are. He's going to get paid even if you do get sent to the Big House.
From the start, learn as much about your case as you can. Demand to see paper work and all supposed evidence against you. Keep and save all correspondence to and from your attorney. Any good lawyer will understand your concern. Don't trust your attorney about the exact specifics in the allegation. Demand to see proof.
You may wish to take a lie detector's test or have a DNA test done to prove your innocence. Make sure your lawyer arranges to have these tests done by an impartial professional.
Also experts can be called to testify in your defense. Be sure your attorney also gets statements from all witnesses and follows up on any evidence that these statements may produce.
In court be sure your attorney is totally prepared. Be researching your own case you'll be able to tell during your trial if your lawyer has overlooked something.
Your attorney has the right to inform the jury on why rape is the easiest crime to accuse one of and yet the hardest to defend against. Also he should inform the jury on the documented statistics of how widespread false accusations are. Because the popular media refuses to report on the false accusation crisis, members of the jury probably are not even aware that such a crisis exists.
If you find that your attorney is not doing all he can to keep you out of prison, not presenting your witnesses, not objecting to the district attorney's slanderish comments, hasn't gathered vital evidence, not asking pertinent questions of your accuser, or in any other way your defense attorney is not doing his best, say so in open court and be specific. You will want on the court transcripts any irregularities of abuses of your constitutional rights in front of the jury. This can help you later in your appeals if you are convicted.
Do not be so intimidated in the court room that you're afraid to tell the judge any problems you may see in your attorney's handling of your case. You will be put under great pressure by your attorney not to speak. You may be told that if you make any gesture, or say any word that shows you are in disagreement with your attorney it will weaken your case. Always weigh pressure and arguments against common sense and your gut feeling. If your attorney reacts by fighting against you, be prepared for what action you will take, such as obtaining another attorney and whether or not any attorney will take you after your actions against your attorney. You may want to prepare to defend yourself if worse comes to worse, or have an attorney who lets you do all the talking and only answers your questions.
My trial attorney allowed some members of the jury to "catch cat naps" during testimony in my trial. I informed him of the sleeping jurors and he told me he would mention it to the judge later. He never did. I should have told the judge myself right then and there in open court and got it on the court transcripts to be later used as an appeal factor.
Remember, your attorney is working for you. You're the boss. Do not be in awe of him just because he has a law degree. Your attorney does not belong on a pedestal.
be assertive in your requests for information from your attorney.
If your lawyer refuses or ignores them, inform the judge and fire him. You can do this, even if the state is paying his bill. Attorneys are your employees for the duration of the trial. If he's a bumbling idiot he's not the one going to prison, YOU ARE! From the start keep on your toes and keep on your attorney.
Once you've been arrested a judge will set bail. If at all possible, arrange bail and get yourself out of jail. It is a hundred times easier to plan your court room strategies out on the streets. Rotting in county jail for months on end will take it's toll once it's time to take the witness stand. Make bail if you can, but if this is impossible, arrange for a trusted family member or friend on the outside to take care of the business end of your case. Most important, make sure your attorney is doing his job while you wait for your trial.
You are entitled to have an attorney with you during all phases of criminal proceedings.
You have two choices of defense attorneys--one you pay for, which is always best, or one the court appoints if you are unable to pay for your own attorney.
If you can afford your own attorney he will cost you anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 up front as a retainer fee. This fee is just to get him started on your case. Make sure he sends monthly statements and itemizes the portion of the retainer that he has used. The final costs for a good defense attorney in a rape trial will be $15,000 and up. This is a lot of money, but isn't the best defense worth it, if you can afford it, to keep yourself out of prison?
Still, even though you're paying your attorney, you must make sure he is competent and doing his job. So far, I have had two private attorneys. They both screwed me, and do you know whose fault that was? Mine! I was too trusting and naive about how the "Just Us" system really works.
In looking for a private attorney, make sure he has experience in handling rape cases. You can find this out from attorney referral services or from your State Bar Association. Check his past cases. Don't let some bozo who has sent more men to prison than your local D.A. represent you. Even this information can sometimes be misleading. Many attorneys are experienced in false accusations but they seldom win cases. They are only experienced at losing these cases. Ask for names of cases he has been on and then look them up in court records to see if he won.
But maybe you're not well funded and can't afford an attorney. The state must appoint one for you. These defense attorneys are paid for by the state and are called public defenders. In prisons these attorneys are referred to as "Public Pretenders" and "Dump Trucks."
In an article by Jill Smolowe titled, "The Trials of the Public Defender" for Time magazine March 1993 you will see why:
Defendants are usually assigned attorneys by the court. Often these lawyers who tend to be young and inexperienced or old and tired, receive only $20 to $25 an hour. Capitol cases go for as little as $400. At Detroit's Recorder's Court, lawyers are paid a flat fee: $1,400 for first degree murder, $750 for lesser offenses that carry up to a life sentence. "The more time you spend on a case, the less money you make," says attorney David Steingold, a 14-year veteran. Hence lawyers have learned to plead cases quickly, a phenomenon known among lawyers as the Plea Mill.
A variation on court-appointed attorneys, popular in rural areas, is a contract system under which lawyers receive a flat fee. The fee is usually so meager that these attorneys maintain a private practice on the side. Such a system results in lawyers who view their responsibilities as unwanted burdens, have no inclination to help the client and have no incentive to learn or develop criminal trial skills. When expenses mount, they economize by refusing the collect calls of their jail clients. "Under the contract system" says Los Angeles Public Defender Tennenbaum, "You don't investigate, you don't ask for continuances, and you plead at the earliest possible moment."
Bobby Lee Houston, a trust driver, hired a private counselor he could not afford when he was arrested in 1989 on charges of child molestation. The lawyer urged him to plead guilty and serve 5 years; Houston insisted he was innocent. He wrote to a judge complaining of delays and, after 14 months, was assigned David Saxson, a contact lawyer. Saxson suggested that Houston plead guilty and get off with time served. Houston was firm: no dice."
One month later, Houston's case was dismissed--but no one bothered to tell him. It would be four more months before Houston learned that he was a free man. After 19 pointless months in a jail cell, Houston has his own bottom line: "Justice is a money thing."
Don't get me wrong, not all public defenders are uncaring and incompetent, but this Time article does illustrate that by paying for private counsel your chances of getting a good attorney who cares about your case is greatly increased. Of the nine public defenders I have dealt with so far, I would say only four of those did a decent job. A couple of them I never saw. They would not respond to my letters or accept my phone calls from prison. Then I would finally receive a letter from them saying another one of my appeals had been dismissed. Good public defenders are rare, and if you get one, you're lucky.
Public defenders can be fired from your case. Don't be afraid to let the judge know your public defender is taking you for a ride.
Be it private attorney or court ordered, I can't stress enough that you are the boss. If you educate yourself on the way the law and attorneys operate, if you research your own case, save all copies of written material to and from your attorney, and are not too trusting of your defense attorney, you won't be screwed by him in court.
I am sure your public library has books on choosing a good lawyer. Use any and all resources you can to find a good one. The time you take seeking a competent attorney can make the difference between you spending years in prison for a crime you didn't do and freedom.
PROSECUTORS AND JUDGES
In most cases prosecutors or district attorneys (D.A.'s as they are more commonly known) and judges can usually be considered one and the same in rape trials. They're both out to send you, the innocent man, to prison. In this chapter I will expose the real tactics and true motives of these "pillars of society." Of course, not all DA's or judges bend the rules of law and ignore our Constitution and Bill of Rights in order to make wrongful convictions, but I can say easily most judges and no DA's lose a bit of sleep knowing they sent an innocent man to prison. Most DA's and judges can care less about an innocent man's life or his family.
DA's are attorneys elected by a community to prosecute criminals within the community. All DA's are extremely highly paid "public servants" and like anyone else would like to keep their high paying jobs. How do they keep their job once election time rolls around? By chalking up as many convictions as possible to show the voting public they are "tough on crime" and worthy of being reelected. Some, if not most DA's become obsessed with making convictions. Not that DA's do not rid a community of hardened criminals, but they also become over zealous in their prosecutions.
Over 90% of all criminal cases do not even go to trial. A lot of defendants are guilty anyway so they take what is known as a "plea bargain." Guilty defendants plead guilty instead of going to trial. Their reward is less prison time. Innocent men are severely pressured to take a plea bargain and many do. These kinds of cases are often promised less or no prison time but after they take the plea they are given the prison time anyway. About 10% of all criminal cases go to trial. The promised punishment for not accepting a plea bargain offer is a greatly increased prison term if convicted. If a case does go to trial a DA in most cases, will use every trick in the book to gain a conviction. Ethics will take a back seat even if the DA has doubts or evidence of a man's innocence.
