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False reports of rape do happen

Bloomington Herald-Times, November 1, 2007

To the editor:

I am one of the people Chiara Galimberti complains about in her Oct. 20 column. The fact that people questioned a woman's claim that she was kidnapped in broad daylight, raped and returned to the same spot does not mean that we question all women who come forward and say they were raped.

False reports of rape happen. Another 19-year-old IU student fabricated a kidnapping and “rape” just five months earlier. She recanted her story and admitted that she “engaged in consensual sex with a man at a local motel.” (H-T, March 30)

Who can forget Crystal Gail Mangum, who fabricated charges of “rape” against three Duke lacrosse players and was aided by the criminal actions of disgraced former prosecutor Mike Nifong? What about Tawana Brawley’s fabricated charges of “rape” that gave notorious racist Al Sharpton an excuse to destroy the lives of several innocent men?

With one exception, I’ve attended every Take Back the Night rally for the past several years. I support stiffer penalties against rapists and efforts to change a culture that blames the victim and defends rapists. Galimberti over generalizes (and shows sexism) when she attempts to paint legitimate doubts about a questionable story as misogyny.

Scott Tibbs.