False Accusations

It is often said that no one would ever take a guilty plea unless they actually had committed their crime.  My now ex-wife falsely accused me in order to strengthen her position as she filed for divorce.  After our divorce, she actually told me, “I didn’t think you had actually done anything until you confessed to it in court.”  Yes, she had filed for the restraining order that had me removed from our home.  Yes, she had been advised by Women’s Support Services to accuse me of abuse prior to filing for divorce.  But, she fully knew that her statements to the courts were blatantly false.

She never believed I had done anything to be arrested for.  She never believed that charges would be pressed against me.  She never believed that I would lose my job.  She never believed that I would end up on the sex offender registry.  She only thought that she would have me out of the house, with her in complete charge of our children, and that by doing so, she would be in a much stronger position for the decision on custody, visitation, and division of property.

“Out of over 400 cases in which we have provided expert consultation involving sexual abuse in the past six years, 40% were divorce and custody cases.” &emdash; [Source Name]

My ex-wife actually initially filed for the restraining order based on her statement that I had been raping her for the previous nine months since, unbeknown to me, she had decided that she no longer wanted to share sex with me.  When she told the courts that we had not been sexual in more than six weeks from when she made her claim, they refusal to grant the order.  After talking again with the District Attorney, she then added within the complaint statement that I had “inappropriately touched our children”.  That was enough to grant the restraining order that removed me from our home, but it also started the process of a major sex crime investigation.

A week later, she was required to take our two children to be examined in a special child sex offense investigation center.  A “therapist” who used very loaded questions conducted the interview, while a word-by-word transcript was made and my ex-wife and a detective watched through a one-way mirror.  Unfortunately, the examining site offers a web page, which discusses sample questions that will be used, and the types of things that would likely indicate abuse.  I fully believe that my daughter was prepared for the interview.  On the web page they said they were looking for “skin to skin” contact and my daughter at one point in the interview said without being prompted, that her body and mine had touched “skin to skin”.  She also told them, beyond what was asked, that she knew that semen came up from the testicles and out the same place pee did.  Most interesting in this was that my six year old or for that matter virtually no six year old would even know the word semen.  Yes, at the time of my ex-wife’s accusations, our daughter was just six years old.

My attorney said that the prosecution was very “skeptical” about introducing anything from this sex offense examination since they questioned the results themselves and my own attorney said that there was nothing said in the sex offense interviews with either of my two children that would convict me.  My nine-year-old son was also interviewed and his answers to similar questions didn’t indicate even a glimmer of inappropriate parenting and in fact seemed like a glowing recommendation of an involved father in his children’s activities.  It all ultimately came down to my ex-wife’s word against mine.

The following week, my ex-wife went in to the District Attorney and told her that she had falsely accused me.  Instead of having the charges dropped, my ex-wife was given the option to testify against me, or be charged herself with perjury.  This fact was not told to me prior to my hearing, but was relayed to me by my probation officer who couldn’t understand how I had been convicted so quickly so he had a talk with the District Attorney himself.

Now lets look at the options that were open to me.  I was removed from my house and while the description on the filing read that she was accusing me of rape, it also had the additional line about “inappropriate touching of the children”.  This scared me enough to seek legal advice, so I retained an attorney.  Two weeks later, I was asked to come in to the police department for questioning, but my attorney said not to talk with them at all, so when I told them I had an attorney, I was told to report to be arrested.  The following day was the grand jury with the setting of bond.  I was bonded out by a friend and back to work that afternoon.

One week later, I was offered a plea, to accept one year in jail and two years of probation on a single charge.  My attorney needed an immediate answer, so I paused to pray, and asked God if it were His will for me to take this plea for something I hadn’t done. I said, if He wanted me to accept the plea, He needed to make my mouth say “yes”.  I looked up at my attorney and told him “NO”.

