A woman went to Facebook and made a claim that led to an intensive police investigation in Washington: She claimed to have been raped but that the Kirkland Police Department refused to even file a report. People were outraged and the police launched in investigation only to locate the woman who admitted that she made the whole thing up. Her defense? She was “distraught over the recent election.” Police have not filed any charges and have withheld the identity of the woman. Some may find it curious that, while she had no hesitation in defaming police officers and their department with a false allegation, her own identity will be protected.
False claims of rape not only deplete police resources but tend to discourage actual rape victims. Clearly this woman did not file a false police report, but her claim of being a rape victim had some of the same deleterious effects of a false report. Nevertheless, I do not believe a criminal charge is warranted. Moreover, the police are not in the business of embarrassing people who claim to be victims.
What do you think? Should the police release the name of the person when she has not committed a criminal offense?