In a single week, two UK women have received prison sentences for false rape claims. Their sentences are one year and 18 months, respectively.
The alleged epidemic of false rape allegations is a bête noire of "men's rights activists," along with family court laws, but according to a 2007 report by the Royal Society of Medicine, only about 9 percent of cases in the UK have been deemed false, "the majority of which are reports from within the 16-25 age group."
That applies to the case of twenty-one year-old Emily (in some places referred to as Emma) Marrill, who told her boyfriend that her father had raped her. A prosecutor was quoted saying Marrill "was expecting her boyfriend to have a go at her father," but instead he called the police. The ruse went on for months, with Marrill becoming uncooperative with police and eventually confessing she had made up the allegations.
Marrill had made several sexual assault claims before, which The Mirror and The Daily Mail say were false, though it's unclear how they know this. (If, for example, she had previously been a victim of rape, post-traumatic stress disorder could have played a role. It might also explain why her father has apparently forgiven her). Her lawyer said "psychiatric reports showed that his client had signs of an anti-social personality disorder." She'll go to jail for a year.
The case of Nicola Osbourne unfortunately patterns closely to how rape apologists dismiss real claims: A woman "changing her mind" about sex. In particular, a drunk one: Osbourne, 32 and the mother of three, had been walking home after drinking and began talking to a 26-year-old man. She went home with him and had "extensive sexual activity." She later said she was wracked with guilt and made up a story that he had abducted her in his car.
The man whose DNA was found on Osbourne said in a victim statement, "People like her make a mockery of women who have really been raped." The judge in the Marrill case sounded a similar note: "Offenses of this nature undermine public confidence in true allegations of rape." Both are true — each case took hundreds of hours of police work that could have been devoted to actual crime victims. It's not ceding any ground for advocates for sexual assault victims to note that these cases exist, but that they are, if ugly, very few in number. Here's another number: According to the same RSM report, the conviction rate is "under 6% in England and Wales and only 4% in Scotland."
Woman Who Lied That Her Dad Abused Her Jailed For A Year [Mirror]
Woman Jailed For False Rape Claim [Get Surrey/Daily Mail]
Woman Jailed For False Rape Claim [The Independent]
Sexual Assault: Key Issues [RSM]