Should Brian Banks’ False Accuser Be Charged?

Cornelius Walker asserts that the woman who falsely accused Long Beach football star Brian Banks of rape should pay for her crime.

False allegations of rape, such as this story, don’t readily appear so cut and dry. Is it the case of two people disagreeing about what was consensual? Is it a disturbed child using the system to hurt a relative? Perhaps a scorned lover retaliating against an ex? From the outside, the decision to prosecute a rape case seems to be a simple question of whether there appears to be enough evidence to put before a jury. What is less clear is when to prosecute an accusation of rape as having been falsely made. What of someone who truly believes she was raped, even though the evidence indicates she probably consented? Do we lock up a woman for the poor decisions of her 11 year old self? What if she was simply betrayed by her memory and police procedure, as in the case of Ronald Cotton?

This story out of Long Beach does not suffer from a lack of clarity. Brian Banks’s promising life was taken away from him when Wanetta Gibson accused him of raping her, an accusation she knew to be false at the time. Upon release from jail, having been “friended” on Facebook by his accuser, he recorded an admission that her allegation was false. While Banks has been exonerated, the question now is what prosecutors should do, with Gibson refusing to confess to the false allegation. I think the answer is clear. Banks’s mother sold her home and car to pay for her son’s defense; the $750,000 settlement Gibson received from the Long Beach school district should be more than enough to pay for hers.

What do you think? Should Wanetta Gibson go to jail for this crime?

Would charging Wanetta Gibson discourage other false accusers from recanting their accusations and therefore keep more innocent men in jail?

Or would charging Gibson discourage other young women (Gibson was a minor at the time of the accusation) from making false accusations?

 

Photo: AP/California Western School of Law

About Cornelius Walker

In 2000 Cornelius Walker was named Ambassador of Useless Knowledge. Not one to rest on his laurels, he has since redoubled his efforts towards learning a little about everything and a lot about nothing.

Comments

  1. (R)Evoluzione says:

    Wanetta Gibson should be charged with a crime as long as evidence of the crime is clear & compelling. The article surely makes it seem as if that’s the case.

    In any case, Mr. Banks would likely make hay in a civil suit.

    • Nick, mostly says:

      That $750,000 is long gone, so Mr. Banks would likely be getting a lawyer’s bill for his efforts. The Innocence Project of California may have been willing to help in his criminal procedure, but I doubt they’d pursue a civil judgement for him.

      • Peter Houlihan says:

        Agreed, when there’s people facing the death sentence needing their help it’d be a bit dodgy to chase someone’s cash instead.

      • John Anderson says:

        @ Nick, Mostly

        He could probably sue the state. He might need a pardon though, which probably isn’t out of the question. He could also sue her. He might not end up with a legal bill as she may be required to pay it. The ultimate effect would most likely be to force her to declare bankruptcy, which is a measure of justice. Whether he could get an attorney to accept the case is another story.

  2. John Anderson says:

    If there is sufficient evidence she made a false accusation then she should be charged with the crime. The sad thing is that in no jurisdiction that I am aware of would she spend at least the same amount of time behind bars as he has already served. The law needs to address sentencing in false rape cases.

    Oddly enough, I’ve heard one argument against prosecuting false accusers as prosecuting false accusers discourages them from recanting resulting in the innocent staying incarcerated for longer periods, which probably should be added to the list of questions.

    Why would prosecuting a false accuser dissuade a rape victim from reporting it? How strong is your accusation if it could be proven false beyond reasonable doubt, not wrong, not misinterpreted or misidentified, but flat out false?

  3. Kirsten (in MT) says:

    With strong evidence such as this, I don’t understand why it’s even a question whether she should be charged. Of course, she should be charged. Whether or not it will discourage or encourage certain other behavior is irrelevant here. The relevant question is how to deliver justice in the case at hand. Evidence strongly suggests that filing charges against Gibson is part of the answer to that.

  4. Random_Stranger says:

    I think they should grant Mr Walker anonymity and then post Ms. Gibson’s mug shot on all the new networks, name her relatives and place of work and while we work out the legitimacy of the actual crime later.

  5. She should spend whatever amount of time in prison that he would have spent if he was found guilty. She should be put on the violent offenders list after she serves her 20 years (or however long the sentence).

    • Nick, mostly says:

      Violent offenders list? Is there such a thing? What she did wasn’t violent in the legal sense of the word and I’m not sure what the point would be of calling it that.

      • John Anderson says:

        I think he’s referring to a sexual offender’s list. If an individual had imprisoned someone against their will for several years, it would probably be considered a violent crime. I don’t see a major distinction between her hiring someone to do that and deceiving the state into doing that.

  6. Its hard to say …I agree with Colin above, going on some register and the information should be exempt from rape shield laws if shes ever in court having accused someone of rape again. The fact that an 11 year old knew how to make a FRA, is an indication of just how much of a problem false accusations against men are.

    Hopefully this and Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s up coming legal action against his accuser will get some conversations going…

    and there is some activism on FAs coming up in June.

    http://www.saveservices.org/dvlp/campaigns/faam-resources/

  7. Eric M. says:

    Where is the rape culture/slut walk crowd on this? Why are their voices silent on this? Why aren’t they clamoring for justice for this young man whose youth and opportunities were robbed from him?

    Their silent approval shows that their primary objective is to castigate and create as much misery for men as possible, and their only regret here is that she finally admitted to lying.

    • Some of the slutwalk supporters I’ve talked to would argue that charging her would stop real rape victims coming forward. Basically their stance was to let a few innocents suffer, so it doesn’t scare off real rape victims, and that false rape accusations were so few it wasn’t worth bothering with.

      • “Basically their stance was to let a few innocents suffer, so it doesn’t scare off real rape victims, and that false rape accusations were so few it wasn’t worth bothering with.”

        I’d have to correct that statement and say that, basically the position is that you let a few people guilty of one crime (false accusations) off so that other people guilty of another crime (rape) don’t get away with it. They aren’t advocating for people who are falsely accused to remain in prison…they’re just not advocating that the people who falsely accuse go to prison. It’s an important difference.

        A lot of feminists I know are also of the opinion that making something a crime doesn’t deter anyone from doing it…if someone is the type of person to engage in negative behaviour, making it a crime (more negative) won’t stop them. Making something a crime just makes it possible to punish someone who already committed it, and (in some cases) to protect the populace from dangerous individuals. However, making something a crime can make people who wouldn’t commit the crime worry that they might be charged with it, if they’re in a situation in which they might appear guilty. So the argument is that by prosecuting false accusers you’re not preventing false accusations, only punishing those people who make them. On the other hand, fear of prosecution of falsely making an accusation could prevent an actual victim from coming forward.

        No one’s suggesting that “letting a few innocents suffer” is the way to go. What they’re suggesting is that making false accusations a crime isn’t going to prevent anyone from suffering.

        • Eric M. says:

          “Basically their stance was to let a few innocents suffer, so it doesn’t scare off real rape victims, and that false rape accusations were so few it wasn’t worth bothering with.”
          I’d have to correct that statement and say that, basically the position is that you “let a few people guilty of one crime (false accusations) off so that other people guilty of another crime (rape) don’t get away with it.”
          “They aren’t advocating for people who are falsely accused to remain in prison…they’re just not advocating that the people who falsely accuse go to prison. It’s an important difference.”
          The result is that they, in effect, endorse and encourage false accusations by trying to ensure that there is no risk of incurring a legal penalty for making a false accusation. The power of the slut walk advocates’ approach to this is that, compared to the person she false accuses, whose entire life may be ruined by rotting in prison for the 15-20 years of his youth and then be labeled a rapist for the rest of his life, the false rape accuser has little to nothing to lose. So, there is comparively little reason to NOT make a false rape accusation if there is a motive to ruin a man’s life.

          “A lot of feminists I know are also of the opinion that making something a crime doesn’t deter anyone from doing it…if someone is the type of person to engage in negative behavior, making it a crime (more negative) won’t stop them.”

          So, why do they want to see men arrested and imprisoned if accused of rape?

          “No one’s suggesting that “letting a few innocents suffer” is the way to go.”

          Huh? You just explained that their argument is to “let a few people guilty of one crime (false accusations) off so that other people guilty of another crime (rape) don’t get away with it.”
          “What they’re suggesting is that making false accusations a crime isn’t going to prevent anyone from suffering.”

          So, why don’t they make this argument about other crimes? Why only false rape accusations?

          No, they’re not anti-male at all. The just want equality. Everyone can see that.

          • “So, why don’t they make this argument about other crimes? Why only false rape accusations?”

            Well first, as far as I’m aware it’s really rare that anyone is charged with a crime when they make a false accusation for other crimes, either. So the reason this gets highlighted is because there’s such a call to prosecute people who make false rape accusations…whereas there isn’t a call to prosecute people who make false robbery accusations, or false murder accusations, or whatever. In part that’s because with rape it can so easily boil down to not much more than accused vs accuser. That’s just the nature of the crime and the forensic technology we’ve got at the moment.

            “So, why do they want to see men arrested and imprisoned if accused of rape?”

            Because, as I pointed out, imprisonment does serve a purpose, that purpose just isn’t prevention. Why do we arrest and imprison anyone who commits a crime? As I said, it’s for punishment and to protect the populace. There are some efforts at rehabilitation, but let’s be honest…our system was set up as for punishment and protecting everyone else.

            “So, there is comparively little reason to NOT make a false rape accusation if there is a motive to ruin a man’s life.”

            Your logic is presuming that making something a crime deters someone from committing that act. My point is that if we were to start prosecuting false rape accusations, it wouldn’t affect how many actually happen. All it would do is punish people who’ve already made those false accusations. Look at it this way – why do I tell the truth on a job application? Why do I speak politely to strangers? Why do I recycle? Why do I go to class or work? Is it because if I don’t I’ll be at risk of being prosecuted? No, of course not. Society creates and instils morals and people follow those morals; making breaking those morals a crime doesn’t make people follow them more strictly.

            There are very few false accusations, but I agree that any are too many. However, if you want to stop false accusations and if you want to socialize people so that they don’t make false accusations, then making it a crime should be the last thing you worry about. As I said, making it a crime won’t stop anyone, it’ll just punish those who do, and potentially make actual victims afraid to come forward.

            And that last bit is why you have such a strong argument against criminalizing it. Actually, that last bit is why you have such a strong argument against criminalizing prostitution as well. All it does is make it so prostitutes who are victims of a crime end up being unable to go to the police, for fear that they’ll be arrested to. It doesn’t keep anyone from being a prostitute…it just causes more problems. We have a culture that likes to criminalize any negative behaviour and we wrongly think it’ll deter people from engaging in that behaviour. It doesn’t work like that.

            • Eric M. says:

              “Well first, as far as I’m aware it’s really rare that anyone is charged with a crime when they make a false accusation for other crimes, either.”

              Not true. People are charged with filing false police reports and perjury regularly.

              “So the reason this gets highlighted is because there’s such a call to prosecute people who make false rape accusations…whereas there isn’t a call to prosecute people who make false robbery accusations, or false murder accusations, or whatever.”

