Being falsely accused of rape and then being mistreated by authorities is a dehumanizing experience that could potentially destroy the lives of many people. It is the sort of thing we see on crime shows that seems too horrific and far-fetched to ever be true. Yet false accusations of rape are a very real occurrence across the country. Just ask Justin Sallis of St. Paul Minnesota.
Sallis was accused of raping a woman in St. Paul after she called 911 last March to report that she had been attacked and raped in an alley. She said that she was walking to a local convenience store when a man grabbed her and raped her. She described her attacker as a 5'9 middle-aged man with a scar above his left eyebrow with salt and pepper facial hair. Justin Sallis is a 26 year old who is 6 feet 3 with no scar on his eyebrow.
The victim had consensual sex with Sallis the day before her reported attack as well as the day after. Evidence of Justin's DNA was collected during the woman's sexual assault exam, and in June he became the prime suspect in the rape. The victim was informed by the police that there was a suspect in her case but did not tell her the suspect's name, age, or appearance. Sallis was dragged out of his Chicago apartment by six U.S. marshals and arrested for the rape.
Earlier this month, Justin Sallis, who has since been exonerated in the attack, has struck back by slapping a federal lawsuit on police, prosecutors and the U.S. Marshals that states they had no probable cause to arrest and charge him. For Justin Sallis and many others, false accusations of rape or other violent crimes, don't exist solely on late night cop shows.