False Conviction Rate for Rape Historically Higher than Claimed False Accusation Rate

by W.F. Price on March 3, 2013

Last summer, a study came out that suggested that more than one in ten of the men convicted of sexual assault in Virginia between 1973 and 1987 were innocent. To be precise, the proven wrongful conviction rate was between 8 and 15 percent — significantly higher than the false conviction rate for homicide, which was found to be 5 percent only when combined with sexual assault convictions. This means that in homicide cases, the false conviction rate is significantly lower than 5%, and therefore an order of magnitude lower than in sexual assault cases.

a new study that involved the DNA testing of hundreds of old Virginia homicide and sexual assault cases supports the exoneration of at least 38 suspects, according to a study released Monday by a national policy group that examined the test results.

This study, conducted by researchers John Roman, Kelly Walsh, Pamela Lachman and Jennifer Yahner of the Urban Institute Policy Center, analyzed the results of new DNA testing of old physical evidence from 634 sexual assault and homicide cases that took place in Virginia between 1973 and 1987.

Their central question: “What proportion of convicted offenders in serious person crimes with retained forensic evidence could be exonerated if that evidence were DNA tested?”

This marked the first study of the effects of DNA testing on wrongful conviction in a large and approximately random sample of serious crime convictions.

The study found that in five percent of homicide and sexual assault cases DNA testing eliminated the convicted offender as the source of incriminating physical evidence.

When sexual assault convictions were isolated, DNA testing eliminated between 8 and 15 percent of convicted offenders and supported exoneration.

Now, to put that in perspective, feminists like to claim that the false accusation rate for sexual assault is no more than two to three percent. If that were truly the case, then the data suggests states would have to be more likely to prosecute false accusations than real accusations. This is extremely unlikely. In fact, the high level of wrongful convictions in sexual assault cases suggests that sexual assault is either prosecuted even more vigorously than murder, that many defendants have been falsely accused, or both. Given that police do make some effort to screen out false accusations and prosecutors decline prosecution when they are unlikely to be successful, the false accusation rate must be significantly higher than the wrongful conviction rate. Given that wrongful conviction rates look to be above 10%, this has sobering implications.

What’s valuable about this study is that it proves:

1. False rape acusations are not rare

2. Rape is not difficult to prosecute

3. Rape has the highest wrongful conviction rate of all violent crimes

These are all in direct contradiction to what feminists would have us believe. They claim that rapists get off the hook all the time, women rarely make false accusations, and prosecutors are handcuffed in rape cases. All lies that directly contribute to putting innocent men in prison.

The only conclusion one can draw from this is that feminists have no concept of justice, and no problem with harming innocent men. They are, to put it simply, waging war against men. Allowing feminists to have any authority over men’s lives was a terrible mistake. Removing them from power should be our first order of business.

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

geographybeefinalisthimself March 3, 2013 at 11:12

“Allowing feminists to have any authority over men’s lives was a terrible mistake.”

Allowing feminists to have any authority over anything was, is, and always will be a mistake.

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Nemo March 3, 2013 at 11:28


Stop using logic to oppress women!

There ought to be a law against men using logic to win arguments on the Internet!


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keyster March 3, 2013 at 11:35

The easy part is establishing the narrative in the public conscience.
The challenge is keeping it alive once it’s no longer valid or relevant.
Feminism is a grievance INDUSTRY that thrives on skewed, dated and false statistics for funding. They will protect their established position vigorously, while fighting to gain more.

The mere questioning of feminist social science is proof to them that “there’s always more work to do”.

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Bob Wallace March 3, 2013 at 12:28

My mother worked for a few decades in the ER as an night admitting clerk. Once, out of curiosity, I asked her out of all the women who came in the ER claiming rape, how many of them were false accusations.

She said 90%.

I was surprised, to say the least.

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Crank March 3, 2013 at 14:06

I think you might be mixing apples and oranges here. If DNA was used to prove their innocence, then what we likely have is inaccurate identification of the rapist. Which suggests that there was a stranger rape, and the victim identified the wrong guy as the rapist. I don’t consider that the same as a false rape claim.

