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So, a woman who falsely accused a high school senior of rape, that led to him being imprisoned for 5 years and the school system being found liable for 'lax security' and paying her $750k for it, now has to pay it all back, with interest, as well as a $1,000,000 punitive damages finding.

I think this was an incorrect decision by a judge who apparently didn't have enough time to make a decision that was best in the long-term and to continue the fight against the rape-culture that still exists throughout the world.

Here's a video; if someone could find an actual article that'd be great and I do not have the time to put together a transcription (they're talking fast and there are two reporters at one point).

Link to CNN story

Cliffs Notes:

1. 2002, girl accuses football player at her school of rape.

2. Player is convicted and sent to jail. School system found liable and pays her $750k.

3. Woman recants after 5 years.

4. Man released, woman ordered to pay back $750k PLUS interest PLUS $1,000,000 in punitive damages (not sure if that goes to the state or the guy).

Pay back the money? Yes.

Release the man? Absolutely. Pay him restitution? Yes, but from government coffers...it was a public trial and he was convicted by either a public judge or a public jury.

Charge woman with Perjury? Absolutely.

Punitive damages? No.

I won't belabor the point, but when women (or men) are worried about a lawsuit coming their way if they can't perfectly remember every detail (because hey, no one is every drunk or under the influence when they're raped), it doesn't help incidents being reported and the victim feeling supported.

The punitive damages decision was the wrong one and not the best as we continue to move away from a rape culture that has pervaded human society for centuries and centuries.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, Hannibal, Tonedevil

    I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

    by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 08:51:06 AM PDT

  •  While I understand (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, nokkonwud, FG, NE2, Cali Scribe

    rape is a different type of crime in the minds of many - If someone falsely accused me of murder and took it back 5 years later i'd damn well sue that person to holy hell. That man lost 5 years of his life, he's going to forever be known as the rape guy. his reputation is ruined, even after being exonerated. If anything, a million dollars from that woman seems like she's getting off easy.

    You know what perpetuates the rape culture more - the woman who used a false rape claim to defame and punish a football player for who knows what reason. Want to change the culture - report more real rapes, report less fake rapes (like the one in this case).

    •  ... dude, did you really say (6+ / 0-)

      that what perpetuates the rape culture is a single false rape accusation?

      Seriously?

      •  Sadly (7+ / 0-)

        This is what some people actually believe. That nearly every accusation of rape is a false one, made because the girl was drunk, or that her boyfriend or parents found out, or because the guy made her mad.

        There are people who sincerely believe this. Engaging with them isn't advised, unless you're in it for the lulz.

        First they came for the farm workers, and I said nothing.

        by Hannibal on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 09:42:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I know false accusations don't help either (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eyesbright

        but yeah, that was a bit...naive?...of a comment.

        I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

        by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 09:50:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  no (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stude Dude

        i said that false claims add to the rape culture by adding to the false stereotype that women falsely claim rape to get back at men.

        that's a stereotype - one that is not true 99.999% of the time. but every instance that hits the news, perpetuates it. I don't see how you can deny that.

      •  The only thing we know from the recant is (7+ / 0-)

        that both of her stories can't be true. She may have told the truth about the rape, and is lying now for some reason. Or she may have lied then, and is telling the truth now.

        Given how often and how easy it is, in general, for male athletes to beat an accusation of rape I'd have to look hard at the evidence and the prosecution and the defense, to decide which story makes more sense.

        "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

        by LilithGardener on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 10:19:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is very true. (4+ / 0-)

          I will freely admit: I have a bias toward believing accusations of rape, precisely because true accusations are so frequently prejudged to be false.

          I am having trouble thinking of a reason why someone who had successfully prosecuted an actual rapist would recant.  That doesn't mean it isn't possible.

          •  There is a tremendous amount of victim blaming (4+ / 0-)

            and slut shaming, and that no doubt doesn't end even when  the trial finds the accused guilty. In the Steubenville case, we saw an example of how the vitriol expressed toward the accuser can even escalate after a conviction.

            "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

            by LilithGardener on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 10:42:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  While I can't find a reason why she recanted (0+ / 0-)

            she did admit it to accused right after he was let out on parole.

