The XX Factor

More on False Rape Charges

Really interesting reader comments on the effect of the false charges of rape at Hofstra on the guys who were accused, and how much false reporting is a problem.

From bluestone :

I know one of the kids accused and have known him for 5 years. What the DA and the Hempstead police have NOT made clear is that two of those guys, including my friend, did not have sex with the woman at all. They just continue to say that the sex with all 5 was consensual. I think this should be corrected.

That said, when you Google my friend’s name, this story is, of course, the first thing that comes up. That will probably be true for years to come, as he looks for employment, dates, whatever. That the same notoriety does not attach to his false accuser, whom he never actually met, seems unfair.

Fair point. The stories about the recantation are also out there, but they don’t erase the first wave of coverage.

Also really interesting, a note from pes1012 , who says he is a criminal defense lawyer in the Navy and handles a lot of sexual assault cases: (Hey, counsel, if you’re reading this, I’d love to talk to you for a follow up story. Email me at

False-reporting is not as serious a crime as rape. Not even close … I’ve seen plenty of instances where the woman does fabricate. Motives vary. And I know of one occasion where there was no motive at all. Women can be sociopathic just like men, it seems.

On Broadsheet, Judy Berman is also skeptical that the rate of false reporting of rape is high.

pes1012 also says this, which indeed I didn’t know: “As a matter of trial strategy (and this may come as a surprise to DoubleX readers), it’s common knowledge that the defense always wants as many women on the jury as possible. Women tend to apportion blame on the putative victim for the situation she put herself in, irrespective of the man’s actions after she said ‘no.’”