In the US, the gratuitous street assault known as the knockout game
has been making the news for some time. As these attacks are predominantly - but far from exclusively - black on white, that also makes it a racially sensitive issue. So what are we to make of a white woman who claims to have been assaulted by black thugs, but after a meticulous investigation is shown to have made up the story out of the whole cloth?
The incident happened last month - or rather didn't happen - but St Louis Police took their time, and have now charged both 23 year old Ashley Depew and her boyfriend with filing a false report
The non-victim's story had actually been taken up by TV and made national news
. It appears that Depew's battered face was caused by her boyfriend, which may also leave him open to an assault charge.
Last month saw too another American woman charged with making a false report, this time of her own kidnapping and sexual assault. Delisha Lashae Thomas was found locked in the trunk of her own car
near Southwestern University. She fed the police an elaborate story about being held captive in an apartment, but they didn't swallow it.
The latest Stateside false report of this nature came in only yesterday. According to police in Winston-Salem, a young woman who works in a local mall claimed to have been attacked on Saturday afternoon by an unidentified man
as she walked towards her vehicle.
She does appear to have been assaulted, but the perpetrator is known to her, and the inference is that this is purely of a domestic nature. No charges have been filed.
False reports of this nature are surprisingly common and can often have devastating effects on individuals or sow distrust between communities, whether or not that is the actual intention. A timeline of false allegations of a sexual nature for the past two years can be found here
Similar hoaxes of a racial and/or political nature have been documented for many years by Laird Wilcox