False claims of rape should be jailable

By Mackenzie Meadows

False rape accusations take away from valid cases where rapists should be tried and convicted. Those who falsely accuses another of rape, and later admit to lying, should serve time in jail.

Rape cases can be difficult to prove since physical evidence can be easily damaged, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. Common, acts, such as showering and using the restroom, can be enough to potentially compromise crucial evidence. Although it may be hard to prove, no effort should be spared when serving justice to those who break the law, but when innocent people go to jail for life-ruining sentences, that is where our justice system fails.

Brian Banks was a standout high school football player in California and in 2002, he committed to University of Southern California for football. The same year Banks was falsely accused of rape by his former classmate Wanetta Gibson. As a result, Banks spent more than five years in prison, Banks then faced an additional five years on strict parole. 10 years later, his conviction was overturned, and Gibson admitted she made up the entire story, according to a May 2012 LA Times article.

Banks’ story is not the only one of this nature. In London, 25-year-old Jemma Beale made up four different accusations of rape that ended up imprisoning an innocent man, according to an Aug. 2017, The Guardian article. Beale was found guilty in July 2017 at Southwark Crown Court of four counts of perjury and four counts of perverting the course of justice, according to The Guardian article.

Victims of false rape accusations can countersue for libel, a false statement that effects or damages a person’s reputation, according to AllLaw.com.

Currently, there are no laws that can put a false accuser directly in jail, however, there are laws which could raise justice for the falsely accused, which can be used to defend innocently accused individuals.

“I believe that an individual who falsely accuses another individual of rape and ends up ruining their lives should serve time and be a part of the process to exonerate the individual of the false claims,” said Patryk Lomnicki, junior operations management and information systems major. “It’s so morally wrong; it’s also incredibly unfair. Why should someone suffer from a made-up claim? It’s a crime – you are altering that person’s life forever, charges should be pressed to serve justice.”

Breana Harmon, 19, accused three men of raping her in a parking lot. The story she told was descriptive however, in 2017 she entered a guilty plea to four felony charges of tampering with physical evidence and government documents after admitting to lying about the case, according to Feb. 28 Reason article. She faced no jail time.

With only six out of 1,000 rapists going to jail, there is no false accusations of someone innocent should occur. To combat this those in law enforcement must continue to thoroughly investigate each claim in its entirety Convict the real perpetrators in regards to falsely accused rape accusations.