- 1000 assaults reported anonymously
- 310 assaults reported to police or other authorities
- ~57 arrests
- 11 referrals for prosecution
- 6-30 false accusations
- 7 felony convictions
- 6 imprisonments
We could argue that things will improve with "I Believe You", but our legal system rightly requires cross examination, and quite frankly believing every claim lends itself to false accusations.
Perhaps better would be a good look at why ~60% of those who say they were assaulted don't report, and why 80% of those reports do not end up with an arrest, and why 90% of arrests for these crimes do not end up with jail time--80% do not even reach prosecutors.
And in reported cases, the simple fact is that there are a few basic reasons they go nowhere:
- Police don't have the resources to investigate (e.g. unprocessed rape kits)
- Prosecutors don't have the resources/motivation to indict
- Insufficient evidence is provided to proceed.
The third is stickier, and it does suggest that the abysmal resolution rate for sexual assault could be improved if we simply taught all high school students how the justice system works. Little things like how difficult he said/she said allegations are to try before a jury, the importance of corroborating and physical evidence, the importance of promptly reporting crimes to police, the importance of telling the truth about every matter (falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus), and the importance of working with investigators.
And, finally, the importance of prosecuting obvious perjury for maintaining witness credibility. Yes, it's no fun bringing a report of any crime to the police, especially sexual assault, and cross examination is no picnic, either, but if you want crooks in jail where they belong, that's what you've got to do, and here's how you go about it.
But, ahem; didn't that used to be part of civics? It seems as if a majority of our country has absolutely no clue about this, and that ought to scare the heck out of us.