If you're charged with a "sex crime" and you're completely innocent the DA is your worst enemy. So you don't want to take a plea bargain? Fine. The DA has endless taxpayer dollars at his beckon call. A first degree rape conviction looks far better than a third degree rape plea bargain on a DA's resume. It has been estimated that to arrest, try, convict and imprison me for a minimum of over five years will cost the taxpayers of Oregon over $250,000. So am I saying take the plea bargain even though you're an innocent man? NO! Never bargain with the DA if you are in fact innocent. About 10% of SAFAR members were so intimidated by their DA and so afraid of the prospect of being slammed in trial that they took the plea bargain. Every one of them regrets it to this day. Not only does it destroy credibility in claims of innocence, but it destroys the chance of appeal. They plead guilty. They told the court and everyone else, "Yes, I am a sexual deviant and will accept this plea bargain," when they knew, in fact, they were innocent. NEVER PLEA BARGAIN WITH A DA IF YOU ARE INNOCENT. If you are guilty of the sex crime you are accused of, go ahead and plea bargain. You belong in prison anyway.
DA's have been well trained by the feminist propaganda machine. Not that most of them care that they have been programmed this way. The growing rape hysteria just means a DA can make more convictions and if a couple innocent men go to prison each year, so what! In reality, thousands of innocent men each year are being sent to prison because of the false rape plague. To the DA this increase in "sex criminals" which has exploded 47%, totally pacifies feminists and their allies and their votes can be counted on, come election time.
The case that sent me to prison should have never went to trial. The DA who prosecuted me was harassed by the local "rape crisis center" to make a conviction. If there are no rapes in a community, there is no need for a rape crisis center, so no matter how ridiculous the rape accusation, "rape counselors" are nipping at the heels of DA's to prosecute.
At my sentencing, after my conviction, the DA in my case told the judge I should be committed to the State Mental Hospital for violent sexual deviants (because this is what the rape crisis center wanted). I should then, after being treated as a violent sexual deviant, be given the maximum prison sentence of twenty years (to pacify the rape crisis center watch dogs). Also at my sentencing, a loyal rape crisis counselor begged the judge that I be made to pay the "victim" $10,000 upon my release from prison for "damages" caused. Thank God, the judge could see what was going on and refused this extortion attempt.
Six months after being sent to prison my parole hearing was held inside of Oregon State Maximum Security Prison. In attendance was the DA which is almost unheard of, since his job was over. No doubt, he would say he was there to stress what a danger I was to the community, but in reality he was pressured by the rape crisis center to attend. The DA was turned into a puppet. Also attending my hearing was a "rape crisis counselor" pulling his strings. My "victim" was also there, looking like the pathetic fraud that she is. These "partners in crime" told the board nothing but lies. Their lies were exposed and back fired. My prison term was reduced.
I can not speak of all DA's, but in good conscience I can easily say most are corrupt and out for the almighty dollar. Nothing will stand in their way for a conviction. Morals and ethics are not in their vocabulary. The point I wish to make about DA's for the innocent man facing a bogus rape charge is to realize what DA's are all about--and it sure isn't justice.
Now we come to the trial judge in a rape trial. Again, I speak not of all judges, just most of them. During a trial the judge is supposed to make sure things are run under orderly court procedure and fairly. This, of course, is not the case a lot of the time. Judges are generally older and in my opinion, tired. Tired of seeing an endless stream of "guilty" defendants before them and sometimes "rigs the game" in favor of prosecution. Our system of justice has evolved to the point where a man must prove his innocence and trial judges are responsible for this degradation of our legal system. In rape cases, this disintegration of our ideologies of justice is compounded.
Judges, just like DA's, have been programmed by the modern day feminists. Judges also have to worry about upsetting what are known as "Rape Watch Groups." These watch dogs are radical feminists and other man haters who show up in mass at rape trials to make sure a conviction is made. These watch dogs say they are in the court room to give support to the "victim," but what they in fact do, is harass and badger judges and DA's to make a conviction. If a judge dares to follow our Constitution and Bill of Rights and makes a ruling during a trial that may be in favor of a rape defendant, the "rape watchers" will be up in arms. Since judges (though not all) are elected, a judge can't have a feminist mob upset. If the judge wants to count on their votes come election time, it is obvious that these rabid rape watch dogs do unfairly influence judges in a conviction during a rape trial.
Do women judges have any bias against men in rape trials? You bet! The good thing is that men, when faced with a woman judge, can get a "change of venue" which means if a man can show prejudice by a judge in earlier decisions made in past trials, he can change judges before the trial begins. If your judge over seeing your trial is to be a woman, do everything in your power to change judges. Would you rather be called "sexist" or spend years in prison for a crime you did not commit? A female judge would already have you convicted before you ever stepped into the courtroom.
Most women judges are just like most women DA's or most women police officers. The believe other women, especially in rape accusations. Take when New York City recently established its "Sex Crime Analysis Squad" comprised entirely of women investigators. Not the best investigators, men or women, just women investigators. Before the establishment of the "Sex Crime Analysis Squad", New York City had an average of 15% of all the rape accusations turn out to be untrue. After the new squad of women started their own brand of investigations, false rape reports fell to 2%. What does common sense tell you? Most women judges have the same type of bias against men.
In my own case, the judge assigned to oversee it, made some outrageous court room decisions to ensure my conviction. Most surprisingly, he ruled that evidence of my "victim's" past false accusations of rape, fell under the "Rape Shield Law" which it doesn't. And then in 1991 the Oregon Court of Appeals upheld this obvious unconstitutional decision. I have learned one thing about trial judges and appeal court judges in all my years of fighting for appeal: Judges look after their own kind. It's an exclusive club and they don't want to over ride a decision of one of their own. How else do we explain that of all the cases appellate judges hear, they overturn the conviction on less than 1% of them?
"The Rape of Mike Tyson", an article by his defense attorney, Alan Dershowitz, dramatically shows us the type of abuse a judge, in this case, a female judge, can inflict on a supposedly "fair trial":
"Despite the importance of this eyewitness testimony by three disinterested bystanders in an otherwise uncorroborated "she said-he said" credibility contest, the trial judge refused to allow the jury to hear the evidence of the three eyewitnesses. She ruled that the prosecution--which admitted that the testimony was "pivotal"--would have been prejudiced by the eyewitnesses' late disclosure. (They had come forward near the end of the prosecutor's case--after learning that Desiree Washington had denied necking with Tyson--but before the defense case began.) The jury never learned, therefore, the truth about what Desiree was doing in the limo moments before she went to Tyson's hotel room. (The prosecution contends that the three eyewitnesses say Tyson necking with Angela Boyd, a singer he was with the night before the Washington episode, but the witnesses clearly remember that they had just come from a concert that was held on the night Tyson was with Washington.)
It should come as no surprise that the trial judge made such a bizarre and unprecedented ruling to exclude such relevant and exculpatory evidence. The trial judge, Patricia Gifford, who used to be a full-time professional rape prosecutor, prosecuted more than 50 rape cases. She expressed extremely strong feelings about rape, especially what has come to be called "date rape." Indeed, she lectured the lawyers against even using the term "date rape" in her courtroom, and refused to give the traditional date rape instruction, which required acquittal if the jury concludes that the defendant reasonably believed the woman consented, even if she did not intend to consent.
In light of Judge Gifford's attitudes and professional background in regard to rape, it might be wondered how the prosecution got so lucky as to have her as the judge in the Tyson case. Luck, however, played no part in the selection. Using Indianapolis law and practice, the prosecutor was able to pick the judge who will try a criminal case. Nowhere else in the free world does the prosecutor have this ability, other than in Indiana. And the prosecutor picked wisely, not fairly. Judge Gifford made virtually every important ruling in the prosecutor's favor, including the exclusion of those three "pivotal" witnesses who would have won the case for Tyson.
Several distinguished commentators--including Professor William A. Kerr, who is Indiana's leading authority on criminal procedure--have concluded that the trial judge committed a serious legal error by excluding the witnesses. Articles in The American Lawyers and the New York Law Journal have reached the same conclusion.
She also excluded evidence--under the rape shield law--that would have proved that Desiree Washington had a strong motive to frame Mike Tyson for rape, rather than acknowledge that she had eagerly consented to have sex with him.
Finally, after Tyson was convicted, Judge Gifford denied him bail pending appeal, apparently accepting the prosecutor's silly argument that this celebrity defendant would somehow sneak away and fight in a country with no extradition treaty with the United States. And then, after Tyson went off to prison, Gifford convened a press conference and, according to news accounts, "expressed some worries about having her rulings overturned, especially in an internationally publicized cased in which prosecution costs alone reached $150,000," commenting on "the enormousness of the reversal of a case that would have to be tried again like this."