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W.F. Price March 3, 2013 at 14:18

Which suggests that there was a stranger rape, and the victim identified the wrong guy as the rapist. I don’t consider that the same as a false rape claim.


Aside from the fact that misidentification is false by definition, you’re ignoring the possibility that a woman could easily falsely accuse someone and then have someone else’s DNA inside her, like Crystal Mangum in the Duke Lacrosse case (also, she could have no male DNA inside her). Are you assuming that women who claim to have been raped are all sexually inactive? That would be pretty stupid, wouldn’t it?

And if women can’t correctly identify rapists, then what’s all this bullshit about 90% of women knowing their rapist? Are you saying that the remaining 10% all falsely IDed the rapist? If that’s the case, we should stop prosecuting all stranger rape, because women must finger the wrong guy over 100% of the time if “women don’t lie about rape.”

Crakster March 3, 2013 at 15:10

Don’t mind her Welmer.

She is dissembling.

Cranky and Co. want to fuck about like as much as their dog minds desire, but then still be thought of as a respectable ladies with composure and self control.

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El Bastardo March 3, 2013 at 18:51

When you consider that even after those fifteen percent possibles, how many of the actual convictions were from women who changed their minds the morning after?

Decided to get even with a vindictive ex?

Decided to punish the man rather than admit adultery?

The list goes on, and on, and on. This is just the tip of the iceberg. It is still a long way down under the governments cold, cold surface. The truly devastating stuff is very likely NOT what this report suggests.

If and when that stuff does appear, I strongly suspect that people like me will start to question just how many supposed rape accusations throughout history were a “Potiphar’s Wife?”

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El Bastardo March 3, 2013 at 19:03


Seriously, come back with a better argument or just don’t come back.

The laundry list of hidden assumptions you have to make to utter a statement like that strongly suggests that you are a brainwashed feminist wannabe; or merely a troll.

I hate launching with those right away; but it is true.

Think about, in order to say something like that you have to assume that most prosecutors are honest. With all the regulations made to give them an overwhelming ability to find something to screw you with; thus inducing a plea regardless if one is innocent or otherwise. One has to either be ignorant, or innately naive. In your case I fear it is both.

Many prosecutors have these traits in common, but maybe a very few, a strong competitive nature; and not to mention a very noticeable penchant for lying. Simply to increase the conviction rate, and there fore raise federal tax breaks through VAWA induced indictments. Many of these DAs can get political clout and run for state or federal office. So I rarely trust a DA for anything. Even the best ones I hold suspect until I can see the facts myself.

Mathematically, your statement can deduce several inanimate thoughts straight from your own cranium, with a few more statements it is not hard to peg you. Yet the one you made here: “Which suggests that there was a stranger rape, and the victim identified the wrong guy as the rapist. I don’t consider that the same as a false rape claim.” leaves very little room for interpretation.

You have to assume that all stranger rape goes one way, or not. In other words, all victims are not victims but liars; or all strangers are rapists. Only a dogmatic washing away of actual truthful reason in feminist dogma would allow someone to see this social science in such a manner.

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Sundance March 3, 2013 at 19:21

Both Crank and W.F Price make great points. The points I glean from this is

1) Accusations (and convictions) are often inaccurate. Misidentifications and malicious falsifications are far from uncommon.

2) The accused should have legal protections against revealing their disclosure of their identity unless convicted.

3) Those who would knowingly make falsifications should be severely prosecuted for the sake of the wrongly accused as well as legitimate victims.

It’s funny though, it seems feminists would rather retain the power contained in an untested accusation rather than institute remedies that would curtail its abuse. It’s as if they would shield women of any wrongdoing even if doing so has Mal-effects on true victims or the wrongly accused. Power is their true quest. Fortunately society is starting to catch on and the dire warnings against any sort of scrutiny is losing credibility.

