Fabricated Rapes

19 Cases

Lake County, CA

Balu & Loftus

July 1996

Arvind Balu and Brendan Loftus were convicted of raping a teenager.  Balu was a UC Berkeley student. The “victim” did not tell anyone about the alleged crime until nine months after her trip to the Konocti Harbor Resort where she said it had occurred. She then gave implausible and inconsistent accounts of the assault. She said that Balu had cut her and drank her blood. After the victim's account was reported to authorities against her will, she immediately destroyed pages of her diary relating to her trip to the resort. Loftus was sentenced to five years in prison but was completely cleared of the charges within two years. Balu served 8 years in prison, three of them in solitary confinement, before he was cleared.  (DP Focus) (People v. Balu)  [2/09]

 San Diego County, CA

Kevin Baruxes

Nov 29, 1994

Cortni Mahaffy accused three men of raping her, including 18-year-old Kevin Baruxes. She said that Baruxes, a skinhead, had shared his views about race with her. “He told me that he liked me as a person, but when the race war came, he would have to kill me” because, as a Sicilian, she was not “pure white.” Baruxes was convicted of rape, and because of the racist element, he was given an aggravated sentence for committing a “hate crime.”

Mahaffy's ex-fiancée, Mike Chaney, wrote an email to the DA's office saying he thought Mahaffy had helped to falsely convict Baruxes. It is unclear whether a rape ever took place. Baruxes received a court finding of factual innocence after many witnesses came forward to emphasize that Mahaffy was a habitual liar and after Mahaffy recanted. Baruxes was awarded $265,000 ($100/day) for wrongful imprisonment.  [4/07]

Santa Clara County, CA

Auguste & Hendricks

Nov 2, 1997

Damon Auguste and Kamani Hendricks were convicted of raping and sodomizing a 15-year-old girl identified only as Monique. Evidence indicated the two had had sex with her, but the defendants said it was consensual and she told them she was 17. Auguste was sentenced to 18 years in prison. Hendricks, who had prior convictions for domestic abuse and discharging a firearm, was sentenced to 37 years.

A subsequent defense investigation revealed that Monique had lied to the jury about her experience with alcohol, about the impact the assault had on her social life, about having to take off two months from work after the assault, and about her workplace making special accommodations because of the psychological impact of the assault. The investigation located three witnesses who said Monique admitted to them she falsified the sexual assault charges. One of them, Stephen Smith, testified Monique fabricated the charges because she had stayed out past her curfew and had previously been kicked out of her parents' house for getting into trouble.

On appeal in 2004, a judge overturned the defendants' convictions finding that Deputy DA Benjamin Field had improperly withheld exculpatory evidence when he failed to turn over his DNA notes. The judge noted that Field had overstated other evidence, referring to the girl's underwear as “blood-soaked” when blood was not even visible. Most importantly, the judge concluded that Monique had repeatedly lied to the jury – and that these lies offered strong reason to doubt her accusation of Auguste and Hendricks. Charges against the two were dropped in exchange for plea agreements to having sex with a minor.  (Mercury News) (Denver BJ) (Prosecutor Misconduct)  [9/08]

Harris County, GA

Russell Burton

Arrested 1985

Russell R. Burton was convicted in a rural Georgia court of raping three teen-age girls and sodomizing two of them. In Jan. 2002, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the reversal of his conviction by a federal district court on the grounds of incompetent defense counsel and unfair prosecution. The girls originally described their assailant as having a deeply pockmarked face, stocky build, brown eyes, and brownish hair. Burton is 6 feet tall and slim, with blue eyes, blond hair, and clear skin. Near the time of the assault, he did have a severe case of poison ivy, which infected his face, and this fact may have led to a “pockmarked” description. The victims identified Burton in a photo lineup and said their attacker drove a white Toyota, a car that Burton owned.

Medical exams were not performed on two of the girls because they had taken showers immediately after returning home following the alleged assault. The third victim was examined and the medical report stated she showed “no evidence of recent sexual entry.” This report was suppressed at trial. One of the victims' high school teachers stated to a private investigator that the three victims were notorious liars. She refused to testify for fear of being socially ostracized.

