A Beaverton, OR judge found a 19-year-old woman guilty Friday of filing a false police report after she said she was raped by three young men, says the Oregonian. Even though the woman never said she lied or recanted her story, prosecutors say they took the unusual step of filing charges against her because of the seriousness of her accusations. The woman’s attorney and advocates for rape victims say the prosecution sets a dangerous precedent and could discourage others from reporting sexual assaults. “This will have a huge chilling effect on men and women across the board,” said Erin Ellis of the Sexual Assault Resource Center in Washington County. “We’re sliding backwards.”
Municipal Judge Peter Ackerman said there were many inconsistencies in the stories of the four, but that he found the young men to be more credible. He also relied on the testimony of a police detective and the woman’s friends who said she did not act traumatized in the days following the incident. The woman, who was 17 at the time of the incident, testified that she was in a boyfriend’s bedroom preparing to go to a party when she was sexually assaulted. The men testified that the acts were consensual and at the girl’s initiation.