A female student at the University of Kansas told police that she had been raped the day before. She didn’t remember all the details because, she said, she was drunk. She told the officers she didn’t want to press charges but gave them access to her phone before she entered the Lawrence Memorial Hospital for a rape examination.
After looking through her phone, police suspected she was not being truthful about the encounter and continued to investigate. They determined she had lied and arrested her for falsely reporting a felony crime.
The Kansas City Star did everything it could to report the story in a way favorable to the female accuser, including placing the misleading claim that only 2%-8% of rape accusations are false immediately under the paragraph explaining the woman was arrested. The study has been widely used to insist that women don’t lie about rape, even though the study’s percentages refer to accusations that were proven false. It is nearly impossible to prove a negative, so of course this number is low. An equally small percentage of rape reports result in a guilty finding before a jury, so using the same misleading method, one could say an equally small number of rape reports are true.
In reality, we don’t know how many reports are false because cases can be categorized as false or as having too little evidence to make an arrest, which doesn’t mean it is false or true.
As for the KU student, her text messages show that she “fabricated the rape story to effect the relationship between herself and the victim … and her ex-boyfriend,” according to Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson.
“The State believes the evidence presented at the preliminary hearing, including: the testimony of (the victim), (her ex-boyfriend), law enforcement officers, and evidence collected by law enforcement, specifically, text messages from the Defendant to her friend … indicate the sexual encounter … was consensual,” Branson said in a statement quoted by the Star.
The woman claimed she had been drinking and didn’t know how she ended up in bed with her ex-boyfriend’s best friend. She claimed to the Star that she joked about the incident with a friend in a text message because, as the outlet claimed, she was “unable at the time to admit she had been raped.”
She only claimed the incident was rape the next day after an acquaintance “threatened to tell people about the incident,” the Star reported.
The woman threatened the acquaintance back by texting: “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,” according to court documents reviewed by the Star.
The woman then began to “remember” the incident, claiming she tried to leave but her ex-boyfriend’s friend wouldn’t let her and that she told him “no” as he held her down. She apparently had bruises on her arms, legs, and neck that she could not explain. Bruises, however, don’t appear immediately after an injury and usually take 1-2 days to form.
Text messages sent after the incident to a friend “made light of the incident and seemed to suggest the encounter was consensual and ‘just a mistake on her part,’” the Star reported. When asked about the messages, the female student attempted to “downplay” the situation.
Weeks after the encounter, she went to KU’s Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access to file a Title IX complaint against the male student. Police told the school it doubted her story.
Text messages from the alleged perpetrator mentioned that the female student appeared to want to have sex with him.
Police allege the woman had sex with her ex-boyfriend’s best friend to get back at him, but then feared news of the encounter would spread.
“Furthermore, the detective said the woman likely decided to press charges after speaking with the university’s IOA office because she wanted to punish her on-again, off-again boyfriend for having a relationship with another woman at the same time as her,” the Star reported.
The woman’s attorney, paid for by a legal defense fund created during the #MeToo movement, naturally said the female student was telling the truth and chastising police for failing to adhere to “trauma-informed practices,” which insist women never lie and that any evidence of such is simply evidence of trauma and truth.