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Lisak stated that many of the stats are misleading upon investigation and "when the sources of these estimates are examined carefully it is clear that only a fraction of the reports represent credible studies and that these credible studies indicate far less variability in false reporting rates." Lisak points out that even in the original paper Rumney concludes that many of the studies have inadequacies and should not be used to estimate the frequency of false rape reports.The British Home Office on UK rape crime in 2005 released a large and rigorous study that followed 2,643 sexual assault cases from initial reporting of a rape through to legal prosecutions.Rumney's second conclusion is that it is impossible to "discern with any degree of certainty the actual rate of false allegations" because many of the studies of false allegations have adopted unreliable or untested research methodologies.He argues, for instance, that in addition to their small sample size, the studies by Maclean (1979) and Stewart (1981) used questionable criteria to judge an allegation to be false.Keir Starmer, the head of the CPS, said that the "mere fact that someone did not pursue a complaint or retracted it, is not of itself evidence that it was false" and that it is a "misplaced belief" that false accusations of rape are commonplace.He added that the report also showed that a significant number of false allegations of rape (and domestic violence) "involved young, often vulnerable people.Not all jurisdictions have a distinct classification of false accusation, resulting in these cases being combined with other types of cases (e.g.where the accuser did not physically resist the suspect or sustain injuries) under headings such as "unfounded" or "unproved".
She pointed to national survey data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that indicates 1 in every 5 women (and 1 in 71 men) will be raped during their lifetime at some point.A thorough investigation would involve, potentially, multiple interviews of the alleged perpetrator, the victim, and other witnesses, and where applicable, the collection of other forensic evidence (e.g., medical records, security camera records).For example, if key elements of a victim's account of an assault were internally inconsistent and directly contradicted by multiple witnesses and if the victim then altered those key elements of his or her account, investigators might conclude that the report was false.A report by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) examined rape allegations in England and Wales over a 17-month period between January 2011 and May 2012.It showed that in 35 cases authorities prosecuted a person for making a false allegation, while they brought 5,651 prosecutions for rape, for an estimate of 0.6% of cases where a person is prosecuted as the result of a false allegation.
Tuerkheimer says that women face "credibility discounts" at all stages of the justice system, including from police, jurors, judges and prosecutors.