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Thread: false accusations.. What should happen to the accuser(s)??

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    false accusations.. What should happen to the accuser(s)??

    Was watching an episode of SVU on disk last night where this black gay teacher (Vocalist if kids training them to sing), got falsely accused of child molestation by 2 teens (14, 15) after THEY coached each other's 4yr old brothers to say what was needed to get the cops to charge the teacher.. Eventually it was found out in investigations that the allegations were not just unprovable, but flat out made up by the 2 teens as a way to get back AT the teacher/coach for dumping them to go with someone who actually had talent.

    BUT even with the case getting dismissed cause those allegations were false, the guy's life is ruined permanently. BUT the DA said the teens would NOT get charged with anything else, just taking a plea bargain for a Misdemeanor charge of false statements for a little probation cause "we just don't wanna punish the kids anymore than is needed"..

    Now that was admittedly a TV script, BUT we have seen it numerous times in REAL LIFE, where false accusations of rape/child molestation/kiddy porn are slapped on someone just out of spite, and the media/public LAPS it up like honey. BUT when those cases get dismissed/charges dropped, the media/public is rarely (IF ever) so quick to lap up any apologies.. And the accused life is (or THOSE accused lives are) ruined for a damn long time, while little IF anything ever seems to get done TO those who make these false claims..

    So.. What SHOULD be done to those who ruin someone's life with these false claims?? Should THEY be punished just as badly as the one they accused would have received had the claims been real?
    Should they just get a little slap on the wrist, cause "we don't wanna make it seem like there are repercussions for saying these things, cause it might turn away many who really DID get molested, and we don't wanna do that" (which is the common logic i have heard from Military lawyers as to why false claimants are never prosecuted, cause they FEEL it might make real victims not report)..?

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    Senior Member efmbman's Avatar
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    To accuse someone falsely should result in punitive action. However, I feel it must be proven that the accusation was indeed false instead of simply not proven. The belief that punishing false claimants might cause real victims to not report is false I think.

    If we are talking about the military, then I feel a dishonorable discharge would be in order. If someone is willing to lie about a crime, cause so many others to become involved in the investigation and prosecution of the false crime, and tarnish (possibly ruin) another the career of another troop... that's obviously action without honor.

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    Senior Member Rusty Jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by efmbman View Post
    The belief that punishing false claimants might cause real victims to not report is false I think.
    I don't know about that. Because how would we establish a false claim? Would it be solely on the basis of the defendant in a rape case being acquitted? If so, then that's some pretty dangerous territory.
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    Quote Originally Posted by efmbman View Post
    To accuse someone falsely should result in punitive action. However, I feel it must be proven that the accusation was indeed false instead of simply not proven.

    That is the crux of the problem. Proving a claim was false could be daunting. Yes, in some cases it is crystal clear, in some it is not ... it is about perception. Making a claim is in many ways about perception, if someone feels/thinks a crime was committed and reports it and the burden of proof is not meet ... is that a false claim? IMO no.

    Quote Originally Posted by efmbman View Post
    The belief that punishing false claimants might cause real victims to not report is false I think.
    I agree with @Rusty Jones on this, I think prosecuting someone for an unproven claim would definitely deter reporting of crimes. Again, proving what is outright false vs. what is just not provable in court are not the same thing. In the case of sexual crimes, the process of reporting and having a victims sexual history, tastes, character attacked is a large part of the problem ... a discussion we beat to death. Just because an individual is dressed a certain way, in a certain place etc. is not an excuse for them to be the victim of a crime. Calling into consideration someone's sexual history is just as bad; just because a woman is regarded as a 'slut' doesn't mean she can't be raped ... consent is still hers to give &/or revoke at any time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by efmbman View Post
    To accuse someone falsely should result in punitive action. However, I feel it must be proven that the accusation was indeed false instead of simply not proven.

    That is the crux of the problem. Proving a claim was false could be daunting. Yes, in some cases it is crystal clear, in some it is not ... it is about perception. Making a claim is in many ways about perception, if someone feels/thinks a crime was committed and reports it and the burden of proof is not meet ... is that a false claim? IMO no.

    Quote Originally Posted by efmbman View Post
    The belief that punishing false claimants might cause real victims to not report is false I think.
    I agree with @Rusty Jones on this, I think prosecuting someone for an unproven claim would definitely deter reporting of crimes. Again, proving what is outright false vs. what is just not provable in court are not the same thing. In the case of sexual crimes, the process of reporting and having a victims sexual history, tastes, character attacked is a large part of the problem ... a discussion we beat to death. Just because an individual is dressed a certain way, in a certain place etc. is not an excuse for them to be the victim of a crime. Calling into consideration someone's sexual history is just as bad; just because a woman is regarded as a 'slut' doesn't mean she can't be raped ... consent is still hers to give &/or revoke at any time.
    The most important six inches on the battlefield ... is between your ears.