The next week, I was told my then wife had “begged the District Attorney to save our family” so they offered a second plea to accept 30 days in jail and two years probation, again with only a single charge.  Now this decision was weighed against the thirty-six counts I had been charged with and was told by my attorney would result in a sixty-six year prison sentence if I were convicted at trial.  He said I would likely not be released till I had served forty-four years.  I was already fifty-eight at the time, so I would have to live to be over one hundred to ever see freedom again.  This was a virtual life sentence for something I hadn’t done.

On top of that, was the fact that I would have to sign a lean for fifty thousand dollars against our house, thus spending all the equity we had in our home just to have the money to fight the case.  The finial consideration was the truth I knew from watching Perry Mason cases when I was a young boy, that a wife is never required to testify against their husband.  In my case, her testimony being the only case against me, would put me in the position where a jury would naturally assume since the wife isn’t required to testify and yet does, that “she must know the truth”, where actually it was her lies that had us in this position in the first place.

This time, I was given three days to decide, so after meeting with three ministers I know, the elders from my church, and the men in my Men’s Bible study, I was convinced that like my ex-wife, I needed to lie to the courts and accept the plea, even though I was innocent of all charges.  Yes, every single Christian friend and adviser told me I needed to lie to the courts.

I wrote out a personal statement that I wanted to make to the court, but was told that if I made that statement, my plea would be rejected and I would spend the rest of my life in prison.  In fact, that is what my attorney constantly told me, that I must do as he said or I would spend the rest of my life in jail.  Unfortunately for me, he didn’t bother to get the plea deal that was offered in writing, so on the day of my plea hearing, only two weeks after being charged and only one month after being removed from my home, the plea was changed to three counts and six years probation rather than the single count and two years probation.  The conviction also added all of the sex offender registration and requirements of special probation with therapy, GPS monitoring, and numerous other restrictions.  I was never told about or made aware of any of these additional requirements that went along with the plea deal until I arrived at the probation office the day I accepted the plea.  I did not even know there was such a thing as a sex offender registry.  Not my attorney nor any of those I talked with about accepting the plea ever mentioned or even hinted that accepting this plea could require me to be put on the registry.

Only six weeks after my plea deal, my ex-wife filed for divorce.  I have not been allowed to see my daughter for almost seven years and must pay $50.00 every other week for one a one hour supervised visitation, to see my now sixteen-year-old son.

So, how often do false accusations occur?  Of the 100 rapes reported, 2 to as many as 8 are false accusations.  This 2% – 8% false accusation rate was applied only to the number of reported rapes.

Source: http://www.ndaa.org/pdf/the_voice_vol_3_no_1_2009.pdf page 2: “when more methodologically rigorous research has been conducted, estimates for the percentage of false reports begin to converge around 2-8%.”

Thoennes and Pearson 198.8 estimate that accusations of sexual abuse are found in 2% to 10% of contested custody cases.  There is not agreement as to how many of these cases turn out to be false but most of the estimates range from a third to four-fifths. Everyone agrees, however, that the proportion of false allegations is higher when they arise in divorce and custody disputes.

“Out of over 400 cases in which we have provided expert consultation involving sexual abuse in the past six years, 40% were divorce and custody cases.” Source: Sixth Annual Symposium in Forensic Psychology

HOLLIDA WAKEFIELD and RALPH UNDERWAGER

Institute for Psychological Therapies

How are women rewarded for making false allegations?

They get attention.  The person they hate is punished.  They receive social approval.  We all hate abusers and pedophiles, right?  Look at that courageous woman who’s fighting to protect her child!  Female false accusers may also receive free legal representation, welfare payments, free counseling and other support services and support from their own family, friends and neighbors — in other words, even more attention (Wakefield & Underwager, 1990).

Furthermore, there are very little, if any consequences for women who make false allegations in family court (Green & Schetky, 1988). Ultimately, the false accuser has far more to gain than she has to lose.

What happens to men when they’re falsely accused?