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Johnycomelatley March 3, 2013 at 19:33

So the false accusation rate only measures the ones exhonerated by physical evidence, what would the rate be for the total gamut of rape scenarios?

Physical evidence, false accusation.
No physical evidence, false accusation.
Drunk consensual sex, evidence.
Consensual sex and later regret, physical evidence.

I gather the rate would be much higher.

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Clarence March 3, 2013 at 20:28

Whilst this study does a good job of showing (what has been repeatedly stressed by organizations such as the innocence project) that the US has a problem with a very significant amount of false convictions, I fail to see how this shows the number of false accusations. You see, just like you can convict a murder defendant wrongly due to a lying witness – and yet there was still a murder victim, even though you got the wrong person – so with rape and things such as bad police lineup procedures etc, you can get a rape victim who helps convict the wrong person.

This study is useful in demonstrating beyond any reasonable doubt, that “Houston , we have a problem with large amounts of bad convictions”, but it doesn’t necessarily say the same thing about the amount of false accusations, alas.

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Clarence March 3, 2013 at 20:37

Oh great.
Some Crank troll comes in and makes the same point I did.
Let me be clear: I’ve always said myself that based on the average of the various studies of false accusations I think a minimum of 15 to a maximum of around 25 percent of all rape (sexual assault NOT included) accusations are false.

Problem is, this study doesn’t seem to prove what you think it does. There are studies that deal with false accusations (and they have various descriptions of what the various studies authors consider a false accusation, some won’t count it unless the police determine it to be false or the accuser recants) and they typically mention all types of other confounding variables such as police investigative procedures, bad forensics or late evidence collection, etc.

I don’t know how you’d legally or ethically get a guaranteed untainted population sample to check out the actual amount of false accusations. If you could put large amounts of people under secret surveillance (say at a college) for a year or so you might get an inkling of the rates, but I’m sure that many here including myself would have an ethical issue with such covert surveillance as well as the lack of what is called ‘informed consent’ for the students who would be the subjects.

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joeb March 3, 2013 at 21:04

My Brother is an actual rapist , He wasn’t a rapist when he was young then he was falsely accused of rape spent time in jail where he turned into a real rapist .
He got out of jail Guess what he did , I was payback time for twenty years before they caught him again .
My point here is if 47% of good men go to jail and come out bad men ,after twenty or so years most of the rape in America can be blamed on the feminist who made the rapist .
Rape is psychological warfare . Men use rape when they are not relevant anymore like a Innocent man leaving Jail . My Brother would say . You made me .

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Justinian March 4, 2013 at 00:15

In a related note:

Something else to encourage women to make false DV claims.

Can’t find a job? Claim Domestic Violence and get more unempolyment benefits.

Legislature to weigh unemployment benefits for domestic violence victims

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DCM March 4, 2013 at 03:08

Rape less often occurs during a sex act and most often afterwards when the female gets mad at the guy for some inane reason such as she can’t manipulate him or she discovers he isn’t as rich or popular/famous as she thought.

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Jensen March 4, 2013 at 06:18

Please encourage young men to practice SAFE Sex: use the cellphone to record consent to the sex act and the recording of the same. Must include request for specific acts. Safe sex should no longer refer to use of condoms (still recommended) but to “secure against false evidence”.

Just like chicks in India are now using cellphones to photo and pinpoint so-called “creeps”. Young men need to use them to pinpoint “psychos”.

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Druk March 4, 2013 at 09:14

“the proven wrongful conviction rate”

Wouldn’t DNA evidence be much more likely to prove innocence in rape cases than in other cases? What I mean is that the wrongful conviction rate for other crimes may be much higher than we can prove. It’s the same ‘justice’ system throwing them all behind bars, after all.

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W.F. Price March 4, 2013 at 10:13

Wouldn’t DNA evidence be much more likely to prove innocence in rape cases than in other cases? What I mean is that the wrongful conviction rate for other crimes may be much higher than we can prove. It’s the same ‘justice’ system throwing them all behind bars, after all.