              Perhaps because 1) false rape allegers seldom if ever suffer any penalty at all, even if her victim rotted in prison for 20 years, 2) he can be imprisoned for 20 years on her word alone, which seldom true of other crimes.

              “Because, as I pointed out, imprisonment does serve a purpose, that purpose just isn’t prevention. As I said, it’s for punishment and to protect the populace.”

              So, why do they want to see women protected but men unprotected? Never mind. I know the answer.

              “Your logic is presuming that making something a crime deters someone from committing that act.”

              Why do people slow down when they see a police speed trap? Ever hear of a bank robbery while a police officer was in the bank? Ever notice that looting mainly takes place when police are not present? Ever notice that most criminal acts are made outside of the presence of police? That’s the basis of my logic. What’s the basis of your argument that risk of being penalized don’t deter bad behavior?

              “My point is that if we were to start prosecuting false rape accusations, it wouldn’t affect how many actually happen.”

              If that were the case, police presence wouldn’t make any difference in the number and timing of criminal acts. There is enormous evidence showing that it does.

              “There are very few false accusations, but I agree that any are too many.”

              How do you know that there are very few? That’s an assumption lacking evidence. Maybe there are few, maybe there are many. If this woman had not admitted that she made a false accusation he would still be rotting in prison. There is no way to know how many other men are in the same situation.

              “However, if you want to stop false accusations and if you want to socialize people so that they don’t make false accusations, then making it a crime should be the last thing you worry about.”

              Then, let’s apply that to rape as well. Let’s socialize people to stop doing it and get rid of any criminal statutes and associated penalties.

              Fine, if you want to legalize prostitution, go right ahead. No counter argument from me.

            • “Not true. People are charged with filing false police reports and perjury regularly.”

              Well this is based off of my father’s 25 years as a police officer and a DA Investigator, but no…the vast majority of false accusation and perjury cases don’t ever see the light of day. Our criminal justice system is just too overworked and impacted. Now if you’ve got stats about the percentage of perjury and false police reports that actually do end up with charges being filed, I’d love to see them.

              “Why do people slow down when they see a police speed trap?”

              This is actually an excellent example of what I’m talking about. Speed traps don’t actually make anyone slow down…except when they very immediate threat of punishment exists. The same people who slow down during a speed trap, speed back up once they’re out of sight. Making speeding a crime doesn’t deter anyone. It’s only when there’s a sure, 100% probability (or as close as you can get) of immediate punishment that speeders actually slow down and follow the speed limit. The only way criminalizing behaviour will prevent people from committing those crimes is in a completely totalitarian state, where punishment is immediate and extremely harsh…and where punishment is 100% predictable. But that’s not possible.

              “Let’s socialize people to stop doing it and get rid of any criminal statutes and associated penalties.”

              That’s what something like SlutWalks is trying to do…change society so that it conceives of a specific act (rape) differently. Namely, it’s trying to get rid of the victim-blaming and the stigma associated with wearing provocative clothing, etc. We still keep the criminal status to protect people from rapists and to punish those who commit rape. Now as to why that is punishable but not false accusations…well again we’re back to a discussion of how criminalizing false accusations can end up preventing actual victims from coming forward. And I think Nick, mostly explained that pretty well here.

            • Eric M. says:

              I’m not a cop or DA but I have read of people being charged with both and know someone who just got out of prison for perjury. Being charged and convicted are not the same, but you are in denial if you don’t believe that people are not charged with and convicted of perjury.

              “Speed traps don’t actually make anyone slow down…except when they very immediate threat of punishment exists.”

              Precisely the point I keep makking. The threat of punishment changes behavior.

              “Namely, it’s trying to get rid of the victim-blaming and the stigma associated with wearing provocative clothing, etc.”

              Yeah, they are wasting time. The police know that telling people to lock their cars, take their keys, not leave valuables in sight, lock their homes just makes sense. It’s not victim-blaming.

              “We still keep the criminal status to protect people from rapists and to punish those who commit rape. “

              Let’s do the same with people who rob others of decades of their lives. Not sure why anyone would want that, other than anti-male malice.

              I don’t believe for a second that Slutwalks is anything other than a glorified way for certain feminists to castigate men. If they truly were against victim-blaming, they would go after virtually every crime for which victims or potential victims are admonished to modify or ensure certain behaviors in order to lower their chances of being crime victims. But, they don’t. They single out the one that works to enforce their objective to making men at large out to be suspected of being rapists and women are large to be their potential victims.

            • Speed traps make me slow down and double check my speed more, good reminders.

            • Will Talley says:

              I don’t know what I find more sickening. The fact that this happened, or the fact that there are people who are against her having to pay for the damage she did to this young man.

              And I’m sorry, but your argument is just wrong on so many levels.
              >>Well first, as far as I’m aware it’s really rare that anyone is charged with a crime when they make a false accusation for other crimes, either. So the reason this gets highlighted is because there’s such a call to prosecute people who make false rape accusations…whereas there isn’t a call to prosecute people who make false robbery accusations, or false murder accusations, or whatever.<>Because, as I pointed out, imprisonment does serve a purpose, that purpose just isn’t prevention. Why do we arrest and imprison anyone who commits a crime? As I said, it’s for punishment and to protect the populace. There are some efforts at rehabilitation, but let’s be honest…our system was set up as for punishment and protecting everyone else.<>My point is that if we were to start prosecuting false rape accusations, it wouldn’t affect how many actually happen. All it would do is punish people who’ve already made those false accusations.<>There are very few false accusations<>However, if you want to stop false accusations and if you want to socialize people so that they don’t make false accusations, then making it a crime should be the last thing you worry about. As I said, making it a crime won’t stop anyone, it’ll just punish those who do, and potentially make actual victims afraid to come forward.<<

              By that logic, why have laws or a justice system at all? Having a law against murder, rape, robbery, or theft isn't going to stop people from doing those things, just punish the people who have already done them.

              I'm not sure what planet you live on, but if something is illegal, then people are less likely to do it. Yes, there are people who will do it anyway, and that's they we need a justice system, although ours is seriously flawed. The victims of these crimes deserve justice, and the victims of false rape accusations deserve the same kind of justice as anyone else.

              Let me ask you this, if someone made a false rape accusation against you and you were locked up for it, would you want them to be punished for it?

            • “Let me ask you this, if someone made a false rape accusation against you and you were locked up for it, would you want them to be punished for it?”

              Of course. If someone murdered someone in my family, I’d also want them to be put to death…probably in the most painful way possible. However, our system is not built on revenge…so whether I want personal revenge (or even personal justice) for a crime committed against me is actually beside the point.

              “I’m not sure what planet you live on, but if something is illegal, then people are less likely to do it.”

              Why don’t you kill people? Why don’t you rob someone? Why don’t you commit fraud? It’s not because those things are crimes…it’s because you’ve been socialized not to do them. Why do a large number of people smoke pot even those it’s illegal? Drink alcohol when younger than the legal age? Commit online piracy? Work as or hire a prostitute? Because simply making something illegal doesn’t prevent people from engaging in that behaviour. We’ve a culture that’s made all sorts of behaviour criminal, and we’ve now got the highest incarceration rate in the world. The more behaviour you make criminal, the more criminals you’ll get.

              “By that logic, why have laws or a justice system at all? Having a law against murder, rape, robbery, or theft isn’t going to stop people from doing those things, just punish the people who have already done them.”

              Because punishing people who commit crimes is important, and protecting the populace from potential threats is also important. As to how that last sentence relates to false accusations, see Nick’s comment here.

            • Will Talley says:

              >>Of course. If someone murdered someone in my family, I’d also want them to be put to death…probably in the most painful way possible. However, our system is not built on revenge…so whether I want personal revenge (or even personal justice) for a crime committed against me is actually beside the point.<>Why don’t you kill people? Why don’t you rob someone? Why don’t you commit fraud? It’s not because those things are crimes…it’s because you’ve been socialized not to do them.<>Why do a large number of people smoke pot even those it’s illegal? Drink alcohol when younger than the legal age? Commit online piracy? Work as or hire a prostitute? Because simply making something illegal doesn’t prevent people from engaging in that behaviour. <>Because punishing people who commit crimes is important, and protecting the populace from potential threats is also important. As to how that last sentence relates to false accusations, see Nick’s comment here.<<

              So in the first paragraph you address that these things do happen even though they are illegal, and at the end you acknowledge the need for the people committing these crimes to be punished, making them illegal so you just answered your own statement. Of course it isn't going to keep people from committing crimes, but harsh penalties will act as a deterrent. Yes, there are people who are going to do things weather or not they are illegal, but you're naive to believe that a harsher punishment for a crime is not at all going to make others think before committing that same act.

              As far as Nick's comments, they don't apply, because we're talking about punishing people who have been PROVEN to make false accusations, not those who have made legit ones or even mistakes. The accuser confessed to having made up a false accusation, so she has confessed to perjury and needs to be punished.

              You're talking about protecting actual victims of rape, but it's the people who are making false rape accusations who are making it harder for them to be taken seriously. And if we're letting the accusers off, or just handing them a slap on the wrist, that is only going to make things worse. Criminalizing something may not stop them from doing it, but if we're letting them off for it, then it will only encourage them to continue to do it.

              Besides, what about the victims of false rape accusations? They can't get back the time they were cheated out of. What you are suggesting is to give women who have knowingly made false accusations a free pass, thereby ensuring that their victim sees no justice, as the person who has wrong them receives little or no punishment for her crime. How is this any different than giving passes to people who have falsely accused others of robbery or murder? Or are you telling me you're okay with throwing people falsely accused of other crimes under the bus as well?

            • “Yes, there are people who are going to do things weather or not they are illegal, but you’re naive to believe that a harsher punishment for a crime is not at all going to make others think before committing that same act.”

              Interesting, I’d argue you have to be naieve to believe that harsher punishment prevents crime at all. I don’t know where you’re from, but in California we’ve got a doozie of a “three strikes” law…and it’s done fuck all to prevent people from being repeat offenders.

              “Besides, what about the victims of false rape accusations? They can’t get back the time they were cheated out of. What you are suggesting is to give women who have knowingly made false accusations a free pass, thereby ensuring that their victim sees no justice, as the person who has wrong them receives little or no punishment for her crime. How is this any different than giving passes to people who have falsely accused others of robbery or murder? Or are you telling me you’re okay with throwing people falsely accused of other crimes under the bus as well?”

              Well, as I’ve said, I’m fairly certain false accusations and perjury cases for most crimes often go untried…our criminal justice system is too bloated to handle it all. (If you can provide me stats to the contrary, I’d be willing to look at them). I also would like to point out that I think making a false accusation (again, for any crime) is horrible and shouldn’t go unrecognized…I just don’t think that recognition should be in the criminal system.

              I also find it interesting that this discussion is so drawn along gender lines. I mean, everyone realizes that by preventing the conviction of false rape accusers, that protects male victims of rape too, right?

            • I also would like to point out that I think making a false accusation (again, for any crime) is horrible and shouldn’t go unrecognized…I just don’t think that recognition should be in the criminal system.
              Just to clarify are you saying that a false accusation of any crime should be recognized in the criminal system because of the idea that a false accusation is not a crime?