THE CASE WAS A CLOSE ONE
Judge Gifford's one-sided rulings shifted the balance against Tyson in what was otherwise a very close case. Even without all this exculpatory evidence, the initial jury vote was six to six. Eventually, the six who voted for conviction were able to persuade the six who voted for acquittal that there was no reason to disbelieve Desiree Washington's account. But that account, especially when reviewed against the background of the information that is now known, is extremely unconvincing. I have no doubt that if Tyson gets a new trial before a different jury and a fairly selected judge, he will be quickly acquitted."
As you can see by the case of Mike Tyson's judge, they can make or break you and your defense. Be sure your attorney is aware of any injustices the DA and judge will try to pull during your trial. See to it that these injustices get on the court transcripts.
Innocence means very little in a court of law. Your freedom depends on who wins the most hands, the DA and sometimes the DA's ally, the judge, or your defense attorney. Make sure before your trial that you and your defense are holding the best possible hand. In a rape trial, no matter how obviously innocent you are, be prepared for the biggest high stakes game of your life. With your reputation, your family, your freedom, and everything you've ever worked hard for on the line.
You've been falsely accused, wrongly convicted and now you're on your way to prison, scared to death.
Your only exposure to prison has been through movies. You can picture it now as you are being shackled and loaded onto the prison bus. Your first day you'll be raped by six huge tattooed "lifers" and by the end of the first week you're being sold up and down the tier for cigarettes. Within a month, you imagine, you'll be found in your cell with a twelve inch "shank" sticking out of your chest.
The prison bus rounds a highway corner and you finally see your new "home" for the next ten odd years, a steel and concrete House of Pain. You wonder how you're ever going to make it.
Don't worry, you'll make it. It sure isn't going to be fun or easy, though, and maybe, just maybe, the courts will see that a terrible mistake has been made and you'll get a new trial. Don't hold your breath, though. The appeals process takes years and then less than one percent get new trials. I've been in the process of appeals all my years in prison (at great taxpayer expense) and have yet to come even close to a new trial.
Let me dispel a few myths about prisons. They are not all the Hell Holes you seen depicted on television. Movies are entertainment and tend to jazz up the violence of prison. Don't get me wrong, some prisons are Hell Holes, but not all. In all my years in prison I haven't seen one murder, one stabbing, or one rape. I have seen and been part of brawls where blood was spilled, but these too are rare in the Oregon prison system.
Even with Oregon's relatively "easy time" jerks do abound, as do so called tough guys. On two occasions I have had to defend myself against some idiot. In 1989 I was force to beat another inmate with a folding chair after he attacked me. Besides a lot of blood neither one of us were hurt really badly. I did accidentally break a guard's hand in the melee. I paid for that one by spending months in the Hole. And in 1990 while fending off a another attack I had to clobber a guy. A trip to the Hole was called for in that case also. I do not like violence, avoid it as best I can, and have only resorted to it to defend myself. I was never bothered by these two men again nor have I been since returning to prison after my recapture from my escape. All in all, the Oregon system is quite calm. With no complaints from me for the lack of violence, for the most part. I do realize in some prisons you must watch your back constantly.
Do not expect sympathy from anyone because you are an innocent man in prison. No one cares in prison. Other inmates can't care less about your innocence and whining about it will only make you appear weak and a target.
In prison, keep your business to yourself and do your own time. I would even avoid telling friends you may make about how you got framed. I have found it is wasted breath.
What other inmates will care about is the crime you were convicted of. It will not matter that you are innocent.
Most inmates have mothers, sisters, and girlfriends, and the idea of some guy who abuses women on their tier, even though you know you're innocent, goes against the prison code.
If you've been wrongly convicted of something involving a child, your troubles will be compounded. Inside the world of prison there is a hierarchy and because of the crime you were convicted of, a sexual offense, you are automatically a bottom feeder on the prison food chain and someone marked to be victimized.
You will be tested as soon as you walk in the front gates. If you do not stand up for yourself from the start you will be victimized your entire prison term. In the pecking order of prison you will be at the top of the list to get pecked. By standing up for yourself from the start you will gain some measure of respect, though this respect will be very limited because of your conviction on a "sex beef." Again, innocence makes no difference. At least other inmates will know that if need be you will defend yourself.
If you go to the prison staff with any complaints of harassment you will be labeled a "snitch," "rat," or "cheese eater." "Rats" are the lowest form of prison dweller and are dealt with accordingly in most cases. Any problems you encounter in prison you will have to resolve alone. Just as it is with inmates, the prison staff can care less about you or your welfare.
The prison guard is another factor to worry about. The [alleged] abuses inflicted upon me and the [alleged] abuses I have seen other inmates endure by prison staff I can not directly speak about. These [alleged] abuses are usually administered by sadistic lower level guards on inmates. Another warning, in any situation which involves the prison inmate and a guard: the guard is right and the prison inmate is always wrong. If an inmate winds up with broken ribs and a smashed up face, he fell on a bar of soap if that's what a guard says. I can not say more about [alleged] brutalities by guards for the simple reason I am still in prison and under their wrath. A word to the wise: be careful in any dealings with prison staff.
Once you get to prison, don't go advertizing the crime that you were wrongly convicted of. Keep a low profile. You're supposed crime will be found out soon enough. You will be given a prison "jacket." A prisoner's "jacket" is the crime that he was convicted of and his general reputation. Yours will be that of a "rape-o," "chester," "freak," and/or "tree jumper." It's entirely up to you if you wear this degrading "jacket."
There is absolutely no privacy in prison. Even though you keep a low profile your supposed crime will probably be found out.
But the prison grapevine can also work for you. Once it becomes known you are not a sniveling coward who will stand up for yourself generally you'll be left alone. Since 1989 no one has referred to me as a "rape-o," at least not to my face. I got screwed by our wonderful "Just Us" system and I am sure not going to allow some clown to ride me because of my unjust conviction. Any blatant disrespect aimed in your direction must be dealt with on the spot. There's nowhere to go in prison and any problems you encounter are not going to go away. Where are you going to run? You're in a cage.
Once you do get to prison, feel things out. Keep low. Don't talk to guards. Stay out of other inmates' business. Don't go whining about your conviction, no matter how unjust. Whatever you do, don't go mousing around with a scared look on your face and don't go to the other extreme, either. Nobody likes a "tough guy" who isn't. If something happens, deal with it. Remember, some day this nightmare will be over.
Harold S. Long wrote this about prison in his book, Surviving In Prison:
In a free world, a man faced with provocation can get another job, find another place to socialize, or relocate his place of residence. Even if none of these remedial actions are feasible, he can still find at least temporary sanctuary from the frustrations by simply going for a walk or a ride. In prison, there are no such options.
A staggering percentage of prisoners walk with an exaggerated swagger to project a tough guy image. Comparable to a school yard bully. They talk loudly at inappropriate times, claim to have material possessions that were obviously beyond their means, profess to have knowledge or experience with subjects they are incapable of comprehending, and are boisterous, overbearing, inconsiderate, and live with a near total disrespect of the rights or feelings of others, though less deliberately than unconsciously. They are unable to discern what is and what is not appropriate behavior, and are unconcerned whether or not their conduct is disturbing the people in the immediate vicinity.
Prisons are not for penitence and correctional facilities are not for correction. They're for punishment. Some of them are so bad that you will be automatically placed in protective custody (PC). In PC you are segregated from other inmates because of your supposed crime. If allowed out in the general population, an inmate who is convicted of a sex crime, no matter how unjustly, would be killed. In PC an inmate is in his cell 23 or more hours a day, or not allowed educational opportunities, or allowed to work within the prison. Not a way to do time, in my opinion.
Most prisons have educational programs and I suggest yo take full advantage of them. For your own sake. On the streets I never attended college. In here I have gone to school my entire time and I am close to receiving my Associate of Arts degree.
Don't become a vegetable staring at the boob tube or playing cards all day. Try to keep in shape by lifting weights or some other physical activity. If your body is healthy, your head will be sharper. In any way you can, try to turn the "negative" of your wrongful conviction into a "positive"" by expanding your mind and body.
Every prison has a law library where you can study law and work on your appeals. Don't have faith in your attorney handling your appeals. You may find something he has missed. An old jailhouse lawyer told me once, "In all trials at least one mistake has been made that will get you a new trial. Its up to you to find it." The appeals process is hard enough to beat to depend totally on your attorney. Learn all you can on how and why this corrupt system has thrown you in a cage and beat them at their own game.
Here is what Alan Dershowitz had to say in Penthouse magazine about Mike Tyson, his "victim," and Tyson's experience in prison. In his article, "How Could She Do This To Another Human Being."