Actually, no, because it could implicate someone as a “rapist” when there was no coercion involved in the sex act. The presence of semen does not by itself prove rape. In fact, when DNA is present in the form of semen it only proves sex; when it turns out not to be the convict’s DNA he must be exonerated because he did not have sex with the alleged victim. It doesn’t necessarily prove that someone else raped her. It could have been her boyfriend’s DNA, a client’s, some guy she met at the bar last night, etc. It could have been a real rapist, or there might not have been a rape at all. If she IDed the wrong guy, I tend to think there’s a good chance the entire thing was a lie to begin with.

In murder it is far more clear cut. When someone is actually dead due to homicidal violence, and you find someone else’s tissue under their fingernails, there’s rarely any question as to whether a murder was committed or not. DNA evidence is not as common in murder cases, but when it is present it offers a far more solid defense for the innocent than it does in rape overall, because not all rape accusations involve a real rape, whereas murder cannot be faked.

Crank March 4, 2013 at 11:48

Wow. I’m surprised at the angry reaction. My point was that, so far as I know, most “false rape” accusations include situations where there was sexual activity with the accused, but the so-called victim actually consented (or certainly failed to manifest a lack of consent), but later regretted it or was pissed off or something. DNA wouldn’t matter there. I guess we have the occasional situation where some attention starved woman or girl simply makes up a rape with an imaginary stranger – we’ve certainly read about them. But my sense is that they represent a smaller portion of the false rape allegations.

I have no idea whether 90% of rape victims know their attacker – that sounds like a feminist statistic that contorts the definition of rape. I doubt that 90% of rape convictions involve situations where the defendant knew the victim. Especially in the time frame discussed in the study (1973 to 1987). But I confess that I’m going by intuition on that.

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Crank March 4, 2013 at 11:54

@El bastardo

Your rantings are too incoherent for me to respond in general. But, no, I am not a feminist – lol. I just think we’re generally mixing apples and oranges here.

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Crank March 4, 2013 at 12:50

My point was essentially what Clarence is saying. And, no, I’m not a troll – I’ve posted under this name many times here.

In addition, though, I think there is a bit of a semantics problem driving this disagreement. Obviously, if the accused was wrongfully identified, there is a “false rape accusation” – he is falsely accused. Bi argument there. But there is not necessarily a false claim of rape. When feminists come up with that bullshit stat of “only 2% false rape claims”, I think they are applying that stat to false claims of the occurence of rape (i.e., either falsely claiming lack of consent or just falsifying the whole encounter entirely). I don’t think they were claiming that victims could accurately identify an attacker who was a stranger to them 98% of the time.

Keep in mind, also, that this study relates to convictions back in the 70s and early 80s – before all the “rape culture” nonsense that made alleged rape victims so saintly and untouchable.

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Clarence March 4, 2013 at 13:00

W.F. Price:

There have been probably dozens of studies that showed issues with standard police lineup id procedures. I can link some if you’d like.
I have no doubt that in ‘stranger’ rapes, police have at times subtly pressured victims into choosing the wrong guy out of a lineup, esp where it was dark and no clear look was gotten.

Of course this only applies to stranger rapes, not ‘date’ rapes and such.

What alot of people do not know (but has become apparent due to things like the Innocence project over the past decade) is that vast amounts of ‘forensic science’ such as fingerprinting and things are not science at all. Real scientists hardly ever designed the tests that were used by organizations like the FBI (who were at least educated and somewhat trying to be scientific) let alone your local police department . Look into the problems Texas has had with its arson forensics since the Willingham execution. For political reasons, for years the state resisted reform, and claimed its training procedures (requiring nothing more than a high school degree) enabled people to find cases of arson against the testimony of just about every other arson expert and organization in the whole world. I have no idea of how many people were put in prison in Texas for ‘arsons’ that never happened but I believe it’s likely in the hundreds.

