Another Life Lost to a False Accusation

I read a horrifying story on Reddit and, to be honest, its horrific nature is matched by how much I am unsurprised by the outcome.

This may sound cold and callous but, in my experience, having read about and met many people who were victimised by false accusations, I am not too shocked this false accusation took a life.

I do not profess to be a cynic, merely experienced. What a depressing notion.

Look at the case of Jay and Karin Cheshire, who I discussed a few posts back in my email to Daniel Storey (who, correct at time of writing, has not yet responded). Two lives cut tragically short by the brutish effects of a false rape allegation.

Many like to claim we live in a #RapeCulture. How can this be so if a false allegation of rape can drive not just the recipient but the mother of the recipient to suicide? We do not live in a society that glorifies and normalises rape but, we live in a society that vilifies rape and rapists. Only now, you don’t actually have to be a rapist to be vilified as one.

I have copied from Reddit the text of the story and pasted it below, it makes for heartbreaking reading:

Cousin confessed to falsely accusing my brother of rape. He was arrested, convicted and later committed suicide. I have her recorded confession. What should I do with it? (Arizona)

“She accused him of rape years ago. She was 18 and he was 22. It was false and never happened. He was arrested and eventually convicted. When he served his stance and got out he was broken. From what he told me, he was heavily abused during his prison time by other prisoners. He tried to get back to his life and he couldn’t. His record, his name on the registry and lack of options. He went from being a student in a top college in the country to having almost no prospects. Within a year of being out, he committed suicide.

Yesterday was 3 years since his death. This cousin sent word through a friend that she wanted to speak with me and seek my blessing on visiting my brother’s grave. I said yes, but figured something doesn’t seem right. I went and had a recorder with me and recorded the conversation. Also had my boyfriend record a video of our meeting from a distance (it was in public). She told me she’s sorry and my brother didn’t deserve what happened to him. I asked why and pressed her for an answer, she broke down and said she didn’t know who did it and she accused him because he had refused to lend her money she desperately needed and she was angry at him.

The voice recorder got everything, and the video also has audio in parts that match the voice recorder perfectly.

Are these evidence useful in overturning that decision? I want to make my brother’s slate clean. Not only for his memory but also because he has a son he never saw (his girlfriend was pregnant when this happened, he lost his parental rights as a result of this conviction). His son should know this is not the kind of man his father was. If so, how do we begin the process? Do we need a lawyer here, or do we need to go to the police?

What consequences (criminal) will she face? Will she go to jail?

And, does my brother’s estate have a claim against her for damages? Of course this belongs to his son now although I don’t know how that would work with respect to his parental rights being terminated (doesn’t matter, as we’d want his son to be supported more than anything else). And can his son have a separate claim for damages against her? This conviction deprived him of a chance to know his father, because parental rights were terminated.

I know this won’t bring my brother back but it can at least provide some comfort to us and to his son, and maybe making things more fair. So please help put me in the right direction.”

The post has since been locked, which is fair, considering the sensitive nature of the topic. Many people voiced support and concern in the comments, warning of the legal minefield ahead.

If you, dear reader, have fallen victim to a false allegation or know someone who has, check out accused.me.uk for help and support.

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