Many men experience a very rude awakening when they enter the justice system via false allegations.  Perhaps the truth will prevail, but typically not without a considerable amount of collateral damage to themselves and their children.

When a man is accused of abusing a woman or child, any concept of due process and “innocent until proven guilty” flies out the window.  Men are assumed guilty until proven innocent when a woman cries abuse or rape.  False allegations can turn a difficult divorce into full out nuclear war.

What are the most common identifiable characteristics of false allegation cases?

Ross and Blush (1987; 1990) have found certain patterns that characterize false allegation cases. For instance:

  • The allegations start after separation and legal action commences.
  • There’s a history of family dysfunction with high-conflict and other hidden underlying issues.
  • Again, the female accuser is often a histrionic or borderline personality.
  • The female accuser takes an angry, defensive and justifying stance.
  • The accused male parent is generally nurturing, passive and lacks “macho” characteristics.
  • In alleged sexual molestation cases, the child is typically a female under the age of 8.
  • The allegations surface via the custodial parent who is typically the mother.
  • The mother takes the child to an “expert” who corroborates the abuse and identifies the father as the culprit.
  • The court reacts to the expert information by terminating or limiting visitation.

What wasn’t included in the above list is that generally the person accused is charged and more often than not, convicted of a crime they didn’t do, or may be forced under huge amounts of pressure, some from their own attorney, to just accept a plea offer and accept a much lower level punishment.

Ross and Blush also determined there are primarily three types of false accusers: the histrionic, the justified vindicator and the borderline.

The histrionic personality appears anxious and presents herself as the victim of her ex.  She describes herself as physically and/or psychologically abused by her ex and worries that the children are also in danger of being victimized from him.  She projects or superimposes her feelings, fears and distortions onto the children.  She seems to have “unusual and inappropriate” sexual concerns about the children and may regularly examine the children’s genitals and take them for frequent medical examinations.

The justified vindicator initially presents as assertive and organized with a justifiable argument supported by “facts, figures and opinions supporting her evidence.”  She comes across as outraged and worried about her ex’s behavior.   However, as most high-conflict types do, she becomes resistant, hostile and passive-aggressive or overtly aggressive upon cross-examination of her claims.  She’s likely to try to discredit any evaluator or law enforcement official that questions her assertions and may threaten to sue or file an ethics complaint.

The borderline personality has intense and chaotic interpersonal relationships and is prone to intense valuation and devaluation.  They will attempt to punish others who they believe have abandoned or hurt them. False allegations are a highly effective way of doing this.

Source Shrink4Men:

http://www.shrink4men.com/2011/08/24/false-allegations-in-divorce-and-custody-battles-the-personality-types-of-false-accusers-and-the-falsely-accused/

So what are the most important things to consider if one is falsely accused?

“If you have been falsely accused, you may wonder:  How serious are the charges?  What am I supposed to do?  How can I prove that I am innocent?  What are my rights and legal options?”

“Realize the importance of false accusations.  If you have been accused of a criminal sexual offense, the consequences will likely be very serious.  Many people who are falsely accused experience a period of denial about the magnitude of these charges.  You might think, “Well, I didn’t do it, so the charges can’t be serious.” Unfortunately, the charges, however false, should not be taken lightly.  What you do today will greatly effect the outcome of a false accusation.  If you fail to take the right steps now, you may suffer significant legal ramifications in the future.

“Prepare for the costs of your defense.  If you have been falsely accused of a serious crime, such as rape, sexual abuse, or domestic violence, there is a good chance you will face criminal charges with a high risk of conviction.  Building a strong defense case will take time and money.  Expert witnesses will be necessary, special psychological tests may be required, and other evidence may need to be collected.  Any promise of a cheap and easy way to defend yourself against serious allegations will probably cost you a lot more in the long run.  Especially if your defense is inadequate and the court convicts you of the crime you didn’t even commit!”

