Elizabeth Irene Richardson

Suggested by Pierre Alleur

Added: Jul 22, 1990  

Lexington, Dawson County, Nebraska. Bored wife takes her rape fantasy to the authorities. Though a fake victim of sexual assault, she manages to destroy an accused man's life before any truth could come to light. She gets an unusual punishment.

September 1988. Rape fantasist Elizabeth Irene Richardson reported to police that a man had raped her in her home, and she provided police with the identity of the man.

Following the allegation, the accused man was apprehended and charged with sexual assault. Even though he vehemently denied the allegation saying that the only one time he met Elizabeth was when he responded to her posted Ad in search for a painter, he still had to face severe consequences - losing his job, reputation, compelled to pay for legal services, and having his kids at school being told "Your dad's a Rapist". Eventually, the case was dropped thankfully due to a lack of sufficient physical evidence to secure a conviction against the man.

Amidst the falsity drama, information was relayed to investigators that Elizabeth Irene Richardson had told her friends that her rape claim was a hoax. She made the report to get attention from her truck-driving husband who rarely comes home. With that new information, Elizabeth Richardson was charged with Perjury.

February 1989. 24-year-old Elizabeth Irene Richardson having been found guilty of perjury was convicted and sentenced to a 180-day jail term in addition to an unusual but appropriate order that she run advertisements of her apology to the falsely accused man, on at least a half page in every newspaper and a spot in every radio station across Dawson County where the ad was expected to be seen by over 20,000 people.

Though this was a fitting decision by common sense considering what damage the false allegation did to the accused man's reputation in the same county, there was a pushback. According an Observer-Reporter story published a day before Independence Day in 1990, A panel of Nebraska Civil Liberties Union attorneys which reviewed the case said the sentence may violate Elizabeth Richardson's right under the 8th amendment which protects citizens against cruel punishment, and the 14th amendment which ensures due process. They also referred to the verdict as "cruel and unusual". Unsurprisingly, the Attorneys Panel and the union did not consider that the falsely accused man was not afforded due process and liberty while he was under investigation stemming from Elizabeth's false accusation.

The scrutiny of the verdict against Elizabeth Richardson preceded cost concerns for the advertisements. Her attorney filed an appeal to the Nebraska Supreme Court against the district judge's decision on the adverts, citing the burden of expense to run the apology ads.

July 19, 1990. Elizabeth Richardson's lawyer applied for dismissal of the appeal on the criminal's own concerns that if the appeal was successful in preventing her from bearing the advertising costs, the presiding judge could decide to give her a longer jail sentence.

Related Tags: lexington, dawson county, nebraska, omaha, douglas county, rape, sexual assault, hoax

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