              I also find it interesting that this discussion is so drawn along gender lines. I mean, everyone realizes that by preventing the conviction of false rape accusers, that protects male victims of rape too, right?
              True but as it stands most false rape accusations are done by women against men and even the folks that look at this think that the only damage that is done are to women have been raped being scared out of stepping forward.

              I think this may be an extreme attempt at bringing attention to those that are being directly left in the cold by this focus (in this case men that are falsely accused of rape). But by the same token that I want to see male and female rape victims get the help they need I also want falsely accused men (and women :) ) get justice for the crimes against them. Protecting accusers, even under the guise of “but real rape victims will be left too scared to come forward”, is a dirty move.

              I recall in the UK a few years ago there was a woman who make false rape claims against several (I think like 8) different men (and I mean straight up false, as in these guys has solid alibis for when they supposedly raped her). Throughout the whole affair (over the course of a few years) the men in question had their lives turned into an open book and even after doing it so many times the woman in question still managed to keep her anonymity.

              I think Gibson should be at least investigated to look into the possibility that she did indeed fabricate the accusation that altered Banks’ life.

            • “Just to clarify are you saying that a false accusation of any crime should be recognized in the criminal system because of the idea that a false accusation is not a crime?”

              I am the liberal child of a cop…a cop who at various points in his career was a narcotics officer, a beat cop and a DA Investigator. As a DA Investigator he spent a couple years working just child molestation cases. And though he never told us anything that was confidential, and though he kept the more disturbing details to himself when I was a child…I’ve always been very interested in what my Dad did. So I’d ask him questions and have long conversations with him about his job specifically, and the criminal justice system in general. Which, I’m telling you that so you get a feel for where I’m coming from.

              We have too many crimes, and we have a culture that views the criminal system as the most obvious answer to societal problems. Too many people are using drugs? Make it a crime. Prostitution on the rise? Make it a crime. Gang violence is up? Make it a crime. We have a lot of repeat offenders? Make it a crime (three strikes rules). And what has it solved? Not a whole heck of a lot.

              Instead of preventing crime or socializing us to not want to commit those crimes, we’ve just ended up with a really huge incarcerated population. On top of that, we’ve got a big problem of overcrowding in our prisons. And on top of that, we’ve got resource and time issues with our criminal justice system. Cops, ADAs, DAs, judges and heck even public defenders are all overworked. We’ve got this thing in our constitution about a “fair and speedy” trial, and we’ve having a hard time keeping that part of the bargain already. Start clamping down on even more crimes, and we’ll be screwed.

              So I think it might be better to move some of these issues into the civil court system…which has it’s own set of problems, but still. If a person falsely accuses someone or commits perjury, then it’s on record, and you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone willing to take on a case where they’re a witness in the future. Even without punishment, the chances that someone will be able to get by with it a second time are slim…no DA is going to go to trial with nothing but the word of a known perjurer as evidence. So locking that person up doesn’t serve to protect the public, just as punishment. Well, then filing a law suit would also serve the purpose of punishment.

            • “Even without punishment, the chances that someone will be able to get by with it a second time are slim…no DA is going to go to trial with nothing but the word of a known perjurer as evidence. So locking that person up doesn’t serve to protect the public, just as punishment. ”

              This is patently false.

              There are MANY studies that demonstrate deterrence works. There is debate over how effectively it works, but there is no debate over whether it works or not: it does.

              This is not about preventing THAT PERSON from committing the same crime again, it is about preventing OTHER PEOPLE from committing the crime.

              We see this every day when we pass a Speed Limit sign. Why pay attention to the sign? If there were no cops giving out speeding tickets, how many people would pay attention?

              We should not have to live in a society where every woman gets a “put a man in jail for false rape” freebie.

            • Eric M. says:

              “So I think it might be better to move some of these issues into the civil court system…which has it’s own set of problems, but still.”

              So, he’s a convicted rapist, has spent all his money, all his family’s money, and you recommend that his only recourse be to hire an attorney at $350 an hour? Explain how that is supposed to work.

            • John Anderson says:

              @ HeatherN

              “Instead of preventing crime or socializing us to not want to commit those crimes, we’ve just ended up with a really huge incarcerated population”

              “no DA is going to go to trial with nothing but the word of a known perjurer as evidence. So locking that person up doesn’t serve to protect the public,”

              So you have a person who you know is not socialized against committing a crime, but you don’t think locking them up will protect the public because the chance that they can commit the same crime is slim. Why would you think the public only needs to be protected from them committing the same crime? You admit that they will ignore legalities. How does that limit them to only breaking the law against perjury? It seems more important to lock these people up rather than those who would avoid doing something illegal.
              Case in point Crystal Mangum, lied about being raped, but was never charged for that then went on to murder a man. I’m sure that the man she killed, Reginald Daye, might disagree with you.

            • Not punishing false accusers actually makes society less likely to believe real victims probably due to wondering if they are real or fake, either way the victim won’t be charged (no reason to), but a false accuser won’t be charged either, there will be resentment of some man’s life thrown under the bus because of some total *insert nasty word* decides to abuse the law to hurt him. When she isn’t charged, what message does that send? It sends a very clear message that you can get away with it without being charged, it sends a very clear message that society doesn’t give a fuck about the men (or women) falsely accused, gives more fuel to the folks that think a lot of rape accusations are false.

              It gives a very clear message to those that wish to cause harm that they will not be charged for it, so it gives them even more encouragement that they can use the law to truly hurt this man.
              Man can be swapped for woman n vice versa, although I’ve only heard of women falsely accusing men. I vote false accusers get the same sentence due to the nature of the crime, including sex offender registry status. That should be a deterrant. If you assume prison isn’t a deterant for crimes you’re sadly mistaken, I have held back on fighting back against bullies over fears of prison. If assault didn’t land you in jail I guarantee you there’d be far more fights.

            • Being falsely accused of murder doesn’t seem as bad as accused for rape, especially that of a minor. And I believe prisoners actively target sex offenders for vicious assaults, the falsely accused would probably have a much higher chance of actually BEING raped in prison and/or physically assaulted not to mention the mental/verbal abuse they’d suffer. Sexual crimes are quite unique and have a whole different level of destroying a persons reputation, especially with the sex offender registry heavily restricting your job prospects after.

          • Nick, mostly says:

            The result is that they, in effect, endorse and encourage false accusations by trying to ensure that there is no risk of incurring a legal penalty for making a false accusation.

            It shouldn’t need to be pointed out that failure to oppose something is not the same as endorsing or encouraging it. Your characterization of their motivations comes across as uncharitable, perhaps mean-spirited even. They aren’t trying to ensure there is no risk to making a false accusation, they’re trying to ensure there is no risk to making an accusation that is not proven true (even if that means giving a pass to the former). The distinction is an important one.

            • Word.

            • Personally I would’ve got the confession of her guilt, then gone about the business of getting my “pound of flesh” in anyway I saw fit. If I couldn’t get justice i would damn sure get revenge.

              There is cost, a reaction for everything we do. She would understand that in no uncertain terms.

            • Eric M. says:

              “It shouldn’t need to be pointed out that failure to oppose something is not the same as endorsing or encouraging it.”

              That is true of most people, since they are passive observers, and uninvolved in any way. However, that is not true of persons who are active, passionate, loud, vocal, marching, protesting, often very angry, change-demanding, blogging activists in that specific cause. Silence is not wholly uncharacteristic of them in discussing that issue. When they are silent, there is a reason for it. If they had even the tiniest misgivings they would speak out, and do so loudly. THEIR silence is consent and support.

              Speaking of mean-spirited, being supportive of having innocent men suffer in prison for 10-20 years with no negative repercussions is about as mean-spirited as it gets, far more so than a blog posting that calls them out on it could ever be.

              “They aren’t trying to ensure there is no risk to making a false accusation, they’re trying to ensure there is no risk to making an accusation that is not proven true (even if that means giving a pass to the former). The distinction is an important one.”

              No one should be penalized for making an honest mistake. Where it is shown to be a lying accusation, that person should suffer a stiff penalty.

            • Peter Houlihan says:

              Yes, but shouldn’t there be some risk and penalty for making an accusation that is demonstrably false?

              It doesn’t threaten a genuine accuser if they *could* go to jail if evidence existed proving beyond all reasonable doubt that they lied. If they’re telling the truth such evidence simply won’t exist.

            • Nick, mostly says:

              Well, that’s kinda the whole reason I wrote this blog post. I think absolutely Wanetta Gibson should be charged for the false accusation.

              At the same time, the concerns about “trying the victim” are real. I would hate to see a standard by which any unsuccessful prosecution becomes an investigation and prosecution of the purported victim. That is, a defendant being found “not guilty” of rape shouldn’t automatically or even regularly lead to the plaintiff being investigated for making a false allegation.

              As I wrote, there are many reasons why a false accusation might be made, and not all of them are deliberate and conscious. The person may have been raped, but misidentified their rapist. Or they may have remembered a consensual encounter as not. Our memories are faulty, yet they are all we have to go on, and we can truly believe things to be true that are demonstrably not true. I wouldn’t support investigating in those cases because we would be “trying the victim.”

              But then there are those cases where a person knowingly makes a false accusation, and there is clear evidence that the accusation was false. Those people need to be prosecuted. Wanetta Gibson is one of those people.

            • Eric M. says:

              The only way to know if a person knowingly made a false accusation is to investigate unless the person confesses on their own.

            • Nick, mostly says:

              That’s not true. For example, exoneration in a “stranger rape” might be a case of mistaken identity (eyewitness identification is notoriously bad – look it up). Exoneration in an acquaintance rape case, however, might show the accused has an airtight alibi and the only possibility is that the accusation is false. Other details might not fit, the injuries might not be consistent with rape, stories might shift.

              Read the article at the link I posted in my response to Bill below – it discusses a few indicators that might alert to the possibility of a false accusation.

            • Eric M. says:

              What you have described is an investiation, collecting and analyzing facts, even if the accuser doesn’t have to answer questions. However, there will necessarily be cases where the accuser must be interviewed.

            • Nick, mostly says:

              But those facts may come out in the course of the trial or investigating the defendant – not the accuser. Did you read the post at that link? I think it’s a pretty good analysis and offers some other ideas for how we be smart about this.

            • Eric M. says:

              In this case, how would a false rape accusation be determined without ever interviewing the accuser? If false rape accusations become self-evident during in the course of the trial or investigating the defendant, why was this young man convicted of two life sentences plus 54 years, his mother being forced to sell her home and cars and the Long Beach school district forced to pay her $750,000. Sorry, there cannot be a complete investigation without ever talking to the accuser. In some cases, there can’t even be a partial investigation.

            • Nick, mostly says:

              why was this young man convicted of two life sentences plus 54 years,

              What are you talking about? There was no trial, he pleaded no contest instead of facing 41 years to life.

            • Eric M. says:

              Based solely on an apparent false accusation. As i said, there can’t be a police investigation without at least some conversation with the alleged perpetrator.

            • Peter Houlihan says:

              “But then there are those cases where a person knowingly makes a false accusation, and there is clear evidence that the accusation was false. Those people need to be prosecuted. Wanetta Gibson is one of those people.”

