Victim in Notorious Rape Case Recants Her Story

the-logan-sixThe woman at the center of one of the most shocking rape cases of the last decade has recanted her story. Megan Williams has now admitted that she made up the story of being raped and abused in a trailer in West Virginia in 2007 that sent six people to prison. However, various leaders who protested the case at the time are now calling her a liar in her recantation.

Attorney Byron Potts, her lawyer, insists that Williams “is recanting her entire story. She says it did not happen. She fabricated it . . She wanted to get back at her boyfriend. She was mad at him.”

Police found Williams with cuts and bruises. She claimed that she had been stabbed, beaten, forced to eat feces and subjected to a racial slur by her white captors. She is African American.

Her testimony sent away a mother and son, a separate mother and daughter, and two men. It also brought out Rev. Al Sharpton who rallied those angered over the case and may now be able to claim two racial rape hoaxes to his credit, here (Three, if you include the Duke Lacrosse rape case). While saying that innocent people should not be in jail, Sharpton suggested some skepticism over the victim’s recanting: “If there are other circumstances around the recanting, we should know what they are.” Other leaders who spoke out on the case have insisted that she must be lying now, here.

Some of the defendants were given up to 40 years in prison.
Potts insists that Williams is feeling “total remorse; that’s why she’s coming forward. She is remorseful for having these people spend time in jail.”

Notably, the defendants confessed in the case, though innocent defendants have been previously found to have confessed to crimes to avoid longer sentences.

The prosecutor who secured those convictions, Brian Abraham, insists that the denial of the victim really should not matter much because of those confessions: “The case wasn’t based on her statements. . . All six of them have been in jail without filing appeals. If they file something afterwards, the evidence was pretty overwhelming for the charges on which they were convicted.”

For the full story, click here.

19 thoughts on “Victim in Notorious Rape Case Recants Her Story”

  1. I got this from an Al Franken mailing:
    “Rape Nuts”

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-october-14-2009/rape-nuts

    By the way, have I been blocked? I’ve submitted a comment earlier and it disappeared. If I have been, can I know why?
    I’m a little sensitive. I’ve been trying to work out a problem on YouTube (one that a fair amount of people have been complaining about,) and I found multiple solutions–briefly. None of them work now, and at least one solution was rejected by others, because it’s something you should be able to do, it’s essential (signing in.) So I complained directly to them, and I think they took issue with me using multiple methods, and I can’t even get to my channel now.

  2. A.Y.,

    I’m not sure we disagree on the analysis of this case. I’ve also stated that I oppose the death penalty in all cases. My feeling is the persons should be released but the truth of the matter lies in a careful examination of all possible evidence.

    As to the WH story, thanks. Rory Stewart was on Bill Moyers. He says the administration has long ago decided to up the troops in Afghanistan. In fact he overheard a military guy at the Congressional hearing say they want 600,000 troops but they know they can’t ask for that upfront because they public wouldn’t accept that. You can watch the interview on Bill Moyers’ website.

    IMO, the “news” coverage on this issue is just so much propaganda, much like that leading into the Iraq war. Time for citizens to pay careful attention to what Obama is actually doing and pretty much ignore anything he says.

  3. Jill,

    I thought you’d be interested.

    White House Fires Back at Cheney
    By JENNIFER LOVEN and ANNE GEARAN,

    WASHINGTON (Oct. 22) — The White House on Thursday forcefully rejected criticism from former Vice President Dick Cheney and other Republicans that President Barack Obama’s Afghanistan decision is taking too long.
    “What Vice President Cheney calls dithering, President Obama calls his solemn responsibility to the men and women in uniform and to the American public,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said. “I think we’ve all seen what happens when somebody doesn’t take that responsibility seriously.”

    http://news.aol.com/article/white-house-fires-back-at-cheneys/646320

  4. Jill,

    While I will not disagree with the thought process or the empirical studies that you have read. I feel as passionate about this as you do the torture issues.

    Hence, “It is actually rather common for legitimate victims of domestic violence to retract their statements.”

