FULL TEXT: Shalimar – In an unusual twist, three Florida Panhandle women have been charged with filing false rape complaints.
“It’s a real switch for us to arrest women who said they were victims,” says Deputy Shirley Boles, a rape investigator for the Okaloosa County [population 110,000] authorities. But sheriff’s agents say four of the four the complaints were phony.
“We’ve arrested two women on charges of filing false reports to law enforcement officers,” Ms. Boles said. “We’ve charged a third woman and we’re working on the papers in the fourth case.”
Filing a false complaint is a misdemeanor, the deputy said. Ms. Boles and her partner, anti-rape specialist Jo Hunter, said women who falsely accuse men of rape should be punished.
“This type of thing isn’t only a crime, it sets women back light years in their attempts to bring the real rapists to justice,” said Ms. Hunter, also a deputy.
“It not only hurts the men who are falsely blamed and face life prison sentences, but it hurts all women everywhere. It’s like the boy who cried ‘wolf.’”
Motivations for filing false rape complaints vary, but the investigators said some women are misusing rape laws because they feel upset about sex or are just spiteful.
In one case, a young woman was miffed because she thought her boyfriend had a date with another woman, deputies said. She accused the boyfriend of rape.
Another case involved a woman who performed a sex act after she was offered money. When the man refused to pay, she accused him of rape, Ms. Boles said.
[“3 Women Facing Charges In False Rape Accusations,” The Post (Palm Beach, Fl.), Jun. 12, 1981, p. C5]