Woman charged with making false report about rape after her FitBit revealed inconsistencies in story


#1

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#2

I do not care about what a bracelet says, we believe all accusations of sexual violence against women.
The act can induce PTSD which damages recollections. Even the act of reporting is a secondary trauma that a woman should not have to endure.
Even in cases of what appears to a bystander to be ‘obvious’ malicious false reporting we must not prosecute as the injury to society is so great in an already barely reported but very common and socially accepted(among men) crime.
Charging any woman for reporting is rape-society circling its wagons and shooting the innocent victim to make an example.


#3

I am trying to follow this. What is the logical conclusion here? That some individuals should face different justice as sanction for the crimes of their fathers, basically?

We gotta find a different way, less black and white, to parse these things.


#4

It’s a very strange kind of recollection that is simultaneously reliable enough to trust as proof beyond a reasonable doubt, yet so unreliable that it cannot be held responsible for false testimony before a court of law. If the recollection is good enough to be admissible, then it’s good enough to be challenged and held to account. You don’t get to have it both ways.

It’s certainly right that rapists be prosecuted for their crimes. But let’s not destroy the rights of the defendant in your quest for revenge. We all rely on those – every last one of us.


#7

Accused rapists get a shot at a court of law and that is where the record of whether there is sufficient evidence to convince a judge and jury is determined.
But the benefit to society is greatest when sexual violence accusations are believed and even if it means creating a regime in cases where the DA is unable to prosecute with the state ordering a hearing and paying the rapist compensation to move on as in cases of eminent domain. The man should at least get slapped with a restraining order and be excluded from the area as a matter of public health as we would exclude without trial an Ebola patient to a sealed hospital ward.
If people can be forced to move away for economic reasons why not when they rape? This goes for universities too, even without a formal trial rapists can get off easy and just find a new school after automatic expulsion, like all incoming freshman do.


#8

Oho…better not challenge a womans claims…even though there is no evidence.

Rape is a crime. To prove there was in fact a crime, there has to be evidence.

If the police felt there was enough reason to doubt the womans story that they took data from her fitbit, then her story was on shakey ground.

And what damage do false rape claims do to society?


#9

Well said.
Rational consideration of evidence is still an overriding factor in determining guilt.

No, it’s actually applying the law and assumption of innocence equally to all members of society. Panicked hyperbole doesn’t make it ok to ruin someone else’s life in pursuit of a greater good, whether it’s in defense of witches, communists, drug fiends, terrorists or whatever boogeyman being used to drum up the mob.


#10

Well, because if it’s a case based in fabricated evidence, the goodwill you are saying ought to be afforded victims of sexual crimes is being taken advantage of.

Secondarily and separately, I do not think that people should be forced to move or “just find another freshman year” without due process.

I don’t disagree with you Dobby, but I’ve been on both sides of this argument, I have been drugged and raped and have also been accused (not formally, just socially) of the same by someone when I wasn’t even in the same state…

and due process… it really matters.


#12

Not nearly as much as emphasizing them instead of actual rape.


#13

Many people move, some frequently, and their life is not ruined, I suggested it be a public health based eminent domain exclusion with compensation. A restraining order is also non-damaging once outside the area of the victim, unless the rapist is a gun nut, so let the state buy his guns.


#15

Depends on how much money you have. And the legalese you’re cobbling together: Just no.


#16

I envy the naivete of people who think “Guilty until proven innocent” would not be abused, “just” because of the gravity and nature of the offense.

In fact, if would be abused precisely BECAUSE of the gravity and nature of the offense. If you create a magic phrase that lets you put people in prison, or deprive them of work, education, or lodging, you’ve handed the patriarchy a sword.

Can someone arguing for a default guilty sexual assault process honestly say it would be good for men of color?
Do they think no prototype of the patriarchy would ever say, pay a poor woman a vast sum to slander his business competition?
Do they imagine no angry evangelical parent would ever use this process against the gay lover of a child living at home?

The political iconoclasm of youth, and the limited context of the campus, cannot become the arbiter and editor of he broader justice system.

This is the same sort of flaw libertarians who want to dismantle all government display: Willful refusal to fully consider the context that resulted in the status quo and assimilate it into proposed reforms.