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    Senior Member efmbman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Jones View Post
    I don't know about that. Because how would we establish a false claim? Would it be solely on the basis of the defendant in a rape case being acquitted? If so, then that's some pretty dangerous territory.
    Agreed. As I stated in my post: I feel it must be proven that the accusation was indeed false instead of simply not proven.

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    Senior Member efmbman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mjölnir View Post
    I agree with @Rusty Jones on this, I think prosecuting someone for an unproven claim would definitely deter reporting of crimes. Again, proving what is outright false vs. what is just not provable in court are not the same thing.
    Isn't that basically what I posted? I feel it must be proven that the accusation was indeed false instead of simply not proven.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Jones View Post
    I don't know about that. Because how would we establish a false claim? Would it be solely on the basis of the defendant in a rape case being acquitted? If so, then that's some pretty dangerous territory.
    In the example SVU had, it was found out during investigations that the 2 four yr old claimants were 'coached' into saying what they did y their elder sisters.. That lead to those teens been hounded on it till they caved in and admitted it was made up just cause they wanted to get BACK at the person being accused for dropping them as pupils..

    In 2 other examples i have heard of, evidence of the claim being false was also admitted to BY the claimant after they got earfuls from friends and family once evidence came to light that there were such gaping holes in their statements that something was Definitely hinky.

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    Quote Originally Posted by garhkal View Post
    Was watching an episode of SVU on disk last night where this black gay teacher (Vocalist if kids training them to sing), got falsely accused of child molestation by 2 teens (14, 15) after THEY coached each other's 4yr old brothers to say what was needed to get the cops to charge the teacher.. Eventually it was found out in investigations that the allegations were not just unprovable, but flat out made up by the 2 teens as a way to get back AT the teacher/coach for dumping them to go with someone who actually had talent.

    BUT even with the case getting dismissed cause those allegations were false, the guy's life is ruined permanently. BUT the DA said the teens would NOT get charged with anything else, just taking a plea bargain for a Misdemeanor charge of false statements for a little probation cause "we just don't wanna punish the kids anymore than is needed"..

    Now that was admittedly a TV script, BUT we have seen it numerous times in REAL LIFE, where false accusations of rape/child molestation/kiddy porn are slapped on someone just out of spite, and the media/public LAPS it up like honey. BUT when those cases get dismissed/charges dropped, the media/public is rarely (IF ever) so quick to lap up any apologies.. And the accused life is (or THOSE accused lives are) ruined for a damn long time, while little IF anything ever seems to get done TO those who make these false claims..

    So.. What SHOULD be done to those who ruin someone's life with these false claims?? Should THEY be punished just as badly as the one they accused would have received had the claims been real?
    Should they just get a little slap on the wrist, cause "we don't wanna make it seem like there are repercussions for saying these things, cause it might turn away many who really DID get molested, and we don't wanna do that" (which is the common logic i have heard from Military lawyers as to why false claimants are never prosecuted, cause they FEEL it might make real victims not report)..?
    Wow that's an old one (sorry I've seen almost every episode when they play the marathons on TV).

    It's always up to the DA or the county prosecutor what they want to happen. In that episode I think the ADA had to go with what the DA wanted and didn't want a further spectacle.

    I think if it's absolutely proven they 100% falsified an accusation then yes, they should get punished. But people get confused when a case is "unfounded." That does not mean it didn't happen. It means there isn't enough evidence to pursue charges. So if people want to punish an accusation that's unfounded that's the wrong answer. I don't think victims have an issue with prosecuting someone who flat out lies and it's proven.

    I heard a story from one of the division SARCs in my last unit that there was a female who accused either her company commander or some officer of sexual assault. She was adamant about it - but when they investigated it the officer wasn't even in the same state as her the date of the alleged attack. He was on his way back from NTC or somewhere outside the state. When the police confronted this to her she still said "nope he is the one who did it." She got charged with filling a false statement and maybe something else. I can't remember. Not the worst punishment but at least she got punished. I don't know why you would falsely accuse someone not even in the same state as you at the time...

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    Quote Originally Posted by garhkal View Post
    In the example SVU had, it was found out during investigations that the 2 four yr old claimants were 'coached' into saying what they did y their elder sisters.. That lead to those teens been hounded on it till they caved in and admitted it was made up just cause they wanted to get BACK at the person being accused for dropping them as pupils..

    In 2 other examples i have heard of, evidence of the claim being false was also admitted to BY the claimant after they got earfuls from friends and family once evidence came to light that there were such gaping holes in their statements that something was Definitely hinky.
    The only reason they went after the teens in that episode is because Rawlins didn't take their story on fact and because she knew how often gay men are immediately labeled pedophiles. Then she talked to one of the boys who described HIS bathroom at home and not the one at school and that really tipped her off. The other detectives - especially Benson - didn't believe him at all and wanted to get him for it. If Rawlins hadn't had any doubts I'm not sure anyone would've ever looked at those teens or thought it was coached.

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