Source: Criminal Law / Lawyer: http://www.criminal-law-lawyer-source.com/tips/false-accusation.html

It is estimated that False Accusations of Sexual Allegations occur at a rate of 2% – 8% of the time, but when these same accusations occur within six months prior to or following a divorce where custody is or will be an issue, that estimate rises to as high as 40% of the time.  All sexual convictions that arise from these false accusations either by conviction or through the acceptance of plea-bargains usually also include the associated punishment of being required to register as a sex offender.

9 comments for “False Accusations

  1. Jerry Oldaker
    April 18, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    My question is this, what can be done about it after you are convicted? I went through this almost exactly as you described. Later my ex wife admitted, in court, to lying about the whole thing but the legal system doesn’t seem to care and many many years later I still have no decision on whether they will overturn my conviction or what They will probably just sit on the case until I am dead.

  2. Ken
    April 19, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Your letter mirrors mine so much it’s almost scary!

  3. Tigger
    April 19, 2014 at 11:43 am

    This is so like my own story too. The major problem is, if one accepts a plea, and especially if they have already served all of their sentence and are off paper, that is all but registry requirements, there is very little chance that the courts would ever allow one to withdraw their plea and take the case back to trial.

    First they don’t want the expense, but even more importantly, judges don’t want a decision to come out against the one the previously ruled. District Attornies, detectives and those in law enforcement that prepared the case don’t want a decision reversed. Most of all, one must understand that when a plea is rendered, both the prosecutor and the defense get to claim a win in the case. Since 90% or more of all cases are settled with a plea, only those cases that go to trial have an attorney as a winner and the other as the loser.

    Unfortunately, I now truly believe that the legal system doesn’t really care about the truth anymore. If charges are brought, they all seek a conviction and some will go so far as suppress evidence or even manufacture it in order to get the conviction.

  4. Lally
    April 23, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    The only thing left out of this article is Rape Shield Laws hiding prior false accusations – every single one of these items came into play for my son’s case – he was only 16 years old at the time.

    The Elimination of Constitutional Rights
    Prosecutors and the child saving industry have convinced the legislature that merely creating hysteria is not enough to insure conviction for those accused. In addition, rights originally created in our constitution to protect the criminal defendants must be eliminated.

    The Rules to Have Changed to Secure Convictions

    All across our nation, state legislatures have supported child advocacy special interest groups. The following illustrates how constitutional rights have been taken away in child sexual assault trials:

    No Right to Confront Your Accuser

    Criminal law codes have been rewritten to where in many cases, the child accuser does not have to appear in court and face the accused. Instead, the state can offer the child’s testimony through a video tape made by agents of the prosecution.

    “Hearsay Evidence”

    Hearsay is defined as “a statement, other than one made by the declarant while testifying at the trial or hearing, offered in evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted.” (Tex. Rules. Evid. 803 (2)). In Layman’s terms, “Hearsay” evidence is when a witness testifies about something they do not personally know, but were told by someone else. Hearsay is considered unreliable and is normally inadmissible as evidence against an accused. In child abuse cases however, hearsay evidence is admitted as evidence of guilt. A so called “outcry” witness can testify as to what a child supposedly said to them regarding the alleged abuse.

    “Syndrome Evidence” Is Admissible Against the Accused

    In most states, the prosecution can have an expert witness testify that the child is suffering from “Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome”(CSAAS). This psychological “mumble jumble” is an unscientific theory of supposed traits of abused children. The psychologist who came up with this syndrome many years ago has since indicated that this theory is not reliable evidence in a court of law. Prosecutors do not care! This junk science makes its appearance in courtrooms across the country daily.