    ********************************
    I would tend to agree and disagree after being in that arena. While some may use this as a control issue, there are some sick puppy’s out there on both sides of the fence. Sometimes we have nothing to retract but the wrong that has been committed by the alleged victim. While it is also true that it may have happened they were mad because of a whole host of other reasons and wanted to punish that person and did not expect it to progress to level. A number of states have created an exception to the hearsay that allows the testimony of a LEO if the victim wishes to not testify.

    _______________________________
    I will look into this occurring in rape cases. I can’t come to any conclusions for myself until I see what other evidence these convictions were based on.

    If my understanding is correct it was based upon statements and NO PHYSICAL evidence was present. Just because evidence is not present in a rape case does not mean that it has not happened. Some people use condoms. There is a famous Texas case where a judge congratulated a Defendant for having the good sense to use one.

    _____________________________
    I’d also like to know if there is a video and/or transcript of the confessions. Certainly we know that false confessions can be obtained from the innocent.

    ****************************
    I think you Gitmo cases are pretty much the same as any other issues regarding false confessions.

    False Confessions:

    In about 25% of DNA exoneration cases, innocent defendants made incriminating statements, delivered outright confessions or pled guilty.

    These cases show that confessions are not always prompted by internal knowledge or actual guilt, but are sometimes motivated by external influences.

    Why do innocent people confess?
    A variety of factors can contribute to a false confession during a police interrogation. Many cases have included a combination of several of these causes. They include:

    * duress
    * coercion
    * intoxication
    * diminished capacity
    * mental impairment
    * ignorance of the law
    * fear of violence
    * the actual infliction of harm
    * the threat of a harsh sentence
    * Misunderstanding the situation

    One that I would add to this list is trickery. Good Cop/Bad Cop.
    __________________________________

    It is also absolutely heinous to knowingly send any innocent person to jail.
    ************************

    Why there are a lot of people in Prison because of Prosecutorial Misconduct. They want the convictions. In Dallas you had Henry Wade. A part of the Hoover FBI as a matter of fact he was chosen to succeed when Hoover died. He chose not to as his empire was cemented. I know of someone within his administration that shot someone in the back and it was termed Self Defense.
    _______________________
    On the other hand, there appears to be physical evidence of harm. I am hoping there is a rape kit for the purpose of DNA testing.

    ***********************
    Nothing exists.
    ______________________
    I don’t know what the law is concerning statements like this. At minimum, everything needs to be looked at pronto so that if innocent people are in jail, they are released and compensated immediately.
    **********************
    There is a case in Texas that a person spent 23 years in Prison on a conviction that was later overturned the man was freed. He could not get compensated until the Governor Pardoned him which took an act of the legislature.

    What do you do about the people that have been executed for a crime that they did not commit? See the famous arson case and the Governor dismissing a commission the day before a study was to be released. Oh well he is dead, Who cares? It is probable that the only surviving person the wife, did it….
    _______________________

    By law, should they be released right now? To me, that would make sense. But the recantation by itself may not be the definitive answer to what actually happened.

    **********************

    In a perfect world none of this would ever happen the way that it has.

  5. So FFLEO,

    There is one consistent part of her statement, her boyfriend physically hurt her. This a part of the picture. Are you able to find other physical evidence?

  6. Correction:

    Each state affords a criminal defendant the right to counsel today by a case called Gideon v. Wainwright, this is a landmark case in United States Supreme Court history.

    I had a case once where this happened (not the first) that the child came to my office and stated what she had done and I called the Prosecutors and Judges office to ask that we have an expedited hearing on the matter.

    The case was dismissed.

  7. Quote from the linked article:

    “Potts said his client was coming forward “to right the wrong perpetrated on these six individuals.” He added that she told him all her injuries except for the bruises on her face were self-inflicted. The bruises, he said, were from an altercation she had had with her then-boyfriend before the incident in question.”

  8. Bob,Esq.

    That was the point I was trying to make. In the US there is the Federal system and the States. The Federal is supposed to be uniform across the board, regardless of what state (Circuit) you are in. Each state afford by the case called Gideon v. Wainwright, this is a landmark case in United States Supreme Court history.

    In this case, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that state courts are required under the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution to provide counsel in criminal cases for defendants who are unable to afford their own attorneys. I guess you would call this procedural due process.

