I have written in the past about the crime of false rape accusation and I am sad to report a case that puts the previous case to shame, so to speak. In this case, the accuser not only admitted that she had lied about being raped but she had the nerve to approach the real victim (the falsely accused) and to ask that he just forget about it and to let bygones be bygones. She then was caught on tape admitting that the whole rape charge was a fabrication — a fabrication for which he spent five long years in prison.
False rape accusation is a crime that is comparable to few if any — slander comes to mind. If a person stole your watch and later returned it to you, the damage has been undone. Slander of the level of rape accusation cannot be simply undone. It is akin a person who lets loose a pillowcase full of feathers on a windy day and then attempts to retrieve them — it is an exercise in futility. People will associate this gentleman with rape even though he has been cleared of charges.
Every person whose rape claim is doubted after this can also know that theirs and many other legitimate claims have been irreparably damaged by a person who lied for what reason — petty revenge? There cannot be forgiveness for this crime and bygones most certainly cannot be bygones when real criminals will evade punishment thanks to the deceit of one person.
I think the real problem is that there seems to be no real consequence if you accuse a person of rape, they are convicted, and you later retract and admit that you were lying. While it is quite true that there is no way to give a person years of their life that were spent corroding in a jail cell, it is arguable that the accuser should spend at least as long as their falsely accused victim in jail — or perhaps they should have to do the entire sentence. Let the punishment fit the crime. As the accuser put someone in prison for fictitious reasons, it is proper that they sit in a cell for a real reason.