It’s a universally accepted truth that rape is a terrible crime. But if there is one thing worse than this violent and terrible sex crime, it is lying about rape and getting someone convicted as a result. Such an abhorrent case is unfolding outside of Minnesota as a 38-year-old woman used makeup on her body to give the illusion of bruising, and even went so far as to self-mutilate to create disturbing injuries.

The woman lied about rape twice, leading to one man being convicted of the crime and spending 10 years in jail. He was recently released after her lies were uncovered. The case against the other man she said raped her was dropped, and the woman was sentenced to 10 years in jail for her crimes.

There are a number of elements here that will cause outrage, not least of which is the fact this woman went to such great lengths to lie. But, more than that, she decided to lie about such a serious topic. Rape is not something to be played with or used as a way to get what you want. Rape is a very serious crime that demands a thorough investigation.

One of the major issues with this woman’s lies is that they undermine the legitimacy of many other rape incidents that many woman have dealt with. These victims have dealt with a lot, and the last thing they deserve is for others to have a reason to question their claims. This woman’s actions do exactly that. On the other side of the coin, this story shows that, even with how serious rape is, you simply can’t label someone “guilty” if they are accused of a serious sex crime. They are innocent until proven guilty, and they are entitled (and deserve) to defend themselves of the charges.

Source: Battle Creek Enquirer, “False rape claims ‘diabolical,’ judge says,” Beth LeBlanc, Jan. 17, 2014