    This was a slight improvement because the Court had ruled in a case called Powell, that the right to counsel was “implied in the Bill of Rights” and was an essential freedom.

    Gideon was forced, therefore, to act as his own counsel and conduct a defense for himself in court. The jury returned a guilty verdict, sentencing him to serve five years in the state prison.

    If memory serves me correctly Fortas who eventually became a Sct Justice was assigned the case. The case of Gideon was decided by Hugo Black and upset a number of states who claimed that they could not afford such extravagance.

    Early on in my career, I befriended a number of elder attorneys and when the anniversary of Gideon came about they were at a loss that they actually had to work. The convictions were not as easy.

    I will say again, that it is my estimate that about 95% of all people in prison for Rape are there by plea. These are generally Bullshit charges but the exposure is capped in the plea agreement. The cases that get to me are the one where children use the system because they want to do something and claim rape by a parent.

    I had a case once where this happened (not the first) that the child came to my office and stated what she had done and I called the Prospector and Judges office to ask that we have an expedited hearing on the matter. It took 3 months and all of the usual crap went on. The Judge would not dismiss the case and we went to trial, the Jury was waived. After half a day of testimony the “Victim” finally was called. She stated what she had stated to me in my office and after the prosecutor finished, I asked for the case to be dismissed. The judge got off of the bench went back to his office and eventually came back in dismissed the case. I had made an Offer of Proof at the beginning as a motion in liminie. The damn fool judge wasted everyone’s time.

  9. It is actually rather common for legitimate victims of domestic violence to retract their statements. I will look into this occurring in rape cases. I can’t come to any conclusions for myself until I see what other evidence these convictions were based on. I’d also like to know if there is a video and/or transcript of the confessions. Certainly we know that false confessions can be obtained from the innocent. It is also absolutely heinous to knowingly send any innocent person to jail. On the other hand, there appears to be physical evidence of harm. I am hoping there is a rape kit for the purpose of DNA testing. I don’t know what the law is concerning statements like this. At minimum, everything needs to be looked at pronto so that if innocent people are in jail, they are released and compensated immediately. By law, should they be released right now? To me, that would make sense. But the recantation by itself may not be the definitive answer to what actually happened.

  10. “The prosecutor who secured those convictions, Brian Abraham, insists that the denial of the victim really should not matter much because of those confessions: “The case wasn’t based on her statements. . . All six of them have been in jail without filing appeals. If they file something afterwards, the evidence was pretty overwhelming for the charges on which they were convicted.”

    Did they confess AND plead guilty?

    Second, is it me or does the U.K. have stricter laws against false rape accusations?

  11. Wow, is all I can say. First, she will be subjected to criminal charges as well as creating conditions ripe for a clam of false imprisonment. This is totally unbelievable.

    The Prosecutors statement that they confessed, pled and did not appeal the conviction. Excuse me sir, but the reason that they pled was to avoid exposure to a possible longer prison sentence or they had bad advice from a professional. How many people in Prison for Rape have pled? I bet 95%.

    It is a he sez, she sez and you are toast. Most people do not have the money to pay for decent attorney and most States provide even the minimal of due process even under the Giddeon Standard. One court said that they had an attorney and that was all the Due Process that they are entitled too. Oh yeah.

    The next thing that gets my blood boiling or panties in a knot is the Appeal Process. That is a joke within itself. Appeal what, a defect in your plea? It is not substantive so unless you can get over some Procedural error you are screwed, once again.

    Then this brings us to the States that where you plead to a matter properly before the court, you waive your right to appeal. Now you are totally screwed even if you had a bone head lawyer and were innocent of the charges or the Judge did something not on the record. You must serve your time, save some act of god.

  12. I always wonder about the psychology of victims in high profile cases who later recant their charges. I wonder if any research has been done here. It would be fascinating to determine if most are motivated by guilt, or quest for fame.

  13. i guess i will never understand how someone could make false charges or how someone could lie and say a crime never happened. both just mystify me. human behavior can be very frightening.

  14. Wasn’t Rev. Al Sharpton also involved in the Duke Lacrosse rape case? That would make three racial rape hoaxes.

Comments are closed.