            She said, on camera, the only reason she didn't do it sooner is because she didn't want to have to repay the $$$.

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

            •  Just to clarify: (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tonedevil, LilithGardener

              I can't think of any reason why an accuser would recant in the case of an actual rape and a successful prosecution thereof.  (Barring coercion, I suppose.)

              In the case of a false accusation that resulted in a conviction, I can think of any number of reasons why the accuser would recant; the most obvious is simple regret for having wronged the falsely accused.

              •  I thought about this puzzling case some more (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Tonedevil

                and offer pure speculation of how it went down, and why the judge is imposing the restitution and penalties that he imposed. The original settlement suggest to me that Daddy hired a really, really good lawyer, and/or defense attorneys were compromised in some way.

                Repeat: Pure speculation how this situation could have occurred. Not based on facts not reported by the diarist.

                Small town
                Highschool - secret relationship
                Black athlete, rich white girl.
                She gets pregnant.

                Racist parents insist that she not tell him, and arrange a secret abortion.
                Threaten to disown her unless she was raped, insist that she press charges. So she, feeling trapped, and unaccustomed to accountability, accuses him of rape.

                Her parents hire high powered law firm that has influence with the court.
                High powered law firm intimidates the defendent/defense counsel and the school into settling the case.

                She has a broken heart, and a guilty conscience.

                By the time he gets out, she imagines that he will forgive her and understand that rich daddy's threat of dispossession made her file the false accusation. She thinks that everyone can be persuaded by financial interests.

                He doesn't understand and smartly hires professional investigator to begin to clear his name.

                The judge imposes sanctions, knowing that she has a trust fund, or that the parents will be helping her to pay off the penalty.

                Assuming that she is telling the truth now, which a judge has heard the evidence and decided. I think she should be charged with perjury and prosecuted for any other crimes that apply, and she should have to serve time in jail - years. If she was lying the first time, she stole years of his life.

                Again - my speculation is merely a hypothetical scenario based on what seems plausible and I don't have any way to know what actually happened.

                "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

                by LilithGardener on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 08:41:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Girl is black (0+ / 0-)

                  really i think it was more of high school athlete accused of rape. At some point they actually did have sex, but consensual. defense lawyers decided to be lazy and tell him to plead instead of trying to prove consensual sex. In a he said she said rape case, the she said normally wins.

                  She gets a ton of $$$, feels bad years later, apologizes to him but wants to keep $$$, he hired PI to get her to admit she lied on tape, his name is cleared.

                  •  See what I get for writing a trite novel script (0+ / 0-)

                    in my head.

                    She really should be charged and convicted and spend some time in jail.

                    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

                    by LilithGardener on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 11:33:39 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Brian Banks (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LilithGardener

          was about to go to USC on a full scholorship when this happened.

          He wasn't convicted. His lawyers told him to please guilty because IF he was convicted the punishment would be a lot worse. He spent 5 years in jail, another 5 on parole.

          •  That is very sad - again, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tonedevil

            I would have to look very hard at the evidence and his defense's arguments, to try to understand why they (and he) thought his chance of conviction was so high.

            He can't get these years back, and if she's telling the truth now, she has ruined both their lives.

            There needs to be some kind of intermediate plea, where someone can plead no contest instead of guilty.

            "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

            by LilithGardener on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 11:01:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  yea - the truth (i'm assuming) (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LilithGardener

              came forward after he was let out on patrole.

              She friended him on facebook and admitted to him she lied, but wanted to keep the $$$ from the settlement with the school.

              Banks hired a PI who got her to admit she lied on tape.

              •  What that tells me is that she was probably in (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Tonedevil

                a relationship with him, and wants to continue a friendship/relationship with him.

                I'm glad he took things a step further, to begin clearing his name.

                "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

                by LilithGardener on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 11:08:14 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  In a sense, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LilithGardener

        I agree with him -- every time a false rape is reported and publicized, the more likely true rape reports are going to be seen as frivolous. It's where you get the discussion of "forcible rape" being the only type of rape that's "real rape" when it comes to things like abortion rights, thus blaming victims for doing something "wrong" that contributed to their rape like this ad from Rape Crisis Scotland:

        (the Scots accents add a nice touch)

        Call it the "Boy Who Cried Wolf" mentality.

