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Felony charges for student who admitted she made up sexual-assault claims

There are consequences for lying about having been sexually assaulted, but apparently only if the accuser first blames an unnamed stranger.

The University of Arkansas is dealing with its second false report of a student being attacked in a campus parking garage in the past year, The Arkansas Traveler reported:

Junior Lindsey Sweetin pleaded not guilty to charges of filing a false police report at her arraignment. A court date was scheduled for Aug. 18.

Police said the false report was made March 9 after 20-year-old Sweetin claimed a man she did not know groped her in the Harmon Parking Garage on Feb. 26. Testimony from witnesses and video camera evidence could not support Sweetin’s claims. After further investigation, she admitted her claims were false. …

About a year before Sweetin’s report, another UA student Julia Garcia,18, filed a complaint that she had been attacked in the Garland Avenue Parking Garage. An investigation that included surveillance videos proved that the events never happened. At court, Garcia pleaded guilty and admitted she made up the story.

Had these students falsely claimed that a sexual encounter with an acquaintance was actually an assault, they almost certainly would not have been punished.

But it seems likely that Sweetin and Garcia weren’t out to get anyone with their false allegations, so much as to draw attention and sympathy.

Meanwhile, the false accusers whose identities are often shielded by their schools, who have the power to permanently ruin the lives of the real people they slander, will continue getting away with it, because to punish them would allegedly stop “survivors” from reporting their incidents.

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Greg spent several years as a technology policy reporter and editor for Warren Communications News in Washington, D.C., and guest host on C-SPAN’s “The Communicators.” Previously he led media and public relations at Seattle’s Discovery Institute, a free-market think tank. Greg is developing a Web series about a college newspaper, COPY, whose pilot episode was a semifinalist in the TV category for the Scriptapalooza competition in 2012. He graduated in 2001 with a B.A. from Seattle Pacific University, where he co-founded the alternative newspaper PUNCH and served as a reporter, editor and columnist for The Falcon.

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