RECOURSE FOR THE FALSELY ACCUSED
The consequences of a false report of rape can be devastating to the life of the one accused, hglegal.org observes. Even after evidence clearly reveals that the claim is false, the mere suggestion is likely to be enough to convict an individual in “the court of public opinion”. Life-changing effects often include:
- loss of employment opportunities
- emotional harm
Knowingly making a false accusation is a crime, but there are several ways in which an alleged victim can come to believe they have been raped, including confusion of a memory or mistaking an innocent person for the perpetrator.
If you are falsely accused of rape, what recourse do you have?
Under the law, if the charges against you have been dropped and/or you have been proven innocent, you can proceed to press charges against the person who made false accusations against you.
You can claim defamation of character, which might have taken the form of libel (written statements, emails, articles, social media posts making false statements about you) or in the form of slander (spoken statements about you made by your accuser to one or more third parties).
In the course of your lawsuit, you can seek compensation for monetary losses caused by being falsely accused of a crime, including attorney fees and any loss of salary if you got fired or had to give up your job because of the accusations.
In reality, false allegations are rare, according to Australian criminologist Dr.Bianca Fileborn, with the most commonly cited figure being that around 5% of reports prove false, Maddie King points out in ABC tripleHACK. Nonetheless, at Ramey & Hailey, we encourage those suffering the effects of being wrongfully accused to be proactive in restoring their reputations.
We remind readers in our Ramey & Hailey blog that rape is a type of sexual assault, which also includes:
- inappropriate touching
- attempted rape
- forcing you to perform a sexual act
- penetrating any part of your body with a part of their body or with an object
“The perpetrator of a sexual assault may be a date, an acquaintance, a friend, a family member, an intimate partner or former intimate partner, or a complete stranger, but more often than not, is someone known to the victim,” the World Health Organization explains.
The reverse of that ugly reality is the even uglier fact that “petty people misuse the charge of rape as a way to gain an upper hand, get revenge, or otherwise harm another person,” HGLegalResources.org reminds us.
Rape is devastating to a victim; a false accusation of rape is devastating to the accused!