In our society, rape allegations are a common occurrence.
While the discourse between men and women is diversifying and our understanding of rape evolves, those accused remain stuck in the criminal justice system. This is particularly true as support services run thin due to court backlogs.
Complainants feel unheard and those falsely accused feel their voices are not wanted in the conversation of how to reduce the number of rape offence trials that pass through English courts.
In a landmark study in the US, known as “The Philadelphia Sexual Assault Victim Study”, of the 709 cases considered in the study, 15% were classified as “unfounded” by both police and social workers while 3% were confirmed to be cases of “false accusations”.
But in Britain; the “1999 British Home Office Study” conducted by Jessica Harris and Sharon Grace and published in Home Office Research Studies by the Home Office’s Research, Development and Statistics Directorate unearthed even more revealing numbers. They examined 483 cases of rape allegations in the conduct of the study and found that 10.9% were considered false by the police.
Our client contacted us when he had false allegations of rape made against him by a woman he met on a night out after New Year’s.
While both our client and the complainant in question had been drinking on this occasion, our client maintains that he has a solid memory of the events of the night he met the complainant.
He recollects that when they met at a bar, on a Friday night in Leeds City Centre, they quickly began to mutually flirt, chat as well as exchange intimate touches and kisses.
Events quickly progressed, initiated by the complainant, who requested that our client take her back to his nearby hotel in a cab.
In the hotel, sexual acts took place with the consent of both parties involved. After this, our client drove the complainant home to ensure she was okay and kissed each other goodbye.
Our client gave us instructions at the police station in which he detailed his account of these events and demonstrated his innocence in the case. Our specialist sexual offences defence lawyer advised him to make a full comment interview, to avoid the police making any “adverse inferences” or drawing false conclusions if our client had not given a full account of the events.
Our client’s case was resolved when the police decided No Further Action was necessary.