Infamous American LIARS
Colorado’s Craig Silverman – a rape prosecutor – said the following:
“During my time as a prosecutor who made case filing decisions, I was amazed to see all the false rape allegations that were made to the Denver Police Department. It was remarkable and surprising to me. You would have to see it to believe it. Any honest veteran sex assault investigator will tell you that rape is one of the most falsely reported crimes that there is. A command officer in the Denver police sex assaults unit recently told me he placed the false rape numbers at approximately 45 percent.”
A Voice for Men
Past Time For American LIARS To Take a “Lynn Walker Courtesy Class”
As the law of Moses prescribes, they were given the same punishment as they had schemed to inflict [adultery] on their neighbor. They were put to death, Daniel 13:62
61 And they rose up against the two elders, (for Daniel had convicted them of false witness by their own mouth,) and they did to them as they had maliciously dealt against their neighbour,
62 To fulfill the law of Moses: and they put them to death, and innocent blood was saved in that day.
“We gave the accuser benefit of the doubt”– USAF Investigator
bullet Dr. Charles McDowell, formerly of the US Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations, discovered that 27% of Air Force women who claimed they had been raped later admitted making false accusations of rape. The admission usually came when they were asked to take a lie detector test. With these admitted false accusations he was able to develop 35 criteria distinguishing false accusations and those known to be genuine. Three independent judges then examined the remainder of the cases. Only if all three reviewers independently concluded the original rape allegations were false did they rank them as “false.” The total of false allegations became 65%.
The study was buried and Dr. Charles McDowell was ostracized and reassigned.
In an interview in the June 1985 issue of Chicago Lawyer, McDowell told Rob Warden, the editor.
bullet Q: How was the model developed?
A: It is based on a study of 1,218 cases that were initially investigated as rapes. Of those, 460 were proven rapes, 212 were disproved allegations, and 546 cases remain unresolved.
Q: What were your criteria for classifying a rape accusation as disproved?
A: There was just one criterion. In each case, the victim ultimately admitted that the allegation was a hoax.
Q: All 212 of those cases are now admitted to have been false allegations?
A: Yes. That’s the reason that we have a leftover category of 546 cases. My personal opinion, based on the evidence, is that many of those also are false allegations. but they are not admitted hoaxes, and we have not classified them as disproved. We have been extremely conservative in classifying an allegation as false for purposes of the study.
Q: What were your criteria for classifying an allegation as proved? Are these all convictions?
A: They’re not all convictions. Some are, but the remainder are cases in which the overwhelming preponderance of the evidence support the allegation so strongly that there really is no other logical conclusion.
Q: Then your standard for classifying an allegation is false?
A: Definitely. If there was a margin for error, if there was any area in which we gave the benefit of any doubt, it was in favor of a rape.”
bullet 40 percent of complainants eventually admitted that no rape had occurred in a 9-year study conducted by former Purdue sociologist Eugene J. Kanin. (Source: Archives of Sexual Behavior, Vol. 23, No. 1, 1994)
bullet 50 percent of accusers recanted their rape charges in a study of two large Midwestern universities by Kanin.
bullet More than 25 percent of rape accusers admitted — either just before they took a lie detector test or after they had taken and failed it– that they had lied about the charges in a 1985 Air Force study of 556 rape accusations. A further investigation by independent reviewers found that 60 percent of the original rape allegations were false.
bullet One in four rape reports were unfounded in a 1990 and 1991 Washington Post investigation in seven Virginia and Maryland counties. When contacted by the Post, many of the alleged victims admitted that they had lied.
bullet In a 1996 Department of Justice study of 10,000 sexual assault cases analyzed with DNA evidence over the previous seven years, 2,000 excluded the primary suspect, and another 2,000 were inconclusive.
bullet According to Linda Fairstein of the New York County District Attorney’s Sex Crimes Unit, “there are about 4,000 reports of rape each year in Manhattan. Of these, about half simply did not happen.” Source: Fairstein,’s book, Sexual Violence: Our War Against Rape
NOT ADMITTING IT is also a problem….
A woman has to admit that she lied in order for a rape charge to be determined as false, in most studies and in most courts and communities. Most, if not all, police departments will not declare a rape charge as false just because the complainant fails to pursue the charge or does not cooperate on the case, regardless how much doubt the police may have regarding the validity of the charge
bullet This material was excerpted from “Research Shows False Accusations of Rape Common,” by Marc Angelucci and Glenn Sack
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Charles McDowell, the subject of this interview, is an experienced Air Force Criminal Investigator and has been called “probably the world’s leading expert on false rape accusations.” He has stated that falsely accusing a man of rape is a crime as reprehensible as rape itself and that the former happens about as often as the latter. With false rape allegations as high as 25% and higher there is a serious problem. The media must educate the public to the true statistics instead of the now discredited ones feminists cite when talking about the percentage of false reports.” Assuming the worst case scenario for these 92,490 reported rapes:
bullet a) that the two different credible studies wherein more than a quarter of the rape charges were proven or admitted hoaxes, another quarter are suspected to be false, are representative of the entire 92,490 reported rapes each year, and
bullet b) that where the DNA of one third of those convicted did not match the man already in prison is representative of the entire rape convict population:
Total Reports Admittedly Guilty women Proven Guilty Women Probably Guilty Women Convicted But Innocent Men Possibly Guilty Men Probability Guilty Men
92,490 23,122 5,187 23,122 5,187 5,187 5,187
Of 92,490 rapes reported each year, there are 23,122 women who are admittedly guilty of lying, 23,122 women who are probably guilty of lying, 5,187 women whose testimony conflicts with scientific DNA testing, 5,187 men whose DNA does not match the evidence at the “crime” scene, 5,187 men whose DNA evidence did match but whose convictions must be reexamined because of the high rate of false convictions of those whose DNA did not match, and 5,187 probably guilty men, . The same standard of proof applied to women for filing known or suspect false police reports, as is applied to men for acts which are impossible to either prove or disprove as crimes, and imprisoning women at the same rate as men for equally as serious crimes, would result in five times as many women as men in prison each year — 51,431 women versus 10,375 men.
Using this ‘equality’ criteria, we have PROOF that 51,431 women are felons, while we only suspect that 10,375 men are. Yet 15,562 men were imprisoned — and NOT a single woman was! What does the most damage? A “date rape” perceived by hysterical feminists be a “violation” of a woman’s rights, or a genuine false rape accusation which destroys a man’s reputation, costs society billions of dollars in tax dollars, and results in thousands of false imprisonments? Does an apparently unwanted act of sex damage a woman more than a blatantly false charge of rape does a man? If a woman has no bruises or permanent physical injuries, and only believes she has been raped because she applied the new “feminist logic”, then the most she can claim is some unverifiable psychological damage, at best, and 99% of the time she can get on with her life. But 28,309 women were known to have damaged a man worse than she could have been damaged had all the charges been true. The same standard of proof applied to women for filing false charges as is applied to men who are falsely convicted would reveal that 51,431 men are known to have been unnecessarily and permanently damaged by women.
The evidence is far from ‘equal’. More evidence exists of the damage done by 51,431 women than the evidence that was available to convict 15,562 men. This evidence sits in police files while the police and the district attorneys and the judges do nothing . Charging and convicting possibly innocent men on such a massive scale while ignoring the role played by unscrupulous women encourages more of this behavior, trivializes the serious crime of rape, overburdens the ‘system’ with frivolous complaints, causes real rapes to be overlooked or ignored, and trivializes legitimate rape charges made by honest women.
In 2007, there were 255,630 incidents of rape and sexual assault in the United States (BJS, 2008a). Of those, 90,427 were forcible rapes (FBI, 2008c). This represents one forcible rape occurring somewhere in the United States every 5.8 minutes (FBI, 2008a). Persons in the age group of 12 to 19 were raped and sexually assaulted at a significantly higher rate than any other age group (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000; BJS, 2008b).
