False Reporting

By Monte Hester, October 2016

I am involved in some research that led me to an article entitled “Unfounded Cases and False Allegations, ” which is a report/study done for the FBI. This article contains an appendix authored by C.P. McDowell and N.S. Hibler.

The appendix, entitled “Indicators and Investigation of False Allegations,” contains sec- tions from the report done for the FBI which is a detailed examination of false allegations and the characteristics that can sometimes be used to differentiate them from valid claims. Al- though none of these characteristics by themselves are significant enough to indicate abso- lutely that a false allegation has been made, when many of the indicators appear in a particular case it should be a red flag to an investigator that the allegations could potentially be distorted or false.

Space precludes me from describing all of the circumstances that are reported to the FBI as being possible indicators of false allegations. A fair description of the indicators would be a comparison of circumstances reported in a confirmed rape as compared to those reported in known false reports of rape.

The report has the potential of being a very useful cross-examination tool when challeng- ing the efforts of a prosecutorial interviewer, the person making the false report. a detective or any other witness allowed to offer hearsay from a purported victim. Another use of the report would be to utilize its rationale in a closing argument to point out the lack of reliability of the claims made.

The referenced report and the appendix can be accessed via the internet by entering McDowell and Hibler False Accusations.