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One such false accuser turned out to have previously filed seven bodily injury insurance claims, including three identical claims against restaurants in which she claimed to have broken a tooth on a rock in her food.Occasionally, however, the gain is not financial, as in the case of a woman who lied about rape because she thought it might help her stay out of prison on a drug charge; or the man, already in prison, who was hoping to be moved into a cell with his boyfriend.This raises an obvious question: Why would false accusers go through the trouble of making a report to police, only to instantly withdraw it?In every academic study, one of the most common kinds of false accuser is a teenage girl who tells her parents she was raped to avoid getting in trouble.This may be hard to believe, especially considering that rape is a felony, punishable with years of prison.
Another kind of case which evaporates rapidly is that of a person who falsely reports a rape in the hope of getting needed medical care or psychiatric medication; in one study, six of the 55 reports classified as false by a police department in one year fit this description.
The most striking of these is that, almost invariably, adult false accusers who persist in pursuing charges have a previous history of bizarre fabrications or criminal fraud.
Indeed, they’re often criminals whose family and friends are also criminals; broken people trapped in chaotic lives.
Furthermore, in the most detailed study ever conducted of sexual assault reports to police, undertaken for the British Home Office in the early 2000s, out of 216 complaints that were classified as false, only 126 had even gotten to the stage where the accuser lodged a formal complaint. Only six cases led to an arrest, and only two led to charges being brought before they were ultimately deemed false.
(Here, as elsewhere, it has to be assumed that some unknown percentage of the cases classified as false actually involved real rapes; what they don’t involve is countless innocent men’s lives being ruined.) So the evidence suggests that even in the rare case where a man is the subject of a false rape complaint, chances are that the charges will be dropped without him ever learning about the allegations.
According to the National Registry of Exonerations, since records began in 1989, in the US there are only 52 cases where men convicted of sexual assault were exonerated because it turned out they were falsely accused.