False accusations are of particular interest to skeptics because skepticism has often been at the forefront of giving voice to the wrongly accused.
From the Salem witch trials (in which innocent young women were falsely accused of being witches) to the Satanic Panic moral panic of the 1980s and 1990s (in which dozens of innocent men and women were falsely accused of sexually assaulting children and others) and hundreds of examples in between, skeptics have often been there to remind the public to ask for evidence before rushing to judgment.
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Indeed, the brilliant CSI Fellow Carol Tavris just recently wrote an e-skeptic piece about this in relation to recent accusations against Woody Allen.
The Crime Robin Levitski, an eighteen-year-old student at Clarke University, told police in late 2013 that she had been abducted and sexually assaulted by a man she had met online several months earlier, and who she had dated.
John admitted that Levitski had previously spent the night at his residence but was adamant that she did not stay with him on the night of October 23." It was a he-said / she-said story-except that the accused man had photographs of their encounter, taken during what Levitski described as a sexual assault.
The photos provided independent documentary evidence of what happened between the two of them behind closed doors.
Furthermore a friend of Levitski's told police that she had been with Levitski at the pumpkin carving event on the night of October 23.
Instead of John arriving and abducting Levitski at knifepoint as she claimed, Levitski and her friend left the event together uneventfully.Though this incident occurred at a small Iowa university, other cases like this happen far more often than most people realize.The relative obscurity of this case suggests its prevalence.Levitski said that on October 23, 2013 at approximately PM she was at a pumpkin carving event in Clarke's student activities center when she was approached by John.Levitski said that John displayed a knife and told her to leave the center with him.This was not an extraordinary, sensational case that made national news, nor was it featured on one of many true-crime shows like .