A defense investigator re-enacted the crime and reported that it was impossible to drive the distance to the alleged rape scene in the time period during which the victims allege they were driven and also systematically raped and sodomized. Two days before the attack, Burton had eight genital warts surgically removed. The surgeon testified that after undergoing this procedure “sex would have been the last thing on his [Burton's] mind.” Burton's conviction was overturned in in May 2002. Rather than face retrial, he agreed in Dec. 2003 to a plea deal for which he received a time served sentence.  (Case Facts) (CM)

 Cook County, IL

Gary Dotson

July 9, 1977 (Homewood)

Sixteen-year-old Cathleen Crowell feared she had become pregnant after having consensual sex with her boyfriend and made a rape allegation as a plausible explanation to tell her parents. It had not occurred to her that police would pursue her case. Police made her make a composite sketch, and Crowell says they pressured her to pick Gary Dotson from a mug book, pointing out how much he resembled the sketch. Dotson was arrested even though he then had a mustache that he could not have grown in the five days since the alleged incident.

At trial in July 1979, Crowell identified Dotson as her assailant. The state's forensic analyst, Timothy Dixon, also testified that tests on the semen sample recovered from Crowell showed the alleged assailant had a “B” blood type which was shared by only 11% of the population including Dotson. This testimony was false and misleading because Dixon did not volunteer that Crowell also had a “B” blood type and her fluids mixed in with the sample. Thus the sample would have tested positive for the “B” blood type regardless of the blood type of the semen donor. Dotson had four of his friends give alibi testimony, but the prosecutor branded them as “liars.” Dotson was convicted.

Crowell subsequently married and moved to New Hampshire where she became a born-again Christian. In early 1985, she told her pastor that she was riddled with guilt because she had sent an innocent man to prison. On her behalf, the pastor contacted a Wisconsin lawyer who tried to resolve the matter, but prosecutors were unresponsive. However, news about the recantation soon appeared in the Chicago Sun Times, taking up most of the front page. Illinois Governor Thompson said he did not believe Crowell's recantation and an appeals court would not overturn the conviction.

The public supported Dotson and Thompson tried to assume a middle ground by paroling him. However, Dotson's parole was revoked two years later when his wife accused him of assault. On Christmas Eve, 1987, Thompson granted Dotson another “last chance” parole, but it was revoked two days later when Dotson was arrested in a barroom fight. In 1988 Dotson had DNA tests performed which exonerated him. He got his conviction overturned on Aug. 14, 1989 and the prosecution declined to retry him. Many later reports on DNA testing listed Dotson as the first convicted person in the U.S. and the world to be exonerated by DNA evidence. However, priority to judicial exoneration goes to David Vasquez of Virginia who was exonerated and released on Jan. 4, 1989. Unlike Dotson's, Vasquez's case was little reported.  (CWC) (IP) (CBJ) (American Justice) (TWM)  [12/05]

Lake County, IL 

James Montgomery

Nov 15, 1923 (Waukegan)

James Montgomery, a 26-year-old black man, was convicted in 1924 of raping Mamie Snow, a 62-year-old mentally deranged white woman. The prosecutor, A. V. Smith, who was a member of the Klu Klux Klan, had Snow identify Montgomery at a police station. At Montgomery's 20-minute trial, the prosecutor concealed the fact that Snow could not recognize Montgomery the day after she had identified him. The prosecutor also suppressed a medical report that showed that Miss Snow was still a virgin. In 1949, following an investigation, a writ of habeas corpus was filed. A federal judge then declared that Montgomery's innocence was clear, as was the prosecutor's guilt in manipulating the woman into giving false testimony about a rape that never occurred.  (Not Guilty) (The Innocents) (NY Times)  [11/07]

Montgomery County, MD 

Giles, Giles, & Johnson

July 20, 1961

James Giles, John Giles, and Joseph Johnson Jr., all blacks, were convicted of raping Joyce Roberts, a white teenager. They were all sentenced to death. The prosecution withheld evidence that the victim was highly promiscuous and that she had later falsely accused two other men of raping her prior to the defendants' trials. The victim initially told police that John Giles had not raped her, but later claimed that all three defendants raped her. She apparently had a motive to lie because she was on probation. She had not gone to the police on her own, but rather was discovered by them. Because of the withheld evidence, the Giles brothers had their convictions vacated, but the Maryland Court of Appeals reinstated their convictions. On appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court in 1967 voted 5-4 not to uphold the convictions. The Giles brothers were released the same year. They could not be retried because Roberts refused to testify against them again. Governor Askew pardoned Johnson in 1968.  (Maryland's Mockingbird Case) (Giles v. Maryland) (ISI)  [9/07]

