Studies showed that consensual sex can be regretted, and may lead to a false allegation of rape. However, none of the previous researches concerning regret as a false allegation of rape described the psychological process as to why the alleged victim might experience regret.
We report a case of false rape allegation motivated by regret of a young woman who had consensual intercourse with an elderly man.
None of the causes of regret mentioned in the literature until then could explain the deceitful report (e.g. misunderstanding, blurred line of consent, or relabelling). In this case, the alleged victim stated that she has experienced regret following inconsistency between her freely consensual intercourse and her religious attitudes and other facts and perceptions regarding this act.
We propose the mental state of cognitive dissonance as a source of her regret. Dissonance reduction strategies were identified, as the victim denied her responsibility and changed the nature of the consensual act (from a consensual sexual intercourse to a rape), and filed a deceitful complaint stating that she was actually raped.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Forensic examination, False rape allegations, Motives, Regret, Cognitive dissonance, Denial of responsibility