March 31, 1996
Falsely accused of rape
Alibi not checked out by police
Nick Wills was a marked man.
The Hamilton law
student was falsely accused of rape and threatening to kill last year and was
looking at a 10-year sentence if found guilty.
But the woman, living in the same hall of residence at Waikato University
as Wills, confessed to police only days before the depositions she had made
up the story.
Her first name is Wendy but all other details have been suppressed.
Wendy was convicted of making a false statement and ordered to do 150 hours
community service and pay $5000 reparation to Wills. His family has spent
$20,000 clearing their son's name.
60 Minutes producer Phil Wallington said Wills had an alibi that wasn't
checked out by the police, before he was charged and it took an investigation
by his parents and a lawyer to prompt the police to re-open their inquiries.
The family's investigation revealed Wendy lived a life of fantasy - she had
made up stories about her rich father who had a plane and a boyfriend who
bought her a car.
She also told friends Wills was a serial rapist.
Wendy was pictured in close proximity to Wills, smiling, in a ball photograph
taken a week after the alleged rape took place.
Wallington said Wendy told the police she intended to "come clean"
after her exams.
But in the meantime Wills lost his job as a deputy warden in his hall of
residence, and was subjected to harassment on the Waikato University
Wallington said Rape Crisis now believed Wendy was raped by someone else.
* 60 Minutes, tonight at 7.30 on TV One.