#17

are you actually saying that it should be ok to falsely accuse someone of rape, and then when they’re found not guilty, just give them some money so that they move? with no consequences for the person making the false claim? that’s gotta be the most retarded thing i’ve ever heard.


#18

That is how all laws are made, by first writing them and then voting on them. We do not have good protection laws in place so reporting a rape is currently a harrowing experience and exposure to great danger. If your fitbit disagrees with your story on how many times you peed in the night not only do you get no trial or police investigation, you also get no restraining order and might go to jail yourself.


#19

also, i’m sure the police are smart enough to tell the difference between 20 steps to go to the bathroom and 20 minutes of walking around.


#20

I think there’s a disconnect here between people concerned about emphasis and people concerned about legal fact.

Fairness to the accused, generally, for all crimes, is a HUGE deal. It’s one of the things that sets a progressive country apart from a tyrannical one.

Proper consideration of the traumatic nature of crime and the frailty of memory isn’t a new hurdle in justice.
Beatings cause PTSD
Murders and attempted murders do as well, for witnesses and the involved. They can even leave one party a voiceless decedent.

We have not, not quite, fallen into a state where because of the horror inflicted by crime, we level additional horror against he unconvicted, on principle.

If we can’t think of a way to modernize and improve prosecution of traumatic assaults without doing so, we’re giving up on progress and throwing open a TERRIBLE door to police and justice system over-reach. Which we pretty much, after the last few years, know is already a thing.


#21

The entire reason I can’t trust the police with deciding to punish “false rape allegations” is stuff like this: http://www.theguardian.com/law/2011/aug/12/layla-jailed-after-reporting-sexual-assault

Part of that case involved loss of evidence, and we know how the police care about treating evidence right oh so much: http://www.mlive.com/lansing-news/index.ssf/2014/06/snyder_signs_law_to_speed_up_r.html

Or this: http://msmagazine.com/blog/2011/04/15/woman-pays-for-reporting-a-rape/

So yeah. 18 year old woman gets raped, she gets FINED for a “false allegation”, and have it put on her record… only later photographic evidence proves her right. If it wasn’t for those photos, she would have been fined for truthfully reporting a sexual assault.


#22

To all of the anti-restraining order and pro-prosecuting the victim…
Game theory is a useful tool when we use it to analyse behavior, motivation, and outcomes.
If we accept that rape is vastly under reported then we have a pool of people who are victimized a a rate qualifying as an epidemic were it microbial.
If we can also accept that proving rape is actually very difficult in most cases where there is no forced entry or weapon used then we have a situation where many victims are forced to live with and easily be re-victimized by their attacker because they realize their odds of successfully getting a prosecution to incarceration or even a protective order are low.
Even if there is the theoretical god-view case where we can be sure that a woman is lying the effect of prosecuting her creates a massive fear in the wider population that if they report a rape, where there is little physical evidence or they are of an ‘unimportant’ class, a he-said she-said could lead to real victims being charged and prosecuted, this creates a chilling effect. The police and prosecutor very frequently use discretion on prosecution for the public good, ie. medical cannabis dispensaries.
The chilling effect has a public health effect, it increases the susceptibility of a population to a vector and permits the vector to continue to operate unchecked.
I am a pretty radical civil libertarian and would oppose playing with the rules of evidence.
But like the drug abuse rape is such a widespread problem affecting 51% of humans directly or indirectly by inhibiting through fear normal behavior that I feel we need to legislate a public health based solution which respects property rights while also separating the vectors from the victims.
(edit)This will be expensive to pay moving costs for accused rapists and I expect the problem will not be overuse but underuse in order to save money.


#23

you’re making an awful lot of assumptions there to back up your proposed solution, and then making more assumptions based on those assumptions.

Even if there is the theoretical god-view case where we can be sure that a woman is lying the effect of prosecuting her creates a massive fear in the wider population that if they report a rape, where there is little physical evidence or they are of an ‘unimportant’ class, a he-said she-said could lead to real victims being charged and prosecuted, this creates a chilling effect.

bullshit. it leads to a fear of falsely reporting rape, which is a good thing. otherwise, you could make the same argument for reporting any crime.


#24

Do you think the fining of a teenager raped by an intruder, that I linked above, ended up making it more likely, or less likely that victims would go to the police?