Montgomery County, MD 

Maouloud Baby

Dec 13, 2003

Maouloud Baby was convicted of raping an 18-year-old Montgomery College student, identified as J. L. The alleged victim had consented to intercourse with Baby, but told him that he needed to stop if she said so. During intercourse, J. L. requested the intercourse stop because of the pain it was causing her. However, she said he continued for “five or so seconds” more. Baby, who was a 16-year-old high school student at the time of the incident, said he stopped immediately. Baby was tried as an adult. His first trial resulted in a hung jury, but he was convicted at a retrial in 2004. At the end of Baby's retrial, the judge defined rape for the jury as “the unlawful intercourse with another by force, or threat of force, and without consent.” He then had the jury decide whether Baby committed rape. On appeal in 2006, the Maryland Court of Appeals overturned Baby's conviction on the basis that under Maryland law a man cannot be convicted of rape once a consensual sex act has commenced.  (Appeals)  [9/08]

Genesee County, MI 

William Hetherington

Sept 24, 1985

William J. “Wil” Hetherington was convicted of raping his wife, Linda. Previous to the passage of a new Michigan law, a husband could be convicted of assaulting his wife, but not raping her, as consent to sex was viewed a part of the marriage contract. The new rape law only applied to married couples who lived separately. A divorce court had frozen all Hetherington's assets so he had no money to hire a lawyer or make bond. Nevertheless, the criminal court ruled that he was not indigent and refused to provide him with a lawyer. There was no physical evidence. A pelvic examination of Linda at a hospital three hours after the alleged offense showed no evidence of injury or forced penetration. The examining doctor described the lack of evidence as “very unusual.”
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Greene County, MO 

Armand Villasana

Sept 16, 1998 (Springfield)

Armand Villasana was convicted of the kidnapping and rape of Judith Ann Lummis. Lummis, who was white, had described her assailant as a Hispanic in his early 20s. She identified Villasana from a photo lineup that contained five white men and himself, the only Hispanic. However, Villasana was 45 years old. Following conviction, DNA tests produced the profile of an unknown male, results which exonerated Villasana in 2000.

In 2005, the unknown DNA profile was matched to a prisoner in the Ozark Correctional Center. When interviewed the prisoner said that he was having an affair with Lummis at the time of her alleged rape, and had sex with her the very night she reported the rape. According to the prisoner, after Lummis's husband questioned why she was late getting home, she made-up her kidnapping and rape story on the spur of the moment so her husband wouldn't find out she was cheating on him.

Investigators were initially unsuccessful at locating Lummis to confirm the story as she was on probation and had skipped reporting. However, a background check revealed that Lummis had made a nearly identical kidnapping report in Aurora, Missouri against another man that was proven to be false prior to his trial. After Lummis was arrested for violating her probation, she confirmed in 2007 that her accusation against Villasana was a hoax. Lummis cannot be prosecuted for perjury as the statute of limitations for it had run out.  (JD) (IP)  [5/08]

Summit County, OH

Nate Lewis

Oct 12, 1996

Christina Heaslet Beard accused a fellow University of Akron student, Nathaniel “Nate” Lewis, of raping her in her dorm room. Several weeks prior to Lewis's trial, someone anonymously mailed Lewis photocopied excerpts of Heaslet's diary. The excerpts were highly exculpatory of Lewis. They included, “I think I pounced on Nate because he was the last straw... I'm sick of men taking advantage of me... and I'm sick of myself for giving in to them. I'm not a nympho like all those guys think. I'm just not strong enough to say no to them. I'm tired of being a whore. This is where it ends.”

After Heaslet was ordered to produce the diary, the trial judge reviewed it. The diary also indicated a financial motive for the rape accusation: “Speaking of money, I'm suing Nate. I'm desperate for money! My consience (sic) wouldn't allow me to do that before, but I'm going to do whatever I have to to get out of debt.” The judge excluded the most relevant parts of the diary from being introduced at trial. He ruled that they were barred under Ohio's rape shield law. Faced with a conflict between, “he said the sex was consensual,” and “she said it was rape,” the jury convicted Lewis.