              Exactly, those were the people I was referring to. Creating a standard of evidence which only prosecutes absolutely clear cut cases means that victims won’t be prosecuted.

            • I agree here…unfortunately that’d sort of mean different standards for prosecuting a false accusation case versus other types of cases. You also have a problem, and this my father has seen first-hand, of police officers who assume that every report of rape is a false accusation. So if you were to allow them to investigate potential false accusations…well it could turn an interview with a potential victim into an interrogation with a perceived perp, which for anyone who actually was raped, would be horrendous. Mind, that’s a social issue, but still…

              When I was in Egypt, I was basically told by my university that if I reported a sexual assault I would basically be treated as a potential criminal. There were all sorts of cultural issues at play, but part of it was the way in which a rape victim pretty much had to prove that she was actually raped. I was pretty much told that there was no point in reporting it (if it happened), because I’d just end up subjecting myself to an intense interrogation.

              That’s what I mean by if it’s going to be criminalized, it’s got to be done extremely carefully, and I don’t know that our system is able to handle that. It can’t turn into a thing where when a woman (or man) reports a rape s/he is interrogated about it.

            • “part of it was the way in which a rape victim pretty much had to prove that she was actually raped. ”

              Well, to be blunt, it sounds an awful lot like they put the burden of proof on the accuser… in other words, they treated the accused as if he was, how should I put this? “Innocent until proven guilty” perhaps?

            • Eagle34 says:

              Nick, Mostly: “It shouldn’t need to be pointed out that failure to oppose something is not the same as endorsing or encouraging it. Your characterization of their motivations comes across as uncharitable, perhaps mean-spirited even.”

              Maybe certain feminists should put this into practice the next time they have the urge to blame every single man for sexism against women, ignore men’s problems since they’re part of the “Power Structure” based on nothing but their sharing of the same gender.

            • It shouldn’t need to be pointed out that failure to oppose something is not the same as endorsing or encouraging it.

              True, however, purposely opposing the prosecution of false accusers so as to ensure that there is “no risk to making an accusation that is not proven true” is the same as endorsing and encouraging false accusations because the position is that women (and only women) should be able to make whatever accusations they and face no risk should their claims not hold up, regardless of why the claims do not hold up, including that they are lying.

              More so, feminists are specifically opposed to charging people we know made false accusations with a crime. There is no nuisance to that. No matter how charitable you want to be, their position is to let people we know sent innocent men to prison walk.

              As Heather stated, making something a crime does not prevent crimes in and of itself. However, imprisoning someone we know commits a crime can prevent that person from doing it again. By refusing to imprison false accusers, feminists are allowing those women go on and commit the crime again with impunity.

            • John Anderson says:

              @ Nick, Mpstly

              “It shouldn’t need to be pointed out that failure to oppose something is not the same as endorsing or encouraging it.”

              They are advocating for a change in the law or the enforcement of the law. When someone actively advocates for something they are endorsing or encouraging it.

              “They aren’t trying to ensure there is no risk to making a false accusation, they’re trying to ensure there is no risk to making an accusation that is not proven true (even if that means giving a pass to the former)”

              There are already safeguards built into the system for that. It’s called the burden of proof needing to be beyond a reasonable doubt. Why is this standard not sufficient to ensure this? Unless they can provide a reasonable answer, their motives are suspect. When someone’s true motivations do not match what they say, it’s called lying. Some people do that. It’s the concept at the heart of false rape accusations.

          • HeatherN says:
            “A lot of feminists I know are also of the opinion that making something a crime doesn’t deter anyone from doing it”

            Sorry to be cynical, but this is clearly an ad-hock position designed to argue against any particular ( politically inconvenient) prosecution, rather than a real, thought-out, and generally applicable moral stance. People have confronted you on this issue without response from you.

            • I’ve responded quite a bit, actually. Also…I’m currently travelling from the U.K. to California, so I’m not exactly around a lot at the moment. Once I’m in California, my internet access will be limited, so you can expect me to continue to have whole days where I may not be able to comment or reply to comments. I don’t track comments on certain articles through e-mail or I’d end up with a flood of e-mails to wade through. I just try to remember which articles I’m having conversations on and check on those when I can.

              So all that being said, instead of dismissing my position as somehow less-than-genuine, why don’t you provide some specific challenges to it? Thanks.

        • I’d have to correct that statement and say that, basically the position is that you let a few people guilty of one crime (false accusations) off so that other people guilty of another crime (rape) don’t get away with it.

          While that be their poorly thought out position, there is no evidence to support it. To my knowledge, there is no study or research suggesting, let alone proving, that prosecuting those who make false accused scares off real victims. That is just something feminists say whenever anyone wants to charge female false accusers because false accusers (who are overwhelmingly female) undermine the feminist claim that women never lie about rape. If have a study showing that prosecuting false accusers make victims not come forward I would like to read it.

          They aren’t advocating for people who are falsely accused to remain in prison…

          They are not advocating for the falsely accused to be freed from prison, either. Or to be recompensed for their time spent in prison. Or to have their record cleared. Or for the name of the false accuser to be released.

          However, making something a crime can make people who wouldn’t commit the crime worry that they might be charged with it, if they’re in a situation in which they might appear guilty.

          By that logic, we should not make rape a crime because someone who has consensual sex with a friend might appear guilty should that so-called friend later claim he raped her.

          No one’s suggesting that “letting a few innocents suffer” is the way to go.

          Actually, someone is. You just stated, “[B]asically the position is that you let a few people guilty of one crime (false accusations) off so that other people guilty of another crime (rape) don’t get away with it.” When you let someone get away with a crime, you deny the victim justice, which one could argue is one of heights of suffering.

          What they’re suggesting is that making false accusations a crime isn’t going to prevent anyone from suffering.

          Yes, it can. It can prevent that false accuser from falsely accusing someone else. But if we follow your logic, then why make sex offenses a crime? After all, making it a crime will not prevent anyone from abusing someone, so what purpose does it serve?

          There are very few false accusations, but I agree that any are too many.

          If this case shows anything, it shows that we do not know how often false accusations occur. Until Gibson admitted she lied, Banks had no way to prove his innocence. I guarantee you there are scores of boys and men in prison right now with stories like Banks’, and we have no way to know where a crime actually occurred or not. This is one of the problem with false accusations.

        • John Anderson says:

          @ HeatherN

          Prison doesn’t always stop a rapist from raping so I’d argue that incarcerating them doesn’t really solve anything either just look at incidences of prison rape, however, I’ve never heard of an incident where a false accuser has made a false accusation in prison so that does seem to stop them for the duration that they are in prison at the very least.

          I really don’t want to be on this side of the argument advocating not prosecuting rapists. That’s as crazy as not wanting to prosecute false accusers. People get prosecuted all the time for lying look at insurance fraud. You also make an error in assuming that criminalizing and punishing false rape doesn’t deter it. You assume that all false rapes are reported. Look at the extortion plots against Rick Pitino, Michael Jordan, and David Letterman. Who’s to say that these women would not have gone the false rape way if that wasn’t criminalized.

        • John Anderson says:

          @ HeatherN

          “They aren’t advocating for people who are falsely accused to remain in prison…”

          They just don’t have a problem with them being there in the first place.

          “However, making something a crime can make people who wouldn’t commit the crime worry
          that they might be charged with it,”

          Why would it do that? Prostitutes may not report rape because they have committed a crime. Are you saying that on some level the accuser believes that they weren’t in fact raped? That sounds exculpatory and if this was such a major problem why do 40% of rape victims report the crime? Is it threat of prosecution that stops the others or societal stigma? Should we get rid of rape shield laws then? Is it treatment by police and the court system? It seem that the reasons change depending on what they want passed.

          “What they’re suggesting is that making false accusations a crime isn’t going to prevent anyone from suffering.”

          They know that because?

  8. Cynthia C. says:

    I don’t know what — if any — charges could be brought against her. I feel quite strongly that she needs to be made an example of and be punished to the fullest extent of the law. This poor young man not only lost years of not being with his family but he lost a promising career. She also makes it harder for legitimate rape victims to be believed. She is a lowlife loser who deserves to be punished. She gives woman a black eye. Shameful.

    • Nick, mostly says:

      Our legal system strongly discourages “making an example” of someone, and if it were to come to light in an appeals court proceeding that “making an example” was a motivation on the part of the prosecutor or judge, any conviction would be reversed.

      What I suggest is that we simply start prosecuting those allegations that are provably false. I don’t believe there should be parity sentencing as some are calling for (i.e. 10 yrs for rape so 10 yrs for false accusation), but we do need to start treating it as the serious crime it is.

      • I could get behind that, so long as it was done very carefully.

        • Peter Houlihan says:

          Yep, very *very* carefully, all the while assuming the innocence of the accused and assigning them the benefit of the doubt in court. But then, that’s supposed to apply to all criminal cases.

          • True, and unfortunately that isn’t really how our criminal justice system works at all anyway. Juries are prejudiced by their past experiences (as we all are). The media will automatically deem that someone is guilty (or less likely innocent) of a crime for ratings and that’ll have influence. Everyone watches CSI and NCIS and whatnot and they all think they’re experts in criminal forensics.

            • Peter Houlihan says:

              Well, yes, there’s plenty of room for improvement, but the same arguments against prosecuting false accusers (an innocent person might be prosecuted) work equally well against rapists. The same standard of evidence should apply no matter what the charge or the gender of the accused.

      • Why shouldn’t a “not guilty” verdict automatically trigger an investigation into the truth of the allegation?

        This cannot be stressed enough: there is no criminal accusation that affords the victim so many protections and so tramples the constitutional rights of a defendant as a rape accusation. Rape shield laws alone violate the right of a defendant to confront an accuser, but our society tolerates them.

        Make no mistake, Brian Banks went to prison because our system does not allow those accused of rape to use the same tools available to other criminal defendants.

        There must be balance, and automatically investigating those accusers whose claims were found to be doubtful, by a jury of their peers, seems like a good place to start.

        • Nick, mostly says:

          There must be balance, and automatically investigating those accusers whose claims were found to be doubtful, by a jury of their peers, seems like a good place to start.

          Perhaps you’ve never made or been the subject of a criminal investigation, which is why you’re so cavalier with your recommendation that victims (actual or impersonators) should be investigated. It is the height of cruelty to subject someone who has actually been raped, someone who is likely already suffering from a post-traumatic stress disorder, to the invasive and disturbing process of a criminal investigation. But a “jury of their peers” suggests not an investigation but a prosecution. That idea is repugnant to me.

          The burden of proof on convicting someone is supposed to be higher than that of not convicting them. Theoretically our criminal justice system is rigged to let some offenders off the hook, to help prevent wrongful imprisonment. What you’re suggesting is that any time that happens the complainant automatically be subject to investigation (or prosecution).

          I think the standard should be that if there is evidence that the allegation is false it should be investigated. If there is evidence that a crime has occurred we should investigate it. Failing to obtain a conviction is not evidence of a crime. That’s a higher standard than the one for which you are advocating and I believe the correct one.

