There was an impressive victory for forensic science in England this week. Rosanne England, 21, wanted to be a rape victim. She only needed a rapist. England was arrested after forensic investigators showed that she had made up her story of a rape that led to the wrongful arrest of Derek Cummings, 59, a father of two teenage daughters.
England is a businesswoman who scratched her own face and tore her own underwear to look like she had been raped. She gave police a detailed description that matched Cummings, who was in a nearby bar. Since he had been walking his dog at the time of the rape, he did not have an alibi. England appeared perfectly happy to have the man hounded in the press (as he was) and face a long prison stint for a rape that never occurred. She said that Cummings had asked to use her phone and toilet because his car had broken down — only to don a dog mask and rape her.
That is when the forensic people decided to look more closely at the evidence and determined her clothes had been cut before being torn.
I am still astonished that prosecutors never charged Crystal Gail Mangum in the false Duke Lacrosse case. After concluding that Mangum lied to implicate various men (and continued that lie for months), the prosecutors showed little courage or principle in dropping the case without charges. Not only do such false allegations seek to do great injustice to innocent individuals, they hurt real rape victims who may be afraid that no one will believe them.
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