NEW YORK CITY: Cops Solve 1994 Rape Of Lesbian Who Had Been Smeared As A Liar By Press And NYPD

The Daily Beast reports:

On an afternoon in late April 1994, a young woman was raped in broad daylight in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. Two days later, the biggest columnist in New York City’s biggest newspaper called her a liar.

The woman—black, a lesbian, and an activist—became the target of a vicious smear campaign by a Daily News columnist and sources within the NYPD, who charged that she had made up a “hoax” to advance a political agenda. “I have had the misfortune of being raped twice—once in the park and again in the media,” she told her lawyer, Martin Garbus, after the attack.

Twenty-four years years later, her rapist was identified through DNA evidence, according to the NYPD. On Jan. 8, police told Jane Doe they had a match, with James Webb, a career criminal who’d been sentenced to prison for rape before Jane Doe’s assault. He was arrested and imprisoned again in 1995, for still more sexual assaults and is presently serving 75 years to life in prison.

The false accusations against the victim were featured in Lucky Guy, a Nora Ephron play about that Daily News columnist, Mike McAlary, who went on to win a Pulitzer for his reporting on the NYPD’s brutal assault of Abner Louima. McAlary died of cancer in 1998.

  • SoCalVet

    I hope she can sue the newspaper now, with the new evidence in hand.

    • GayOldLady

      Me too!

    • SilasMarner

      Take the Daily News and the NYPD for every goddamned cent she can get and also demand a news conference where the accusing parties issue a complete and humble apology.

    • Xaca

      Daily News was sold in September 2017 for literally $1 (plus assumption of liabilities). No assets. And even less integrity.

    • Chuck in NYC

      Well, I’m not sure the owners of the Daily News now are the same as then. But I understand the feeling.

  • gaycuckhubby

    Fuck the Daily News… I don’t care how many funny covers they put on their newspaper, they are trash

  • another_steve

    I’ve lost track; is the NY Daily News a respectable or semi-respectable newspaper today or is it generally considered tabloid garbage?

    When I lived in NYC decades ago, it was more or less respectable.

    • gaycuckhubby

      They are anti Trump so people think they’re respectable, but they’re not

      • Xaca

        If you ever read any comments section on any article in NYDN, you’d know that they write for and attract a vilely bigoted, racist, misogynistic, homophobic readership. Mortimer Zuckerman should’ve been ashamed.

    • Mr. Ric

      Staunchly, even rabidly, anti-Trump. But equally so for diBlasio and governor Cuomo. Parts of it are good, parts are tabloidesque. But we buy it every day for its coverage of the city.

    • licuado de platano

      The Chicago Tribune parent company just bought the NY Daily News last November.

    • romanhans

      It’s taken a leftish swerve recently — if that’s what you call it when somebody recognizes the president is an idiot. Meanwhile the NY Times is publishing suspiciously dispassionate headlines like “Pols Feather Their Own Nests” when Repubs in Congress turn out to be thieves.

      • gaycuckhubby

        I’ve noticed a disturbing Trend, if someone is against Trump we think they are reputable. The left needs to be held to journalistic standards as well

        • Jean-Marc in Canada

          Very much in agreement. While it is nice to see a more strident push against Trump, it’s important to remember that he’s an anomaly that has allowed anti-Trump republicans to appear more palatable. I like Ana Navarro for her Trump bashing (no one can deny enjoying her excoriation of the Trumpanzees), but I have no illusions about her conservative stances. As you say, standards and principle must remain ever present so as to not fall into the trap of believing “sane” republicans are our friends.

          • gaycuckhubby

            Or online conspiracy theorists.

    • Jean-Marc in Canada

      Technically speaking, they’re a tabloid; which means that their stories and editorial slants are all over the place. On the one hand, they’re anti-Trump and on the other, they’re notoriously snarky and dismissive of LGBT and women’s issues depending on the op ed or mood of the editor in chief. Not a reliable or credible news source, though again, their anti-Trump stuff is entertaining.

  • Blake Mason

    I hope his death was an excruciating one.

    • ChrisMorley

      You might have missed this in the quoted report:

      ‘He was arrested and imprisoned again in 1995, for still more sexual
      assaults and is presently serving 75 years to life in prison.’

      • Moebym of the Returners

        I think he’s referring to Mr. McAlary.

      • Blake Mason

        Sorry… Referring to McAlary

      • Paula

        I think he means the reporter.

    • Friday’s_cat


  • skyweaver

    For any of the doubters out there who wonder why “all these women” waited for years to accuse their rapists, this is why.

    • Paula


    • GayOldLady

      Exactly………Even in the cases we can prove and can win we’re smeared and often destroyed in the court of public opinion.

    • PlutoAnimus

      Some people say you shouldn’t celebrate another person’s death.