In a recent series of interviews orchestrated by her new civil lawyer, Desiree Washington [Mike Tyson's supposed victim] has complained bitterly about the publicity that has surrounded her since she decided to go public following the trial. She says that she, too, is "in prison," and that "as long as Tyson is in prison, and maybe even longer, I will be in prison." Putting aside the fact that she decided to disclose her own identity--it was kept secret before and during the trial--by appearing on "The Barbara Walters Show" and on the cover of People magazine, the reality is that Desiree Washington continues to attend college, live at home, and do whatever she pleases. That is a far cry from the isolation of Mike Tyson's imprisonment.
Tyson has been in jail since the day of his sentencing on March 26, 1992, despite the fact that his appeal has not been decided. (It was argued on February 15, 1993.) Only a person who has never seen the inside of a prison could believe that there is any analogy between Desiree Washington's life on a college campus in Rhode Island and Mike Tyson's daily routine in the Indiana Youth Correctional Facility.
I visit Mike Tyson in prison regularly, and I speak to him even more frequently. If Desiree Washington saw and heard what I have seen and heard, she would not want to trade places even for one day.
The first time I saw Mike in prison, he was bound and shackled in chains around his midsection, on his legs, and on his arms. This was near the beginning of his imprisonment and he was being disciplined for some minor infractions. On his first day at the facility, a guard had asked Mike for an autograph for his kid, and Mike instinctively signed his name. In the world of prison--a world unknown to Desiree Washington--that constituted a disciplinary violation, since no prisoner is allowed to give a guard "anything of value." Then a few weeks later, a guard told Mike that he had a visitor. Since Mike's visits are limited to a few hours a month, Mike asked the guard whether the visitor was his mother, whom he was expecting, or someone else, on whom he did not want to waste one of his precious visiting hours. The guard refused to tell him, and Mike cursed the guard. For that violation, Mike was placed in isolation and had to wear chains in which I first saw him.
Since the incident Mike has adjusted relatively well to life in prison. But he can never relax. Even the warden cautioned him never to turn his back on anyone. As a high profile prisoner, Tyson is an obvious target for other prisoners who might try to make a reputation by showing they are tougher than he is, or who might try to earn points with the authorities by setting him up.
Mike spends his days reading. I have sent him dozens of books on subjects ranging from biography to ancient Egypt, from pigeons to nutrition to the psychology of succeeding. he is a voracious reader, and he loves to discuss the books he has read. We have had mini-seminars during our visits, and he is an avid student. He has also taken prison courses in math and other subjects, and during a recent visit, he proudly showed me an A he had received in one of his courses.
Mike's father died on October 27, 1992. Mike was not permitted to attend the funeral, nor could he grieve openly, since crying--even at a loved one's death--is a sign of weakness in prison, and the smallest sign of weakness is an invitation to exploitation in the prison world.
Mike who is particular about his food, has lost a considerable amount of weight because he limits himself to eating fresh fruits and vegetables when he can get them. He has fasted for several days--not to protest, but to protect his health. He tries to stay in shape, but boxing is not a permitted activity in the Indiana prison system, so he is limited to doing sit-ups and other exercises.
The one subject Mike does not like to discuss is his future: "My life is in prison for now, and dealing with prison one day at a time is a full time job. i've got to keep my mind on what's going on in here right now, not on what may happen when I get out."
The Indiana Youth Correctional Facility is not a hellhole like New York City's Riker's Island. It is an old, gray, antiseptic prison with emphasis on security. Like most prisons, it is an extremely dangerous place, with knives, razors, and other weapons readily available. During the day, Mike is allowed to walk around in a fenced-in field that is part of the prison.
"That's the worst," he told me to my surprise. "If I were locked in a cell all day, at least I wouldn't get myself thinking I was free. But when I walk in the field, I can sometimes forget for a minute to two that I am not free, that I can't make any decisions on my life in here. I'm dying in here a little at a time."
I know exactly what Mike Tyson is going through. When I first came to prison, years ago, I used to wake up and for a moment I would forget where I was and why. The shock would then hit me again. My baby nephew who had been named after me, James, died of crib death in 1990. I was not allowed to attend his funeral nor comfort my sister. I, like Mike Tyson when his father died, could also not show any signs of grief.
Like Mike Tyson, I too have adjusted to the harshness of prison life, but of course I can never totally relax or enjoy the simple pleasures in life that "free world" people take for granted. I have almost forgotten what it is like to be "free" and may be becoming "institutionalized" from my years in prison.
Besides attending college full time and working out with weights every day, I have also become involved in the Men's Movement and subscribe to the excellent men's magazine, The Liberator. I highly recommend it to any man in or out of prison.
I have also started my own organization, Society Against False Accusations of Rape (SAFAR) which takes up a lot of my time and energy. SAFAR now has members throughout the U.S. prison system. One of the most important things I've learned is not to dwell on my wrongful conviction. It does me no good.
The prison growth industry now has more people in prison that at any time in U.S. history. The U.S. also has more of its citizens in prison per capita than any other country in the world. Our fastest growing industry has become "corrections." If you're unlucky enough to wind up in prison, you're going to be just another side of beef to the government in a big business. They can care less about you or your innocence. You are not going to have a crowd of angry citizens staging protests for your release. You've been convicted of a "sex crime" and no one is going to be on your side, even if all the evidence points toward your innocence. For the most part you're on your own to get yourself out of prison. It may take years, but do not give up hope. The State of Oregon has taken everything from me and after years of trying to get a new and just trial, hope is all I have left.
If you're an innocent man in prison stay strong, do not give up hope, and someday this nightmare will be over. Hopefully sooner than later.
If you would like to contact me about SAFAR or my research, write to
James Donald Anderson
Oregon State Correctional Institution
3405 Deer Park Drive, SE
For a sample issue of The Liberator, The men's rights news magazine which deals with false rape, child abuse hoaxes, divorce reform, fathers' rights, and other men's issues, send $3 to:
Men's Defense Association
17854 Lyons Street
Forest Lake, MN
AFTER PRISON, THE NIGHTMARE CONTINUES
When and if I am released from prison in 1996 I will have served a total of over five years in prison for a crime I did not commit and for my 1990 escape from prison. Once I am released I will be on parole for a number of years.
Parole is standard for any prisoner being released to the "Free World." Life won't be easy at first on the "Outside" after being locked up for so many years. I will have to report to my parole officer once a week, but I have no doubt that I will quickly adjust to life as a free man. I will, of course, hold some resentment at the system for stealing five years out of my life.
After prison my nightmare may be just beginning. I, like most prisoners after paying their "debt to society" won't be able to quietly go on with my life. Because of an Oregon state law that states "ex-sex offenders" released from prison are to register with their local police departments as a "sex offender," I am to be given a scarlet letter to wear for the rest of my life. For the next five years after my release any time a "sex offense" occurs in the community where I might be living, I am to be questioned and harassed by my local police department because I am on their list of "dangerous sex offenders" that live in their jurisdiction.
Not only will I be harassed by the local police, but because of another law just passed in Oregon, anywhere a supposed "sex offender" chooses to live in Oregon after he has served his prison time, all his neighbors will be informed by mail that a "dangerous sex offender" has just moved into their neighborhood.
Within 1,000 yards, as this new law states, my future neighbors will be notified that I did prison time for first degree rape. Now won't that make them happy! I wonder if the neighborhood Welcome Wagon will show up at my door?
Will my neighbors be informed that the only reason I was accused of rape was that some unstable, disturbed, drug addict who had a history of making false reports could win some money off an unjust law suit?
In some cases men who are released from prison are required to post signs in front of their new residence stating they are dangerous "sex offenders". Will such a sign be placed in front of my house? How am I to take my rightful place in a community in which my neighbors have been informed by the local police that I am a supposed sexual deviant? Even when I am finally outside of prison I will not find justice.
As of this writing my release date is three years away. I can not see myself continued to be chastised for a crime I did not commit once I am released from prison.
I contacted the Oregon Parole Board requesting that I take a psychological exam as soon as possible to prove that I am in no way a sexual deviant and that I am not a danger to society. I received a letter back from the board's chairman, Vern Faatz that stated that I may take a psychological exam after I am released. When this exam is finally conducted and proves that I am not a danger and if I am still forced to "register" I plan to sue the state of Oregon. I will not be their "whipping boy" any longer after I am released. Is not five plus years out of my life for a crime I would never commit enough for them? It might just not be.
In an article by the New York Times News Service here's what they say of the continuing nightmare once men are released from prison "Will Tough Laws Violate Right's of the Sex Criminal?" 1993, (I add "Won't these laws also violate the rights of innocent men who were wrongly imprisoned?")
