Organizations warn against falsely reported allegations

By R. Scott Lohman

In the wake of two fabricated criminal cases being brought to light in the past four months, two representatives from area help organizations have given their opinions about false allegations.

Filing a false police report is in itself a crime, and the consensus is that no one benefits from untrue allegations.

Juliana E. Landers was arrested Monday for falsely reporting that she was pulled over by a man impersonating a police officer, said Sycamore Police Chief Dale Vesta.

Another incident occurred in September when a woman claimed to have been sexually assaulted at knifepoint by three men. The University Police determined in October that this case was fabricated.

UP Sgt. Ralph Taylor said the woman “admitted that the abduction and sexual assault at knifepoint did not occur as alleged.”

In October when the case was resolved, reliable sources said the woman had emotional problems and was receiving treatment. She fabricated the sexual assault in order to receive a free medical examination, sources told The Northern Star.

David Bruer, executive director of Parents and Children Together Successfully (PACTS), said false allegations hurt everyone. However, he did say that he urges people who have been abused, stalked or attacked to come forward in order to get help.

Bruer said the law needs to be enforced regarding false allegations, because if it isn’t, it will “lessen the impact of the laws and it will lessen our ability to help those who really need help.”

Bruer also said false allegations in divorce cases create serious problems as well.

Lynda O’Brien, coordinator of Sexual Assault Abuse Services (SAAS), said when the sexual assault case was discovered false, the rate of reporting rapes dropped.

“The fear that no one will believe them keeps many victims from telling anyone about what has happened to them,” O’Brien said.

“It is essential that victims continue to report their assaults to get the help they deserve and need,” she said. “Living in fear and pain is unnecessary and unfair.

“Services are available to help victims become survivors and get on with their lives. There is no shame in being a victim and no one chooses to be a victim,” she said.

O’Brien also said an FBI statistic indicates only about a two percent false report rate for sexual assaults in the U.S.

“When someone says they are raped, believe them, help them and support them. They are in the majority—the other 98 percent,” she said.

If a person has been sexually assaulted, they can seek help at both SAAS and PACTS, and also through the University Health Services, the University Police, the NIU Counseling and Student Development Center and the Judicial Office.

Victims also can receive help at Kishwaukee Community Hospital, the DeKalb Police and Safe Passage, Inc.

The DeKalb Police and the University Police said there have been four criminal sexual assaults reported so far this year.