Of the 90,427 forcible rapes reported in 2007, 40% were cleared by arrest or “exceptional means” (FBI, 2008d) with 23,307 of those being arrests (FBI, 2008b). Clearance of a report by exceptional means occurs when the known suspect dies before an arrest is made, when the victim refuses to provide the information or assistance necessary to follow an investigation through to an arrest, or when the known suspect is being held in another jurisdiction for a different crime and extradition is denied. In order to clear a case by exceptional means, the officers must have an identified suspect, know where he can be found, and have enough evidence for a legal arrest.
Degrees of “Not True”
A certain percentage of rape complaints are classified as “unfounded” by the police and excluded from the FBI’s statistics. For example, in 1995, 8% of all forcible rape cases were closed as unfounded, as were 15% in 1996 (Greenfeld, 1997). According to the FBI, a report should only be considered unfounded when investigation revealed that the elements of the crime were not met or the report was “false” (which is not defined) (FBI, 2007).
This statistic is almost meaningless, as many of the jurisdictions from which the FBI collects data on crime use different definitions of, or criteria for, “unfounded.” That is, a report of rape might be classified as unfounded (rather than as forcible rape) if the alleged victim did not try to fight off the suspect, if the alleged perpetrator did not use physical force or a weapon of some sort, if the alleged victim did not sustain any physical injuries, or if the alleged victim and the accused had a prior sexual relationship. Similarly, a report might be deemed unfounded if there is no physical evidence or too many inconsistencies between the accuser’s statement and what evidence does exist. As such, although some unfounded cases of rape may be false or fabricated, not all unfounded cases are false.
The term “unfounded” is not a homogeneous classification and, to date, there is not a formalized, accepted definition of “false rape allegations.” Certainly, the designation of false accusation should not include those situations in which the accuser was raped but unintentionally identified the wrong person as the alleged perpetrator. The definition of false allegation of rape cannot be limited to the situation in which the victim recants the accusation. There are women who were truly raped but for any number of reasons choose to recant. On the other hand, there are women who were not raped but do not recant their accusation.
Perhaps the designation of false allegation might best be used exclusively for those cases in which it is determined that the accuser intentionally fabricated the allegation of rape. That is, the accuser claims an incident of forced sexual contact took place when no such incident occurred, or the contact that did occur was consensual. In addition, this would include cases in which a rape was committed, but the victim knowingly identified the wrong person as the perpetrator.
Just as there continues to be strong resistance to the fact that some children (for a variety of reasons) lie about having been sexually molested or assaulted, the judicial system, mental health practitioners, and the public at large are reticent to accept that some women (and men) lie about having been raped. However, there is ample evidence that adults lie about virtually anything, including grave matters that have serious consequences for others.
Crying Rape
Although there is no doubt that false rape allegations occur, it is extremely difficult to determine what percentage of rape reports is [read: are] intentionally false. This is due to many factors, including jurisdictional variation in definition, criteria, and reporting practices, as well as the fact that not all rapes are reported. Although the FBI had set 8% as the average rate of false (actually, unfounded) accusations during the late 1990s, there is remarkable variation in the estimates of false allegations of rape found in the literature (Kanin, 1994; Epstein, 2005). A review of those studies on false rape accusations conducted between 1968 and 2005 showed a percentage range from 1-90% (Rumney, 2006).
Very little formal research has been conducted on the prevalence of false allegations of rape. One study looked at the 109 cases of forcible rape that were disposed of in one small midwestern town between 1978 and 1987 (Kanin, 1994). The given town was specifically selected for study because the police department used a uniquely objective and thorough protocol when investigating rape complaints. Among other procedural safeguards, officers did not have the discretion to drop rape investigations if they concluded the complaint was “suspect” or unfounded. Every rape accusation had to be thoroughly investigated and included offering a polygraph to both the accuser and the accused. Cases were only determined to be false if and when the accuser admitted that no rape occurred.
The researchers further investigated those cases that the police, through their investigation, had ultimately determined were “false” or fabricated. During the follow-up investigation, the complainants held fast to their assertion that their rape allegation had been true, despite being told they would face penalties for filing a false report. As a result, 41% of all of the forcible rape complaints were found to be false. To further this study, a similar analysis was conducted on all of the forcible rape complaints filed at two large midwestern public universities over a 3-year period. Here, where polygraphs were not offered as part of the investigatory procedure, it was found that 50% of the complaints were false.
Charles P. McDowell, a researcher in the United States Air Force Special Studies Division, studied the 1,218 reports of rape that were made between 1980 and 1984 on Air Force bases throughout the world (McDowell, 1985). Of those, 460 were found to be “proven” allegations either because the “overwhelming preponderance of the evidence” strongly supported the allegation or because there was a conviction in the case. Another 212 of the total reports were found to be “disproved” as the alleged victim convincingly admitted the complaint was a “hoax” at some point during the initial investigation. The researchers then investigated the 546 remaining or “unresolved” rape allegations including having the accusers submit to a polygraph. Twenty-seven percent (27%) of these complainants admitted they had fabricated their accusation just before taking the polygraph or right after they failed the test. (It should be noted that whenever there was any doubt, the unresolved case was re-classified as a “proven” rape.) Combining this 27% with the initial 212 “disproved” cases, it was determined that approximately 45% of the total rape allegations were false.
Unfortunately, like the two studies presented here, the empirical studies that exist on the frequency of false rape allegations are sparse in number and have notable limitations. Small sample sizes and non-representative samples preclude generalizability. Regardless, the mere number of publicized incidents of false accusations of rape over the last two decades indicates not only a need for further investigation into the problem, but a better understanding of how to identify such cases.
The Truth Behind the Lie
As with all of human behavior, there are numerous reasons why a person would lie about being raped. In the study of false rape allegations in the midwestern town and state universities, over half of the accusers fabricated the rape to serve as a “cover story” or alibi. This included 56% of the non-student and 53% of the student false accusers. The most frequent context and motive for the fabricated rape was consensual sex with an acquaintance that led to some sort of problem for the accuser. The perceived problem was typically something that caused feelings of shame and guilt in the accuser (such as contracting a sexually transmitted disease or becoming pregnant), which was bound to be discovered and received negatively by family or friends.
Approximately half of the accusers who were motivated by a need for an alibi identified the alleged rapist. Their goal was not to harm or cause problems for the acquaintance, but to protect themselves in what they perceived to be a desperate situation. As with most lies, the false rape accusation allowed the accuser to deny responsibility by creating an alternate reality into which to escape.
The next most common reason for lying about being a victim of rape was revenge, rage, or retribution. In the Midwest study, this included 27% of the non-student and 44% of the student accusers. In these cases, the false victim had suffered some real or perceived wrong, rejection, or betrayal by the alleged rapist. As the purpose of making the accusation was to obtain some measure of revenge, the “suspect” was always identified. Researchers in the Air Force study also found that spite or revenge and the need to compensate for a sense of personal failure through an alibi accusation were the primary motives for false rape reports.
There are a range of other reasons why women made false allegations of rape. For some, it was to meet the overwhelming need for attention often associated with Munchaussen Syndrome or Borderline Personality Disorder. In those cases a specific suspect was seldom identified. Others filed false reports in an attempt to essentially “extort” money from the accused, who was typically wealthy. Because the goal was financial, the accuser was typically not motivated to pursue the case through formal legal channels, preferring to push for a settlement.
As with certain false allegations of child sexual abuse, false allegations of rape may be the unfortunate byproduct of “recovered memory therapy.” False allegations (of child abuse and domestic violence, as well as rape) are also known to arise in the context of divorce and disputed child custody. Within the context of the military, false reports of rape may be filed in order to avoid deployment to war zones.
Telling a Lie from a Truth
McDowell’s research into the prevalence of false rape allegations provided some direction for the difficult responsibility of differentiating between a potentially true and a possibly false report of rape. McDowell compared the initial rape accusations made by “proven” victims with those made by “disproved” complainants. His analysis revealed a number of notable differences between the two groups. That is, there were certain characteristics or indicators that were found with greater frequency in baseless reports than in proven reports.
