Michigan Woman Accused Of False Rape Charges Against Three Men, Including One Released After 10 Years

article-2326336-19A6AE47000005DC-939_306x423Police were investigating the alleged rape of Sara Ylen by two men in her home in Lexington, Michigan when her attending physician noticed something odd: her bruises were wiping off clean. She is now being prosecuted for falsely claiming rape and tampering with evidence. The most chilling aspect of the story is that prosecutors convicted a man previously of raping Ylen. It is the role of the prosecutors that needs to be investigated in this bizarre story.


Ylen said that she was taking a nap when she was bound and raped. She went to police eight days after the alleged attack and was seen by Dr. William Starbird. He testified that he cleaned what appeared to be lacerations and bruises on her face with gauze. They wiped off. He then spotted a discarded makeup compact in the examining room.

In 2003, James Grissom was convicted of raping Ylen. He was released after 10 years for a new trial after it was discovered that Ylen had made false allegations of rape in California. Prosecutors never shared that with Grissom’s trial attorney. The prosecutors also prosecuted Grissom despite the fact that there was no evidence, no surveillance video, and no other witnesses supporting Ylen’s claim that in 2002 she was raped in broad daylight in a store parking lot of a Meijer store. Grissom worked there and had a prior sex-related crime. However, Ylen did not go to police for an entire year after the alleged attack. Police arrested Grissom based on the fact that Ylen said that the attacker had a skull tattoo. That was it. He was convicted and even given an enhanced sentence because she claimed that he gave her a sexually transmitted disease.

The rape case propelled Ylen into the spotlight where she was heralded for her bravery insisting that people consider her a “victor” rather than a victim. She was the subject of a newspaper’s award-winning 2003 series about surviving a rape. When she then announced that she had cancer, the public again turned out in droves. She was given gifts and auctions were held to raise money for her. An insurance company paid nearly $100,000 for hospice care. No one seemed to question her claim that she developed cancer from a disease transmitted during the assault.

No one looked closely at these claims. Indeed, her husband divorced her in 2011, after separating in 2007, on the basis that the marriage ‘broke down due to the wife’s complex lies and deceit involving fictitious rapes, kidnappings, pregnancies and illnesses – all attempts to control others by complaining of physical symptoms.”

Then this long history of false statements came crashing down. She was charged with fraud, false pretenses and using a computer to commit a crime.

My concerns however primarily concern the rape conviction and the prosecutor’s failure to look more closely at these claims. The victim was not just late in coming forward, but the virtual absence of supporting evidence should have given a prosecutor pause. You then add the failure to disclose the prior dishonesty. There is no indication of any investigation of the handling of the case by the prosecutors.

The question is whether Grissom will sue in tort for the ten years lost in this case. This recent information could be viewed as tolling the statute of limitations.

Prosecuting false rape claims remains rare. Perhaps the most infamous refusal to charge such a case involved Crystal Gale Mangum, 33, the stripper who falsely accused members of the Duke lacrosse team. She became a national celebrity as activists warned that anything but long criminal sentences would be proof of racism by the prosecutors. Durham D.A. Mike Nifong joined this lynch mob atmosphere despite the absence of forensic evidence to support the claim of rape. When he was removed and the lie was exposed however North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper refused to prosecute Mangum, who ruined the lives of these students and triggered racial tensions in the region. Cooper simply let her walk in a disgraceful but politically expedient decision.

At least Ylen will be prosecuted. However, there needs to be an investigation of the handling of the original rape case by the prosecutors and the police. The prosecution of Ylen will address her own culpability but there are others who facilitated these abuses and lies.

Source: Yahoo

33 thoughts on “Michigan Woman Accused Of False Rape Charges Against Three Men, Including One Released After 10 Years

  1. Not revealing exculpatory evidence should be a felony. In the prosecutor’s office where I worked you were fired..on the spot. That said, the defense should have hired a PI who, if he was good, would have discovered the prior false claim. That shouldn’t have to happen, but a little of this falls on the defense attorney..a little!

  2. Now wait a minute…. Prosecutors not sharing information….. That should be a crime all by itself….. They should do the time as well as lose immunity….. On these facts….. But on another note….

  3. And in other parts of Michigan ….

    Supreme Court orders Wayne judge off bench for lying under oath

    LANSING — The Michigan Supreme Court today ordered Wayne Family Circuit Judge Deborah Ross Adams removed from office for lying under oath and other transgressions.

    In a 5-2 decision, the court said a 180-day suspension recommended by the Judicial Tenure Commission is too lax and Adams, who serves as a family court judge, should be removed from the bench.

