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Pittsburgh man falsely accused of sexual assault tells his story

A Pittsburgh-area man who was dragged out of bed in the middle of the night by gun-wielding police based on accusations of sexual assault by a woman who later turned out to have invented the story says that the incident was "scary." Likely most people who have been in similar situations would agree. The story shows how sexual assault arrests are frequently based mostly, if not entirely, on the word of the alleged victim.

The arrested man briefly dated the alleged victim before breaking up with her last summer. Several weeks later, he was asleep at his home when police banged on his door around 2 a.m. As he recalled, there were several officers loudly calling his name with their guns drawn.

The arrest was based on the ex-girlfriend's claims that the man had followed her and her friends to a wave pool. He lured her into his vehicle, drove her to a parking lot before choking and raping her, the woman said. Her friends supposedly discovered them and scared off the man, who pushed the woman out of the car and drove away, she told police.

Following the arrest, police spoke to the ex-girlfriend's friends. They contradicted her story, explaining that they had not been at the wave pool where the alleged sexual assault occurred. They said the ex-girlfriend had started dating a new man who had given her bruises on her neck and she did not want her parents to find out so she made up the assault.

After confirming this account, police released the man and arrested the ex-girlfriend on suspicion of making false statement and perjury.

Source: KDKA-TV, "South Hills Man Wrongfully Arrested For Rape," Andy Sheehan, March 25, 2013

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