In June, an Oklahoma judge awarded custody of a 6-year-old girl to a convicted sex offender after his accuser, now an adult, said she was coerced into a false rape allegation when she was just a child. In July, another Oklahoma judge rejected a man's attempt to recant rape testimony that sent his grandfather to prison after he found out the statement was penned by the convicted man and signed by his accuser. And now, a New York woman is fighting to free her father from prison, where he has thus far served 16 years for conviction of a rape that she says never happened.
False Allegations of Sexual Assault
Chaneya Kelly says that when she was only 9 years old, her mother coerced her into telling a lie that sent her father to prison. She says that her mother repeatedly asked her if she had been touched inappropriately by her father. When she continued to tell her mother that she had not been sexually abused, she says her mother, Charade Kelly, said, "If you don't tell me the answer I'm that I want to hear, I'm going to beat you." The young girl was finally pressured into crying rape, and she told the police the same story she had been instructed by her mother to tell.
Daryl Kelly, who refused to take a plea deal, was sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison.
However, after only 6 months, Chaneya told a family member that the rape testimony was a lie, and even Charade signed an affidavit admitting that she threatened to beat her daughter if she did not tell police that her father raped her. However, a judge said the recantations seemed coerced and rejected them. Daryl Kelly has appealed his conviction multiple times, with each appeal denied. He has served 16 years and counting for a crime the "victim" says never happened.
Rape is a Serious Charge
Rape is a violent sexual offense. Because of the nature of the crime, it is important to take accusations seriously. In fact most in the legal profession would consider it a mistake NOT to hire a rape defense lawyer if you or someone you know is facing allegations.
However, with numerous stories of false rape allegations in the news, one wonders how often rape accusations are trumped up for a custody advantage, vengeance, regret, or self-preservation.
Statistically, not many. Studies show that only 2 to 8 percent of all rape accusations are false or unfounded. While that number appears to be quite small when taken as a percentage, taking a closer look at the numbers can give the whole statistic a more frightening perspective.
Each year, approximately 403,000 incidents of rape or sexual assault are reported to law enforcement. If 2 to 8 percent of these allegation are false, that means an estimated 8,000 to 32,000 people are wrongfully accused of rape or sexual assault annually.
Although the U.S. criminal justice system holds that a person is to be considered innocent unless proven guilty, that does not always seem to hold true for people accused or rape or other sex crimes. Finding experienced defense representation and knowledgeable legal counsel is imperative for anyone accused of a sex crime. To find out how we can help, call (405) 778-4800.