          • Nick, the “jury of their peers” is the group that found the accused not guilty in the first trial.

            You have also completely failed to address how completely lopsided the law treats those accused of rape when compared with all other accused.

            Let me give you two examples:
            In Kansas v. Smith, the prosecution was allowed to introduce evidence that the accused had previously had sex with a girl while she was “black out drunk” in order to demonstrate rape. There was no problem introducing evidence of previous sexual conduct, because the accused enjoys no such protection.

            Meanwhile, in Indiana v. Tyson, it was decided that the defense was not allowed to introduce evidence that the accuser had made a previous false rape accusation! This was because that would deal with previous sexual conduct, and the rape shield laws “protect” the accuser from such evidence.

            Please understand: these are not one-offs, this is the current state of the criminal justice system. There is no justice for those accused of rape: they can be humiliated on the stand through discussion of their past sexual conduct, without any relief.

            The accusers, meanwhile, enjoy a level of protection that is simply not available elsewhere. In any other kind of trial, evidence of previous false accusations which could be used to impeach a witness would be admissible.

            Given such an unfair burden, it hardly seems a problem to at least make a cursory investigation as to the possibility of the accuser lying upon a not-guilty verdict being reached.

            • Nick, mostly says:

              Nick, the “jury of their peers” is the group that found the accused not guilty in the first trial.

              I see, but it still doesn’t change my reticence for an automatic investigation and that’s simply because failing to prove someone guilty is not evidence of a crime. There may be instances where it becomes apparent the accuser fabricated the story, and you won’t find me anywhere saying that shouldn’t be investigated. But I don’t advocate investigation in all unsuccessful prosecutions as you advocated.

              You have also completely failed to address how completely lopsided the law treats those accused of rape when compared with all other accused.

              Was I supposed to?

            • It’s difficult to look at the state of the law and believe that it is “fair” to those accused of rape. I feel investigations, even in a cursory manner, when a “not guilty” verdict is returned could help to fix this.

              You disagree, and that’s fine, but then how do we fix the problem?

              How many more Brian Banks do we see before we acknowledge the system needs a powerful deterrence to false accusations?

            • Nick, mostly says:

              If the prosecutor’s case falls apart they are in the best position to determine whether their witness/victim might have fabricated the accusation, and they can (and should) initiate an investigation in those cases and only those cases.

              I don’t believe the criminal justice system is fair, but I also don’t believe the remedies you propose would make it fair. I also don’t want to simply swap innocent victims caught up in the system – that’s no remedy at all.

            • “that’s no remedy at all”

              Which is…exactly what you are proposing?

              Why is an investigation such a problem? If the accuser didn’t lie, then they have nothing to fear.

              Why is it such a problem to require that a police investigator review the file upon a not guilty verdict? Such reviews routinely take place in other instances (California already has a “required investigation” law in the event of domestic abuse). This isn’t about bringing a case to trial no matter what, it’s about ensuring that SOMEONE looks into the file to see if a false-accusation case exists.

            • Nick, mostly says:

              There are a number of things I think need to be done. First, I think we need to deemphasize eyewitness identification as evidence, reform the way line-ups are conducted, and eliminate show-ups entirely. Second, I think we need to investigate whenever there is evidence of perjury on the part of the accuser. People like Ms. Gibson need to be charged, and need to pay some restitution. Since I’m a proponent of rehabilitation rather than punishment, I’d be happy with a steep fine, a couple years probation, a few thousand hours community service, and a requirement to perform “educational outreach” to speak with young people about the seriousness of the crime. Finally, to reduce the number of innocent people in jail, I’d follow the guidance set out in this piece that I linked to before to help identify potential false accusations before they make it to trial: http://www.theforensicexaminer.com/archive/spring09/15/

        • John Anderson says:

          @ Mike L

          “Why shouldn’t a “not guilty” verdict automatically trigger an investigation into the truth of the allegation?”

          Because there has to be probable cause that the accusation was false and not simply unprovable beyond a reasonable doubt. Why shouldn’t every prosecution witness be investigated for perjury in any case where there is a not guilty verdict and what if the truth is found to be that he was in fact guilty after all?

          • John,

            The comparison to other charges is completely invalid: there is simply no other crime that depends solely on the testimony of the victim that consent did not exist.

            • John Anderson says:

              @ Mike L

              “The comparison to other charges is completely invalid: there is simply no other crime that depends solely on the testimony of the victim that consent did not exist.”

              How does that change the fact that there has to be probable cause and criminal intent? A not guilty verdict is not the same as saying a person is innocent. Guilt has to be established beyond a reasonable doubt. Let the DA establish the elements of the crime as he would in every other case. Did no sex occur? If it did, there is no probable cause as a rape “could” have taken place.

              If someone were to threaten to kick someone ass, that crime (assault) may only have witness testimony. Insurance fraud may not even have that as most people would claim they were not present when it took place or in the case of personal injury insurance fraud, I have pain when I move my arm. You’ll say, the missing stuff or the burned down house or the accident is proof. It provides physical evidence, well so does the sex.

            • John,

              Please read a story on what actually happened to Brian Banks.

              This is the key point:
              “Gibson testified that Banks raped her on the Poly campus. Banks said the encounter was consensual.”
              From:
              http://articles.latimes.com/2012/may/24/sports/la-sp-brian-banks-20120524

              The very regime you are suggesting is the one that failed Brian Banks. There was sex, and she lied about not consenting.

              I am not suggesting conviction upon a “not guilty” verdict. I am merely suggesting that a not guilty verdict should be reason for a police investigator to make a cursory examination of the file for the purpose of determining whether or not this was a false accusation.

              Why is that such a problem?

            • John Anderson says:

              @ Mike L

              There is enough evidence to charge her with filing a false report in the banks case under existing standards of evidence. Her report is the crime. Her payoff is the motive establishing criminal intent. The friending on Facebook, the tape, his testimony, the PI’s testimony are all pieces of evidence that should establish probable cause. You don’t need to argue the Banks case. I was speaking in general.

              One argument I think you can successfully make is that if rape is a special crime subject to special rules then false rape can and should also be considered a special crime subject to special rules. That might be an avenue worth exploring.

      • John Anderson says:

        @ Nick, Mostly

        “I don’t believe there should be parity sentencing as some are calling for”

        That depends on what you call parity sentencing. If a person has spent 10 years in prison falsely accused of rape and it comes to light that the accusation is false and it is proven to be so, the accused should spend at least 12 years in prison like 20 years with possible parole after 13. Have them make the case that they are no longer a threat to society. I don’t see why people have a problem placing the onus on the false accuser to prove that they aren’t a threat to society. They should be placed on something similar to a sex offender’s registry.
        If the false accusation comes to light before anyone is charged or prosecuted or their identities are released, then I think perjury guidelines are probably warranted, but at the higher end as rape is a special crime.

  9. She should be charged and made an example of. There are a significant portion of rape and domestic violence claims that are false because women can get away with it and use it as revenge. This hurts women who are real victims and hurts the innocent men who’s only crime was trusting someone.

    • Nick, mostly says:

      It’s unclear how many claims actually are for “revenge.” I suspect the greater number of false accusations are actually due to “regret” and the shame that someone will feel once their consensual sexual behavior comes to light. This is a much more complicated mess because our society is so completely paranoid about sex, and the fear of being shamed is a fairly strong motivation for women denying their own sexual agency.

      In researching the incidence of false allegations I cam across an analysis that was somewhat in line with my hypothesis. False Rape Allegations: An Assault On Justice

  10. Peter Houlihan says:

    The same standard should apply: Presumption of innocence, benefit of the doubt.

    I’m not sure if a facebook message counts as an admission of guilt, but if there is sufficient evidence that she *knowingly* (there has to be mens rea) falsely accused him then, yes, she should be prosecuted.

    But if she was a minor when she committed the crime or if the statute of limitations has expired then no, she should be presumed innocent.

    Sadly even when the above requirements are met false accusers are highly likely to get away with it, and the same standards are not held to for all rape accusations.

    • Nick, mostly says:

      The facebook message was what kicked it all off. After having been friended by his accuser, Banks and a private investigator met with her and have a recording in which she states that Banks did not rape her. It was on the basis of this statement that his sentence was vacated. In a later interview with prosecutors, she refused to admit to the false allegation.

      • Peter Houlihan says:

        That’s a bit tricky then, in order to prosecute her the state would presumably have to prove that it was definitely her on the tape. Unless it was video footage that seems unlikely.

        • Peter Houlihan says:

          Not to mention that the case is pretty prejudiced by now: all the media attention.

        • Nick, mostly says:

          Interestingly, the recording was considered evidence enough for him to win exoneration. Why shouldn’t it be evidence enough to open an investigation potentially leading to a prosecution?

          • Well there you’ve got the system actually working as it’s meant to (well assuming what you all are saying about this is accurate). You require more evidence to convict someone than to exonerate them. That tape created reasonable doubt as to whether he committed the crime he’s accused of, but possibly not enough evidence to prove that she knowingly filed a false police report.

            Which, when I say this is all assuming what you’re saying is accurate…I don’t mean to imply you all are lying. I just mean, this is assuming we all have accurate information.

            • John Anderson says:

              @ HeatherN

              “Well there you’ve got the system actually working as it’s meant to (well assuming what you all are saying about this is accurate). You require more evidence to convict someone than to exonerate them.”

              Yes and no. The DA found sufficient evidence to bring charges based on her testimony alone. He has the friending on Facebook, the tape, his testimony and that of the private investigator. It may ultimately prove insufficient to convict her, but if the law worked as it should, she should at least be charged as the DA has more evidence against her than they did against him.

          • Peter Houlihan says:

            I was about to say that it might not be strong enough because the standard of proof would be reversed (in her favour rather than his) but actually I think you’re right: At the very least it warrants an investigation.

  11. Janet Dell says:

    Well, at least the usual suspect aren’t claiming false accusations are ‘rare’.

  12. Will Talley says:

    Why would there even be a question? Of course she should be charged. Make her pay every cent of that $1.5 million she was awarded, and hand her the same punishment that Banks had to suffer through. On top of that, the prosecutor, judge, and anyone else involved in Bank’s conviction should lose their jobs and be prosecuted for what they did to this man.

    If someone made a false robbery or murder accusation, they would be locked up with the quickness and no one would have an issue with it. Why would it be any different here?

    • Nick, mostly says:

      Please do keep up.
      The settlement was $750,000, not $1,500,000 as was initially reported. Also, it was a plea deal, not a conviction in court.

      • Will Talley says:

        Okay, correction noted. However, this doesn’t change my opinion. She should still be held accountable for the money regardless of how much it is.

      • Regardless of the exact amount wasn’t that settlement based on the notion that the school paid her for being somehow responsible for the crime happening? If he’s been exonerated of the crime then I think she should be responsible for giving every dime of it back. In fact she should have to give it to Banks.

  13. Copyleft says:

    How about we just jack up the punishment for perjury, in any type of case or claim? A minimum five-year sentence for lying under oath might discourage opportunism.