For example, in terms of the initial disclosure, unlike false accusers, true victims tend to go directly to law enforcement to file a report. False accusers are more apt to tell family members or close friends, who either report the rape themselves or push the victim to do so. In discussing the alleged rape, false accusers may be unable to provide detailed descriptions of the rape or may provide too much detail. Although a significant number of true rape cases include numerous sexual acts in addition to penile penetration, those fabricating allegations of rape tend to describe very limited and narrow sexual activity. False accusers may describe the incident with inappropriate affect, such as pleasure or even pride. Because they may have never actually suffered a rape, the allegations of false accusers may be physically improbable (if not impossible) or bizarre. Perhaps most telling are numerous inconsistencies between the accuser’s description of the rape and the presence or absence of physical evidence.
Approximately 50% of the women who filed false reports claimed their assailant was a stranger or someone they knew indirectly (but whose name she never knew or couldn’t remember). Claiming an unknown perpetrator makes the rape random and perhaps more importantly, makes the case unsolvable. This, in turn, frees the false accuser from the need to fabricate additional lies and the demands of being confronted by the alleged assailant. Another 30% of false reporters identified their attacker as someone they “kind of knew.” In comparison, 75% of proven victims knew and were able to identify their rapist.
It seems that the quality of physical injuries may be the most significant of all indicators. According to McDowell’s findings, the physical injuries sustained by false victims tend to be inconsistent or “odd.” Because the injuries are self-inflicted, they seldom involve highly sensitive parts of the body, such as the vagina, nipples, lips, or eyes. Similarly, the injuries of false complainants seldom involve permanent injury or disfigurement. As the wounds are self-inflicted, they tend to be on parts of the body that are easily reached by the false accuser. There may be numerous lacerations and abrasions, all of which are comparatively minor in severity. Unlike the true victim, false accusers may seem comparatively indifferent or nonplussed by their injuries.
As suggested above, for the vast majority of false reporters, the allegation of rape solved a perceived problem the accuser was, or anticipated, facing. The same cannot be said for proven rape victims as, for most, rape marks the onset of numerous, long-term, and not easily resolved problems. None of the factors identified by McDowell are individually or independently conclusive or diagnostic of rape. Rather, the presence of one or more of the criteria suggests the possibility of a false allegation that should be carefully and sensitively investigated and explored.
To test the efficacy of his criteria, McDowell had three independent judges review all of the initially “unresolved” rape reports using his criteria. This group included the cases of those women who had admitted their allegation was fabricated when confronted with taking a polygraph. For a case to be classified as “unproved,” all three of the judges had to determine a given complaint was false. After the judges review, 65% of the cases in McDowell’s study were found to be false.
There is no certainty that any or all of the indicators identified by McDowell will be present in rape reports that appear to be “suspect.” When present, however, they may serve to focus an investigation of the charges, as well as to guide the treatment of the alleged victim.
The Cost of the Crime
In most jurisdictions the accuser must admit that the accusation was false before the charges against the suspect will be dropped. Yet before the accuser decides to recant, the life of the falsely accused may have been disrupted, if not destroyed. They may have suffered any number of inequities, such as being arrested and questioned; dealing with the expense of hiring an attorney; being subjected to time in jail; having trouble with their employer; and fall-out with family and friends, to name just a few. Even if the case is dropped, the reputation of the falsely accused may be irreparably harmed, because some people may believe the retraction was “pressured,” and not true.
Worse yet for the accused, the case may go to trial. Even if the falsely accused are acquitted, technically that does not mean they are innocent, only that they could not be found guilty. Regardless of the outcome of a criminal trial, the accuser can pursue civil action against the accused, resulting in further loss of resources. The worst possible outcome for those falsely accused of rape might be conviction and incarceration.
There is no way of knowing the number of defendants who have been convicted of rape on the basis of a false allegation. One study found 28 cases in which the defendant had been convicted and served an average of 7 years in prison before being exonerated by DNA evidence (Connors et al., 1996). Of note, all 28 cases involved sexual assault with the trials taking place in the mid- to late-1980s when DNA was not routinely tested. According to the Innocence Project, since 2000 there have been 156 cases of post-conviction exonerations based on DNA testing, an untold number of which involved sex crimes (Innocence Project, 2008). The average time the wrongfully convicted person served prior to release was 12 years. Regardless of the exact number, processing those who have been falsely accused of rape is a clear waste of legal, judicial, and penal resources.
Essentially, there are no formal negative consequences for the person who files a false report of rape. Not only did the false allegation serve a purpose for the accusers, they actually never have to fully admit to themselves, their family, or their friends that the report was a lie. Although there are grounds for bringing legal action against the accuser, it is virtually never done. Even should a charge be filed, in most jurisdictions filing a false report is only a misdemeanor.
When rape cases go to trial, alleged victims are protected by “rape shield statutes.” In brief, these statutes are designed to prevent defense attorneys from using the accuser’s sexual history “against” her. At the same time, these rape shield laws may suppress evidence related to the woman’s history that is relevant to the issue before the court. In particular, they have been used to exclude prior false accusations of rape filed by the alleged victim.
Although courts have ruled inconsistently on this issue, there is legal foundation for admitting prior false accusation into evidence in criminal proceedings (Epstein, 2005). In a step toward ensuring justice, perhaps when there is proof of prior false reports, they should be allowed in. Before this can happen, guidelines would need to be established regarding the definition of a “false rape accusation” and the criteria for proof of prior acts. Similarly, consideration should be given to making the filing of a false report of rape a felony, rather than a misdemeanor. Finally, instituting the possibility of a “not guilty and not credible” verdict might provide some recovery for the falsely accused and a clear warning to the false complainant.
In the End
Although it may not be “politically correct” to question the veracity of a women’s complaint of rape, failing to consider the accuser may be intentionally lying effectively eradicates the presumption of innocence. This Constitutional right is especially significant when dealing with allegations of rape as in most jurisdictions, sex offenses are the only crimes that do not require corroborating evidence for conviction. Because there are often no witnesses and no physical evidence (especially if the victim delays in filing a report), the case may come down to the credibility of the accused versus the credibility of the accuser.
There is a fine line between supporting victims and protecting the rights of the accused. Yet, considering the unique challenges of trying and defending rape cases combined with the potential costs to the falsely accused, being able to assess the credibility of the alleged victim takes on special importance. Inconsistencies in the accuser’s complaint should be confronted gently and respectfully, with awareness of the fact that true victims may distort or even lie out of embarrassment or shame.
Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). (2008a). Personal crimes, 2006: Number of incidents and victimizations and ratio of victimizations to incidents, by type of crime. (Table 26). Criminal Victimization in the United States, 2006. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Retrieved from cvus/current/cv0626.pdf
Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). (2008b). Personal crimes, 2006: Victimization rates for persons age 12 and over, by gender and age of victims and type of crime. (Table 4). Criminal Victimization in the United States, 2006. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Retrieved from cvus/current/cv0604.pdf
Connors, E., Lundregan, T., Miller, N., & McEwen, T. (1996). Convicted by juries, exonerated by science: Case studies in the use of DNA evidence to establish innocence after trial. (NCJ-161258). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice.
Epstein, J. (2005). True lies: The constitutional and evidentiary bases for admitting prior false accusation evidence in sexual assault prosecutions. (Paper 697). Retrieved from eps/697
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). (2007). Methodology. Uniform Crime Report: Crime in the United States, 2006. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved from
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). (2008a). Crime Clock, 2007. Uniform Crime Report.” Crime in the United States, 2007. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved from about/crime_clock.html
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). (2008b). Estimated number of arrests, U.S., 2007. (Table 29). Uniform Crime Report.” Crime in the United States, 2007. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved from http://www.fbi. gov/ucr/cius2007/data/table_29.html
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). (2008c). Offense analysis, U.S., 2003-2007. (Table 7). Uniform Crime Report: Crime in the United States, 2007. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved from http://www.fbi. gov/ucr/cius2007/data/table_07.html
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). (2008d). Percent of crimes cleared by arrest or exceptional means, 2007. (Clearance Figure). Uniform Crime Report.” Crime in the United States, 200Z Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved from clearances/index.html#figure
Greenfeld, L. A. (1997). Sex offense and offenders: An analysis of data on rape and sexual assault.. (NCJ-163392). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Innocence Project. (2008). Facts on post-conviction DNA exonerations. Retrieved from
Kanin, E. J. (1994). False rape allegations. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 23(1), 81-92.
