why are false rape accusations not prosecuted?

Or at least investigated. More than two decades ago, Tawana Brawley (and quite a few gullible celebrities and activists) made every effort to ruin an innocent man’s life with a fabricated rape accusation. It was a complete hoax, and he later sued. Following the lawsuit against her and others, she has still failed to pay up, 15 years after being ordered to do so (her wages are now being garnished to pay the court ordered debt). She evidently utilized multiple aliases to avoid complying with the order.

Two years ago, police in New York City dropped charges, including rape, against former IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK). He evidently had a consensual sexual encounter with an employee at the hotel in which he was staying. That employee, Nafissato Diallo, then claimed that DSK had raped her. NYC police dutifully arrested him and had him do the customary “perp walk.” Only weeks later, the case fell apart. Diallo had repeatedly lied to authorities. She gave a TV interview which, to me, further solidified the idea that she is a liar (I recommend watching the full interview if you’re interested. I did some time ago, though the previous link is abridged and with media commentary. If you’re at all competent in reading people and evaluating their truth or lack thereof, it should be very obvious that she’s not being entirely honest, to put it mildly.).

It’s not that DSK isn’t capable of raping someone. For reasons beyond the scope of this blog post, I think he’s perfectly capable of the act and wouldn’t feel bad about doing so. But I also believe he is innocent of the crime in which he is accused, and that Diallo fabricated the entire thing, possibly for potential monetary reward. (It’s proven that she lied to police, but not that she lied for monetary gain.) Indeed, Diallo did receive a monetary reward for her actions.

There are many cases of women being raped and I’m glad to see a swift police response in those cases. No one, man or woman, should have to endure such a violation. What is puzzling is why there is such little action against those who lie about being raped? Being accused of such a serious crime is a life-ruining event. The accused are often guilty until proven otherwise (or even if they are proven not guilty) by the media and by activists. Using police resources against innocent people is no less predatory than doing direct harm to another person. And yet, society and law enforcement seems to condone it, at least in some cases.

People who attempt to use legal resources against others should be held accountable, regardless of the crime, but especially in such serious charges as forcible rape. I concede that police should avoid zealotry in this area, as we don’t want a system wherein victims are afraid to go to police for very real transgressions against them. But the use of law enforcement against others is itself a serious offense, and those who commit this act should face justice for the harm caused on their victims.

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