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False allegations of rape result in serious consequences

Though the study comes out of England, the consequences of false rape allegations are applicable to Colorado residents as well. The study in question found that such false allegations are rare, but the results can be devastating.

One 21-year old man accused of rape was then assaulted by someone that he didn't know. The harassment concerning the charges by others than law enforcement officers was constant.

What the significance is of false allegations is dependent on how the numbers are spun. One employee of a rape crisis team emphasized that the number of men falsely accused of rape is small as compared to the number of women actually raped. She was quoted as saying: "False accusations account for only 5 percent of all reported cases."

Though the word "only" is used in the above quote, when considering how many allegations of rape are made, suggesting that 5 percent of those allegations are false could mean that a large number of individuals falsely accused are now being incarcerated.

One woman made the claim of three men raping her because she was embarrassed to admit she slept with all three in one night. It has also been found that close to a fifth of false allegations are made by individuals suffering from significant mental health issues.

Criminal defense attorneys only want to make certain that allegations of sexual assault or rape are backed up by evidence before a conviction takes place. It would be wrong to dismiss allegations of sexual assault or rape without investigation. On the other hand, it would be wrong to accept that these allegations are true without thorough investigation and proof to back the allegations up.

Source: BBC, "False rape claims 'devastating' say wrongly accused," by Declan Harvey and Anisa Subedar, March 13, 2013

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