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False rape allegations and justice served

No matter the angle of debate or persons involved, rape is a complex and sensitive topic. Given today's issues, it is evident that this type of crime is hardly a problem of the past. And as serious as rape is, there are likewise individuals who become caught in the trap of false accusations. All states, including Arizona, offer individuals a fair investigation upon rape allegations. These investigations are crucial in that a defendant's personal and professional life, well being and reputation are all on the line for an incident that never actually happened. 

An article in CNN debates the controversial question of whether false rape accusers should face legal repercussions. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, between 2,000 and 7,000 false rape allegations occur every year. But despite this high volume of accusations, solid research on the issue is lacking. CNN highlights a new approach that some are taking in response to false accusations: filing a lawsuit. Given the serious blow to one's reputation, among many other challenges, this tactic seeks to repair broken lives. There are varying levels of criticism on this approach, however, as many warn against the long and tedious process that could ensue.

Sometimes, justice is realigned when false accusers face punishment for their actions. Take the incident Oxygen raised to attention just weeks ago, where a former North Arizona University professor made false rape allegations against local firefighters. Melissa Ann Santana faces felony charges for cyberstalking, damaging property and falsely accusing firefighters of raping a 15-year-old girl. Her victims claimed she harassed them using different identies and email addresses. While Santana's punishment is pending, this incident serves as an example that false allegations do not always end well for the accuser.   






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