McDowell, C. P.. (1985). False allegations. Forensic Science Digest, 11(4), 56-76.
Rumney, P. N. S. (2006). False allegations of rape. The Cambridge Law Journal, 65(1), 128-158.
Tjaden, P., & Thoennes, N. (2000). Full report of the prevalence, incidence, and consequences of violence against women (research report): Findings from the National Violence Against Women survey. (NCJ 183781). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice.
There are several online resources devoted to increasing awareness of the fact that false rape accusations are an all-too-common reality. The moderators of these information sites provide a wealth of articles, links, and statistics on false rape charges. One Web site is provides news briefs on publicized cases of false rape, links to other in-depth articles, and a list of helpful books on the subject. An additional section addressing legal issues is also available.
The Web site states that it was created by a concerned mother to increase awareness that women sometimes make false rape charges and destroy the lives and reputations of innocent men, while the false accusers face no repercussions.
For more information, please visit
A Selection of McDowell’s Indicators of False Rape Allegations:
Physical injuries of false accusers usually are limited to superficial cuts, scratches, and abrasions. Scratches often appear in a hatching or crosshatching pattern, due to repeated attempts to make the scratches visible. Scratches that resemble letters or words sometimes are found on false accusers, typically on their abdomens, but are not found on actual victims.
False accusers frequently claim that they offered vigorous and continuing physical resistance but suffered no serious reprisals. Most actual rape victims do not offer vigorous resistance, and those who do often suffer extremely brutal reprisals.
A false accusation typically solves some perceived problem for the “victim.” It may explain a pregnancy or venereal disease, or it may exact revenge. In contrast, actual rapes seldom appear to solve a problem. They usually create serious problems.
False accusers usually do not make their allegations initially to authorities. Typically they make them to friends or relatives who in turn inform the authorities.
False victims, more often than actual ones, claim to have been raped by strangers.
False accusers, much more often that actual ones, claim to have been attacked by multiple assailants who fit an unsavory stereotype.
False accusers typically claim to have been victims of simple penile insertions, or blitz rapes, without collateral sexual activity.
False accusers tend to be vague on the details, but when a false victim does provide details she tends to do so with a relish that actual victims seldom have.
False accusers, far more frequently than actual victims, cannot say exactly where the rape occurred.
In false accusation cases, far more frequently than in actual cases, the purported crime scene and the physical evidence are found to be inconsistent with the allegation.
False accusers, more often than actual victims, claim to have received phone calls from their “rapists” before or after the crime.
False accusers, more often than actual victims, have personal problems, including difficulty in interpersonal relationships and a history of lying and exaggeration.
[Source: (1985). Chicago Lawyer]
Bruce Gross, PhD, JD, MBA, is a Fellow of the American College of Forensic Examiners and is an Executive Advisory Board member of the American Board of Forensic Examiners. Dr. Gross is also a Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Examiners and the American Board of Psychological Specialties. He has been an ACFEI member since 1996 and is also a Fellow of the American Psychotherapy Association.
U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs
Bureau of Justice Statistics
Special Report
MARCH 2013
NCJ 240655
bullet NO mention of false allegations.
bullet NO mention of the rape conviction RATE.
bullet No mention of women CONVICTED of LYING.
bullet No mention that women who LIE about rape far outnumber women who ARE raped.
bullet No explanation for how a wife can be “raped” and what damages occur.
There have been NO false convictions in Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, North Dakota, South Dakota, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Maine, Vermont, Arkansas, or Mississippi, versus 43 in Illinois, 27 in New York, 47 in Texas, and 9 in California.
For the BBC television drama, see The Innocence Project.
The Innocence Project is a non-profit legal organization that is committed to exonerating wrongly convicted people through the use of DNA testing, and to reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.[1] The Innocence Project was founded in 1992 by Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld. To date, the Innocence Project has freed 301 wrongfully convicted people, including 18 who spent time on death row.[1]
bullet 1 Founding
bullet 2 Mission
bullet 2.1 Wrongful convictions
bullet 3 Work
bullet 3.1 Funding
bullet 4 Innocence Network
bullet 4.1 Worldwide
bullet 5 Causes
bullet 6 In popular culture
bullet 7 See also
bullet 8 Notes
bullet 9 External links
[edit] Founding
The Innocence Project was established in the wake of a landmark study by the United States Department of Justice and the United States Senate, in conjunction with the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, which found that incorrect identification by eyewitnesses was a factor in over 70% of wrongful convictions.[2] The original Innocence Project was founded in 1992 by Scheck and Neufeld as part of the Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University in New York City. It became an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2003, but maintains strong institutional connections with Cardozo.[3] The current Executive Director of the Innocence Project is Madeline deLone.[4]
[edit] Mission
The Innocence Project primarily exonerates people for whom DNA evidence is available to be tested or retested. DNA testing is possible in 5 to 10 percent of criminal cases.[5] Other members of the Innocence Network also help to exonerate those in whose cases DNA testing is not possible.
In addition to working on behalf of those who may have been wrongfully convicted of crimes throughout the United States, those working for the Innocence Project perform research and advocacy related to the causes of wrongful convictions.
Some of the Innocence Project’s successes have resulted in rescuing innocent people from death row. The successes of the project have fueled American opposition to the death penalty and have likely been a factor in the decision by some American states to institute moratoria on judicial executions.[6]
In the decision of District Attorney’s Office v. Osborne (2009), US Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts wrote that post-conviction challenge “poses to our criminal justice systems and our traditional notions of finality better left to elected officials than federal judges.” In a court opinion, another justice wrote that forensic science has “serious deficiencies”. Roberts expressed a fear that post-conviction DNA testing risks “unnecessarily overthrowing the established system of criminal justice.” The law professor Kevin Jon Heller wrote: “It might lead to a reasonably accurate one.”[7]
[edit] Wrongful convictions
As of June 2012, 292 people previously convicted of serious crimes in the United States had been exonerated by DNA testing since 1989, seventeen of whom had been sentenced to death. Almost all (99%) of the convictions proven to be false were of males,[8] with minority groups also disproportionately represented (approximately 70%).[9] The National Registry of Exonerations lists 891 people who were convicted of a crime for which they were later exonerated through DNA and non-DNA evidence.[10] The following are some examples of notable exonerations:
bullet In 2007, after an investigation begun by The Innocence Project, James Calvin Tillman was exonerated after serving 16.5 years in prison for a rape he did not commit. His sentence was 45 years.
