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A young woman was seriously emotionally unstable when she falsely claimed she had been raped, counsel for 20-year-old Sarah Louise Jenkins, unemployed, told the Dunedin District Court yesterday.
Jenkins made the false statement to police on November 1 last year, when she alleged a 19-year-old male acquaintance had raped her several days earlier. Police spent about three months investigating the complaint before they re-interviewed Jenkins because of their concerns about several aspects of the case.
The defendant then admitted she had sex with the person she later accused of rape but the sex had been consensual. She said she felt under pressure from associates to make the complaint.
Mr Miller acknowledged the complaint had been "disturbing". But although it caused difficulties for the young man, it was "at the low end". The defendant was truly sorry for what she had done. She was having ongoing counselling and was stable at present, Mr Miller said.
Judge Michael Crosbie told Jenkins the victim had gone through "a very bad situation" as a result of the false allegation. He had liked her, although he knew she had "issues".
Then it seemed her friends became involved and made threats against him. Although angry and upset about what happened, the victim had since "moved on", the judge said.
And he said the particular case showed the importance of people being truthful with the police.
On the charge of making a false complaint, Jenkins was sentenced to two months' community detention, 200 hours' community work and was ordered to pay reparation of $480, being the cost of a medical examination the police had organised.