Peterson became one of the first people in Washington state and one of a growing number of released sex offenders around the country to be required by a new law to inform police of where he lives as long as he stays in Washington.
The police, in turn, are allowed in many cases to release that information, along with the offender's criminal records, to the public.
Responding to a 47% increase in the convictions of sex offenders in the last five years and often spurred by tragic cases of sex crimes against children, many states have created tough laws to keep track of sex offenders who have been released from prison.
But Louisiana's recent enactment of what many experts consider the most aggressive law of its type is fueling a growing national debate on how far states can go to protect the public against the specter of sex crimes without violating civil rights.
In Peterson's case, friends and families of his victims used the information and photographs from police to make thousands of flyers warning of his release, which they posted and handed out at schools and ferry terminals.
Local news programs showed a picture of the slender man on their evening broadcasts, and students were sent home with emergency notices about him.
Critics of the laws say that they allow states to continue to punish offenders long after they had paid for their crimes, by essentially revoking their right to privacy.
The laws vary widely from state to state in how they allow police to collect the information and use it to protect the public, but the newest laws are generally the most stringent. Many are part of sweeping sexual predator laws that allow officials to declare some sex offenders as habitual, allowing the courts to impose stricter sentences on them and some times imprison them indefinitely.
Some states require offenders to register only through the period of their parole or probation. Others require them to remain registered for anywhere from five years to the rest of their lives.
Most require that the information be used only to help police investigations, but others, including statutes in Washington, Maine, and Louisiana, make public availability of the information a key element of the registration law.
The Louisiana measure, which the state began to enforce in late January, requires sex offenders released on probation or parole to notify their neighbors personally of their address and criminal records.
If the offender lives in an urban area, he must mail a letter or postcard to every resident in a three square block radius of his home, stating his name, address and his criminal record. If he lives in a rural area he must mail notification to everyone in a one mile radius.
The most controversial aspect of the law also allows judges to force ex-convicts to wear special clothing that marks them as sex offenders, to post signs on their houses, or to put bumper stickers on their cars indicating that they have committed sex offenses.
Civil libertarians say the law, dubbed "the Scarlet Letter Bill," is an example of law makers over reacting to the threat of sex crimes.
"What you're doing is setting these offenders up for complete failure," says James Boren, director of the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. "Nobody can live in a house with a sign out front that says, `Hi, I raped a child.' They'll get out and soon realize that no matter what they do, they're seen as evil so they might as well be evil."
Robert Buruchowitz, a public defender in Seattle, said that distributing the pictures and addresses of released sex offenders to the public and the news media served only to foster unnecessary fear and possible vigilantism. "Either someone had paid his debt to society, or he hasn't," said Buruchowitz, who is challenging the provision of Washington's sexual predator law that allows officials to keep some offenders incarcerated after they have served their sentences.
As far as I know, I have not been classified as a sexual predator. Even though I do have a first degree rape conviction, there was no act of violence, threat of violence, considerable doubt any crime was committed, and I have absolutely no history of any sexual deviance. Could I be classified a sexual predator? Probably pretty easily if the powers that be thought that my activism with SAFAR and trying to get my own conviction over turned was too rebellious against the system. With such a classification I could be locked up forever, even though I harmed no one, and there would be nothing I could do about it.
Take what Butler Schaffer has to say about the final injustice of sexual predator laws in his 1993 article, "The New Ruling Class,"
Nor should we overlook the Washington state statute that provides for incarceration of previously convicted sex offenders--who had already served their sentences for crimes they might commit in the future.
When South Africa, Israel and the erstwhile Iron Curtain countries engage in such fascist practices known as "preventive detention," there is at least an occasional rumble of philosophic revulsion. I have heard very little opposition to this Washington statute, due, I suspect, to its sex related application.
If previously convicted muggers were rounded up and jailed for indefinite periods, I suspect there would be an appropriate reaction from various sectors of society. Should the Washington statute ever be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court, I strongly suspect that the thinking of the Rhenquists and Scalias will do nothing to impede its enforcement. After all, the United States Constitution poses a threat to our system of government.
The point I wish to get across is not simply that we are allowing standard for intelligent thinking, as well as procedural due process, to be corrupted in such an effortless manner, but that our preoccupation with matters of sex has made it easier for us to do these things to ourselves.
If you are an innocent man such as I am, don't take it lying down being forced to "register," posting signs in front of your house, wearing "sex offender" clothing, and having your local police or neighbors harass you. Demand to take a psychological exam to prove your sound mind and that you're not a danger to anyone. If the state still wants you to be a good Nazi and do as you're told, sue them! Don't spend years in prison for a crime you didn't commit only to be branded with the Scarlet Letter of a sexual deviant once you get out.
The state of Oregon has taken everything from me because of this wrongful conviction. They're sure not going to take away my privacy when I am released from prison and supposed to be a free man.
Here's what Alan Dershowitz had to say about Washington state's sexual predator law in his "Justice" column for Penthouse in April 1993,
Since the laws enactment, all fifteen people charged with being sexual predators have been found guilty by juries. None have been released and none are likely to be released for a very long time.
Consider the case of Vance Cunningham, who was convicted of raping two prostitutes [supposedly]. He served his four years. Before he was released, he was examined by a prison psychologist, who concluded he was neither dangerous nor mentally ill. Upon his release he got a job and started dating, apparently without incident. Notwithstanidng his perfect record, the Washington state police picked up the 26-year-old and charged him with being a sexual predator.
The state panel tried to persuade the prison psychologist to change her diagnosis so that Cunningham could be classified as mentally abnormal. She refused. Undaunted, the panel simply hired another psychologist and showed him Cunningham's paper record, which included one adult conviction for a sex crime. The newly hired psychologist concluded, without even interviewing him, that Cunningham was mentally abnormal. A jury concurred by a vote of eleven to one, and Cunningham was committed for "treatment." But there is no treatment available, since there is no recognized psychiatric category as "sexual predator."
The Washington law is now being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union before that state's highest court. The ACLU and other critics of the sexual predator law believe it is nothing but "preventive detention," which is repugnant to our basic civil rights.
The author of the Washington statute admits that locking up Vance Cunningham after he has completed his sentence "wouldn't have been fair if we were punishing" him. But he denies that Cunningham is being punished. Rather he is being confined "for purposes of public safety and treatment."
It is true that Cunningham is being confined for purposes of public safety. But so are most violent criminals who are serving their sentence. And if confinement against one's will as a sexual predator is not punishment, then it is difficult to know what the term means.
In Germany of the 1930's and 1940's "therapeutic execution" of the sick, the handicapped, and the unfit was not called punishment. It was called treatment for purposes of public safety. I thought that matters had improved over the past half century, but Washington's sexual predator law is a throw back to a dark period in history."
I have no doubt in my mind that some feminists, the ones that fuel the fires of the false rape hysteria with their twisted logic and man-hating rhetoric, would like nothing better than to have all men "register" as sexual deviants and the men who refused would be thrown in prison for "preventive detention." According to some feminists and the media, all men are dangerous and all women are victims. Perhaps we can just castrate all men and the world will be a better and safer place. Yeah, right.
Why should we care if dangerous sexual deviants are forced to give up their privacy or freedom if it protects the public?
First, as in my case, how do you know the man is in fact guilty or dangerous?
Second, how far will with the government go for "public safety"?
Is the registering of "sex offenders," placing signs in front of their homes, wearing special clothing, and preventive detention of alleged "sex offenders" only the first step? Perhaps next everyone who is released or who has ever been to prison will be required to be tattooed with a bar code on their forehead for easy identification and for the "public's safety." Maybe bar codes on all ex-convicts won't be enough to ensure "public safety."
Everyone by law will then be required to be tattooed with a bar code across their forehead and if convicted of any crime the sentence will automatically be life in prison without possibility of parole. For the citizens not in prison, anyone refusing the bar code tatoo surely has something to hide so they will be arrested and given life in prison. All this will be in the name of "public safety", of course. The United States may no longer be the Land of the Free, but we will sure be safe from one another.
The Society Against False Accusations of Rape (SAFAR) is the only organization trying to help the innocent man in prison due to a false accusation of rape. SAFAR offers support and passes along useful information that may be used by the innocent man to gain his freedom. SAFAR vows to end the witch hunt for "sex offenders" that has sent countless innocent men to prison.
I started SAFAR in 1990 at Oregon State Maximum Security Penitentiary, the most violent and dangerous prison in Oregon. No one knows the frustrations and loneliness of the innocent man in prison, except another innocent man, and the obstacles can be overwhelming. For the first few months I was the only member of SAFAR. I tried in vain and at great expense to get some sort of publicity for SAFAR. Soon I found out the ultra liberal media did not want to hear of innocent men in prison. After spending over a thousand dollars trying to get media attention for SAFAR, I stopped. For the time being SAFAR was in limbo.