    • The problem with that is a very practical one…resources. We do not have the resources to prosecute everyone who commits perjury or files a false police report. Not to mention the fact that, as I was talking about earlier, making something a crime doesn’t really act as a deterrence…it’s only when someone is 100% sure they will be punished and that the punishment will be extremely severe that making something a crime is preventative. And in the U.S. we’ve got this funny thing about trying really hard to have punishments that fit the crime…and since we’re not in a totalitarian state, most of the time citizens aren’t being watched. So the chances of getting caught committing a crime are relatively low…or at least low enough that worry about getting caught isn’t a real deterrence.

      • John Anderson says:

        True, but one thing that the DA needs to consider when determining whether to utilize these scarce resources is the effect the crime had on the victim. I don’t see how in this case anyone could argue that the victim has not sustained irreparable, life-altering, harm.

        • Eric M. says:

          There is little doubt that if the genders were reversed, and a men caused that much harm to women, by some miracle the necessary resources would be identified.

          • Like the man tha confessed to raping a woman as a part of his addiction treatment and he was convicted and punished for it….20 years after the attack?

      • The problem with that is a very practical one…resources. We do not have the resources to prosecute everyone who commits perjury or files a false police report.
        Yes resources are scarce but as John Anderson says there the effect on the victim to consider. I know that some would really like it if a the damages a false rape accusation could just be filed away as being the same as the damages of say a filing a false insurance claim but they are not. That insurance company may be cheated out of money but at least they have a chance to get it back. There is nothing that wil give Banks the life back that he had before this crime was alleged committed against him.

        In light of that I would say that something needs to be done as some sort of justice for what he has been through.

        Resources are scarce but I think with something as big as a false rape accusation that’s not a good enough reason to try to say that it should not be punished (I know you aren’t saying that but it does come up).

        If Wanetta Gibson had kidnapped Banks and held him in a basement for five years I don’t think anyone would be twisiting their hands over whether or not she should be tried or not.

        Copyleft:
        How about we just jack up the punishment for perjury, in any type of case or claim? A minimum five-year sentence for lying under oath might discourage opportunism.
        I don’t think this jack up should be applied across the board. Instead I think the type perjury should be jacked up in relation to the stakes of the original trial in which the perjury took place.

        For example I don’t think that perjury over a false rape accusation in which the truth came to light before the falsely accused suffered punishment should be punished as harshly as a perjury in which the truth comes to light after the falsely accused suffered punishment.

        To put it in exact terms I think Wanetta Gibson should be treated more harshly than Crystal Mangum on this (who by the way not only walked away scott free after making a set of false claims but actually made a book about her experiences).

      • “The problem with that is a very practical one…resources. We do not have the resources to prosecute everyone who commits perjury or files a false police report…Not to mention the fact that, as I was talking about earlier, making something a crime doesn’t really act as a deterrence”

        I have a modest proposal…LEGALIZE RAPE. That eliminates the false rape accusation problem and since as Heather says making something a crime does not act as a deterrence, it doesn’t make rape worse. And while were at it lets legalize sexual harassment and all the other sex crimes too.

        Every argument for not prosecuting false accusations applies equally well to rape itself.

        • Come on no need for that now.

          Now I’ll say at the least Heather does acknowledge that false rape allegations are horrible (and that is more than what you get from a lot of other feminists). But I know how you feel.

          • Eric M. says:

            Well, that IS her argument. The real test is to apply it to acts that are currently illegal as well – and see how it works out.

            Also, arguing that there be positively no penalty for intentionally destroying someone’s life (literally) is in no way consistent wiht acknowledging that it’s horrible. The argument that such persons be able to go on with their lives penalty-free is evidence to the contrary.

  14. wellokaythen says:

    If there is compelling evidence that a person has committed a crime (including a false accusation) that has destroyed someone else’s life, then ideally there should be charges filed and if found guilty there should be some consequences.

    Someone who really has consciously falsely accused someone of rape has committed a crime, and in this case the accusation has clearly hurt someone.

    I want to be consistent here, though. She is innocent until proven guilty by due process. She is currently alleged to have made a false accusation. It is an allegedly fraudulent accusation. I demand the same for alleged rapists as well. An alleged rapist is innocent until proven guilty. Same principles, as far as I’m concerned.

  15. The thing that amazes me about this, is Brian’s account of the process. He didn’t contest because doing so would mean facing a jury that had no evidence but his account and her’s and so the verdict would only be a matter of the jury’s guesses about his guilt. This isn’t a legal process it is akin to a witch trial

    • Nick, mostly says:

      Well, that’s the problem with rape cases like this. When it’s not the sexual act that is contested but rather whether or not there was consent, oftentimes there are only two witnesses: the accuser and the accused. The question then is which person is more sympathetic to a jury, and I’m not surprised when innocent men accept a plea bargain rather than take their chances with a jury of their peers.

      As an aside, that is the fundamental flaw with our legal system. Our peers are, on the whole, rather ignorant and often incompetent. In academia we know a lot about memory and testimony and behavior that is rarely if ever brought up in court. Who among us wouldn’t be swayed by a witness positively identifying their assailant in court, yet everything we know says that the probability of that happening is greatly influenced by how the assailant was initially identified, independent of guilt. So in a he said-she said type of procedure, the deck is stacked heavily against the defendant facing 41-life, particularly if that defendant is a black male as is Mr. Banks.

  16. HeatherN:
    So I think it might be better to move some of these issues into the civil court system…which has it’s own set of problems, but still. If a person falsely accuses someone or commits perjury, then it’s on record, and you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone willing to take on a case where they’re a witness in the future. Even without punishment, the chances that someone will be able to get by with it a second time are slim…no DA is going to go to trial with nothing but the word of a known perjurer as evidence.

    So let’s say that this goes on record and something happens later where she is the witness. Who would it harm if her reputation as a witness is tarnished and not trustworthy? And while she may not do this a second time is it really fitting to say not punish her because she likely won’t do it again? Do we really want to use the likelyhood of recidivism as a factor in whether or not someone’s actions are criminal or not?

    I don’t know. I just don’t think that perjury that directly causes someone to be locked up for a crime that appears to have never happened is a civil matter. If Banks’ had been accused but the truth came to light before he served time then I’d agree to the idea of it being handled in civil court. But he served time, I think that makes it criminal.

    So locking that person up doesn’t serve to protect the public, just as punishment. Well, then filing a law suit would also serve the purpose of punishment.

    No I don’t think a lawsuit is punishment enough in a case where the perjury did irreparable damage. Realistically speaking chances are suing this woman would at best only give back the settlement she got from the school, money that she should not have gotten in the first place. Come on, she takes away five years of his life and its fitting to just take some money from her?

    You can argue that punishment doesn’t deter crime but what kind of message does it send to not punish a crime at all?

    • Danny,

      There is also a powerful problem in our country when we deal with people who are essentially “judgment proof” because they will never be able to pay ANY amount in damages.

      What happens when the civil trial goes through and the false-accuser just says “sorry, I’m broke!” at the end of it? Where is the justice when you cannot even receive the money you have been awarded because your opponent cannot pay?

      We need prison to create an effective deterrence. There must be a tangible penalty that can be used to scare off other would-be false accusers. Otherwise anyone without substantial savings can essentially make false accusations with impunity.

  17. G. Drakes says:

    As a woman I am saddened by this tale. Too many women today have no scruples. Having perjured herself, wasted police resources, wasted the court’s time, and caused extreme pain and suffering she ought to be made to pay reparations and damages, as well as repay every cent of the money she gained in civil court. She is clearly a mercenary person, and hitting her where it hurts, in her pockets, will probably hurt more than jail time.

    Lots of people think she should go to jail, but again as a woman I will admit that I have some misgivings about establishing that kind of precedent. The intent would be to discourage false accusations, and it would probably help. But on the other hand, the prospect of going to jail if you make a false accusation could be turned into a threat which an attacker could use against a woman. Suppose a woman were raped, and her attacker could find enough friends to lie and she had made a false accusation? We’d have the reverse of this situation. A fear of being disbelieved keep many rape victims silent. The idea of going to jail if their accusations are considered false will make it worse.

    Also, it could intensify the he said/ she said nature of rape cases. Not only would the man have to prove his innocence, so would the woman. What constitutes innocent behaviour or guilty behaviour in such cases? Could the court decide, that accepting a drink is an innocent action, but going to a man’s apartment is a guilty one? It’s not far from there to the idea that some women, by their actions, are asking to be raped. I came across this idea on a website the other day. It’s an idea that refuses to die, and putting women in jail for false rape accusations might make that problem worse.

    • “She is clearly a mercenary person, and hitting her where it hurts, in her pockets, will probably hurt more than jail time.”

      And if she has no money?

      Where’s the justice then?

    • What would deter these women from such actions? What is the more likely story in this day n age, a woman falsely testifying, or a bunch of friends giving false aliby’s and character assassinations to a potential rape victim? Whilst the latter could happen I’m unsure if a person could find that many friends to back them up, but then again life does surprise me.

      I think false accusations with intent should be jailable, if the woma flat out fully believes she was raped and accidentally accuses the wrong man then something else needs to be done, maybe the state can do what it can to compensate him. Legitimate rape victims shouldn’t feel scared off.

      WRT an attacker using the false accusation stuff as a threat to her to keep her from testifying, you do realize men have been raped by women who say they will “cry rape”? These men legitimately scared of the very real threat, they end up being raped out of fear if they fight back, deny her, etc that they will goto jail. Hell if I was faced with that situation I’d probably “give in”, what choice would I have? Try escape and sit there scared as hell that the cops will arrest me for rape? You don’t need strength at all to rape someone, threat of violence or threat of sending them to jail (which is a very believable threat) is enough to make many give in and be raped against their will.

      If anything the fact that false accusers get jailtime would definitely discourage false accusations, and increase trust in the justice system. Hell it’d kill off much of the false accusation fears of those who question the validity of the woman’s accusation. If you can get away with accusing someone of rape with no consequences, it will cause rape accusers to be thought of with suspicion, and that’s probably a good idea to ensure the accusation is real. Remember the accuser has to provide some proof of the crime, how else would justice work? Base it on honesty? That’d be a complete mockery of the justice system in my view.

      I’ll probably cop some harsh judgement over these views but isn’t our justice system based on INNOCENT until PROVEN guilty? Even if false accusations are rare, it’s still a risk and each case lowers credibility for all rape accusers, it makes it harder for real victims to seek justice, it makes a lot of men quite nervous and even opens up a way a woman can rape a man by threatening him with “I’ll say you raped me”, which I am certain I’ve read a victims experience with this happening (can’t remember who exactly, if they’re reading I’ll leave it up to them if they want to identify it).

      I’m not comfortable at all with innocent people going to jail from he said she said accusations, what this man has suffering is deprivation of liberty, character assassination, time lost of his youth, most likely mental suffering and possibly even been sexually, physically and/or emotionally abused in prison because someone decided to willingly lie, most likely knowing full well what would happen to him. If he was put to death, would she be charged with murder?

      • John Anderson says:

        @ Archy

        “you do realize men have been raped by women who say they will “cry rape”? These men legitimately scared of the very real threat, they end up being raped out of fear if they fight back, deny her, etc that they will goto jail.”

