A False Accusation Narrative
But here is the story:
"False accusation of rape, fortunately, hasn't happened to me. But I have been falsely accused by a woman of a sort of sexual battery, and it has forever altered my perception and behavior."My wife had a work assignment in Mexico, so I packed my Miata and visited places I'd always wanted to see in the west, like Monument Valley and Grand Canyon. On the way back I stopped for the night in Denver. I decided to get a massage, and called a massage school in the yellow pages to see if they had student (i.e., inexpensive) massages, which they did. So I arrived and was assigned a female student in her 20s. The room in which the massage happened adjoined the waiting area where other students and the manager were sitting and chatting. The massage was utterly unremarkable. The student and I engaged in a modest amount of small talk. At the end we exited and I was asked to fill out an evaluation form, which I did. I gave her a favorable evaluation but also a well-intended suggestion for improvement. I sat down in front of the office desk, and she behind it. She picked up my evaluation and read it. When the manager returned I asked if I could make another appointment for the next morning as I was leaving town, which she arranged. I didn't ask for the same student. Neither time did I specify that I would prefer a female student."When I arrived the next day the manager looked stern and asked if she could talk to me. Not imagining that she could have any complaint that would relate to me, I laughed and said, 'Great, I love controversy.' Famous last words."She told me that the student had accused me of repeatedly touching her thigh and telling her how beautiful she was. I was floored. This was an accusation of battery, out of nowhere. What to think? Fear? Anger? Humiliation? How to respond and be believed? The manager seemed to assume I was guilty. I was furious, of course. At no time did I ever say a word to the student about her appearance, and I certainly never touched her. Not even a handshake. I explained this. The manager said that after I left, as the student was telling her fable she had burst into tears! For god's sakes, I was having to defend myself against a manipulative, conniving, liar! Boy was I rocked. I recited all that had happened (and not happened), including that we were both sitting while she read the evaluation. (I wasn't asked if she had read it, I volunteered it.) Oh, but the student had told the manager that she had not read my evaluation. And there it was. The lie. The payback. With that the manager then began to soften and said that she had been suspicious because the student could have yelled and exited the massage room at any time if there was a problem, and the manager was probably less than 12 feet away, and other students even closer. Perhaps in addition to her revenge for the evaluation, she was angry that I didn't ask for her to do the massage the next day."Naturally I left without my morning massage. I called the massage school's owner and demanded that something be done about this student who had falsely accused me. I asked that we both be given polygraph tests. I called the state to see if they regulated massage schools. I left a message for the lawyer but never got a call-back. And then I got on the freeway and left it all behind. But not entirely. My previously easygoing relations with females were forever altered. I had learned the risk of being alone with a woman even in a public, protected environment. I lost the trust I had always had of women. Mind you, I was once a NOW member who travelled 6 hours to an Equal Rights Amendment demonstration. When I ran for mayor of a city in the late 1970s one of my proposals was for a rape crisis center, which I think were uncommon then."I was lucky. I didn't have to defend myself to the cops. I was able to walk away, but with a new perspective on my vulnerability. I had to live with the knowledge that this woman was going to enter the profession of massage with the propensity to make life-changing false accusations, and she would very likely be in constant contact with unknowing males: a ticking bomb."So, that's my experience, and it isn't the Duke case, thankfully, but it was bad enough."I recognize that it isn't about rape, but I wanted to give you a sample of how a false accusation can be made at any time, and the effect it has on the accused. You will probably hear a lot worse."