Should Admitted False Accuser of Gang Rape Allegation Be Identified Publically?

Quiet Campus Now Unsettled

Quiet Campus Now Unsettled

A few days ago, a woman who is a student at Hofstra University accused 5 men of gang rape.  She said that they took her cell phone and lured her into a men’s room in a dormatory collective assaulted her.  A Fox affiliate tv station in New York reported the story and in the text began by saying that “Five Men Gang Raped an 18 year-old Hofstra University student on campus…”  At the end of the sentence, they added “according to police.”  Now, technically it is correct and gives attribution but, when the opening statement to the story makes such a declaratory statement that sounds like a fact, unless the entire sentence is read carefully, can be problematic.  Let’s face it, people read headlines and often miss details. 

Nassau Co. DA and Hofstra VP of University Relations Talk about dropping the charges

Nassau Co. DA and Hofstra VP of University Relations Talk about dropping the charges

As it turns out, the police investigation found that one of the 5 men had recorded the incident on a cell phone.  The video supported the men’s story that the entire event was consensual.  The “victim” recanted her story to say the incident was not a case of rape.  Now, the Miami Herald revealed the news that the charges were dropped and did so with a full photo of one of the accused, who had the charges dropped against him.  The others who were jailed also had their names and photos released throughout the media.  Yet, they will forever be linked to the accusation which was fabricated. Apparently, police officials are considering filing charges against the woman for filing a false report.    Newsday raises five good questions surrounding the entire event and the reprecussions.

International Business Times and other outlets identified false accuser in Duke Lacrosse Team case

International Business Times and other outlets identified false accuser in Duke Lacrosse Team case

However, in my mind, Newsday did not ask a huge question.  That is, should the woman’s name be released?  The media has always taken the position of not reporting the name of rape victims or those who make accusations of rape.  But, routinely the accused get their  names released and pictures put in the media prior to any convictions.  In this case, there was no rape victim.  She is now a suspect in a crime.  Should she not have her name released?  The woman shown at the right was identified in the Duke LaCrosse Team case when it was found that she made a false report.  The men did not commit a crime, yet got their mugs put up everywhere and their names are not connected with a rather ugly charge.  Newsday is reporting on how they are coping, but not a word about the suspect in the crime against them.  Now, the woman admits that she was not a victim of anything.    Should the press continue to protect her identity?  Is the press avoiding asking that question of itself and hoping that the public doesn’t ask the same question.  Probably a good question for a journalistic ethics or media law class.  What do you think?


9 Responses

  1. Her name and the fact it was a faulse report should be a matter of public record.
    the “according to police” disclaimer should have been the first 3 words in this FOX report.
    However ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN are guilty of making reports no different that this one.

  2. Of course her name and photo should be released. At this stage, she is a criminal. If the photos were released of the persons she falsely accused, it would be ridiculous to name her.

  3. The men did not commit a crime, yet got their mugs put up everywhere and their names are __NOW__ connected with a rather ugly charge.


  5. When the post was made, the name was still being protected. Eventually, it was sure to come out. But, one wonders why the press took so long. I often wonder why the accused names are not protected until at least some semblance of suspicion is established. I mean, what’s the rush…wait until some sort of investigation can produce some conclusion

  6. Works for me. B&%^H.

    Now you’ve taken credibility away from every real victim.

  7. Of course the names should be revealed. No question about it.
    It might make some of these false accusers think twice.

    Edward McCain, your ss grammar nazi’s would be SO proud of you.

  8. This is a case of the “pot calling the kettle black”…for sure! The same media that rushed to report is now looking for redemption by asking individuals like myself to post a commentary…ok!

    I think that rape is one of the most hideous crimes there is. I mean if that is the only way to get one to be physical with you…maybe it was never intended for you to particpate or experience such. Rapist should be put away for life.

    One who falsely accuses of rape should also be put away for life. Such false accustations have tremendous potential for violence. They must be held accountable.

    News outlets who get on the band wagon without any verifcation of the facts should be dismissed by the public at large

  9. All I have to say is that as a fellow Hofstru alumni, I am extremely embarassed. 80 grand for what I thought was a respectable school/reputation. Obviously the standards of admission have fallen greatly. Look at the individuals involved. TRASH! Now it is money wasted. Perhaps Obama can bail me out? doubt it!

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