There aren't words to convey the cavernous profundity of my contempt for the people who bullied the victim of a serial rapist into taking a plea deal after charging her with false reporting because they didn't believe her:
The victim in a Washington state sex assault now linked to a 32-year-old Lakewood man was charged with false reporting and paid a $500 fine in 2008 because police didn't believe her story.What Rider seems to be referring to is the fact that the accused rapist "was meticulous about not leaving evidence at the scene." He wore gloves and a mask, to avoid leaving fingerprints or reveal his identity, and he obliged his victims to destroy evidence by forcing them to brush their teeth and shower after he'd assaulted them. He also cleaned the scenes with wet-naps he'd brought, and left with his victims' clothes and bedding in tow after he spent hours raping them and cataloging the events on camera.
Authorities in Lynnwood, Wash., reopened their case and reimbursed the woman after Colorado detectives found pictures of the victim on a camera belonging to Marc O'Leary, an Army veteran charged in two similar cases in Golden and Westminster, Lynnwood police Cmdr. Steve Rider said.
O'Leary, who has not been charged in the Lynnwood case, lived in nearby Mountlake Terrace, Wash., from 2006 to 2009.
"At the time (2008) information came up that basically led investigators to make the wrong conclusion about the case," Rider said.
Rider declined to elaborate, but did say there were "strong similarities" between the Lynnwood case and the Colorado cases.
It was among the hundreds of photos he'd taken that the images of his Lynnwood victim were discovered.
Rider seems to be implying that Lynnwood police "made the wrong conclusion" because of the lack of evidence, but I would argue that concluding the woman was lying, as opposed to simply concluding there was not sufficient evidence to sustain an open investigation, is attributable to something decidedly more nefarious than a lack of evidence.
If we didn't have bullshit narratives about multitudinous false reports made by vindictive bitches, would an example need to have been made of this woman with her rape allegation and its lack of physical evidence? That's rhetorical, in case my sneering disdain is not palpable.
It's a case of he said she said! That's what the rape apologists always say. You can't RUIN A MAN'S LIFE just on some woman's word! As if rape convictions on nothing but witness testimony happen all the time.
(They happen never. And men who are wrongly convicted of sexual assault are virtually never the victims of false reporting, but of mistaken IDs, shoddy or corrupt police work, and/or legal railroading.)
But what is happening, over and over, is women's lives are being ruined because their word can't be verified. And the takeaway lesson here, I guess, is that if rapists are careful enough to destroy all the evidence, not only will they get away with it, their accusers will be accused of committing a crime if they report it. Swell. Let's definitely keep supporting a practice that empowers rapists. Great idea. Very cool.
Rider said the victim in the Lynnwood case, whom police did not identify, was assigned a public defender in 2008 and ultimately agreed to a plea deal to avoid a trial. Her case was dismissed in 2010, after she completed conditions of the plea, which included counseling.Wow.
Police are now working with prosecutors to have the woman's record expunged, Rider said.
..."We really appreciate Colorado's work on this case," he said. "Without them, this would have gone into the annals of time as a false report."
Well, what do you want the police to do—just let women who make false reports GET AWAY WITH IT?! Yes. That is exactly what I want. Because I frankly think that most reports called "false reports," which constitute less than 2% of rape allegations, aren't actually false reports in the first place (see: this story) and that the tiny remainder of authentically false reports do not warrant the continuation of a practice that empowers rapists and discourages survivors of sexual violence from reporting the crimes against them, for fear of being arrested if their allegations can't be proven.
I don't guess I need to point out that when survivors are discouraged from reporting the crimes against them, rapists go free. That not only empowers rapists, but creates more victims.
And anything that does that is a tool of the rape culture.
[H/T to Shaker Mike.]