On appeal, the federal Sixth Circuit Court overturned Lewis's conviction in 2002, ruling that the trial judge improperly interfered with Lewis's right to confront his accuser. The prosecution then dropped charges. In 2004, a judge granted Lewis a declaration of innocence. The judge cited several factors: (1) Beard invited Lewis to her dorm room. (2) She drank alcohol in Lewis's presence. (3) She called her roommate to ensure she and Lewis would be alone. (4) She took a birth control pill in front of Lewis. The judge also wrote, “... Heaslet had several sex partners and occasionally had intercourse on first dates, which casts doubt on her previous assertions of only engaging in meaningful relationships.” In 2005, Lewis was awarded $662,000, although $250,000 of it was fees for his lawyers.  (Akron Beacon Journal) (Justice: Denied)  [9/07]

Warren County, OH

Jack Frederick

Apr 23, 1994

Jack L. Frederick was convicted of rape, kidnapping, assault, and domestic violence against Jackie Dawson, an ex-girlfriend. The lack of physical evidence and the evidence of trial witness perjury not only creates reasonable doubt, but also makes likely Frederick's claim that Dawson fabricated the charges in order to retaliate against him for leaving her and failing to share with her half of his $1200 disability check.  (Justice: Denied)  [10/08]

Madison County, NY

Dan Lackey

Jan 16, 2003 (Oneida)

Dan Lackey was convicted of raping Amber Mundy. Mundy said she was assaulted near some railroad tracks in Oneida. At this site Mundy's footprints were visible in the snow, but those of her assailant's were not. It was alleged that passing trains blew snow into the assailant's footprints, but not into those of his victim. Mundy said she was assaulted with a stick, and according to her testimony, there should have been much blood on the stick, but there was only a tiny amount of blood on it. She also said her assailant bit her, but when a DNA test was performed on the bite mark, the results were deemed inconclusive because they failed to show the presence of any male DNA.

Although Mundy was not able to positively identify Lackey as her assailant, police alleged that Lackey gave an unrecorded confession to the crime. Three months after Lackey's conviction, Mundy reported a similar rape in Oswego County. For this action she was convicted of making a false report and spent 8 months in jail. A state police investigator had informed the Oneida Police of the case just three months after Lackey's sentencing. Lackey first learned of Mundy's false report two years later when a defense investigator interviewed Mundy's boyfriend.

In response to this evidence, a judge overturned Lackey's conviction in July 2007. The judge said he was not convinced that the alleged confession obtained from Lackey was admissible, because with a 73 IQ, Lackey may not have had the mental capacity to waive his Miranda rights. Lackey was released without bail. The D.A., however, appealed the decision to overturn Lackey's conviction, but his appeal was unsuccessful.  (Oneida Dispatch) (Video)  [4/10]

New York County, NY

William McCaffrey

Sept 11, 2005

William McCaffrey was convicted of raping Biurny Peguero. The rape supposedly occurred at knifepoint while McCaffrey was taking Peguero to an after hours party in Upper Manhattan. Judge Richard Carruthers called the alleged assault “horrific” and “disgusting” when he sentenced McCaffrey to 20 years in prison. DNA tests in 2008 showed that bite marks on Peguero's arm and shoulder which McCaffrey reportedly inflicted contained no Y chromosomes, indicating they were not caused by a man. In 2009 Peguero, who had since married and adopted the last name Gonzalez, confessed to perjury. She said McCaffrey did not rape her and she was riven with remorse for sending an innocent man to prison. She said her injuries stemmed from a drunken brawl with a female friend. According to a psychiatrist who examined her, Peguero came to believe her lie because she had been too drunk to remember much of the night in question. McCaffrey was subsequently exonerated and Peguero was convicted of perjury.  (NY Times) (HPost)  [4/10]

King County, WA 

Clark & Schmieder

May 17, 1998 (Auburn)

Mark Clark and Jeff Schmieder were convicted of raping Regina Birindelli. Birindelli originally claimed that three men had raped her, but prosecutors had to drop charges against the third man after he produced evidence that he was in jail at the time of the alleged rape. At trial, Birindelli claimed the two handcuffed her and videotaped themselves raping her orally and anally at Clark's mobile home in Auburn. Birindelli changed parts of her story three times while testifying. The jurors were also told about the third man that Birindelli originally claimed had also assaulted her. No handcuffs, videotape, or other physical evidence was ever found supporting her story. Clark and Schmieder had alibis for their whereabouts at the time of the alleged crime. Clark even had proof that he was in traffic court in Auburn.