    “Testifying falsely under oath is antithetical to the role of a judge who is sworn to uphold the law and seek the truth,” said Justice Stephen Markman, who was joined in the majority opinion by Chief Justice Robert Young, Jr. and Justices Mary Beth Kelly, Brian Zahra and David Viviano.

    “When a judge testifies falsely under oath, he or she has failed to demonstrate in his or her personal affairs standards of conduct indispensable to a judge of this state and becomes unfit to sit in judgment of others.”

    Adams, reached at her Detroit office, said she hadn’t heard about the opinion. “I don’t have any comment,” she said.

    ….

    http://www.freep.com/article/20130619/NEWS02/306190119/Ross-Adams-removal-bench

  4. I’m not sure the Professor has the story correct. At least from reading the linked yahoo article, it’s not clear that the Grissom prosecutors knew of her prior false rape allegation. The story says Grissom was granted a new trial after authorities learned of the prior false rape allegation. It doesn’t say anything about prosecutors knowing about this prior false allegation at the time Grissom was prosecuted, a pretty big detail if that were the case.

  5. Wouldn’t Grissom’s daily confinement be considered a continuing crime for the purposes of the statute of limitations?

    To me the prosecutor / police should have tossed out the case as soon as they read the medical report of when the doctor discovered her fake wounds.

  6. We need an Editor on the blog beyond WordPress. The sentence in the article states that she has been prosecuted for rape.
    First paragraph:
    “She is now being prosecuted for rape and tampering with evidence. ”

    Is She being prosecuted for rape?

  7. For every…what, 100? 500? 1000? actual rapes, there’s one fraud. It’s hard enough at the best of times for victims (mostly women) to get the cops to listen and act, but incidents like this can only make it harder to get justice.

    False rape claims do damage in at least two ways (and probably more):

    (1) People who were victimized will find it harder to be listened to and not be accused of faking or being after money (see: Dominique Strauss-Kahn).

    (2) Cases like this provide ammo to idiots and wannabe-rapists (the self-described “men’s rights advocates”) who pretend isolated cases represent the majority.

    And you can bet the farm there will be at least one attempt somewhere to link this case and the rape perpetrated by Steubenville football players.

  8. The face wounds prompted the closer look. This was not an observation made in connection with the allegation which resulted in a conviction.

  9. “The court doesn’t exist to give them justice, eh? But to give them a chance at justice.” –Frank Galvin (Paul Newman) from David Mamet’s screenplay, “The Verdict.”

    But many chances are wasted.

  10. We do have lie detectors. Why do we not use those machines for crime victims where there are not witnesses?

  11. So called lie detectors do not measure lies. They measure stress and tension, terms borrowed from physics. Both the polygraph and voice stress analyzer are pretty good at measuring stress. However, that is all they measure. The “lie detector” part depends on whether the subject is stressed when they lie. Most psychopaths do not feel any stress when they lie. False negative.

    The general population may become stressed for many reasons or no reason. That may create a false positive.

    Bottom line: There is no such thing as a “lie detector.”

  12. We have had this discussion previously but in the not so distant future MRI’s will be a reliable lie detector.

  13. Someday, maybe. Not in any of our lifetimes. fMRI for that sort of thing is basically at the proof of concept stage, but the machines themselves present considerable barriers to practical application. They are extremely sensitive, require a lot of power and are made from expensive exotic materials that aren’t likely to be replaced soon. It’s a not just an engineering challenge, but a materials science and power challenge to put that idea into common place usage.

  14. Gene,

    I think it’s a feasible concept…. Did you ever think we’d have 3d printer guns….. At the cost that they are today….

  15. AY,

    Feasible, sure – proof of concept is already had, but you’re talking engineering challenges on a totally different scale than additive manufacturing. Maybe in our kid’s lifetimes or grandkids, but the very nature of the physics behind an MRI make the idea of a portable, easy o use unit one that’s not coming soon. It’s coming, sure, but not until the rare earth magnets, shielding and power problems are solved and each one of those poses a substantial challenge in itself.

  16. AY,

    Did you see “Prometheus”? Ridley Scott has a scene in that film where the heroine uses an “auto-doc” – an old idea in SF about what is basically a self-contained medical diagnostic/treatment/surgical computer. The design for it had an MRI imager built into it and it was not much larger than a big hulahoop would be. We may have MRIs that compact at some point. We aren’t even close yet. Inside? 50 years. Outside? 120 years.

