Number of fake rape claims tiny compared to actual rapes
HUNDREDS of vulnerable women have been sent to prison in the United Kingdom for lying about rape, according to an investigation.
The report found that UK authorities are "exceptionally aggressive" in pursuing women for lying about rape, prosecuting hundreds over the past decade.
At least 200 women have been prosecuted for fake rape cases in that time, according to a BuzzFeed News analysis of press reports.
Most of the women were sent to prison, with dozens of them facing sentences of more than two years.
They said they found prosecutors went after women who were teenagers, reportedly had mental health issues, had experienced past physical and sexual assault, or were grappling with drug and alcohol addiction.
Last month a student revealed he is suing a woman for $6 million, claiming her false rape accusation at a frat party has destroyed his life.
Catherine Reddington, 22, took to social media posting her brutal tale of assault which Alex Goldman, also 22, says has "destroyed" his life.
The woman from Long Island in New York State claims that Mr Goldman raped her in a bedroom of Syracuse University's Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity following a party in April 2017.
In the UK last year a serial rape accuser who claimed she had been sexually assaulted by 15 men in three years was jailed after her sick lies were finally exposed.
A judge slammed Jemma Beale as a "convincing liar" and "manipulative" while sentencing her to 10 years behind bars.
In Australia, a Sydney man who battled for two years to clear his name of rape and assault allegations last year vowed to sue police for acting like "robots" and ignoring crucial evidence.
The man, who is in his 40s, was accused by his estranged wife of sexual intercourse without consent and assault occasioning actual bodily harm but was acquitted of the charges by a District Court jury.
The trial judge slammed the way the case was handled and said such serious charges should never have been brought against the man, who spent $200,000 in legal fees defending the charges.
He also spent more than a month behind bars until he was granted bail.
Experts say the Crown Prosecution Service in the UK, the state prosecutor for England and Wales, has even written rules for who to target and when - something no other Western country does.
The policy is meant to restrain law enforcement from going after people who do not make clear and malicious accusations, those who are young or mentally ill, or those who have experienced past abuse.
But BuzzFeed News reported prosecutors routinely fail to follow these rules.
The investigation also revealed women were prosecuted even when they reportedly went to police only under pressure, quickly recanted, or never named their attacker at all.
They said the CPS had even prosecuted women who police were not sure had lied.
In one instance detectives declined to prosecute the woman for making a false complaint but prosecutors reportedly went ahead anyway.
Eleanor De Freitas was one of several women featured in the BuzzFeed investigation
In 2014 CPS charged Ms De Freitas, a 23-year-old who had bipolar disorder, and psychiatric reports warned that the case could drive her to harm herself.
She had acknowledged in her own report to police she was unsure whether she consented to sex and the detectives who worked on the case said they did not support the prosecution against her.
But a CPS review found that actions taken in De Freitas's case "were correct, and in accordance with our policies and guidance". Four days before her trial was due to start, Ms De Freitas' mother discovered that her only daughter had tragically taken her own life in the family home.
Yvette Cooper, Labour MP and chair of the influential home affairs select committee, said the investigation was "very troubling".
She called on the CPS to make sure the guidance was followed so that "victims are not deterred from coming forward" and "vulnerable women are not inappropriately prosecuted".
Britain's approach stands in stark contrast to that of the US, Australia, Canada, and other European countries.
Women in these countries do not typically face prosecution - let alone prison - for lying about rape, state prosecutors and experts said, because it's not considered to be in the public interest.
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