I was transferred to a prison on the Oregon coast. A few weeks at the new prison was enough. I escaped. SAFAR was dead in the water and my appeals for a new trial were going nowhere. Eighteen months later I was recaptured in Seattle, Washington. I was sent back to Oregon with fourteen months added to my prison term for escaping, and was thrown in "The Hole" for added punishment. In "The Hole" an inmate is confined to his cell 231/2 hours a day with a half-hour-a-day "exercise period" in a small hallway. Some inmates confined to these barbaric conditions are put on tranquilizers to keep from falling totally apart. For 35 days I did not see the sun or taste fresh air. I did have a lot of time to think and I decided I would start up SAFAR again.
After I was released from "segregation" I started a media blitz for SAFAR. I would not give up. Again I found the popular media uninterested in reporting the truth behind the false accusations of rape hysteria. I decided to focus my mailing to smaller newspapers and magazines. This tactic paid off. The first publication to do a write up about SAFAR was Convictions magazine, an outstanding prisoner's rights magazine that has since gone out of business. The article appeared in the summer of 1992 issue. This first piece of publicity got the ball rolling for SAFAR. In one week I received over twenty letters from prisoners from all over the country. SAFAR was reborn! I then started to publish the SAFAR Newsletter within this prison. The newsletter was mailed out monthly for the first four issues, but I have since had to go bi-monthly due to costs.
Things began to go well for SAFAR. Over the next few months SAFAR was featured in a number of publications. Here is a list of publications that have so far done pieces on SAFAR: Convictions Magazine, Coalition for Prisoner's Rights, The Men's Council Journal, The American Bulletin, The Liberator.
Here is an article that appeared in the Men's Council Journal in its "Lost Voices" column in the February 1993 edition:
On October 1990, I escaped from prison. I had been serving a ten year sentence for a crime I did not commit. Escape was the only choice I had for freedom from the injustice I had been forced to endure.
In September 1985, I as falsely accused of rape by a woman I had met in an alcohol treatment center. She had made her false report in order to wrongly sue the center for one million dollars. She would later try to sue me for child support until it was proved she was lying about this also. In September 1989, I was wrongly convicted of rape. I had been out on bail before my trial. I never would have gone to my trial had I known what a farce it would turn out to be. I was given ten years in a maximum security penitentiary. I was 27 years old and had never been to prison before. I as also innocent.
I was recaptured 18 months after my escape, given more time in prison, and denied a new trial. Out of pure frustration and utter contempt for our so-called justice system, I have started SAFAR.
I hope to help the hundreds, if not thousands of "victims" such as myself being held hostage by unfair laws and convict-at-all-costs attitudes for those falsely accused of rape.
Supposedly, in this country a man is innocent until proven guilty. No so with an accusation of rape. Even if a man somehow beats the odds and proves his innocence, just the stigma of having been accused is enough to ruin his life.
Most people feel William Kennedy Smith "got off luck," even though a jury found him innocent. Gary Dotson spent six years in prison before Cathleen Webb admitted she lied about being raped. Tawana Bradley made her false report of rape in a twisted publicity stunt. A grand jury found she was lying. I have already spent two years in prison, with many more to go. The woman who falsely accused me of rape is $24,000 richer from her wrongful lawsuit. Until unfair laws are changed and the public is made aware, the false reporting of rape frenzy that this country is in, will continue and many more innocent men will be imprisoned.
According the F.B.I., false reports of rape are epidemic in this country. the F.B.I. states that 8.5%* of reported rapes turn out to be false. Also false reports of rape are made dramatically more often than any other falsely reported crime. Some 1,330 rapes were reported in Oregon in 1990, the year of my escape. by F.B.I. statistics, that would mean 121 false rapes were reported [in Oregon] in 1990. How many innocent men went to prison that year? How much money did these false reports costs Oregon taxpayers?
It is recognized by defense attorneys that a charge of rape, no matter how obviously unfounded, is the hardest type of case to defend. Emotions at a rape trial can be very strong. Prosecuting attorneys use these emotions and unfair rape shield laws to make fair trials impossible for those falsely accused.
Rape shield laws state, in short, that nothing in the accuser's past--no matter how vile--can be brought into court; not even if such evidence overwhelmingly suggests no rape was committed. A working prostitute who has made previous false reports of rape and has a police record a mile long can be made out to look like a nun by the District Attorney at a rape trial. An unjust lawsuit was the main reason behind the false report against me, but the jury never heard this.
Rape shield laws must be amended! Are not the scales of justice supposed to weigh evenly? The way they are now written, rape shield laws preclude a fair trial; for those falsely accused of rape, it is an impossible situation. If not for these unconstitutional laws, I would not be in prison today. Rape shield laws were passed for
* other studies indicate the number to be 25% or higher.
the true victims of rape, not for courtroom manipulators, ambulance chasing lawyers, and conviction-hungry district attorneys. The goals of SAFAR are simple:
1. To free all those wrongly imprisoned.
2. To have rape shield laws amended and fair trials given.
3. To educate the public about the false reports of rape, a frenzy in which this country is engulfed.
4. To bring to an end the false accusations of rape and the so-called justice system that encourages these false accusers.
I personally know what it is to be raped by the justice system. I was found guilty in the eyes of the court, media, and general public long before I ever stepped into a courtroom. The woman who claimed I raped her made her false claim only to line her pockets--and our so-called justice system helped her every step of the way. Every day I am surrounded by the hate and violence that is this prison, and for what! So some lying, pathetic junkie could buy herself a new car or more drugs? To say I am bitter is an understatement. This is why I fight!
Why would a woman make a false report of rape in the first place? There are many reasons. Women, like men, are not all of good character, moral or law-abiding. Such reasons include revenge, guilt, jealousy, attention seeking, publicity, wrongful search for sympathy, a lawsuit, financial gain.
My last attorney told me that even if this woman who put me in prison admitted she lied about being raped for the sake of money, I still may not get out of prison. This is our justice system today. If you have questions, legal advice, or would like to help our cause, please feel free to write.
Even with the publicity I and SAFAR have so far received, I felt we needed even more. Again I tried to get the popular media's attention. All I received back from the media packages I sent out were rejection notices. For now, word of mouth will have to be enough for SAFAR to get the much needed attention of the mass media.
In my bi-monthly SAFAR Newsletter I try to focus on the positive. I pass along vital information I find in magazines and newspapers that have to do with the false rape issue. Also I have built quite a network of media hounds that scour the news, keeping me up-t--date on prison related news, false rape issues, and other important news for the innocent men in prison. Here is what I had to say in the June 1993 edition of the SAFAR Newsletter:
Here's the fourth issue of our monthly SAFAR Newsletter. We are the only organization that fights for the prisoner falsely accused of some sort of sex crime which is so easily made these days.
Thank you all for writing the Governor of Oregon on my behalf. Governor Barbara Roberts till hasn't made up her mind on whether to commute my prison term. All I ask of her is to look at all the facts in my case including all the evidence that the jury in my "fair trial" was not allowed to hear due to the unconstitutional rape shield laws. If not for these laws I, along with a great many of you, would not be in prison today.
Our innocent brothers in Hawaii, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania are not allowed to receive this newsletter. Every effort to contact them has failed. Why are some prison officials so afraid of letting the truth be known to innocent men in their prisons?
I have been reading that some feminists and "politically correct" law makers wish to outlaw the consensual defense. This means, in short, that a man and a woman can have sex, the woman can turn around an cry rape for whatever twisted reason, and the man will not be able, by law, to tell the jury that the sex was in fact consensual.
Does "fair trail" mean anything these days? It appears not to some man-hating feminists, conviction hungry district attorneys, and other 'sex crime" witch hunters who are more than happy to send innocent men to prison. SAFAR will never bow to these U. S. Constitution-burning Nazis. We will continue to expose their lies, fight for fair justice, and fight for our freedom that was so easily stolen from us.
From 1988 to 1990 the number of so-called sex offenders has skyrocketed 47% in our nation's prisons. Innocent men in countess numbers are being swept up in this tidal wave of "getting tough" on "sex offenders." Rape and child abuse are horrible crimes, but why must the justice system in their hunt for these sick criminals continue to ignore the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights? What worse nightmare could there be for a man than to wake up one day and be accused of a sex crime he would never commit?
We, the members of SAFAR, will never give up in our fight to prove our innocence. The information contained in this edition of the SAFAR Newsletter is for the innocent man and his family in hopes that something said will help the innocent man gain his freedom. Never give up, my friends and never give in. We will find our justice!