    With Syndrome Evidence, the State Replaces Its Lack of Real Proof with Speculation

    CSAAS theorizes that because an alleged victim is supposedly demonstrating certain behavioral patterns that he/she must have actually been abused. Unfortunately, a big problem with this and other syndromes is that the character traits offered to show abuse are also common for non-abused children. If the child has been crying, he/she must have been abused. If the child has nightmares, he/she must have been abused. If the child is withdrawn, he/she must have been abused. If the child is outgoing, he/she must have been abused. If the child is happy around the accused, it’s because the child enjoyed the abuse. The list of factors goes on forever. But to a jury, when an expert witness is connecting typical childhood behavior with indicators of abuse, the testimony is extremely damaging to the falsely accused.

    Convictions without Physical Evidence

    Our prisons are full of persons who have been convicted of child molestation without any physical evidence ever introduced against them at trial. In other words, the typical evidence in which the state offers to convict a defendant, such as body fluids, blood, semen, hair, DNA, are not introduced at trial to link the accused to a crime.

    Medical nurses and employees whose livelihoods depend upon their contracts with child advocacy centers will give opinions that a child was abused. Failure to give the right opinion will mean the contract is not renewed. These opinions from medical “experts” will say the findings are “consistent with” sexual abuse. Of course, “consistent with” is not a true medical diagnosis. This testimony, as demonstrated by a competent defense attorney will reveal the findings given as “consistent with abuse” are just as “inconsistent with abuse”.

    Prosecutors Secure Convictions by Manipulating the Juries’ Fear of Releasing a Child Molester Back Into the Community.

    Instead of physical and medical evidence, the falsely accused are convicted upon theories, inferences, and speculation. Prosecutors secure convictions by manipulating the juror’s fear of releasing a child molester back into the community. This fear will be combined with hearsay, expert witness “syndrome evidence”, misleading medical testimony, and the biased opinions of child advocacy investigators.

    To support this speculation, a biased child protective services caseworker will produce a videotaped interview of the child. This biased interviewer will use leading, suggestive, and coached questions to easily obtain an “admission” from a child. Many times the child does not make a statement that abuse occurred, but merely agrees with the adult authority figure who informs the child of the abuse.

    After an outcry, it is easy to find witnesses who can place the accused in circumstances in which he was alone with the alleged victim. Paul Stuckle

  5. Aron Chubb
    April 24, 2014 at 11:27 am

    It’s scary and at the same time relieving how many stories are almost identical to mine!! During a divorce and custody battle, I was convicted of Criminal Sexual Conduct based on the accusation of my estranged wife; who incidentally was coached by her cousin who is in the medical field.

    I did take a shower with my 4 year-old daughter, for convenience and safety reasons. So there you have the “skin to skin” contact that makes me the worst of the worst monster on earth that needs to register 4 times a year for life!

    The judge KNEW these accusations were false and his statements in court showed his disbelief. He called me an “enigma” (meaning that crime doesn’t fit my character or profile), and that my divorce may have something to do with the situation, but “[He] doubt[s] it”.

    It has been nearly 16 years and I’m still fighting the registry mandate. I haven’t been able to get a job since I’ve been out (12 years). No one will hire me even though I have a college education and am a very hard worker.

  6. John Legality
    April 26, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    All that people can do is share your stories with people you know. Most people who haven’t been effected by the registry have no idea how life altering it is.

    Very few people are sympathetic to sex offenders because they are all convinced that we are all dangerous, child molesting, devious perverts waiting for our next victims. The reality is we are brothers, fathers, and husbands, ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.

    We have all served our punishment for the crimes we have committed and yet we are not allowed to return to normalcy after our sentences are served.

    The registry was enacted to protect people. It was determined by the SJC that “it was no more burdensome than registering your car” and “the rights of the people to safety far outweigh any privacy interest of an offender”

    The reality of the Sex offender registry is that it protects absolutely no one, 20 years of DOJ statistics prove that sex crime rates are unaffected by the implementation of the registry. This renders the act unconstitutional, as it does not meet the government interest that it called for.

    At this point in history it is officially punishment, and its being apply in an unconstitutional manner destroying the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Even worse is the fact that no one is sympathetic, this makes it the very definition of cruel.