Anyway, the country’s criminal justice system and how it deals with forensics is a mess and varies tremendously by state. I have no doubt that in some states up to a majority of all people incarcarated for certain crimes (say “arson” in Texas) are falsely convicted.

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Crank March 4, 2013 at 13:09

I don’t know how that came out as “Bi argument there.” Meant to say “No argument there.”

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Snoop March 4, 2013 at 13:10

Check this lonesome female who cant get a date, sock puppetting hither and tither at the spearhead. Goes by crank, savvy and whatever else. http://www.blogger.com/profile/02380401063646153237

You can tell when rejected female veers onto the spearhead as they do from time to time to spill bitterness and charged estrous. http://www.the-spearhead.com/2013/03/04/wrongful-conviction-rates-and-false-accusations-in-rape-linked-or-not/

They project their anger, suggest your problems, make up ground rules about stuff all others must follow, stomp their feet, call you misogynist, loser and frustrated … but then they eventually do the best thing of all …

They leave and go away.

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Crank March 4, 2013 at 16:23

Not to beat a dead horse, but the comments to the linked article contained a link to the actual study. The chart on page 42 indicates that 92% of the cases in which they could get a determinative DNA sample were cases of alleged rape by strangers. I don’t know if that ratio is indicative of Virginia’s relative conviction of strangers vs. acquaintances during that time, or whether they kept better rape kits for stranger rapes. Maybe a little of both.

Interestingly, although it’s a very small data sample, the exhoneration rate for non-strangers was even higher – 28% (5 out of 18 samples, by my math). And, of course, those are just cases where the guy didn’t even have sex with her in the time frame in question. It doesn’t even get to cases where sex is acknowledged but consent is disputed. But 18 is an pretty small data set.

Also interesting are the selective case studies starting on page 52. In some cases a convicted defendant was eliminated but other convicted defendants (gang rape) or other suspects who weren’t charged were implicated by the tests.

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Crank March 4, 2013 at 16:27
El Bastardo March 4, 2013 at 17:03


Sure dude. I don’t think it is incoherent, of course I’m the one thinking it. LOL

Anyhow, rape hysterics aside. They are only arguing the cases that were present, 634 cases, and found 15% of the cases to be false based on DNA. Although I maybe now see where you are coming from, I don’t see how you could extrapolate your last couple comments from the original. I feel like you are maybe backtracking.

I don’t care if you are a feminist or not.

Rape is a serious accusation. With DNA evidence I am saying they could only find as much as 15% of men as falsely accused. There have been numerous other studies that their view of the evidence presented could potentially predict a significantly higher number of false cases.

That is why I am saying that it is likely that more of those 634 cases were men falsely accused. Short of demanding DNA samples for all rape accusations, I don’t seen any progress for our case. Even if we make it mandatory, most likely it will just be a way for the state to extract DNA from any man a woman chooses.

The whole system is designed with the though of maximum prosecutions for profit from federal tax money. How any one could be surprised that so many men are convicted, guilty or not, is beyond me. Because of the nature of the system, it naturally encourages bad women to falsely accuse men; even after consensual sex.

Unfortunately, studies like this no matter how necessary will take decades to manifest into any real change in this area of law. Even in the information age. When one compares the averages of women who have made false rape claims after consensual sex, this information would make things just that much more clear.

I would maybe concede that it might be the actual number of women who actually did unintentionally misidentify the wrong man; I suspect that more of them were unscrupulous women who were being vindictive.

I obviously can’t prove either point. It might just be my personal bias?

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Erudite Knight March 5, 2013 at 08:44

Thanks, this is exactly the kind of fuel I need to combat the endless falsehoods feminists spew.

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Zimmy March 5, 2013 at 10:33

The definition of rape has been watered down so much that it doesn’t mean what it used to. It now means a woman regrets having sex a day or a week or a month later because the guy didn’t call her back. That is todays “empowered woman”; someone who prefers to ‘feel’ she is helpless when she wants to ‘feel’ that way. Otherwise, as seen in articles, tv, movies, advertising, etc, a woman is better than a man. Amazing to have it both ways.