Also in this fourth edition were copies of articles concerning DNA testing, two subscription forms for Prison Life Magazine and The Liberator, a lengthy article on false accusations and what to do about them, false rape statistics, and two addresses of men who are experts in false child abuse testimony. The fourth edition of the SAFAR Newsletter was four pages long.
The reaction I have received from prisoners has been extremely favorable, and the best news is that some of the information I have passed along has even helped some SAFAR members. To date the newsletter is sent out to over 35 prisons in the U.S. and we have even been contacted by a group in England to start a SAFAR chapter overseas.
I am due to be release in May of 1996 after spending over 60 months in prison. SAFAR will continue once I am a free man. I predict SAFAR will become a major force in freeing innocent men from prison and educating the public to the growing false report of rape hysteria. SAFAR members have all been quite active in trying to get media attention, and several have had their articles published in different newspapers across the country. SAFAR will continue to grow, and someday the false accusations of rape will be a thing of the past and innocent men will no longer have to endure the tragedy of living in prison for a crime they would never commit, having their reputations ruined, and families destroyed.
QUOTES FROM SAFAR MEMBERS
The following is an example of letters that I receive every week. These excerpts from SAFAR members show the pain of prison life and the injustices of false accusations. This is just a small sampling of the amount of mail I receive from innocent men all over the United States.
* B. M., Ionia Maximum Security Facility, Michigan
"No, I really don't have anything to say to add to your book, but you could make a law book with all the rape cases that were reversed and sell it to inmates to support your organization. As far as a book about false rape goes, people know that it happens all the time. There's too many rape cases out there not for there not to be a lot of bogus cases. People aren't as naive as they pretend to be. It's like this, though: prisons are an industry for profit in the U.S. The more people they can lock up, so it looks legal according to their laws, the more money they can squeeze out of the tax payers. The media hypes up the people into a scare about so-called crime. That is how state and federal governments get away with what they're doing."
* S. P., Huntsville Prison, Texas
"Due to `rape shield laws' that have recently been under fire in the Supreme Court, I was unable to bring out in my defense in court that my wife had used the law four times prior to our divorce to extract favorable settlements. She is a female predator. I knew this all along, but was too egotistical to believe she would resort to such tactics with me. How wrong I was. The ambivalent relationship that exists between husband and wife is a perfect medium for false accusations. Watch [the television series,] 'Divorce Court' sometime if you are the least bit skeptical.
I was originally offered ten years probation, but could not bring myself to get up in front of the judge and admit to something too repugnant to even consider. The end result proved the fallacy in my thinking. I have been incarcerated for 40 months now. Although I was eligible for parole March 16, 1993, they gave me a one year set off. Aggravated sexual assault looks bad on paper, regardless of the circumstances. My wife was harmed in no way. In order to charge me with any crime they had to make it "aggravated" so my wife carried our pistol to the police and said I threatened her life with it. I still can not believe the jury bought that, but there were 7 women on it. I had a female prosecutor, and a female judge.
Unknown to me at the time, my lawyer was fighting extradition to California on felony charges and was not even supposed to try any cases. He has since been disbarred. However, it was not in time enough to help my appeals, which were all denied.
Houston is not known for "fair trials." It was [the trial], a character assassination on me, with hers [his wife's] protected by "rape shield laws." My defense was nonexistent. Had I been on the jury and heard what they heard, I probably would have voted myself guilty. The truth never surfaced. The jury did hang for three days, at any rate. After the third note to the judge saying they were deadlocked, instead of declaring a mistrial, Judge M. B. issued the Allen Charge, also known as the "shotgun charge." It says in essence to go back in there and do not come out without a verdict! The rest is history for the true `victim' of this charade."
(S. P. was a successful business owner and had never been in trouble in his life before his hate-filled wife falsely accused him .)
* M. J., Louisiana State Penitentiary, Angola, Louisiana
"Just received newsletter #3 in the mail. It's really good to hear the momentum that we are gaining in our never ending fight. The article in newsletter #3 about 'Framed Fathers' was like reading my trail transcript over again. The circumstances in the article were so close to those in my case. I thought I had a unique case, but it seems I don't after all. I spend quite a lot of time in the law books these days. After an unsuccessful escape last year, I've been on extended lock down ever since."
* J. C., Fairbanks Correctional Center, Alaska
"I wish I had a few bones to send, but child support takes what little I get. I was working making $24 a month in this prison. Out of that I get about $5! I enjoy reading the SAFAR newsletters. Let's get the ball rolling. Too many of us are in jail for something we didn't do!"
* M. W., Washington State Penitentiary, Walla Walla, Washington
"I got your newsletter yesterday. Sorry to hear about your problems with the court, but that's kind of par for the course. Please get in touch with VOCAL for me. I would like to hear from them. I sent them a letter, but we are experiencing difficulties with the mail room here. There actually losing guy's legal mail here! as well as destroying and censoring letters!"
* M. P., Mansfield, Ohio
"Doing alright myself, just hanging in there. I'm waiting to see how I go about getting a DNA test. I should find out something by the end of the month. I'll be sure to let you know the outcome. I'm writing news reporters also and I hope to hear back from a couple of them soon. So I guess all we can do is wait and hope that someone out there will hear us and give us a helping hand."
* D. T., Oregon State Penitentiary, Oregon
"I want to sue her for making a false report of rape. I want to sue the Portland police for failure to adequately preserve the alleged crime scene (they did not do fingerprints or take the blankets or sheets from the bed). My request for DNA testing was denied. I asked for blood, saliva, hair and semen samples since I know that I was not there. The crime lab said they had no samples to compare with mine."
(D.T. has served 75 months and has 45 months to go in a case of mistaken identity.)
* R. G., Northwest State Correctional, Vermont
"I am doing pretty good considering I am in prison due to the unlawful actions of the police! Those two terms, unlawful and police should not be used together, but let's be real, it happens every day. Our so-called criminal justice system is a sham and needs to be overhauled. It has gotten to the point where they don't care about justice anymore and are just living off the people of society like parasites. Yes, I do agree with you that women who make these false accusations are criminals, but if it were not for the corrupt authorities, you and I and the rest of the innocent men would not be where we are today.
This experience has opened up my eyes to a problem that has to be dealt with. This problem is the incarceration of innocent individuals. I for one am sick of being a slave of the state! I will never give up trying to change the present system. Since my incarceration I have been exposed to the ever increasing problem of false accusations of child abuse. It's as bad or worse than false accusations of [adult female] rape. If you would, please, pass along the following information to those accused of crimes against children they have not done:
1) The Child Abuse Industry, by Mary Price, published by Crossways Books
2) Don't Blame Me, Daddy, by Dean Tong published by Hampton Roads
3) True and False Accusations of Child Abuse, by Richard Gardner, M.D., published by Creative Therapeutics.
I want you to know, James, that I am serious about doing something about our problem, even after I do obtain my freedom."
(R. G. runs the Vermont chapter of SAFAR)
* C. K., O'Neill County Jail, Nebraska
"What I need more than anything is a good lawyer to stand up for me. My appeal went in, but I get sentenced on August 20, 1993. Here in the county jail they have eight people in about a hundred and twenty square feet and it's hard to get any peace. I hope my appeal goes well because I have three sons and I worry about them every day."
* W. E., Luther Luckett Correctional Complex, Kentucky
"I hope everything is going well for you and I pray the reporter didn't end up 'standing you up.' So far I haven't had any luck in getting anyone interested in looking at my case--and I have so much evidence to prove my innocence it's ridiculous! I do have a paid attorney attempting to help me through the courts, but I have already spent eight years in this hell! I honestly don't expect any play from the people who erroneously put me here to begin with.
* S. S., Columbia Correctional Institution, Wisconsin
"How goes it? I got your last newsletter dated May 1993. It looks good. I really appreciate the newsletter. I pass it on after I look it over. Nothing new on the home front. My attorney showed up a couple of months back and said I had nothing coming. At this time I am trying to go pro se and do my own appeal, which should be a trip. By the way, I don't know if I mentioned it, but I read your story in the last The American's Bulletin. They really did a good job and got the message out. Look forward to reading your book when you get it published."
* R. D., Massachusetts
"I think SAFAR is a great organization and hope it gets the attention it deserves. I have also sent a letter of support for you to the Governor of Oregon, Barbara Roberts. I hope it helps.
"No one knows what an innocent man goes through better than another innocent man. My prayers are with you. Stay in touch and again I thank you for all your help."
* E. S., Snake River Correction, Oregon
"I have faith that I am going to have my case overturned. I have lost all my state battles, so I am on my way to federal court where I have absolutely no doubt I will win if given a fair hearing.
"Still I am trying to stay strong, as I suggest you do as well. The struggle goes on whether we stand alone or together in this fight for justice."