        That’s why if MRAs were really the women hating, misogynists that many feminists claim they are, they would support an accusation = guilt standard in rape cases if they were assured of gender neutral application. Imagine all the innocents going to jail because the first one to accuse is telling the truth.

      • WRT an attacker using the false accusation stuff as a threat to her to keep her from testifying, you do realize men have been raped by women who say they will “cry rape”? These men legitimately scared of the very real threat, they end up being raped out of fear if they fight back, deny her, etc that they will goto jail. Hell if I was faced with that situation I’d probably “give in”, what choice would I have? Try escape and sit there scared as hell that the cops will arrest me for rape? You don’t need strength at all to rape someone, threat of violence or threat of sending them to jail (which is a very believable threat) is enough to make many give in and be raped against their will.
        Weird thing is that folks have no problelm understanding that a man can rape a women without the use the violence or even a threat of violence. “Who will believe you?” “You were drinking.” “Look at what you had on.” “Look at how you were all over me eariler.”. There is no shortage of people to point this out.

        But for some how this line of reasoning is tossed out the window when it comes to women raping men. All of a sudden the only way they can concieve of a woman raping a man is a woman overpowering him but since most men are stronger than most women they allow themselves to safely conclude that women cannot rape men. Apparently women are just as capable of doing anything that men can….except for violating other people.

        No sir/mam women can’t be stronger than men, can’t use drugs/alcohol to take advantae of men, can’t use lies and deciet, can’t shame a guy into “consenting”.

    • Janet Dell says:

      So G Drakes: you take something that happens a fair amount , 8 – 10 % of the time by modern stats and try and justify it by claiming that perhaps something might happen.

      If your analogy about him getting a bunch of friends to lie, if that were the case, she wouldn’t go to the police anyway, knowing she would be dragged thru the mud.

  18. John Anderson says:

    Here is an idea for a compromise, which I think takes into consideration everyone’s arguments and concerns. On one had we have people concerned that prosecution will dissuade people from reporting an actual rape, society is not protected from the individual as the individual will not reoffend, and there is nothing gained by causing the offender to suffer. The other side argues that the victim deserves retribution, the future can’t be foreseen so how do you know that the offender will not reoffend, and society is served through deterrence (even the supports of decriminalizing false rape accusations admit this, but deny this in the case of false accusations of rape).

    The first thing we should consider is whether the false accuser accepted responsibility and showed remorse. The onus should be on the offender to show why they will not reoffend. How can we be assured if the offender has not even indicated that they felt that they did anything wrong? What standard of evidence was used to convince the false accuser to recant? Did the DA have no evidence of a false accusation and the recantation was the only thing exonerating an innocent? Did the DA have strong evidence to win a conviction and the recantation was simply to reduce punishment? None of this is relevant unless false rape accusation is criminalized so it should remain criminalized, but the concerns of the decriminalization people can be addressed by modifying procedure and punishment.

    In cases where the crime was discovered independent of the false accuser, it should be punishable to a much greater extent than it currently is. I won’t say to the same extent as rape, but will say to a significantly greater extent than the wrongly accused has suffered. I think what the innocent person got plus 2.5 to 7 years should do it. Why didn’t I say 1 to 3? It gives the DA room to negotiate and still punish the perpetrator to a greater extent than the wrongly accused. I can see some merit to reducing sentences when a person voluntarily recants. It serves the interests of justice, but the person owes society a debt and I don’t see why they shouldn’t pay it.

    One easy way that a debt could be repaid is through a fine or community service. If a person is truly sorry shouldn’t they want to pay restitution to the victim? A way that society ensures that it is protected from reoffending while providing the truly reformed a second chance is through probation. I think that people who show remorse, recant, and take responsibility (plead guilty) should be ordered to perform 40 (representing one week of work) hours of community service for each year the victim was incarcerated (restitution to society), pay a $400 – $10,000 fine (based on the false accuser’s income and payable to the victim about 1 week’s income) for each year the victim was imprisoned (restitution to the victim), and serve a probationary period equal to twice the length that the innocent spent in the legal system. The probation should be restrictive (no alcohol consumption, can’t leave the country as possible restrictions) and of course some form of mandatory counseling. Failure to comply should result in the imposition of the maximum punishment the false accuser would have received. I can see a slight reduction in prison sentence for good time on probation say 1 day reduction for every 3 – 7 days they didn’t violate the terms of their probation based on how restrictive it was, how much community service was performed, etc.

    I think something like that would provide a framework to address everyone’s concerns. I’d like to point out that in this case, it appears that the accuser isn’t taking responsibility for her actions and hasn’t expressed sincere remorse for her actions.

  19. John Anderson says:

    @ HeatherN

    “I think it might be better to move some of these issues into the civil court system…which has it’s own set of problems, but still. If a person falsely accuses someone or commits perjury, then it’s on record, and you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone willing to take on a case where they’re a witness in the future. Even without punishment, the chances that someone will be able to get by with it a second time are slim…”

    It could be true for a man, but women in this society could have several different last names at different points in time making it much easier to reoffend.

  20. This has been an interesting discussion, but I’m puzzled.

    I’m from the UK, and don’t know much about the US legal system. The impression I’m getting from this thread is that it is almost unheard of for false accusers to be prosecuted and punished. Is this correct?

    In the UK there’s a similar debate going on constantly, but on a fairly regular basis there are prosecutions. It’s a bit arbitrary, but generally what happens is:

    If someone makes an accusation that she (or occasionally he, but forgive me if I use the feminine pronoun for simplicity) has been raped by persons unknown, and the police investigate and prove beyond doubt that she fabricated the account, that no such attack occurred, she may be charged with wasting police time. That’s usually punished with a fine or community sentence.

    If she makes a malicious allegation against a named individual, which could (or even does) result in that man being wrongfully accused or punished for rape, and it is then proved that she lied, she is likely to be charged with perverting the course of justice, which is considered an extremely serious crime. Indeed, at least in theory it can result in anything up to life imprisonment (more commonly a sentence of 2 or 3 years is not uncommon). If this Brian Banks case happened here, and the proof that she had lied was considered beyond reasonable doubt, that is almost certainly what would happen. The fact she was a juvenile at the time would

    There are feminist groups in the UK who actively campaign to change this, so that women are never prosecuted for making false allegations, however clear cut the evidence, on the basis that it deters actual victims from making reports. But it is quite a minority opinion, even within feminism I think. There’s no realistic prospect of that happening and if anything I’d say the momentum is in the other direction – there is widespread feeling that it is still too easy to make false allegations and pressure on police to prosecute more often.

    I’m astonished that there isn’t something similar in the US, and I’m also astonished that there’s not more debate about it.

    • The impression I’m getting from this thread is that it is almost unheard of for false accusers to be prosecuted and punished. Is this correct?
      Not unheard of but more of pretty rarely. And this is still relatively new ground.

      If this Brian Banks case happened here, and the proof that she had lied was considered beyond reasonable doubt, that is almost certainly what would happen. The fact she was a juvenile at the time would…..
      What was the rest of that line going to be?

      I’m astonished that there isn’t something similar in the US, and I’m also astonished that there’s not more debate about it.
      For a lot of people the debate (if you can call it that) seems to be stuck on “but if she’s prosecuted for her false claims then it will scare women that have been raped out of coming forward.” vs “but if she makes a false accusation and walks away scott free then what kind of message does that send?”

      (Side Note: There was a rather famous case here in the States a few years ago in which Crystal Mangum made false rape allegations against three college lacrosse players. By the time the smoke cleared it was shown that she gave multiple versions of the night in question and a woman that was with her that night gave an account that blew away most of Mangum’s lies.

      Despite this those three guys got their names dragged through the mud, the coach of the lacrosse team was pressured into resigning, and the team was suspended for the rest of the season. Mangum faced no charges, penalty, or punishment. Now people try to defend this by saying it was all the fought of Mike NiFong, the prosecuting attorney. While he did get overzealous and did things to deserve disbarment he basically became the scapegoat in order to protect Mangum from being held responsible for her actions.)

  21. Thanks Danny. I know all about the Duke’s Lacrosse case, but hadn’t realized it’s standard for there to be no charges against false accusers.

  22. Quincy Burk says:

    She should get the same amount of time in prison, as he did. This will set an example to the rest of the losers.

    • She should do more than serve prison time (though I do agree she should get the same sentence he received). She and her family should have to make a full restitution with interest of the 1.5 M settlement they received

    • beverly says:

      In this case women is the villan, She should go to prison and pay .

  23. as a true rape victim i believe yes, she should be imprisoned for falsely accusing an innocent man and taking 10 years of his life away.10 years of lost opportunity, 10 years of having a record as a rapist and further charged . false accusation of rape and imprisonment and as a hindrance to true rape victims . disgusting . she took away his opportunity’s and expects him to take her back? what a loser. obviously being 28 their is a reason why she still single. no one wants to be with drama. why wasn’t she charged? . that is what i want to know. . ..she should be the one paying back his mother too for the lost car and house plus . $750,000 settlement to the school and pay back all the est wages he lost. although i do not agree with some of the written parts.11 years old’s can not legally consent. . hopefully there is justice. if not on earth in heaven but karma always comes through.

  24. The exoneration of Mr. Brian Banks proves that U.S. criminal justice system is sham, at least in cases of sex crimes. Brian Banks had to spend precious years of his youth behind the bars due to false rape accusation made by Wanetta Gibson. In my opinion, Gibson is not the only guilty party, the investigators, prosecutors and jury are equally responsible for the injustice. U.S. criminal justice system is in the hands of incompetent person. Each party who contributed to this injustice should be brought to book. In the matters of sex crimes, the principle “guilty till proven innocent” holds good. The prosecution assumes what it is trying to prove and proves what it has already assumed. As for the feminists, they do not want to punish criminals, they just want to punish men, any men. Criminal justice system needs to be cured of its feminist leaning tendency

    • “As for the feminists, they do not want to punish criminals, they just want to punish men, any men. Criminal justice system needs to be cured of its feminist leaning tendency.”

      That is a huge, sweeping generalization, Rapses.

      • Unfortunately, it’s also a correct one.

      • Schadrach says:

        While an overly broad generalization, there are some who certainly do, and some others who have drank the Kool-Aid to the point of genuinely believing things like “no woman ever lies about rape.” Note that the Brian Banks case hasn’t seen much play on the larger feminist blogs (has it on any of them?), because it is something they don’t want to have to discuss, because it runs counter to their preconceptions.

      • verry vrrry true. We live in a female centric society that is quick to take HER side before they hear the story.

  25. just found out, not only is she broke, on welfare, but two of her children are in the system, she owes child support but claimed lack of funds (men get thrown in jail everyday for missing one payment…yet she gets to plea no funds?)the true amount, the school paid her 2.5 million, the mothers losses 75000 plus far more, all the lost opportunities , scholorships ,recruiters, grants gone, 10 years. 5 years in prison, 5 years with an ankle moniter, 10 years since the age of 17 being a falsely accused rapist, 10 years of his life snatched, his freedom taken away, scared , ….heinous , this witch needs to pay back everyone, the school, the students at the school who lost out on programs that would have been funded by the money given to her and her mother, the mother of mr.banks losses (insurance for the car and house, moving into a tiny apartment when she had a house, how much did she pay for all that to sell it at a pittance ) she should also be charged by true rape victims. yet no one is going to prosecute her and her mother, they are free, spent all that money on god knows what, penny less and nothing to show for it, welfare….where is the justice? this gives all false accusers the free card, to gain on an innocent because the pay out is huge…..terrible.

