Reply To: U.S. Olympic swimmers’ lies unravel under scrutiny : The danger of simply believing

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John S

This push, “We’ve Got to Believe the___________ (Children/Student/Co-Worker/ Other)”, needs a pushback, because false allegations and wrongful convictions happen much more often than many people realize. It parallels what we know, how easy it is for someone to wind up on a SO registry.

Some years ago I learned about a detective on a city PD in my state. He was the one PD member tasked with investigating sex crime allegations. Over a period of years he struggled with a heavy workload that more often than not led nowhere–a spouse in a divorce case wanted custody of the kid/s, a “rejected lover” wanted revenge against his/her boy/girlfriend, a minor was angry with a parent/guardian for enforcing curfews–until he reached a breaking point.

He publicly and repeatedly stated he would continue to investigate all sex crime allegations, but from than on he would investigate the backgrounds of accused–AND ACCUSER/S. If the investigation resulted in a false allegation, he would arrest and see prosecuted the false accuser/s to the fullest extent of applicable laws. Once his new policy took effect, and a couple of false accusers were in fact arrested and then convicted, his workload dropped about 85%.

Other gains included substantial reductions in time effort, and cost; the ability to spend more time on genuine sex crime allegations; and an easier burden for the local taxpayers.

This was NOT done in my case, and in at least a few score others than I have learned about over the last few years.

A friend of mine recently admitted she was a heartbeat away from shooting a brother-in-law in the head, from distance of about 3 feet, following an allegation by her niece that the brother-in-law had been molesting her. His jumping through an open window during a momentary distraction saved his life. A few years later my friend overheard that same niece openly, freely, and happily admit to several people she had made up the story, because the brother-in-law had tried to keep the niece from seeing a boyfriend who had a very bad reputation. This false allegation almost led to first-degree murder. I wonder how many of us know about how many other, similar stories?

We all can and should push for this pushback, which is really not only constitutional but too frequently overlooked given the extent and the extremism of the attendant hysteria.