Allegations of Sexual Abuse

False Allegations

Nick Wills

Sunday Star Times
December 15 1996

Rape and allegations
Letter to the Editor
by G Waugh, Auckland

Sandra Coney writes much nonsense but excelled herself with her absurd remarks about rape and Justice Thomas' opinion (December 8). They appear to believe that making false allegations is an "enduring and pernicious myth".

Of course women make false allegations of rape. And when they do, they are rightly accused of "lying, scheming and manipulating". Remember Nick Wills and many others in similar predicaments?

The "recent complaint" rule is a fair one. Complaints promptly made allow forensic evidence, if it exists, to be gathered. Significant delays can limit its value and accuracy. If the delay is weeks, months or years, how, in the absence of valid collaboration, can a woman expect to be believed? Like everyone else, she has to demonstrate her credibility.

In the 1986 to '95 decade, 52% of rape trials failed to convict the accused. Evidence was either unreliable, inadequate or false. The Chief Justice recently said of rape cases that an uneasy feeling remains that innocent men may have been convicted.

If rape allegations were investigated like other criminal cases, there would be fewer rape trials. "Balanced, objective analysis" would serve society better than Coney's Claptrap or Thomas' Tirade.