(We will stand together, E.!)
* R. C., North Central Correctional Institution, Massachusetts
"Recently read your introduction for your organization [SAFAR] in the `Coalition for Prisoners Rights Newsletter', and feel compelled to introduce myself to you.
I am incarcerated in Massachusetts, based upon a false accusation, triggered by my vindictive ex-wife, who had found the perfect, fool-proof method of preventing me access to my children. I am also a paralegal who has spent numerous hours fighting the very crime I have been falsely accused of. I am interested in learning more of your organization and hearing from others incarcerated for the same crimes. If you would kindly add my name to your mailing list, and encourage others to correspond with me, maybe as a group we can all help and the [rape] hysteria affecting the communities of this country."
* G. S., New River Corrections, Florida
"Thanks for SAFAR newsletter #5. I appreciate the information contained. It seems that one can never tell from what source helpful information will come. There are many men imprisoned in Florida unjustly as Florida law allows the uncorroborated statement of an alleged victim to be the basis of an arrest and conviction."
* E.P., Shirley Medium Security, Massachusetts
"It seems our governor wants a registration of 'sex offenders.' for us innocent men that's like declaring 'open season.' The implications of this legislation could have devastating effects!
* J. H., Daytona Beach, Florida
"So how are your cases going and the membership for SAFAR? I hope that you can send more news hopefully that someday we can be heard nationwide. The public becomes aware of the women that make false accusations and we innocent men can have the laws changed to stop protecting these sort of women regardless of their motive and start prosecuting them! I do believe if we fight hard enough and build SAFAR, that this is possible."
(J. H. will be serving 18 years on a 30-year sentence for "attempted sexual assault" on the sole word of his vengeful ex-wife.
* G.J., Washington State Reformatory, Washington
"My psychiatric social worker, a woman, just brought me a copy of what you wrote about starting the Society Against False Accusations of Rape, and suggested I write you to find out more about SAFAR. I am also a victim of a false accusation and have served 13 years and 6 months so far on a 20-year maximum sentence. Publicity and a good attorney are what's needed."
* W. H., Lapeer, Michigan
"Yes, I did receive both of the letters you have senst. Please consider the load I'm under preparing a Writ of Hab, a motion for commutation, and soliciting funds for my defense. My day is full. Further; so many groups with good intentions have come and gone, causing me to be patient, watch and work with the survivors. It's unusual to find a group crusading from inside the joint."
(W. H. is now in his eighth year in prison due to his wife's false accusation. His fight for freedom has gathered worldwide attention.)
* L. W., Oregon State Penitentiary, Oregon
"I have names of 3 others in Oregon who want to join SAFAR, where I have worked on two of the cases. In Don O.'s case, I got a majority opinion reversal December 19, 1991, by the Court of Appeals, but then the Oregon Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals decision and `reconvicted' Don! In his case, his accuser states in trial testimony, `I lied because tea prosecutor threatened me with drug and prostitution charges.' He was convicted regardless."
(L. W. is serving a 20 year prison term with ten years added to that because his accuser said he gave her a venereal disease, that he never had and has medical records to prove it! His accuser was "hired" by a vengeful ex-girlfriend to accuse Les of rape. Witnesses to this "hiring" were not allowed in court. L. has spent over six years in prison fighting his wrongful conviction and was the first SAFAR member. I consider L. an expert in not only false accusations, but also the legal system. If you would like to write to him, I may be able to give you his address.)
* J. M., Moberly Corrections, Missouri
"We just received notice that they're going to put more inmates in this camp. I sure don't know how they're going to keep the trouble down. I don't know how your camp is, but this one has hundreds of knives floating around and it's not a good place to try and screw someone. It happens anyway and the stabbings go on and on.
You asked if my evidence that I was in a hospital ever came out in court: Hell, yes it did, and I also had computer printouts on the entire time I was there. It was also pointed out that I was not only in the hospital on the date of the crime, but I was also confined there three days before and after the event. But in this state and in the particular county I was in (Clay County)it didn't make any difference to them. Because if the prosecution says you're involved in a sex crime, then you automatically did it, regardless of the evidence."
(J. M. is one of SAFAR's most politically active members.)
J. M., along with all the other SAFAR members quoted in this chapter is still in prison and waiting for a miracle: JUSTICE.
It is now September of 1993 and Falling on the Deaf Ear is finally completed. I am still at Oregon State Correctional Institution, in cellblock 11, cell 26 where I wrote this book. I will more than likely be held hostage in the State of Oregon until my release date of May, 1996. I have decided not to escape again. The hounds of the Oregon Department of Corrections are never far behind and never lose a man's scent, which is, for them the scent of money. For every prisoner the State of Oregon gets its federal monies, and doesn't want to lose one of it's money-makers.
On September 15, 1993, I received a letter from the Governor of Oregon, Barbara Roberts, saying she would not commute my prison term and that I should and will remain in prison. I would like to thank all those who wrote letters to the Governor on my behalf, even though the letters of support were written in vain. The Governor is more concerned about the possibility of losing future votes than freeing an innocent man from prison.
On August 18, 1993, I filed what is known as a "Bal Four Brief" to the Oregon Supreme Court. I am appealing their earlier decision to close my case for a new trial due to a late filing. My public defender handling my case decided I had no merits to continue and wanted me to dismiss my own case. This I could not do.
The last paragraphs of my submitted brief sums up my feeling to the court:
"...and more important than any deadline that was required to be met, is the fact that I am an innocent man in prison and deserve the opportunity to prove it. Is not the most important factor of law and the concept of justice to make sure innocent men do not wind up in prison, as is in my case?
To deny my right to a new trial because of a missed filing deadline would be a grave injustice. My trail was very unfair under the guidelines of our U.S. constitution and my trial attorney was incompetent. Do we in this day and age totally ignore our Constitution, Bill of Rights, and a defendant's right to be represented by counsel at trial because of a missed filing deadline?"
I sincerely hope the Court gives me the chance to prove my innocence in a fair trial by granting my Petition for Post-Conviction Relief."
I have not heard back from the court as of yet. I only hope that "justice" will override a procedural late filing and I am at last granted a new and fair trial after already serving over two and some half years in prison. If not, I will then go to the federal courts, and then to the U. S. Supreme Court, with Oregon tax payers flipping the bill the entire way.
Elsewhere in the country, the false accusations of rape nightmare continue to grow with no end in sight. While writing my book:
- Mike Tyson's appeal was denied by the Indiana Courts, while his "victim" laughs all the way to the bank, raking in the financial profits from her "attack."
- Pop super star Michael Jackson while on his 1993 world wide tour was accused of child molestation in what his defense attorney calls an "extortion" attempt. He also stated that Mr. Jackson is the victim of dozens of such sexual assault accusations and law suit attempt each year. Is Mr. Jackson guilty? I don't know. If he is, he should be punished. But let's not assume guilt on the mere accusation when a financial motive is more than likely.
Now I come to the sickest news I have heard in along time. Radical feminists and even members of the media are gleefully cheering the act off extreme brutality by a very sick woman.
This woman cut off her husband's penis and the feminist Nazis are declaring her their new heroine. This woman turned around and said her husband raped her the night before. He was promptly arrested and she, the one who viciously mutilated him will more than likely get off scott free. Even though no evidence was found to indicate a rape, this man will more than likely wind up in prison. She, of course, will probably get the cover of People magazine.
As to date no SAFAR members have been release from prison and none are likely to be in the near future, even though some can, without a doubt, prove their innocence if given the chance.
Our legal system would rather have an innocent man rot in prison and destroy his family than to admit they made a mistake. SAFAR members continue to bombard the media with our pleas for justice.
I would like to thank several people without whom this book would not have been possible. First, Patty Palmer, whose total dedication to exposing the false accusation hysteria inspired me greatly, was the first to even suggest I write such a book, typed and edited it.
Richard Doyle, the editor of The Liberator has also been a major influence in my activism.
Scott Kuehl, author and expert on false allegations who helped greatly in the making of this book. Mr. Kuehl has two books of his own soon to hit the bookstores: The Politics of Rape and The Child Sexual Abuse Hysteria, both of which I highly recommend.
The four public defenders who sent against the odds and tried in vain to help me gain my freedom:
- Mark Geiger of Salem, Oregon
- Noel Grefenson of Salem, Oregon
- Steven Lipton of Salem, Oregon
- and most of all, the caring and dedicated federal public defender, Tony Bornstein of Portland, Oregon.
And, of course, I wish to thank William Anderson, my father who has always stood by my side, and all the SAFAR members with whom are my brothers and always will be.
I now have 34 months to go until I walk again in the free world. Please pass along to others the information you have learned from this book. Only together can we, men and women, end the false rape hysteria.