By Ashe Schow
A college student claimed she was forcibly raped by a man and reported him to police. Now she’s been arrested for filing a false accusation.
On December 16, 2018, Nikole P. Tucker reported that she had been forcibly raped by a man while in her dorm at the State University of New York (SUNY) Adirondack. Police responded and began investigating her claims. During the investigation, police discovered text messages between the 20-year-old Tucker and the man she accused, which proved the sexual encounter had been entirely consensual.
“The two had met through an online dating website, and he is not a student at the college. Tucker admitted she made a false report when confronted with evidence that belied her claims, authorities said,” according to a local report from the Post Star.
Police told the Post Star that Tucker “became upset with the man” after their consensual encounter and made up the rape claim.
The man she accused is not a student, so Tucker would not be able to accuse him through the school’s Title IX policy.
The Warren County Sheriff’s Office charged Tucker with “misdemeanor counts of falsely reporting an incident and making a punishable false written statement,” according to the Post Star. She was arrested on December 27 but released pending prosecution in Queensbury Town Court. Her next court date is January 28.
Tucker is simply the latest in a long line of college women making false rape accusations. The most famous recent example is Nikki Yovino, who claimed two Sacred Heart University football players raped her. Yovino was arrested and charged with making the false accusations, and the innocent men she accused are now suing her and the school for allegedly suspending them over the accusations and revoking their scholarships (though the school denies this).
Another college student, Mary Zolkowski, claimed she was raped in the parking garage at Delta College, which was untrue. Lindsey Sweetin of the University of Arkansas also claimed she was sexually assaulted in a school parking garage, but her claim was proved untrue by surveillance footage.
Text messages have previously helped exonerate many men who were falsely accused, including multiple men in the United Kingdom. Liam Allen, for example, was under suspicion of rape for two years before the Crown Prosecution Service released thousands of text messages proving the sex was consensual and the woman made up the rape claims.
Women, we’re told, don’t lie about rape or sexual assault, even though the evidence contradicts this claim. When activists and supporters make this claim, it hurts victims because it’s an obviously false statement and it makes people suspicious of the next accuser. The claim also unfairly stereotypes and creates pressure against the men who are accused, leaving them in a cloud of suspicion even after they’re exonerated.
Women like Tucker often face little to no actual punishment for their lies, as false allegations — even of the serious crime of rape — are considered mere misdemeanors. Such lax punishment does nothing to deter future false accusers, thereby hurting actual victims who may be more difficult to believe.