A claim that has permeated throughout the culture and infected law enforcement is that prosecuting women who lie about being raped or sexually assaulted will hurt women who have actually been raped or sexually assaulted. The theory is that real victims won’t come forward for fear of being prosecuted even though there’s no evidence to suspect that real victims become fearful when fake victims are held accountable for their lies.
Prosecutors in Lawrence, Kansas, however, have taken the claim to heart and have dropped false reporting charges against at least three women.
The situation began in mid-September, when a female University of Kansas student told police she had been raped the night before. She said at the time she had been drunk and didn’t remember much of the encounter and didn’t want to press charges. She gave them access to her phone and her text messages suggested the encounter was consensual but a “mistake.”
It appeared to police that the woman was trying to get back at her ex-boyfriend by sleeping with his friend, and only claimed it was rape after an acquaintance threatened to tell people about the sexual encounter. The woman threatened this acquaintance by saying: “I’m pretty sure it was borderline rape and I have the bruises and statements to prove it so if you want to go there let’s do it.” As The Daily Wire previously reported, bruises do not form immediately after an injury and could have been caused by other actions.
The woman’s text messages showed her joking about the incident. She later claimed she was making light of the incident because she was “unable at the time to admit she had been raped.” She then started “remembering” the incident and started saying she had tried to tell her ex-boyfriend’s friend “no” and tried to leave but that he held her down.
The woman was arrested for making a false report, but prosecutors dropped the charges against her in November, citing fears that real victims would be afraid to come forward.
Now, a month later, prosecutors have dropped charges against two more women who allegedly made false claims. The Associated Press reported that two other cases of false reporting were dropped. Little is known about the two other cases, but the AP reported that one involved a woman who said she was raped and the other involved claims of domestic violence.
The Kansas City Star reported that the charges against the other two women were brought in the past two years but were dropped after the newspaper asked prosecutors about them. The Star reported that police officers in Lawrence are not trained properly to respond to claims of sexual abuse.
Media outlets are using the situation in Lawrence to further their cause of believing all women, with the Star and the AP focusing on low percentages of arrests in reported rape cases. Rape is notoriously difficult to prove in many cases, but that doesn’t prove it is handled differently than other reported crimes or that women are not being believed. These outlets also point to the low percentage of what they call “false accusations,” but they mislead readers because they are actually referring to cases where the false accusations were proven. It is even more difficult to prove a negative, so using such a number seeks only to give readers the false impression that false accusations are rare. The truth is we don’t know how many accusations are false and can never know.