The two were convicted anyway, though they managed to raise enough doubt among four jurors that they prolonged jury deliberations to five days. One of these doubting jurors who ultimately voted guilty said, “The one thing was that we couldn't for the life of us figure out [was] why she would get on the stand and crucify those two guys if it wasn't true.” That question is still a mystery although Birindelli's work as a police informant may have something to do with the answer.

Prior to sentencing, Clark's wife, Jill, investigated the case and found out from Birindelli's ex-boyfriend that Birindelli had been in the Auburn, WA jail at the time of the alleged rape. Even though Clark and Schmeider were exonerated, King County deputy prosecutor Dave Ryan refused to acknowledge their innocence. He said that perjury charges will not be filed against Birindelli because she might be telling the truth about being assaulted, and just confused about the date it occurred. However events Birindelli recounted on the days before and after her “assault” were verified by other people, and both Clark and Schmieder have alibis for those days. Both men spent all their money fighting the false charges and had their mobile homes repossessed.  (Justice: Denied)  [9/08]

Jefferson County, WI 

Whitewater Three

Sept 5, 1998

Jarrett M. Adams and Dimitri Henley, both blacks, were convicted by an all white jury of sexually assaulting Shawn E. Stratton, a white female student at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. A third black, Rovaughn Hill, was also charged in the assault, but his trial ended in a hung jury. On the day of the alleged assault, Adams, Henley, and Hill, were playing video games in a university dormitory room with a student named Shawn Demain, whom they had met only that day. According to Heidi Sheets, Stratton's roommate, both she and Stratton invited the three young men to their room four floors above.
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 England (London CC)

Roy Burnett


Roy Burnett was convicted of raping a 20-year-old student nurse. The alleged victim said Burnett had followed her home from a bus, dragged her into the woods and threatened her with a knife before raping her. Burnett was jailed for life and his applications for parole were consistently denied because he refused to admit guilt. In 1998 the same woman made another rape complaint, but gave inconsistent accounts of being attacked by two men in a car. The complaint damaged the woman's credibility and caused police to re-examine her previous complaint against Burnett.

A re-examination of evidence against Burnett revealed many inconsistencies in the woman's accounts. Scratch marks on her body, shown in photographs taken of her at the time, were, according to fresh expert testimony, “typical of self-inflicted injury.” A judge later added that the absence of other injuries, which would have been expected if she had been attacked in the way she claimed, was “surprising to the point of incredulity.” The woman's current boyfriend, with whom she has just had a child, described her as “attention seeking.” Burnett was released from jail after being cleared by the Court of Appeal. Scotland Yard is considering whether to file perjury charges against the woman.  (Innocent)  [9/08]

 England (Lewes CC)

David Carrington-Jones


“David Carrington-Jones was wrongly convicted in December 2000 of raping twin sisters [K.J. and L.J.] based solely on the accusation of one of the sisters. Carrington-Jones was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. After his conviction the girl [K.J.] falsely accused her brother, step-father, fiancée, a boyfriend and even a customer at work of rape. Carrington-Jones denied raping the girls so he was denied parole in December 2005 and again in December 2006. In August 2007 he was released on bail while his appeal based on the new evidence that his accuser had made multiple false rape allegations was being considered. In October 2007 his conviction was quashed as ‘demonstrably unsafe’ by the Court of Appeals, since the new evidence undermined the credibility of the accuser. Carrington-Jones was released after 6 years and 8 months of wrongful imprisonment.” – FJDB  (Argus)

 Australia (WA)

Kevin Ibbs

Nov 29, 1986

Kevin Ibbs was convicted of sexual assault for “raping” Christine Watson. Watson was a close friend of Ibbs' wife, Katrina Carter, and was living in the same house as the couple. Watson agreed to have consensual sex with Ibbs with the full knowledge of Carter who was in the house at the time. As Ibbs was nearing ejaculation, Watson withdrew her consent to sex (or said she did) and tried to push Ibbs away. Ibbs, however, continued for about 30 seconds without consent.

For this non-consensual sex, Ibbs was charged and convicted of sexual assault. He was dubbed the “30 second rapist.” Ibbs was sentenced to four years in prison, although the sentence was later reduced to six months. Some years later Watson admitted that the whole incident was a setup by Carter to get Ibbs out of the house they were sharing. Watson and Carter were subsequently convicted of conspiring to pervert the course of justice. They served seven months in jail.  (IPWA)  [12/10]