[Serious] People who have been falsely accused of rape, what happened and how did it affect your life?

I asked my gf to come move into my parents house with me (we were on our own but couldn't afford education, I decided to move home and go back to finish my bachelor's so I had to move home. My parents offered to let her live in their house if she wanted to go back to college too.) and she did. I got my GPA up at community college and was going to go back to the university to finish. She decided to just get a CNA (certified nurses assistant) certificate and start working.

She lived there for over and year, was able to pay off all her debts. My parents never charged her rent or even for food, they'd feed her meals as if she was their daughter (or daughter in law living with them).

Her making money while I wasn't led to stress in the relationship. She broke up with me and moved out. We both started dating other people.

I ran into her at the bars about 6 months after she moved out. I wasn't dating anyone at this point, had just ended the thing I had going with another woman. Was getting ready to leave for University in 6 weeks. She invited me back to her place for sex. I went.

We had sex and she had told me about how her girlfriend couldn't get her off, wouldn't eat her out like I would and didn't have a dick to ride on.

At first I noticed her sheets, they were the same ones my sister used to have. Then I noticed other things around her apartment that were from my parents house. An art set, a computer keyboard from my old computer. Towels and other little odds and ends.

She had stolen from my parent house. I was pretty pissed off. We argued. She had stolen from people who took her in and treated her better than her own parents ever treated her. I called her trash. We rehashed all the fights we'd ever had.

I threw it in her face that she was cheating on her girlfriend (just like she'd cheated on me). I threw it in her face that her girlfriend couldn't get her off. She was livid, shaking with rage. I was glad I pissed her off. She deserved it. She started hitting me, I grabbed her wrists to make her stop hitting me.

I started gathering up all the shit she'd stolen. I told her that I'd email her aunts from her account and come out as a lesbian (at the time, email was pretty new and she only used it to talk to her aunts, she took my old keyboard so she could keep emailing, having helped her set up the email account, I knew the password and told her so. Not having a keyboard, since I was taking it, she had no way to stop me.), this was immature and stupid, but I was young, half drunk still and mad as hell.

As I was leaving I told her I was going to the police to report her theft. I went home and went to bed.

The next morning the police showed up and arrested me for rape. During my arrest the police found my marijuana. They also found marijuana in my sisters room and a tiny bag in my parents room. They were talking about arresting my parents, so I said all the pot was mine. (The cops actually looked relieved that they wouldn't have to arrest my parents too.)

I was charged with 4 felonies. Two counts of rape (for vaginal and anal rape, which she said I'd committed.) 1 count of false imprisonment, as she said I held her down and wouldn't let her leave the room. And 1 count of felony possession of marijuana as all the pot in the house combined was a couple grams more than the limit to push it to a felony (more than 1 oz.). The rape kit showed no physical evidence of anal rape. There was evidence of vaginal sexual activity, and they found semen, but the DNA didn't match the semen to me, it was someone elses.

I was bailed out and put on pretrial supervision (house arrest).

She refused to work with the prosecution so my trial was dragged out for two years. My lawyer advised me to let it be dragged out as the longer she was gone, the more likely the case would fall apart. So for 2 years, without a conviction, I could only leave the house for work or for approved reasons ("innocent until proven guilty"? Those are just words). A guy would come to the house and make me pee in a cup and/or breathalyze me. I had to check in every month and if I missed an appointment, they could revoke bail.

Finally, after 2 years, the prosecutor got serious with her, made her come visit him and get her ready for trial.

When he visited with her, he was "dubious" of her story. My defense lawyer had been a prosecutor for a long time before switching to defense (for the $$$). He was my prosecutor's boss in the past and had frank discussions with the prosecutor. My lawyer spent 2 years telling the guy I was innocent and filled him in on all the theft that the police never knew about (when I was arrested I said nothing except that I wanted a lawyer. No statements is good from a legal standpoint, but they also don't know my side of the story.).

The prosecutor said (at this point, I'm going off what my lawyer told me) he doubted her story, but he wasn't going to dismiss 4 felonies. He was confident he could coach her to be a convincing witness.

They offered me 2 misdemeanors. The lowest form of domestic battery, and misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

At first I said, fuck no. I was innocent. I wanted to go to trial and fight it.

My lawyer sat down and laid it out for me. If convicted, I was looking at life in prison. If I pled out I would get probation and a month in county lockup. When I refused and told him I wanted a trial, he got my parents involved and convinced them I should plead out.

Ultimately the decision was mine. I had a month to decide before the pretrial hearing. Some days I was dead set on going to trial, proving my innocence. Other days the thought of life in prison caused panic attacks.

We went in for the pretrial hearing and I told the prosecutor I wanted to prove my innocence. He was pissed, I could tell just by looking at him. In his opinion, he offered me the sweetest deal possible and I was shooting it down.

He came back with 15 days in lockup, and no sex offender treatment (I learned that sex offender treatment can be required for people who hadn't been convicted of a sex crime. Also, sex offender treatment is a huge red flag on any background check and can never be expunged from a record.)

My lawyer and my parents convinced me it was time to settle, it wasn't worth the risk. I pled out.

I was able to convince my boss that I had a family emergency and he gave me 2 weeks off work so I could go to jail. I did my anger management and drug treatment classes without issue (a ton of people don't make it and get sent back to jail).

I went about my 2 years probation without incident. Because I was a "good" probationer, I was only to check in 4 times during the second year. I was doing well, put it behind me and was promoted at my restaurant management job. I got promoted to GM and got my own restaurant.

As GM, however, you need to apply for a liquor license. For this, you need a police background check. The police called me in to talk about my background. I told the detective everything. He asked if my employer knew, I said no. When I applied for the job I wasn't convicted of any crime, so I didn't technically lie on my application, but I knew I was fucked.

The police called my company and talked to HR about my background. The HR rep called me and I told her everything. I mentioned that I my lawyer advised me I wasn't lying by filling out my application the way I did. She left it up to my boss, whether to fire me or not.

I was one of his best managers. I was always honest with him, didn't make excuses if/when I fucked up. He put himself on the line and vouched for me to his bosses. I didn't get fired. In my future dealings with the HR rep, I knew she was soured on me, but she lived with my bosses decision. I worked there for a couple years past my probation period, but finally, I applied to college to finish my bachelor's. I finished my undergrad and went on to further education, which I recently completed.

I am now applying to real jobs and whenever I get an interview I need to explain my "criminal background" again. So far, I haven't been offered a job worthy of my education/experience.

The accusation was over a decade ago, as was the plea. I have been depressed and suicidal at points. My education was delayed by the deaths of close family members. But I keep bouncing back.

Last I heard she'd had 4 kids with 3 guys and was living in a trailer collecting welfare. Her cousin dated my friend and they are still Facebook friends. She makes sure to update my friend, who updated me.

My biggest take away is that the justice system is stacked against accused rapists. Rape Shield laws don't let someone put up a real defense. Ironically, if I'd killed her I would have been able to present information at trial that I couldn't in a rape trial. And the prosecutor doesn't care about the facts, only what they can prove.

This has ruled my life over the past 15 or so years. It will until the day I die. I will always have an arrest record for rape and a criminal record for what I pled to. These can't be expunged.

When I told the prosecutor I wanted her charged with making a false police report (for the rape allegations) he laughed in my face and said his boss had to be reelected and women's groups would skewer him if she was charged with anything.

So, that's how it works in America. If you are accused you're fucked. It will follow you forever.

Rapists are terrible people and deserve what they get. But when a politician says they'll be "tough on crime", that means innocent people will be affected too. Remember this when you vote.

/r/AskReddit Thread