        It's why instead of focusing on women learning "how not to be raped", we need to focus on teaching our men how not to be rapists.

        There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

        by Cali Scribe on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 12:48:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Can't watch the ad at the moment ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tonedevil

          ... will try and catch it later.

          In the meantime:

          every time a false rape is reported and publicized, the more likely true rape reports are going to be seen as frivolous.  [...] Call it the "Boy Who Cried Wolf" mentality.
          Except the "Boy Who Cried Wolf" mentality is about how one individual who habitually lies becomes untrustworthy even when he is telling the truth.

          To suggest that one person's false accusation somehow steals credibility from a completely different person's accusation of the same crime, or indeed from several people's accusations ... well, for that to make sense, you'd have to be lumping all those accusers together into one homogenous blob, and judging them all by the one/s who lied.

          And if you're doing that?  Then I have a sneaking suspicion that you already think most rape reports are frivolous, and that you don't really need any more "evidence" to support your bias.

        •  (just to clarify) (0+ / 0-)

          (by "you" in the above comment I don't mean you-the-person-I-am-replying-to, I mean the generic "you".)

    •  The accusation was a criminal one. (3+ / 0-)

      It took a jury to convict (or the accused waiving the right to a jury trial). Restitution should come from the state.

      I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

      by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 09:50:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Meh. I'm not sympathetic to her. (5+ / 0-)

    Falsely accusing other people of crimes, especially if you get them jailed for years, should not get a 'get out of jail free card'.  In fact, I'd say split it - let the state pay him the money, but put her in jail for the same length of time he was in.

  •  I'm usually in accord with triple G, but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sylv

    I think the punitive damages are merited,  although they are paltry compensation foe five years of ones life.

    I would hope that the falsely accused will sue the State for wrongful incarceration and get more restitution from them.

    Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

    by OIL GUY on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 10:31:13 AM PDT

    •  I couldn't tell from the report whether (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OIL GUY, Tonedevil

      or not the punitive damages were awarded from a case that was filed on behalf of the accused, or by the city/schools in addition to the restitution she owed them. The latter I don't think helps, the former is certainly deserved though again I'd prefer the state make due.

      I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

      by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 10:41:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why should the state be held responsible? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dr Swig Mcjigger, Sylv

      It seems like they have credible evidence that the guy was guilty.  If they acted in good faith and performed all due diligence in corroborating the evidence, I'm not sure why the government should be held responsible.  

  •  There is a lot of debate (3+ / 0-)

    around the issue of rape as to whether there should be a presumption of innocence on the part of the accused or a presumption of belief of the accuser. The law in criminal cases is based on the presumption of innocence. I doubt that we are going to shift the legal system completely in the opposite direction.

    What we do have a lot of evidence of is very real difficulties and barriers confronting women making a complaint of rape in dealing with investigative and prosecutorial authorities. Experiences vary greatly from one place to another. For various reasons they are often strongly urged to let the matter drop.

    We can't have a perfect legal system that always convicts people who are guilty and never convicts people who are innocent. We can attempt to have one that treats all people as being equal before the law. When it comes to matters of sexual assault, there is great room for improvement.

  •  A print version (5+ / 0-)

    http://www.presstelegram.com/...

    One questions raised in comments is who gets the money - the school or the man. It's the school who sued her.

    The Long Beach Unified School District won a $2.6 million default judgment against a woman whose false rape allegation in 2002 cost the school district money and landed a fellow student in jail. ....Gibson was a student at Long Beach Poly High when she first sued the district for having lax security and an unsafe environment after she accused Brian Banks, a promising football star, of rape.
    And the man who was falsely accused?
    Banks earlier this year signed a contract to play football for the Atlanta Falcons. He was unavailable for comment.

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 11:25:26 AM PDT

  •  Found a couple of articles (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tonedevil

    There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

    by Cali Scribe on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 12:59:34 PM PDT

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