Emma Mannion is an 18-year-old University of Alabama student who claimed that she was raped two weeks ago. Now, however, Tuscaloosa County Metro Homicide Captain Gary Hood has said that Mannion has been charged with filing a false report.
It’s a charge that comes with a Class A misdemeanor.
Emma Mannion claims that on Sunday, November 13, at 2:00 A.M., she was forced into a red Jeep Cherokee by two men, including a Hispanic man with a wiry build. The alleged assault happened outside of a parking lot at Solomon’s, near the Bryant-Denny Stadium.
But after detectives interviewed witnesses, spoke to Mannion about some details, and even recovered video surveillance of the parking lot, detectives found that Mannion’s account differed from the evidence they had gathered. When confronted with the differences in the story, Mannion eventually admitted that she made the story up. They later learned that Mannion knew one of the men she had identified as a possible suspect.
Detectives did not offer a theory as to why she might have concocted the story.
Captain Gary Hood told AL.com that his unit has investigated 104 sexual assault crimes so far, 27 from the University of Alabama, and only two have resulted in an arrest. That is in no way, shape, or form to say that the other 25 rape investigations were all falsified or fake, we just think it’s an astonishingly low number of arrests. Maybe there wasn’t enough evidence to convict, maybe the accuser was too scared to press further charges, maybe the school or the police didn’t want to bring unwarranted attention to the University of Alabama.
“We hope that this does not deter true victims of crimes from coming to us,” Hood said. “We hope it does deter those who are making a game by falsely reporting these kinds of assaults.”
The worst thing that could happen in an instance like this is letting someone like Mannion’s false testimony convince the student population that the following rape accusations are all false. The case should not discourage anyone who has been affected by any of these crimes to report the incident to the appropriate authorities.
The University’s Title IX Office and Women and Gender Resource Center provide services to anyone who is a victim of sexual assault, harassment, exploitation, violence and abuse.