  17. Gene,

    You might be correct…. I’m no Mechanical Engineer…. I’m just amazed with all of the things that have happened in just my lifetime….

  18. AY,

    “I’m just amazed with all of the things that have happened in just my lifetime…”

    Anyone who isn’t isn’t paying attention. Your phone is more sophisticated than the computers that sent men to the Moon and back. As far as that goes, your phone was once a “Star Trek” prop. Times they are a changin’, but physics? Our understanding of it is changing, but very slowly, and a good deal of what we know is good. How to generate strong focused magnetic fields without exotic materials and lots of power is really more fundamentally more of a physics problem than an engineering problem. I think we’ll solve the sensor sensitivity (signal to noise) issue as an engineering problem long before we solve those two problems.

  19. P Smith:”And you can bet the farm there will be at least one attempt somewhere to link this case and the rape perpetrated by Steubenville football players.”

    Or perhaps the Duke lacrosse players? Hmmm?

  20. Gene, Germans are working on handheld MRI’s. They will be limited, but still function as an MRI, only localized. The way it was discovered MRI’s can detect truthfulness was, like so much of scientific discoveries, was serendipitous. Researchers, I believe in NY, were doing brain studies on ADD children and found truthfulness and lies were quite apparent via an MRI. As I stated several months ago, our govt. is spending a lot of money on this technology according to a seminar I attended @ the Stanford law school. This hand held technology, which should be available in a few years, will be key. Big Brother and Big Corporations knowing your truths and lies!!

  21. nick,

    I saw that PopSci article you mentioned so I may have to downgrade my estimate on the magnets as an engineering issue. It sounded though like it was sill in proof of concept phase. I’m going to poke about this w/e and see if I can find some more current data. Thanks for the lead.

  22. Please, if any one can help. My son also has been falsely accused of rape. Yes, unfortunately my son had past drug charges. I have found three different guys she has accused of rape. One sitting in jail with my son while he is waiting to go to prison. Two weeks after my son took a plea as the judge threatened to stack charges this same girl again accused another guy of rape. This young man went home after questioning and informed he would probably be charge withing a couple of day and attempted suicide. How or who can I contact in Oklahoma city of Enid to investigate the police, state attorney, this girl?

  23. Well Tammy Rose, I to ma having the same issues as you my son has been falsely accused of raping his step sister, & I live in michigan, I believe the the systom is out of wack, My son is ADHD, EI, LD, has PSTD, STROKE VICDOM, HAS TIA CAUSED FROM THE STROKE, has

    bad knees legs got kicked by a girl in school who has dammaged my son down their he was 18 at the time n is 31 now, this step sister is claiming with her real mothers help of course, that my son did all kinds of sex acts with her, my son can’t even get a hard on, Also the state cop has lied on the stand that their was no polografh taking at the time of this cop interveiwing this step daughter, Plus this cop never read my son his miranada rights this cop said my son wasnt under arrist n was free to go BUT the cop never told my son he could go, this cop did a lot of ahh lum i dont know stuff on the witness stand n this step daughter has no witnesses but my son does, my son is still battleing the court now n has not been able to speck for himself yet this case all statred by in feb 2013… my son i have her in an automaoblie accident n it wasnt our faut my truck was totally out me n my son went to hospital n 174.00 it costed to be treated, Now this step daughter has been RAPED between the ages of 4 to 7 by her cusion who at the time was 11yrs old n no one prossecuted him as a young kid, so now all these yrs go by n the step daughter forgot it n then she trys to OD herself because her mother told her she didnt want her anymore n this young girl took an over dose of antidepression meds, which i believe was planned cause she couldnt deal with the fact that she had no were to live n it was still cold outside. so this mother is still brain washing the 2 step kids n getting away with it still, So my son has never done anything wrong to them kids, n also. I would like trusted done to people like this cause its a mother n daughter team, this real mother has lied to the courts n gets away with it the dude who raped her the real mother has him in hiding but were she has contact with him (in her own house) he raped the girl n now they put this rape shield thing on my son so we cant go after the one who did do this n that sheild is BULLSHIT cause how does it help the girls that LIE, LIE ,LIE this girl is now 18, claims shes prenate got just married, so she can get all this attention n she claims shes getting a house soon more lies, she has tried to break her father n I up 2x’s n if my son goes away for something he didnt do n someone else did, Ia’m putting a PPO on her n anybody over in their neck of the woods our phone num has to be changed, n my husband has to block her from talking to him on fb…and if I think in anyway that she comes in contact with him in anyways shape or form I WILL HAVE HER ARRISTED n everybody else that is with her ass

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