Houman Fakhimi

False Rape Allegations a True Threat

In a decision that was a long time coming, the Long Beach Unified School District successfully argued its $2.6 million civil claim against a woman who had falsely accused a football player/classmate of rape more than a decade ago.

Anaheim rape defense attorney Houman Fakhimi knows that this case drew national headlines for the fact that the accusation not only resulted in five years of imprisonment for the accused, it also derailed his dreams of a professional football career.

The accuser was given a $750,000 settlement from the school district for its alleged failure to protect her. The defendant faced the loss of his freedom and a lifetime of stigma.

It was only after a privately-recorded conversation with a private investigator last year, in which the alleged victim confessed that the defendant was innocent and she had lied, that the conviction against him was dismissed.

This case shows how, even in this day and age, false rape convictions do have the power to send innocent men to prison. We assume that with the advent of DNA testing and advanced investigative techniques that such mistakes don't happen.

In fact, they happen more than you would think. A simple accusation can spiral out-of-control. Sometimes, the accuser will admit she's lied. Other times, it comes only after significant damage has been done.

Another recent case involves a Michigan woman who is standing trial on charges of making a false report of rape and tampering with evidence. She accused two men of sexually assaulting her. Prosecutors now say the attack never happened, that her bruises were painted on her skin and the entire ordeal was a lie.

This same woman was involved in a rape accusation in 2003, which resulted in a conviction and more than a decade in prison for a man in California. He was released and granted the opportunity for a new trial when authorities learned that she was on trial for false rape accusations in Michigan. The prosecutor in the California case has opted not to bring the case to another trial.

And then just this month, a woman in Alabama was arrested after she made false accusations of a sexually-motivated attack that reportedly occurred in a graveyard. She staged the scene to where she was found on the side of the road with a bag over her head. Thankfully in that case, no arrests were made before officials realized that the story was false, an apparent attempt to win back the affections of an ex-boyfriend.

These cases show how critical it is for all defendants accused of sexually-motivated crimes to secure skilled legal counsel immediately. There is a temptation among the falsely accused to offer up their story to police. They feel there is nothing to hide, and that silence serves only to make them appear guilty. The reality is, you can still cooperate with police while ensuring your rights by consulting first with a criminal defense lawyer. You need to know that the truth alone will not set you free - but a good lawyer will undoubtedly help.

Contact Houman Fakhimi trial attorney at (714) 705-6701 as soon as possible if you are arrested in Anaheim.

Additional Resources

Long Beach Unified Wins $2.6 million over fake rape accusation, June 22, 2013, By Jean Merl, The Los Angeles Times.