bullet Lynn DeJac is a Buffalo woman whose previous conviction of murder in 1994, was reversed on November 28, 2007 on the basis of DNA evidence. She had been convicted of murdering her daughter (Crystallynn Girard), on February 13, 1993.[1] According to the Innocence Project, she is the first woman to be exonerated of murdering someone on the basis of DNA evidence. Steven M. Cohen (Attorney) is now representing DeJac in her lawsuit against the state of New York. [11]
bullet In 2007, Floyd Brown was exonerated for the murder of an 80 year old woman in Wadesboro, NC. In prison since 1993, Brown served 14 years in Dorothea Dix Hospital. Twenty nine at the time of the murder, Brown had the mental capacity of a 7 year old. There was no physical evidence to convict him, only a false confession written by a State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) agent. The claim was that Brown dictated the confession to the SBI agent but given his mental state at the time, there is no possibility that he could have given such a detailed confession. Floyd was convicted solely on the false confession and was not given the opportunity to stand trial because he was ruled incompetent to stand trial. Because of the injustice, Floyd Brown is now in the process of suing the state of North Carolina.[12]
bullet In December 2009, James Bain was exonerated by DNA testing for a kidnapping, burglary, and rape he did not commit. Bain’s appeal had previously been denied four separate times. His 35-year imprisonment made him the longest-incarcerated victim of a wrongful conviction to be freed through DNA evidence.[13][14]
bullet In June 2010, Barry Gibbs was awarded the largest civil rights settlement by the City of New York to date of $9.9 million.[15] He received an additional $1.9 million settlement from New York state in late 2009. He was wrongly convicted of the 1986 murder of Brooklyn prostitute Virginia Robertson based on coerced testimony by a witness during the investigation by NYPD detective Louis Eppolito. Gibbs’ original sentence was 20 years to life for the murder, of which he served just under 19 years. Gibbs never expressed remorse for his crime to the parole board, on the grounds that he was innocent and had no remorse. Every two years at his review, the board denied his parole because of his lack of remorse. Gibbs was exonerated in 2006 with help from the Innocence Project. In addition, the conviction of former detective Eppolito for his sideline as a mob hit man and the change in testimony by a witness in Gibbs’ case helped him.[16]
bullet In September 2010, days before he was to be executed, Kevin Keith was granted clemency by Ohio Governor Ted Strickland,[17][18] thanks in part to Ohio’s Innocent Project.[19][20]
bullet In February 2010, Greg Taylor was exonerated for the murder of a North Carolina young female prostitute. Arrested in 1991 and convicted a few years later, Taylor served 17 years in prison. Taylor did cooperate with the police and even offered DNA samples and willing to take a polygraph test. Police charged Greg Taylor and Johnny Beck for the murder of the woman. Yet police wanted Taylor to incriminate Beck but he refused. With the help of Christine Mumma of the North Carolina Center of Actual Innocence, Taylor was freed. Mumma was able to prove the lack of physical evidence towards Taylor and the flawed process. Also, the SBI failed to report all of their testing results during Taylor’s original trial and misrepresented the evidence. Taylor describes this experience as “The perfect storm of bad luck.”[12]
[edit] Work
In the history of the United States there have been 292 post-conviction exonerations due to DNA testing.[9] According to the Innocence Project these statistics were found on those exonerated:
bullet The average sentence served thirteen years.[9]
bullet 70 percent exonerated are a part of minority groups.[9]
bullet 40 percent of these DNA cases were able to find the actual person who committed the crime.[9]
bullet About 50 percent of those exonerated through DNA testing have been financially compensated for their time in prison. The federal government, 27 states, and Washington D.C. have passed laws providing some level of financial compensation to wrongfully convicted people.[9]
bullet The Innocence Project has had to close 22 percent of its cases because DNA evidence was missing or had been destroyed.[9]
There have been exoneration in Washington D.C and 35 states. There are innocence projects in the majority of the 50 states.[9]
New York City is where the Innocence Project originated, but it accepts cases from any part of the United States. The majority of clients that are helped are those who are of low socio-economic status and have used all possible legal options for justice. Before investigating a case, clients undergo a screening process in order to figure out whether or not DNA testing will lead to a wrongful conviction. Many clients are hoping that DNA evidence will prove their innocence in their cases. With the emergence of DNA testing, those who have been wrongly convicted of a crime have been able to challenge their cases. The Innocence Project also works with the local, state and federal levels of law enforcement and legislators along with other programs to prevent further wrongful convictions.[1]
About 3,000 prisoners write to the Innocence Project annually, and at any given time the Innocence Project is evaluating 6,000 to 8,000 potential cases.[21]
[edit] Funding
The Innocence Project receives 45 percent of its funding from individual contributions, 30 percent from foundations, 15 percent from an annual benefit dinner, 7 percent from the Cardozo School of Law (with which it is loosely affiliated), and the rest from corporations.[22]
[edit] Innocence Network
The Innocence Project is also a founding members of the Innocence Network, an organization of law and journalism schools along with public defense offices that work together to help convicted felons prove their innocence.[1] 46 American states along with several other countries are a part of the network. In 2010, twenty nine people were exonerated worldwide from the work of the members of this organization.[23]
[edit] Worldwide
The Innocence Project is a member of the Innocence Network, which brings together a growing number of innocence organizations from across the United States. It includes members from other English-speaking common law countries—the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland.[24]
In South Africa, the Wits Justice Project investigates South African incarcerations. In partnership with the Wits Law Clinic, the Legal Resource Centre (LRC), the Open Democracy Advice Centre (ODAC), the Julia Mashele Trust, and the US Innocence Project, the Justice Project investigates individual cases of prisoners wrongly convicted or awaiting trial.[25]
[edit] Causes
There are many reasons why wrongful convictions occur. The most common reason is false eyewitness identification, which played a role in more than 75 percent of wrongful convictions overturned by the Innocence Project. Often assumed to be incontrovertible, a growing body of evidence suggests that eyewitness identifications are unreliable.[26]
Unreliable or improper forensic science played a role in some 50 percent of Innocence Project cases. Scientific techniques such as bite-mark comparison, once widely used, are now known to be subjective. Many forensic science techniques also lack uniform scientific standards.[27]
In about 25 percent of DNA exoneration cases, innocent people were coerced or threatened into making incriminating statements or false confessions. Of the 292 people freed by the Innocence Project, 28 actually pled guilty to crimes they did not commit (usually to avoid a harsher sentence, or even the death penalty).[28]
Government misconduct, inadequate legal counsel, and the improper use of informants also contributed to many of the wrongful convictions since overturned by the Innocence Project
[edit] In popular culture
bullet In the non-fiction book, The Innocent Man, John Grisham recounted the cases of Ron Williamson and Dennis Fritz, who were assisted on appeal by the Innocence Project and freed by DNA evidence, after being wrongfully convicted of the murder of Debra Ann Carter.
bullet The Exonerated (2002) is a play by Erik Jensen and Jessica Blank about six people who had been wrongly convicted and sentenced to death, but were exonerated.
bullet The Innocence Project was featured in the documentary After Innocence (2005).
bullet The Innocence Project was discussed in a December 14, 2010 on the 9th episode season 2 of The Good Wife entitled “Nine Hours.” Innocence Project co-founder Barry Scheck played himself in the episode, which was largely based on the actual Innocence Project case of Cameron Todd Willingham. Cary Agos, a recurring character on The Good Wife, is said to have worked for the Innocence Project after law school (and is a family friend of Scheck’s).[29]
bullet Conviction (2010), is a film about the exoneration of Kenneth Waters, who was a client of the Innocence Project. Hilary Swank plays Waters’ sister Betty Anne, who went to college and law school to fight for his freedom, and Sam Rockwell plays Waters. Barry Scheck is portrayed by Peter Gallagher.
Sixty Percent of the Prosecutions in the World are in the US
Of 23.8 Million Prosecutions in the WORLD, 14.2 Million are in the US
NONE of these Prosecutions are Women
Liars Who Were PROMOTED
Beverly Hall
Limor Livnet
Jo Boaler
Maria Moulthrop
Michelle Rhee
Nadine Milroy-Sloan Jailed For Three Years
1.Women who file malicious and known false charges! wpe4.gif (4015 bytes)
2.Prue Vincent: LIAR extraordinaire!
3.The cops who lie!
4.The FBI who was shut down when they were prohibited from LYING!
5.Police who knew Nina Shahravan filed false rape charges against Dallas Cowboys and didn’t prosecute her.
6.Iowa Co-ed who LIED to police about being raped.
7.Bruce McLaughlin imprisoned on false child abuse charge.
8.LIAR Natalie Knighting gets only 6 months in jail, while Kevin Greene spent 17 years in prison for “raping” his own WIFE, until DNA evidence cleared him of all charges.
9.wpe6.gif (3819 bytes) who gets promoted for falsely imprisoning John Willis for 9 years in a Chicago Prison before being cleared by DNA evidence!
10.The feminazis who trivialize “Rape”.
11.False Feminist Accusers of All Kinds.
12.Sponsors of the “Spousal Rape” laws.
13.The moral minor feminazis who confuse the issue with children as witnesses.
