Sunday, April 15, 2012

False sexual abuse allegations

Zachary Tomaselli accused Bernie Fine of sexual abuse back in November has recently come forward and said all of his stories are lies.
As Bernie Fine is about to go to jail on another account of sexual abuse, this young mans fabrications wont impact the outcome at all, but the fact remains. Why would some one lie about something as serious as this? As recent strings of sexual abuse have surfaced as of late and instances like these appear, how sure can we be that every account charged is true?
According to data collected by allegations made by children victims closely match with the confessions of a pedophile. In Tomaselli's case however, he was a 23 year old adult making these claims. Also collected by the website, is that children tend to minimize the abuse and deny it. Which helps explain why it takes so many years for so many of the abused to actually step forward. Research has also shown that false allegations from children (Not Tomaselli who stepped forward as an adult and claimed he was abused as a child) are a rare occurrence. The study done focused on 576 children referred to social services underwent participation. Of the 576, only 1% was reported in having made a fictitious story. Strangely, children's testimony is more reliable than a physical exam when it comes to sexual abuse.
It is a sad thing to witness people lie about something so heinous, almost as much as witnessing public figures commit such heinous crimes. To lie about sexual abuse, is a pretty damaging thing to do. If they are false, the person accused already has suffered an un-fixable gouge in their reputation. And the person lying about it wont be believed again (boy who cried wolf). So I ask you, is this type of crime (not just faking of sexual abuse) of sexual abuse preventable? Or is it something we have to accept will always happen?



  1. I fully agree, falsely accusing someone of sexually abuse is not only damaging to the person being accused, but it also causes problems for the criminal justice system who spent countless hours trying to gather evidence and persecute the "attacker." To answer your questions, is it preventable and is it something that we will always have to live with. I think a majority of the problem may lie within the criminal justice system. Friends, family, and officers may be a bit too quick to jump to conclusions and stay focused on what the "victim" is saying rather than both sides of the story. Unfortunately, if they do not have actual evidence of the attacks, then it becomes a "victim" said/"attacker" said situation. In these cases, it would then be up to the police officers to question both parties impartially to figure out the truth and not just rely on one person's statement. To your second question of is it something that we may just have to accept, I think yes. Their could be a number of reasons for why a person gets falsely accused, needy personality, someone was getting revenge against another, a simple misunderstanding, etc. Considering the variety of ways a person can be falsely accused, it is solely up to the police officers who are working on the case to do their due diligence and make sure that justice for both parties involved in acted upon.

  2. Sexual abuse is nothing to lie about and in fact, those found to lie about it should face some sort of penalties. There is no good reason to lie about something so serious and disheartening, especially when it is happening to real people every day. and like said before it has horrible/irreversible effects for those being falsely accused. The statistics were really interesting and it confirms what I already thought about children and sexual abuse. The truth is most children do not lie about this kind of thing, in fact most wouldn’t know where or how to make something like this up.

  3. Wrongly accusing someone of rape is the worst thing you can say about someone's character. Many of the wrongfully accused will never live down the stigma associated. I firmly believe that if someone were to knowingly give false witness to sexual assault that they themselves should be tried for the crime. It really frustrates me because I know of a man being wrongly accused just because a girl in this situation wanted attention.

  4. I agree with the comment above. I believe that those that falsely accuse someone of something as serious as sexual abuse, rape, molestation, or other like crimes should be tried for some sort of crime to set an example to others who would even consider doing this. Accusing someone of this will most likely ruin their reputation for good and can even ruin their lives. Many people who are found innocent of sexual abuse or rape still live with the label of being someone who was guilty of these crimes.

  5. Falsely accusing someone of any crime is obviously wrong. To accuse someone of a crime that not only carries stiff penalties but also will destroy families and one's status in society is even worse. Besides perjury I am not sure what else can be done about the person who lied but i hope there is some sort of serious penalty. Also, the last thing anyone should want is to give doubt to others who have been abused and have came out to rightfully point out their attacker. It is not a subject that should be taken lightly.

  6. To accuse someone of a crime is obviously wrong, but a sex crime has a much more negative stigma and is greeted with much more hate. Therefore, I think that lying about something this serious needs to be dealt with with serious actions. I agree with Pat when he says that this unfortunately gives doubt to others who have actually been abused and came out to expose their attacker.