In 2018, reporter Rachel de Leon began investigating several cases in which alleged victims of sexual assault and rape were charged with crimes after police determined they lied. False reports of sexual assault are rare (between 2-8 percent of all sexual assault reports), so Ms. de Leon pursued as many police records as she could to investigate these reports.
The audio and video recordings illuminated troubling police techniques. Investigators used deception and aggressive questioning while eliciting confessions and recantations. The alleged victims, all of whom were very young women, seemed to merely repeat back what investigators told them, or simply stopped disagreeing with them. After these women were charged, local and national media outlets covered their cases, using their full names and mugshots – since they were no longer considered sexual assault victims, they no longer had a right to anonymity. The stories were sensational. They took off on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and YouTube, where the audience was ripe to degrade and shame them.
The session will explore several of these stories Ms. de Leon uncovered. Audio and video clips will demonstrate how a victim becomes a suspect, often in a short amount of time.
As a result of this webinar, participants will be better able to:
- Prepare questions to challenge whether a false reporting case was thoroughly investigated.
- Recognize the consequences of publishing and thereby sensationalizing alleged false reporting cases.
- Identify the patterns of an investigation that result in false reporting charges, based on a first-ever analysis of its kind which examined 52 false reporting cases.
With a paid registration or subscription, you are free to personally listen to this webinar, as many times as you wish. You may also excerpt or cite the material following accepted conventions. However, you may not allow other individuals to listen to this webinar without their own registration or subscription.