After being accused of rape and sexual assault, even if a man is found “not guilty” or proven to be innocent, the mere accusation can and will haunt him for life.
People often only hear about the accusation and not the outcome. Those who have been falsely accused struggle intensely with their ordeals. In a recent blog post, Simon Warr – a BBC broadcaster and falsely accused man – details the difficulty that one British man has had since his rape conviction was overturned.
The Daily Wire will not name the man, because his accuser cannot be named. We feel it is unfair to name an innocent person, especially if their accuser enjoys permanent anonymity.
This man, whom we will call John Doe, was charged with raping a woman after a brief sexual relationship. He was convicted in 2013 and sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison plus lifetime registry as a sex offender. Jurors never heard or saw the full messages between John and his accuser because she had edited them to give a misleading account of their interactions.
It wasn’t until after John was convicted that his sister-in-law began helping him prove his innocence. In doing so, she quickly discovered the full messages, which gave the impression that the sex between John and his accuser was consensual, as he had maintained.
Further, the messages between the two provided a motive for the accuser to lie: She was upset that John did not continue to speak with her after their encounter.
“Of course, the detectives who dealt with the allegations against [John], prior to his being charged, could have found this vital evidence in a matter of minutes, because that is how long it took his sister-in-law to unearth the unedited messages via his Facebook account,” Warr wrote. “But the police officers didn’t bother doing any investigation into his accuser’s very serious allegations, in order to verify whether or not she was telling the truth — they just presumed she was.”
Armed with the newly discovered evidence, John appealed his conviction and it was overturned. As he left the court a free man, John explained: “[I]t’s always going to smear my name … there’s always going to be people out there who have the doubt.”
Indeed, John’s words were prescient.
As Warr explained, “Innocence in sexual allegation cases, whether established by a jury’s verdict or via the Court of Appeal, means, in reality, next to nothing these days.”
John tried to claim compensation from the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Justice for the false accusation. His claim was denied, based on the following:
The Secretary of State for Justice has concluded that the conviction was not reversed as a result of a new or newly discovered fact that shows beyond reasonable doubt that you did not commit the offence.
Warr asked where are “the charities, think-tanks and social enterprises queuing up to help those blameless folk whose lives have been utterly devastated by cruel and calculating liars, fantasists and fraudsters,” and suggests that men falsely accused of sexual assault and rape are merely “the wrong kind of victim.”
“What a cruel society we can be when dealing with unfashionable minority groups, such as the falsely accused,” Warr concluded.