14.Sponsors of “Rape Shield Laws” like the ones which were ruled unconstitutional in Canada.
15.”Rape Shield Laws” upheld in Tennessee.
16.”Rape Shield Laws” enable women to file miltiple false allegations of rape without even being questioned about them.
17.Are false allegations against men a factor in the dramatic increase in crime?
18.Are false allegations against men the reason we have one of the World’s Highest Murder Rates?
19.Julie Romig who was charged with filing false rape report.
20.The unnamed rape LIAR who was jailed for only one year, a sentence less than a tenth of what her victim would have received if he’d been falsely convicted.
21.The women who LIE who need to be Milroysloaned.
22.Public enemy number one is Betty D. Montgomery who had “complete confidence” in the state’s convictions of those on death row even though half the convictions in her state were proven by DNA evidence to be FALSE.
# 1 Lesotho: 91.6 2009 Time series
# 2 Sweden: 53.2 2009 Time series
# 3 New Zealand: 30.9 2009 Time series
# 4 Belgium: 26.3 2009 Time series
# 5 Ireland: 22.3 2009 Time series
# 6 Iceland: 21.6 2009 Time series
# 7 Norway: 19.8 2009 Time series
# 8 Israel: 17.6 2009 Time series
# 9 Finland: 17.2 2009 Time series
# 10 France: 16.6 2009 Time series
# 11 Mongolia: 13.4 2009 Time series
# 12 Chile: 13.3 2009 Time series
= 13 Luxembourg: 11.9 2009 Time series
= 13 Estonia: 11.9 2009 Time series
# 15 Solomon Islands: 11 2009 Time series
# 16 Germany: 8.9 2009 Time series
= 17 Kazakhstan: 8.4 2009 Time series
= 17 Liechtenstein: 8.4 2009 Time series
# 19 Argentina: 8.3 2008 Time series
# 20 Denmark: 7.3 2009 Time series
# 21 Moldova: 7.2 2009 Time series
# 22 Oman: 6.6 2009 Time series
# 23 Kyrgyzstan: 5.6 2009 Time series
# 24 Spain: 5.5 2009 Time series
# 25 Mauritius: 5.4 2009 Time series
# 26 Czech Republic: 5.1 2009 Time series
= 27 Lithuania: 4.9 2009 Time series
= 27 Hungary: 4.9 2009 Time series
# 29 Romania: 4.8 2009 Time series
# 30 Malta: 4.7 2009 Time series
# 31 Bahrain: 4.6 2009 Time series
= 32 Russia: 4.4 2009 Time series
= 32 Latvia: 4.4 2009 Time series
# 34 Croatia: 4.3 2009 Time series
# 35 Poland: 4.2 2009 Time series
# 36 Cyprus: 3.9 2009 Time series
# 37 Morocco: 3.6 2009 Time series
# 38 Bulgaria: 3.5 2009 Time series
Crime in Bulgaria
= 39 Portugal: 3 2009 Time series
= 39 Maldives: 3 2009 Time series
= 41 Philippines: 2.9 2009 Time series
= 41 Sudan: 2.9 2009 Time series
= 43 Slovenia: 2.8 2009 Time series
= 43 Slovakia: 2.8 2009 Time series
# 45 Belarus: 2.5 2009 Time series
# 46 Cameroon: 2.4 2008 Time series
# 47 Greece: 2 2008 Time series
# 48 Kenya: 1.9 2009 Time series
# 49 Canada: 1.5 2009 Time series
# 50 Sierra Leone: 1.4 2009 Time series
# 51 Japan: 1.2 2009 Time series
# 52 Guinea: 1 2008 Time series
# 53 Armenia: 0.6 2009 Time series
# 54 Azerbaijan: 0.3 2009 Time series
# 55 Egypt: 0.1 2009 Time series
Weighted average: 9.8
“But she admitted, “I don’t know what percentage of pregnancies are due to the violence of rape. Because of the trauma the body goes through, I don’t know what percentage of pregnancy results from the act.””
So then let’s do the math for her. There are about 4 million pregnancies per year:
There are 90 thousand reported rapes each year, and about 45 thousand of them are “founded” by the justice system. Of those which were “founded”, about half of them have been determined by sophisticated DNA testing to be based on false allegations, leaving us with 22,500 actual rapes, each year.
The odds of a woman getting pregnant at random are one day out of 30 days, or 1:30, which means one thirtieth of the 22.5 thousand would result in pregnancy IF the odds of getting pregnant from a rape are equal with the odds of getting pregnant otherwise. This would be 750 pregnancies per year, which is less than 0.02% of all pregnancies.
So she’s absolutely correct: this IS *rare* by every definition I know of.
HOWEVER, if a woman is raped and does not want to get pregnant, there a many options, which means that a woman who has sex for the purpose of getting pregnant WOULD be much more likely to get pregnant than a woman who gets pregnant because of rape.
How much more? The difference is trivial, but let’s just assume 2x. This means that rather than 0.02% of all pregnancies being the result of rape, only 0.01% are.
“Rare”? Very rare. Probably even rarer than Celeste herself thought it was. It’s ALMOST as rare as the 0.003% of the guns in the country which are used for murder, each year.
HOWEVER, for whatever reason, the rape conviction rate in the US, which was already much higher than most other civilized nations, increased dramatically in 1983, to 28 times higher than England and Wales by 1992.
What caused it to almost TRIPLE? And why did we already have a rate 10 TIMES greater than the very country from which our laws were derived?
If the INCREASE were due solely to the increase in false allegations of rape (as evidenced by the Innocence Project), then the actual number of the 45,000 “founded” rape allegations which are NOT based on false allegations is 15,000. THIS is still an outrageously and unacceptably high crime rate, but let’s redo the math based on this.
The odds of a woman getting pregnant at random are one day out of 30 days, or 1:30, which means one thirtieth of the 15 thousand would result in pregnancy. This would be 500 pregnancies per year, which is 0.0125% of all pregnancies, or 0.00625% of all pregnancies IF women who are raped are half as likely to get pregnant than women who WANT to get pregnant.
BUT, if we had a rape conviction rate (and therefore presumably a rape rate) equivalent to England in 1983, we must divide that number by 10, so that only 0.000625% of all pregnancies in the US would have been caused by rape.
To answer my own question about why we saw a sudden and sustained increase of almost three fold in the rape conviction rate at a time when all other crimes were DECREASING, I attribute ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of it to false allegations. Don’t forget, many of these convictions which have been overturned by the Innocence Project occurred BEFORE this ratcheting up of the conviction rate, so we already had an EXORBITANT false conviction rate BEFORE this. Since 1986, there have been about 36,000 rape convictions per year, for a total of 972,000 since then. It would be a VERY good bet that at least TWO THIRDS of them, or 648,000, are based on *false* allegations.
Whew. That STILL gives us a VERY high rate of rape, even higher than the Congo who the UN mistakenly dubbed “the Rape Capital of the World”.
Minneapolis is.
HOWEVER, indicates that the vast majority of the false allegations were made BEFORE 1983, when the rate of conviction for men suddenly ratcheted UP. It indicates that even before 1983, more than HALF of the rape convictions were based on FALSE allegations, bringing the total number of *false* allegations to (972,000 – 648,000) /2 + 648,000 = 810,000!
Whew. You lil’ ladies have been BUSY, eh?
In England, 0.000625% of all pregnancies across the entire country are the result of rape.
Are women in England less likely to be raped than women in the US? Probably. But NEVER by this much.
Our murder conviction rate is actually one sixth that of England. If our rate of rape convictions was as much lower than England as our murder rate convictions are, then we would have a rate of rape convictions 6 times LOWER than England, or .0017 per 1,000 males, on par with Greece (0.005), Singapore (0.0004), Japan (0.009), Portugal (0.009), India (0.005). INSTEAD, it has reached a record breaking 0.24, which is 114 TIMES higher than that.