    A lifetime sentence of cruel and unusual punishment with no end in site.

    So what do we do?

  7. cornelia
    May 4, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    same story for my daughter, ex-wife hated her, but had no problem with her raising her children until my daughter divorced and they had to care for their own children. I believe, when you are living this awful nightmare , you are so afraid and your attorney saids it’s pretty much up to the jury 50/50. you feel like your playing russian roulette with your life. my daughter got no time only probation but it has been a living hell. she had never been in trouble before so probation is not a problem . It the registration and limitations as to where she can live. I also contribute the lack of experience of her attorney. But when hiring attorney is new to you, not to mention your in a state of panic your bound for error. I think it should be harder to label someone as a sex offender. It should be some type guide lines. this offense is so black and white. You have to be a very brave person to take it to trial, that sounds dumb but anyone that has been through it knows what I am saying. I bet most cases end with a plea.

  8. JM
    May 13, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    I believe that radical feminist interests are responsible for igniting the biased practices of the family and criminal courts that first hear these types of domestic ‘false allegations’ and these same individuals are oftentimes the same ones entrusted with helping to determine the wasteful and destructively punitive and frivolous outcomes for our families. For one thing, it is clear to see that most convicted offenders turn out to be male. This is simply a statistical fact. If you’ve done your research you’ll also learn that the VAWA (Violence Against Women Act), mostly drafted up by Senator Joseph Biden, is funding a lot of the programs that enlist or recruit the type of professionals that you find working within these courts. I lament to assume that the age old “root of evil” is playing a hand here as well as ‘Power and Control Issues’ which are gender-based and gender-driven. Governmental entities, such as law enforcement and Family Court Services, rely on grant monies in addition to tax funding to stay in business. Sometimes these funds are supported by private donations as well. This means to renew the funding and to employ these workers again and again means that you must show a need in your community for these services. It functions like a well-oiled machine but fueled by “pavlonian” conditioning principles. In essence, people continue lying because they are being “reinforced” or tangibly rewarded for lying. This is perhaps why the working professionals that are called upon to investigate, report, document, and testify, in addition to performing duties like “emergency screenings”, “child interviews”, and court-ordered “mediations” may seem unreasonably biased, insensitive, or irrational in their subsequent recommendations–usually in favor of women ‘petitioners/plaintiffs’ and in disfavor of male ‘respondent/defendants’. It is easy to see that the typical outcome of the recommendations, stipulations, and court orders, arising out of the work they do, affects mostly men because they are at the same time intended to “empower” women–this is where the radical feminist disposition is easy to identify. That is, the typical court order usually ends up creating and imposing the type of punitive circumstances or “punishment” where the ‘woman’, mother, or wife is gaining a monetary or tangible benefit or ‘privilege’ ; such as “the house”, a lot of child support, making the man pay for the woman’s attorney’s fees, establishing and renewing restraining orders against males to ensure that the women gets to literary do whatever she wants without interference. This in addition to other court-ordered programs “the couple” or “parties” are ordered to participate in. (Personally, I feel the Family Court Services system is presented to the community as benefitting all when it seems more true to be merely a smoke screen for the real intention of gathering ‘legally binding’ and incriminating evidence that can be ‘legally’ used to further cement the fate of most men going through this.)
    To them its just a job and everybody wants to keep their job, right? When viewed in this manner, it is much easier to understand how and why it happens. Unfortunately, and despite our increasing awareness of why this is happening to us, it NEVER gets easier to accept–and that is the really painful part of this contemporary travesty of our times. and I agree…

    SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE ABOUT THIS!!!

    Probably nothing short of grassroots demonstrations and heavy lobbying will change the way things are in this area of our domestic/legal lives. In short, this phenomena was started through feminist-activist-lobbyist efforts but is being actively maintained by monetary and privilege interests (which includes many, many more sectors of our society than just feminists).

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