An Australian accused her former partner of sexual assault. When his defense attorneys tried to bring up her prior history of making false accusations of sexual assault, a court ruled that such evidence was inadmissible, akin to bringing up her past sexual history, something prohibited in such cases.
The woman, who is not named in court documents, claimed that at the end of a 10-year relationship, her male partner, who is also not named, violently sexually assaulted her multiple times. The man, whom The Daily Wire will refer to as John Doe, claims that not only are the allegations against him false but that he has evidence that the woman, who will be referred to as Jane Roe, has made similar false claims in the past. The relationship ended in 2014, and the woman claimed the assaults happened in May and August of that year. The couple had been together since 2005 and had two children together, though they were split up for two years between 2008 and 2009.
The case ended up at the New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal, which did not look at the substance of Jane’s complaint since they were only concerned with whether John could submit evidence showing she had previously lied about being sexually assaulted. Some of the evidence presented against the woman include statements she made to friends back in 2001 while in school. Her numerous allegations became more egregious over time.
The first allegation, according to a summary of evidence provided to the court by John, states that in 2001, Jane told a friend and a school “notifier” that she had been sexually assaulted. When the notifier asked for more information, Jane allegedly “giggled and walked away.” That same year, she told another friend that her ex-boyfriend would rape her and beat her. She apparently changed the name of this alleged ex-boyfriend from Clint to Tim. Jane told this same friend at another point that she had been “gang raped.” Yet again in 2001, Jane wrote notes to two other schoolgirls saying that she had been raped and beaten the night before. Her mother confirmed that Jane had been home all evening so the attack couldn’t have happened.
When the school notifier tried to get Jane to go to the police, she denied ever making the accusations. The notifier showed her one of the notes she had written, Jane allegedly said, “Oh, didn’t happen that way.” Jane then claimed the man who raped her was from a different school, but when the notifier checked, they found no person with the name Jane gave or anything similar.
Jane also made several allegations in 2002, according to John. In a letter to one of her school friends, Jane claimed men named Daniel and Leon had attacked and raped her. She then changed Leon’s name to something else. Her friend didn’t think the allegation was true since Jane’s story kept changing and didn’t make sense. Also in 2002, Jane told another person that someone named Craig or a similar name had “bashed her up and stuff,” possibly alluding to sexual violence. Later in 2002, Jane told police that her boss (the man she falsely referred to as “Leon” earlier in the year) had raped her multiple times. Police investigated and found multiple inconsistencies in Jane’s story, and her mother said Jane didn’t even work for the man at the time. Jane told police she had never made false accusations before.
During the investigation into her former boss, Jane told police that multiple boys had sex with her in primary school.
The final two entries on John’s list of evidence are the most brazen. In 2002, Jane fabricated a letter against her former boss and other men from a non-existent law firm. Police figured out quickly that it was fake, and Jane admitted that it was “all made up.”
Fast forward to 2009. Jane told police that a man named “Leon” forced open her security door to get inside her home around 1 a.m., chased her around the house, hit her, and raped her with an object. Jane eventually pleaded guilty to making up the false claim, admitting “Leon” was a client.
The court ruled that the evidence John submitted is inadmissible because it falls under the exclusionary rule in s 293 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1986, which states that evidence “that discloses or implies (a) that the complainant has or may have had sexual experience or a lack of sexual experience, or (b) has or may have taken part or not taken part in any sexual activity, is inadmissible.” Instead of finding that John’s evidence was about prior bad acts of a similar nature, the court found a way to make it about Jane’s sexual history, or lack thereof. The judges ruled that if the law was incorrect it should be changed by the legislature.
Two Sydney defense attorneys, Sonia Hickey and Ugur Nedim wrote that “Attorney-General Mark Speakman has already asked his department to review the law.”
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