Percentage of Pregnancies Resulting From Rape in Other Countries
US = 0.01%
China = 0.0084375%
Singapore = 0.0084375%
England and Wales = 0.00625%
Japan = 0.0046875%
Qatar = 0.0046875%
Syria = 0.001875%
Saudi Arabia = 0.0009375%
Crime and Justice in the United States
and in England and Wales, 1981-96
Convictions per 1,000 population
Murder conviction: populations
Rape conviction: population
Robbery conviction: population
Assault conviction: population
Burglary conviction: population
Motor vehicle theft conviction: population
To the chart data
Notes on figures 19-24: Data compiled by courts nationwide (State, Federal and juvenile courts in the United States; juvenile and adult courts in England) formed the basis for the conviction rate, defined for all offenses except rape as the number of persons convicted during the year per 1,000 population age 10 or older. (Age 10 is the minimum conviction age in England. No U.S. minimum exists, but rarely do juvenile court referrals involve children under age 10 (25,000 out of 1.5 million cases in 1994 according to Loeber and Farrington, 1998, page 24.)) For rape, the conviction rate is the number of convictions per 1,000 male population (ages 10 or older), since rape is almost exclusively a crime committed by males. In the United States, convicted juveniles were defined as adjudicated delinquents, excluding those dismissed or transferred to adult court. (Transferred juveniles who were convicted as adults in adult court were included in State court cases.) Since 1986, national conviction data in the United States have been compiled every 2 years. National conviction data in England are compiled annually. However, for comparability, English convictions are shown for years in which crime victim surveys were conducted. U.S. convictions are shown for all years in which national data exist or were estimated. Convictions for vehicle theft in the United States are conservatively estimated. Crime definitions for the graphics are given in Notes on figures 5-10.
Depending on the circumstances, a person charged in the United States with a serious crime can be prosecuted in a State court, a Federal court, or a juvenile court. Likewise in England (including Wales), depending on the circumstances, the case can go to the Crown Court, a magistrate court, or a juvenile court (a specialized magistrate court).
U.S. Federal courts treat persons 18 years of age and older as adults. In the vast majority of States, a defendant is considered an adult once he or she reaches the age of 18; in a small number of States, age 17 is the beginning of adulthood; in a few States it is age 16. In England, adulthood in the eyes of the law begins at age 18. Before 1992, it was age 17.
In both countries, a juvenile charged with or previously found delinquent of a serious crime can be prosecuted in the adult court rather than the juvenile court. In America, State and Federal laws define special circumstances in which adult prosecution of a juvenile is automatic (for example, a juvenile charged with murder, rape, or armed robbery), and circumstances in which such prosecution is at the discretion of either the juvenile court or the prosecutor. English law requires that all juveniles charged with homicide be prosecuted in the Crown Court (the adult court) rather than the juvenile court (called the youth court in England). If the crime is not a homicide but is one that is punishable by at least 14 years confinement for an adult (for example, household burglary), or the crime is carried out with an adult accomplice, the English juvenile court, at its discretion, can commit the juvenile for trial in the Crown Court. Commitment for trial in the Crown Court is distinguished from commitment for sentencing in the Crown Court. When a juvenile is convicted in the English juvenile court but the magistrate believes the juvenile deserves a longer sentence than the maximum that the juvenile court can impose (12 months), the juvenile can be committed to the Crown Court for sentencing. In such a case the maximum sentence the Crown Court can impose is 2 years.
The total number of convictions (juvenile and adult combined) in the United States is not directly comparable to the English total because the U.S. population is far larger than the English population. Naturally the United States has more convictions: it has roughly five times more people than England. A more meaningful comparison is between conviction rates per 1,000 population, a measure that takes into account the difference in population size.
The U.S. conviction rate per 1,000 population is higher than England’s for murder, rape, and robbery. Is that because the United States has higher rates of victimization from murder, rape, and robbery? Or because the criminal justice system in the United States is more likely than the English system to catch and convict murderers, rapists, and robbers?
•The higher U.S. conviction rate for murder is explained entirely by the higher U.S. murder rate. According to the most recent statistics on crime (1996) and the justice system (1994 in the United States, 1995 in England), the U.S. murder rate is nearly six times the English murder rate (figure 5). Correspondingly, the U.S. murder conviction rate per 1,000 population is nearly six times England’s (.059 versus .010) (figure 19).
•The higher U.S. conviction rate for rape is attributable both to the higher U.S. police-recorded rape rate and to a United States criminal justice system that catches and convicts rapists at a higher rate than England’s system. According to the most recent statistics on crime (1996) and the justice system (1994 in the United States, 1995 in England), the U.S. police-recorded rape rate is three times England’s (figure 5), but the U.S. rape conviction rate is over eight times England’s (.212 versus .025) (figure 20), indicating that a rape in the United States is more likely to lead to conviction than one in England.
•The higher U.S. conviction rate for robbery cannot be attributed to a higher U.S. robbery victimization rate since, according to the latest figures, the U.S. robbery victimization rate is lower than England’s. Instead the reason for the higher U.S. robbery conviction rate is that the English criminal justice system is less likely than America’s to catch and convict robbers. According to the most recent statistics on robbery victimization (1995) and the criminal justice system (1994 in the United States, 1995 in England), the English robbery victimization rate is 1.4 times the U.S. rate (figure 1), but the U.S. robbery conviction rate is nearly 3 times England’s (.30 versus .11) (figure 21), indicating that a robbery in the United States is more likely to lead to conviction than one in England.
The English conviction rate per 1,000 population is higher than the U.S. conviction rate for assault, burglary, and motor vehicle theft. Is that because England has higher rates of victimization from assault, burglary, and motor vehicle theft? Or because the criminal justice system in England is more likely than the U.S. system to catch and convict assaulters, burglars, and motor vehicle thieves?
•The higher English conviction rate for assault is attributable to a higher English assault victimization rate, not to different performance by the English justice system. According to the most recent statistics on assault victimization (1995), the English assault victimization rate is 2.3 times the U.S. rate (figure 2). However, according to the most recent conviction statistics (1994 in the United States, 1995 in England), the English assault conviction rate is 1.4 times the U.S. assault conviction rate (.61 versus .44) (figure 22), indicating that an assault in England is less likely to lead to conviction than one in the United States.
•The higher English conviction rate for burglary is attributable to a higher English crime rate for burglary, not to different performance by the English justice system. According to the most recent statistics on burglary victimization (1995), the English burglary victimization rate is 1.8 times the U.S. rate (figure 3). However, according to the most recent conviction statistics (1994 in the United States, 1995 in England), the English burglary conviction rate is 1.1 times the U.S. burglary conviction rate (.78 versus .73) (figure 23), indicating that a burglary in England is less likely to lead to conviction than one in the United States.
•The higher English conviction rate for motor vehicle theft is attributable to a higher English crime rate for motor vehicle theft, not to different performance by the English justice system. According to the most recent statistics on motor vehicle theft victimization (1995), the English motor vehicle theft victimization rate is 2.2 times the U.S. rate (figure 4). However, according to the most recent conviction statistics (1994 in the United States, 1995 in England), the English motor vehicle theft conviction rate is 1.6 times the U.S. conviction rate (.34 versus .21) (figure 24), indicating that a motor vehicle theft in England is less likely to lead to conviction than one in the United States.
Have conviction rates per 1,000 population been rising or falling in each country?
