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False rape accusations are incredibly rare — but most actual rapes are never even reported to police

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Now that Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser has come forward, the Supreme Court nominee’s defenders have accused her of making up sexual assault allegations for partisan or personal gain.

But the reality is, only about 2 percent of all rape and other sex abuse charges turn out to be false, which is about the same rate as other felonies, according to FBI statistics.

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One in six American women has been the victim of rape or attempted rape in her life, while about one in 33 American men have been victimized, and about 66 percent of victims are between the ages of 12-17 — as Kavanaugh’s accuser was at the time of the alleged attack.

Christine Blasey Ford claims she was assaulted 36 years ago at age 15 by a then-17-year-old Kavanaugh at a party, while his friend Mark Judge helped conceal the attack as it happened.

Conservatives have rushed to Kavanaugh’s defense just days ahead of a vote to confirm him to the U.S. Supreme Court, saying Ford was making the allegations for personal gain or because she “had an axe to grind.”

Both of those two alleged motivations fit into the four main categories — which also include mental illness and a need for an alibi — that explain false rape allegations, but those cases are far less common than popular imagination.

Only 52 men have had sexual assault convictions overturned since 1989 because they had been falsely accused, whereas 790 murder cases had resulted in exoneration due to phony allegations.

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None of those 52 cases involved a so-called scorned woman out for revenge, although one man managed to convince his girlfriend to accuse a male roommate who had rejected his sexual advances.

Revenge cases generally tend to be convoluted and often involve jealousy, drugs, other criminal activity and sex for money.

For example, one woman accused a man of rape after she was disappointed with the amount of drugs she was given for sex, and an 18-year-old accused his older roommate after he refused to buy him a truck in exchange for sex.

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Accusers motivated by personal gain sometimes make false claims to set up lawsuits, and those accusers tend to have histories of fraudulent claims against insurance companies, the government and business owners.

However, one woman lied about a rape in hopes of avoiding prison on drug charges, and one man who was already in prison made a false claim in hopes of being moved into a cell with his boyfriend.

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Mental illness also plays a major role in false rape claims.

Some accusers have severe psychoses and sincerely believe they’ve been raped, but most mentally ill false accusers have personality disorders related to Munchausen’s syndrome.

Those accusers often make dramatic changes to their claims and make attempts to fake injuries or other evidence.

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Other false accusations are made by teens in trouble with parents or by adults engaged in an affair, and they make the bogus claims in hopes of building an alibi.

The evidence suggests that charges in most false accusation cases are dropped before the accused even learns about the allegations against him — while only about 40 percent of actual rapes are ever reported to police.


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New Zealand may postpone general election after 4 test positive for COVID-19: PM Jacinda Ardern

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New Zealand locked down nursing homes nationwide Wednesday after a 102-day streak without the coronavirus ended, as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the outbreak could force her to postpone next month's general election.

Ardern said authorities were scrambling to trace anyone who had been in contact with four Auckland residents who tested positive Tuesday, ending the dream run in which the virus had been contained at New Zealand's borders.

A three-day stay-at-home order for Auckland, New Zealand's biggest city with a population of 1.5 million, was announced on Tuesday night and went into force at lunchtime on Wednesday.

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2020 Election

Android phones to get ‘ShakeAlert’ earthquake warnings — and phones may double as tremor detectors

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Android phones will receive warnings triggered by a "ShakeAlert" earthquake early-warning system implemented on the West Coast by the US Geological Survey and partners.

ShakeAlert uses signals from hundreds of seismometers across the state to trigger warning messages that "an earthquake has begun and shaking is imminent," according to the system's website.

"We saw an opportunity to use Android to provide people with timely, helpful earthquake information when they search, as well as a few seconds warning to get themselves and their loved ones to safety if needed," principal software engineer Marc Stogaitis said in a blog post.

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2020 Election

‘Don’t talk about racism, racist’: Trump scorched after claiming Biden-Harris campaign has a ‘racism problem’

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President Donald Trump continued to lash out at Kamala Harris after the California Democrat was chosen to join the 2020 Democratic Party ticket as presumptive nominee Joe Biden's running mate.

At a news conference following the selection, Trump complained about Harris being "nasty."

After 10 p.m. on Monday, Trump tweeted out an attack ad claiming "Joe Biden has a racism problem."

Here's some of what people were saying about Trump's line of attack:

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