    • Nick, mostly says:

      That money is gone gone gone and putting her away is only going to cost the taxpayers in California more money, all so we can feel good about her being in prison. Yay, revenge.

      Under California law, Banks may receive his own settlement from the fine taxpayers of California – $100 for every day in jail he spent. Should he prove successful, let’s hope he doesn’t burn through it like Gibson and her mother, Wanda Rhodes, appear to have done.

      • JustAMan says:

        Cornelius, I think you just answered the key question you posed at the end of the original post. Sounds like you think she should just walk.

        And sounds like you think $180k to Banks, if California even pays it (often States refuse to pay these claims), is plenty of recompense.

        Thanks for sharing.

        • Nick, mostly says:

          Sounds like you think she should just walk.

          Really?

          “Just walk” implies there should be no punishment at all, that she should suffer no consequences for her actions. On the contrary, if you read some of my other responses, I’m quite clear that I don’t think that should be the case. Rather, my flippant comment is about the state of our “justice” system on the whole. What does putting her away for a few years actually net us as a society? We spend a bunch of money to punish another perp without actually solving any problems.

          I only recently found out about the money to Banks. Indeed, the more I read the more depressing the story becomes. They have her on video saying he didn’t rape her, but she refused to speak with prosecutors and is now saying she only said that because Banks promised to pay her $10,000. Her mother, Wanda Rhodes, is being portrayed as rather unsavory character and there are accusations afloat that she engineered the entire thing. Perhaps Gibson isn’t the true villain of the story, but a pawn in a twisted scheme to work the system.

          FYI, the title, subhead, and questions at the end are generally chosen by the editors, if one of those is the “key question” to which you are referring. If it’s the question of what prosecutors should do, I can’t imagine how you surmised that I think she should just walk when I stated the $750k should be enough to pay for her own defense. I must say I find it to be an extraordinarily uncharitable reading of what I wrote – to the point of being fallacious even.

          • JustAMan says:

            “That money is gone gone gone and putting her away is only going to cost the taxpayers in California more money, all so we can feel good about her being in prison. Yay, revenge.”

            That is the last thing you said.

            In making the latter statement, you effectively withdrew your initial comment that the $750k should be used to pay for her defense. Now that you know the money is “gone, gone, gone” you state that “putting her away is only going to cost the taxpayers in California more money.”

            And now, on yet further reflection, you want to go back to your initial comment.

            Do you see how a simple reader might be mightily confused by such contradictory statements? If not, I suggest you consider a future in elective politics.

            • Nick, mostly says:

              If perhaps I expected the readers of this site to have the reading comprehension of my 8 year old, then yes, I could see how they would be confused. I plead guilty to assuming the readers of this site are more intelligent than that.

              There is no contradiction. I’ve said from the outset that the money was gone – look at my very first comment in response to (R)Evoluzione. In the original post I was using a rhetorical device to suggest what I thought should happen – that prosecutors should charge her – and I’ve repeated that throughout all of my comments. I’ve disagreed with other commenters about what the sentence should be, but not as to whether there should be one. I have never once stated that she shouldn’t be charged and I find it striking that anyone who has read the initial post or the comments that followed would get that impression.

              As I said, uncharitable and fallacious.

        • Deterrent to other people committing the same crime, rehabilitation in prison (I’d hope that happens…), restore faith in that man and others who are falsely accused and especially those who are falsely imprisoned based off those accusations. There are good reasons for putting her in jail, even just sending the message alone. It’s not all about revenge and i wish people would quit focusing on that aspect alone.

  26. I disagree with those saying those years of his life were merely “lost.” He was in prison. A cage. He had his freedom taken away from him. He was placed in a terrible place where all the freedoms of normal life that we take for granted are gone. He couldn’t see his family, couldn’t date, go out with friends, eat something other than what was given to him, or the junk he could buy from the prison commissary. Not only that, he was imprisoned as a rapist, a sex offender. I hope his size was enough to prevent any other inmates from attacking him, which is common enough without being part of a particularly despised group. And the whole time he knew he was in there because of a lie.

    He wasn’t supposed to be there. He had a scholarship to a great university to play the game he loved that had the potential to result in a very lucrative and fulfilling career. Every day he had to deal with that, dwell on that, with no place to go, stuck within those same walls.

    When people discuss what happened to this man, and whether the woman who lied should be prosecuted, reconsider whether those years were merely “lost.” This man wasn’t wandering in the woods, he wasn’t on the moon, he wasn’t in a coma, he was in prison. Brian Banks went through a terrible ordeal that lasted years and permanently altered his life.

  27. Notbuyingit says:

    This case is just one example of many of what the legal repercussions can result from passing laws & to be more particular Act’s through the Congress in which we diminish or ignore men’s constitutional & civil rights on the premises of women’s rights, the sad thing about it if any one complains or suggesit anything against any of it then he or she is a misogynist.

  28. Gen Shanahan says:

    I think the problem here is not that the system has some sort of “feminist bias”, but that it’s focused on getting cases through as quickly and cheaply as possible, and thereby putting defendants in the horrendous position of bargaining their freedom away. I talk about it more here – http://showmethehegemony.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/legislating-for-innocence-the-kid-who-cried-wolf-and-the-system-that-should-know-the-difference/

    • There are problems with plea bargaining in a system with limited resources but you did not really refute any claims of feminist bias. If the system is concerned with getting cases through quickly and cheaply, then it would make sense to spend as little resources on those cases that are the least viable for trial. If there is “feminist bias,” it could make cases such as these less viable for trial and make plea bargaining a more attractive offer.

  29. Chris Mullen says:

    Although it may be wrong, she shouldnt be charged. The rational is that you dont want people who wrongly accuse someone to be afraid of going to prison if they come out and tell the truth. It makes sense even though it just doesnt seem right.

    • There’s not “seem” about it. With the way the system is now we have basically given false rape accusers a get out of jail free card.

      “I’ll admit that I lied and ruined his life, but only if you don’t punish me for what I did.”

      I’m no fan of vigilante justice (karma is too slow in my book) but the vengeance streak in me wouldn’t blame someone for taking up that cause in cases like this. Its not like its unclear if they did it or not. They admitted to telling lies that damaged a person’s life.

      Of course vigilante justice has its problems too. But at the same time the very fact that this could happen is a problem too.

    • Mike Smith says:

      Are you serious? What if the reverse were true? If somebody had truly raped her, and after 10 years, they finally found the rapist, would we say, “Well, 10 years has gone by. Let’s let bygones be bygones.” She and her family conspired to commit a crime and ruined a man’s life for financial gain. Perjury and fraud are the least of her crimes, IMO.

      I guarantee you if the woman were white, we’d have Al Sharpton and other publicity-seeking, race-baiters baying for her blood.

      She should be going to jail along with her parents, no ifs, ands, or buts. I don’t give a rat’s you know what about the impact to other women coming forward about rape. Women should not be granted the license to act with impunity for falsely accusing a man.

  30. if she is not made to pay for her crime what does that say to other people who are considering the same kind of behavior for. and what protection are we providing for people who find themselves in Mr. Banks situation

  31. van Rooinek says:

    The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against a fellow Israelite, then do to the false witness as that witness intended to do to the other party. You must purge the evil from among you. The rest of the people will hear of this and be afraid, and never again will such an evil thing be done among you. Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. — Deuteronomy 19:18-21

  32. She was 11.. she did a dumb thing as dumb, poorly parented children will..

    She needs to be punished. Fine.. However, I think her family attorney and parents should be held responsible for their minor’s decisions. You know that an 11 year old girl didn’t drive this through the justice system… Family houses, cars, jewels from Walmart.. sold… crime and punishment.. and then, Wanetta should wear the new anklet issued to those who lie and ruin the lives of their “friends”..

    • Nick, mostly says:

      Sorry if I confused you by linking to two different stories. The first story of the 11 year old, Cassandra Kennedy, was one I wrote about earlier that I thought was truly problematic. She was young, obviously troubled, came forward voluntarily, and admitted to the false accusation to the prosecutor.
      Wanetta Gibson, who was 15 or 16 at the time (I’ve read both ages being mentioned – perhaps she was 15 at the time of accusation, and 16 at the time of the trial?), did not come forward voluntarily, and has now changed her story to say she recanted only for the promise of $10,000 from Mr. Banks. A number of neighbors (former and present) interviewed by the media have suggested that the mother is the mastermind behind all of this. All the same, I don’t find this story nearly as problematic. I think she should be charged.

  33. Whether or not Wanetta Gibson should be charged is a real issue, but I think there’s a much larger issue that needs to be dealt with: the underlying social issues that allowed this to happen in the first place. There is a social stereotype towards men of them being uncontrollable sexual machines. That prejudice is made even worse when you include racial prejudices and even prejudices towards large people, especially athletes. Had this happened to a smaller, white boy, the lawyer could easily have fought and won the case. What’s worse, it’s almost impossible for a prosecutor to make sex charges stick against a woman, even when there is solid evidence.

    Another social stereotype we’re stuck in which contributed to this is the idea of men being almost automatic aggressors and women being almost automatic victims. Society has a very difficult time taking it seriously when a man is the victim or the woman is the aggressor and that’s problematic. I’m a woman and I resent the social stereotype that tells me I’m always a victim.

    And, yes, feminism does need to own up to this. I’ve had many discussions with feminists over the need for a real discussion about men’s issues and I either get told “feminists talk about men’s issues” or “men’s issues are just another word for misogyny!” Guess what? I searched and searched and I could only find one single feminist blog that mentioned the Brian Banks case, and even that one chose to ignore the gender issues and just blamed the legal system. As much as I agree that the prison-industrial complex played a part in this, it’s a grievous oversight when feminist blogs all over the internet talk about issues when women are victimized, but rarely mention a clear cut case of a woman victimizing a man. This is especially problematic because feminism generally seems to place such great importance on dealing with the underlying social issues that facilitate crimes like this. I’m not saying feminism is bad, but it is incomplete and a men’s movement needs to compliment it, not compete with it.

    • Thank-you for this post! Although I doubt a white boy’s lawyer would get him off on this charge, there are plenty of young white men on the sex offender registry and I’d hazard a guess many had lawyers.

  34. I have an idea to take care of all of this and all other crimes once and for all. We already have lie detectors that work fairly well. Well i say lets put the worlds best scientists to work to improve it and in less than five years we have the ultimate lie detector that cant be beat. And just for all the nay sayers we run everyone through five times and murder cases 10 times. All the courts and laywers just vanish and by the way would you want any jury picking out what you wear for a day or what you eat for lunch? But have them decide your innosence or guilt? NOW WAY!!! Cmon people get on board with me on this. You know it makes sence!

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