From 1981 to the latest year of conviction data (1994 in the United States, 1995 in England) —
bullet The U.S. murder conviction rate rose steeply (.045 in 1981 rising to .059 in 1994), while the English rate rose modestly (.009 in 1981 rising to .010 in 1995) (figure 19). Unlike the rise in the U.S. conviction rate, the rise in the English conviction rate is linked to an increase in the country’s murder rate.
bullet The U.S. rape conviction rate rose sharply (.099 in 1981 rising to .212 in 1995), while the English rate rose comparatively modestly (.015 in 1981 rising to .025 in 1995) (figure 20). Unlike the rise in the U.S. conviction rate, the rise in the English conviction rate could partly be explained by an increase in the country’s rape rate, although the increase in the English rape rate (more than 5 times) was far higher than the modest increase in the rape conviction rate.
bullet Both the U.S. (.28 in 1981 rising to .30 in 1994) and the English (.10 in 1981 rising to .11 in 1995) robbery conviction rates increased slightly (figure 21). The U.S. conviction rate modestly rose while the robbery victimization rate fell. In England, by contrast, the conviction rate rose modestly while the robbery victimization rate soared.
bullet The U.S. assault conviction rate rose sharply (.16 in 1981 rising to .44 in 1994), while the English rate fell sharply (1.12 in 1981 falling to .61 in 1995) (figure 22). The rise in the U.S. conviction rate was accompanied by a decline in the assault victimization rate. By contrast, the decline in the English conviction rate was accompanied by a steep rise in the assault victimization rate.
bullet Both the U.S. (.97 in 1981 falling to .73 in 1994) and the English (1.69 in 1981 falling to .78 in 1995) burglary conviction rates fell, and the English rate fell more than the U.S. rate (figure 23). The falling English rate was accompanied by a steep rise in the burglary victimization rate. The falling U.S. conviction rate was accompanied by a steep decline in the burglary victimization rate. However, the conviction rate decline was less steep than the victimization rate decline, indicating that the risk of burglary conviction was actually rising in the United States during the period.
bullet The U.S. motor vehicle theft conviction rate rose sharply (.07 in 1981 rising to .21 in 1994), while the English rate fell sharply (.83 in 1981 falling to .34 in 1995) (figure 24). The rising U.S. conviction rate was accompanied by a stable victimization rate for vehicle theft. By contrast, the falling English conviction rate was accompanied by a rising victimization rate for vehicle theft.
Chart data – in spreadsheets
Figure 19 Figure 20 Figure 21
Murder Rape Robbery
Year United
England United
England United
1981 0.0448 0.0089 0.0994 0.0153 0.2829 0.0951
1983 0.0407 0.0089 0.0999 0.0148 0.2412 0.0922
1986 0.0520 0.1760 0.2747
1987 0.0098 0.0200 0.1009
1988 0.0485 0.1709 0.2337
1990 0.0579 0.1953 0.2984
1991 0.0101 0.0249 0.1089
1992 0.0622 0.2321 0.3247
1993 0.0104 0.0213 0.1140
1994 0.0589 0.2120 0.2967
1995 0.0101 0.0249 0.1147
Figure 22 Figure 23 Figure 24
Assault Burglary Motor vehicle theft
Year United
England United
England United
1981 0.1626 1.1201 0.9725 1.6916 0.0738 0.8286
1983 0.1872 1.1334 0.9966 1.5966 0.1071 0.6755
1986 0.2641 0.8256 0.1746
1987 1.0374 1.2312 0.5897
1988 0.2544 0.7563 0.1985
1990 0.3663 0.8253 0.2528
1991 1.0240 1.0370 0.5138
1992 0.4157 0.8376 0.2450
1993 0.8371 0.9011 0.3760
1994 0.4374 0.7300 0.2135
1995 0.6095 0.7849 0.3432
Judge fines woman who falsely accused Michael Flatley of rape
Ordered to pay $11 million for extortion attempt.
The Associated Press
A woman who accused dancer Michael Flatley of sexual assault has been ordered to pay him more than $11 million for making false allegations to extort money from him, according to documents obtained Monday.
Superior Court Judge Michael L. Stern found that real estate agent Tyna Marie Robertson had defamed and intentionally inflicted emotional distress upon Flatley, 49, who appeared in “Riverdance,” “Lord of the Dance,” “Feet of Flames” and “Celtic Tiger.”
Article Tab: Former Riverdance star Michael Flatley
Former “Riverdance” star Michael Flatley
Lynn Walker Courtesy Class
The Telegraph
9 March 2000
Rape claim woman ruined
A Boots the Chemist pharmacist who was ordered to pay a colleague,
Martin Garfoot, £400,000 damages after falsely accusing him of rape has
been declared bankrupt at Newcastle county court.
Lynn Walker, 33, also had costs of £150,000 awarded against her. The
official receiver is now empowered to sell her £70,000 semi-detached
I am glad she has lost her home but I say it is not enough: she should
be in prison for her actions, but since she is not, she should be
ostracised for all time.
Remember her name: Lynn Walker. If you should see her in the street,
cut her dead. If she comes into your shop, refuse to serve her. If she
tries to rent your property, turn her away. If she applies for a job,
throw her application in the bin. If she asks for help, even if she
begs, just walk away. She vindictively accused her colleague of rape:
she was happy to ruin his reputation for all time. She whispered her
accusations behind his back all the while accepting lifts home from him
and continuing to work beside him. Let her have no rest, no comfort and
no aid. Let the entire community shun her: she does not belong here.
Esther Summerson
‘We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one
object, and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become
simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their
attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first.’
— Charles Mackay
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
Monday, 7 February, 2000, 18:41 GMT
Rape libel pay-out
Martin Garfoot: Fought to clear name
A father-of two falsely accused by a female colleague of harassment and rape has been awarded £400,000 in damages.
Pharmacist Martin Garfoot, 46, from Whickham, Gateshead, won his defamation case against Lynn Walker, 33, after an eight-day trial at Newcastle High Court.
A High Court judge ruled that Ms Walker, also a pharmacist for Boots the Chemist’s, could be named as the defendant.
He said her legal rights to anonymity should be lifted after a jury found in Mr Garfoot’s favour.
Miss Walker, of Low Fell, Gateshead, Tyneside, now faces a bill of £500,000-plus after she was also ordered to meet the costs of both sides.
She was not in court to hear the jury’s verdict.
Lynn Walker: Faces financial ruin
The jury found unanimously in favour of father-of-two Mr Garfoot who maintained the incident never happened and launched a civil action to clear his name.
The court had previously heard Miss Walker claim that he had grabbed her from behind in the staff tea-room at the branch in North Shields, Tyneside, and forced her to perform a sex act on him, attampted sexual assault and then raped her.
She also claimed he had physically and verbally harassed her on other occasions when they worked together in the mid-1990s.
The court was told she had never reported the alleged incidents to police and spoke out only to senior management at Boots.
During her evidence she frequently broke down and sobbed only to be later branded a liar and an actress by barristers acting for Mr Garfoot.
Mr Garfoot, 46, of Whickham, Tyneside, maintained she had made up the story because of a personality clash between them.
‘Out and out liar’
Following the jury’s verdict, Mr Edward Garnier, QC, representing Mr Garfoot, told the court: “The only inference that can be drawn is that the jury have decided she is an out-and-out liar.
“If ever there was a case where a woman lost all credibility this is it.”
Mr Garfoot sat motionless with his wife Janice behind his legal team as the amount of damages was revealed.
Justice Hooper refused an application by Miss Walker’s barrister Andrew Monson to appeal against the amount of damages above the sum of £75,000.
Mr Monson said: “Her assets are limited and she will need time to pay up to the amount of £75,000.”
‘Sheer hell’
Outside of the court, Mr Garfoot said: “It has been sheer hell for myself and my family. I feel stunned.
“We were looking for my name to be cleared and the sheer size of the award that has been given does go a long way towards, in effect in my mind, showing everyone that there has been absolutely nothing in the allegations made against me.”
Mrs Garfoot, when asked about her feelings towards Miss Walker, said: “I feel nothing. I am just cold towards her.
“The trial has been horrific and nobody should have to go through anything like this.”
‘Financial ruin’
Following the allegations in late 1996 Mr Garfoot was suspended while an internal investigation was carried out. He was reinstated after the investigation was completed.
He was then moved to another Boots The Chemist branch where he is currently working.
Miss Walker is also still employed by the company.
In a prepared statement after the verdict, Mr Monson said the trial had been a great ordeal for the defendant.
He added: “When the defendant hears the result she will be devastated, not least because she faces financial ruin. “The defendant may appeal on the size of the damages awarded but so far as is possible the defendant will now try to get on with her life.”
A spokeswoman for Boots The Chemists said: “We are reviewing the implications of the court’s decision and that’s all we can say at this moment.”
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