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Anonymous March 5, 2013 at 15:25

You guys should check out the paper. The numbers in it are more incendiary that I think even Price realizes.

The 8% number is from the fact that they could only establish the innocence of the convicted felon in 8% of all the rape cases they had DNA for. In slightly less than half of those cases, however, the DNA wasn’t (good enough?) to provide any further evidence as to whether the conviction was wrongful or not, making the DNA result “indeterminate”. The 15% number comes from ignoring those indeterminate cases and only looking at the cases where they were able to make a determination, rightful or wrongful, about the conviction.

Put another way, in 15% of the cases where the DNA said anything about the rightfulness or wrongfulness of the sexual assault conviction, it said that the convicted “sexual assailant” was not guilty.

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Erudite Knight March 5, 2013 at 21:58

But is rape not the cornerstone of feminist victimhood?

The sisterhood could never allow such finding to see the light of day.

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Crank March 6, 2013 at 15:55


That’s correct – I agree. And for the same reason, the proper rate of wrongful conviction for murder only (without sexual assault) appears to be 22% (5 out of 23). It might be higher because 11 out of 23 ruled the suspect out as the contributor of the sample, but it wasn’t enough to be dispositive under the circumstances of the case. The problem is that for over 90% of the murder case, they weren’t able to tell anything whatsoever from the samples. Only 23 out of 293 were “determinative” (as compared with almost half of the 422 cases that involved sexual assault). The article that described the study was really misleading this way.

Coincidentally, when I backed the numbers out for cases where there was both murder and sexual assault, I got roughly the same numbers (5 out of 23 exonerations, though with the slight caveat that they didn’t break out the 5 between merely exculpatory and exonerating). Obviously, in both cases, the data set is too small to be given too much credence.

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MaMu1977 March 12, 2013 at 11:34

1. IME, from a decade of working in military ERs, about 1 out of every 5 women who report a rape are committing a baldfaced lie . Between reports of rape sans physical evidence of sex , reports filed by women who had multiple witnesses to her consent and the disturbingly common reports filed against men who were nowhere near the local area (you haven’t lived until you’ve been woken up at three in the morning to provide care for a rape “victim” , just to find out that her ” named and identified “aggressor” hasn’t been in-country for months…), a literal fifth of all claims can be dismissed long before the cops can set up an APB.

2. The best way to avoid being charged for rape is to avoid drunk women. The second best way is to remain relatively “friendly” with your partner post-liaison. The third best way is to pour on the Beta and allow her to sever the relationship on her own terms. Do these three things and you can becomes a “bully boy”/”Dominant man” and you’ll never see the inside of a police station. Don’t do those things and you’ll be locked up despite giving your accuser the feminist sex special.

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John Knight July 24, 2013 at 10:01

For whatever reason, the rape conviction rate in the US, which was already much higher than most other civilized nations, increased dramatically in 1983, to 28 times higher than England and Wales by 1992.


What caused it to almost TRIPLE? And why did we already have a rate 10 TIMES greater than the very country from which our laws were derived?

If the INCREASE were due solely to the increase in false allegations of rape (as evidenced by the Innocence Project), then the actual number of the 45,000 “founded” rape allegations which are NOT based on false allegations is 15,000. THIS is still an outrageously and unacceptably high crime rate, but let’s redo the math based on this.

The odds of a woman getting pregnant at random are one day out of 30 days, or 1:30, which means one thirtieth of the 15 thousand would result in pregnancy. This would be 500 pregnancies per year, which is 0.0125% of all pregnancies, or 0.00625% of all pregnancies IF women who are raped are half as likely to get pregnant than women who WANT to get pregnant.

BUT, if we had a rape conviction rate (and therefore presumably a rape rate) equivalent to England in 1983, we must divide that number by 10, so that only 0.000625% of all pregnancies in the US would have been caused by rape.

Or, conversely, in England, 0.000625% of all pregnancies across the entire country are the result of rape.

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