      McAlary died of cancer at 41. That’s something we all can celebrate.

      • acde

        He died of cancer 4 years after the rape he called a hoax. That could be seen as karma.
        Cancer is also known to follow in the wake of traumatic, emotionally rending events in one’s life that one cannot let go of, although not usually this quickly. Perhaps it is connected to his perfidy. I am just observing. Conclude what you wil

        • SFHarry

          I don’t believe acde meant the comment this way, but anyone who is stressed out that they are going to get cancer because they have had a traumatic emotionally rending event in their life that they are having trouble letting go, gon’t worry this is not fact, just acde’s opinion. You are going to be just fine.
          Also, to be seen as Karma the actual time frame is 5.74 years 🙂

  • JoeMyGod

    “Lucky Guy” was Ephron’s final play and got lots of attention in 2013 because it was also Tom Hanks’ Broadway debut.

    • Joe in PA

      Fun fact: I heard Meryl Streep say that Nora applied for a job at Newsweek, she was turned down because “reporters were male”.

  • Friday’s_cat

    At least the homophobic Bogtrotter is doing a slow roast. How much you wanna bet some pedo priest got under his cassock after morning mass?

  • GayOldLady

    And people wonder why women, especially women of color, remain silent? Because women know their name and their reputation will be dragged through the mud even in the cases that we can prove and win. I hope this woman has some sort of legal recourse against this tabloid.

  • BlackGayVeganAtheist

    Ah 1994, when it was TRULY unheard of to be credible as “black, a woman and/or a lesbian” in most cities here in America.

    • GayOldLady

      In 1994 you had to have a video of the rape to have any credibility. And if you were a black-lesbian any credibility you might have had would have been cancelled out by the fact you were a woman of color and a lesbian. It’s not much better today, but with DNA evidence and the fact that so many people take videos with their cell phones at least has given us more convictions. Recently in Nashville, 3 college students raped a co-ed and one of them recorded a video of part of it. They were on dorm cameras dragging her unconscious into a dorm room and even bragging about it on social media, but it was the video that convicted all 3 of them.

      • zhera

        And if they hadn’t recorded it, she’d be blamed and shamed, called a liar and a slut.

        It’s dangerous being female.

        • MT YVR

          I always ADORED (/sarcasm) the gotcha in that. If you recorded it the question was why, you were just trying to set them up? If you didn’t then it wasn’t real and you weren’t serious about it, it was only “just a change of mind after the fact”.

          So, you know, basically just a wonderful way to say “it doesn’t happen and stop talking about it la la la la la”

      • Xaca

        For context, 1994 was 7 years after the Tawana Brawley hoax, and while civil suits were still being settled; or at least, while attempts were still being made to collect damages therefrom.

      • JCF

        Related to the issue of RAPE (do not read, unless you’re prepared to be both sickened and ENRAGED):

        “in Boynton Beach, Fla., detectives reopened the cold case of a [intellectually-disabled] woman who got pregnant 13 years ago. Last June, detectives ran a DNA test, got a match and arrested a man. But in November, a judge threw out the case because the statute of limitations had expired.”

        Warning: “In case one is found raping an intellectually-disabled person, JCF’s long-term dedication to non-violence is hereby SUSPENDED.”

        • GayOldLady

          That’s infuriating.

  • ChrisInKansas

    Is she still a “Jane Doe”?

  • Moebym of the Returners

    I wonder if Mr. McAlary regretted his actions when he knew he didn’t have much longer to live.

    Nah, I’m sure he believed to his grave that she was a liar.

  • Lazycrockett
    • Joe in PA

      You know Ira is gonna have a field day with this factoid. Can’t wait.

      • Nychta

        Do you listen to Science Friday? My favorite radio show, and it’s conveniently timed to coincide with my long commute home on Friday afternoons.

        • Joe in PA

          I do yes, I love his dead pan humor with stuff sometimes.

    • ChrisMorley

      Archaeological Enigma Resolved: Meteorites Were the Origin of All Things Iron Predating the Iron Age

      Archaeologists had long been puzzled by iron tools dating thousands of years before iron smelting developed, but no, there was no precocious smelting, geochemists have concluded

      • Friday

        Funny, I thought that’d been known a long time.

    • Paula

      I wondered where I had dropped that.

      • jerry

        That’s what eventually happens when that fruitcake keeps getting re-gifted year after year.

        • Ginger Snap

          I love fruitcake.

          • JCF

            Me too. A toasted slice at breakfast? Mmmm, nuthin’ better.

    • Jmdintpa

      alien turds?

    • nocadrummer

      It’s Kryptonite!

    • m_lp_ql_m

      Speaking of ‘fruit cake” and “Egypt,” wasn’t there a same-sex ancient Egyptian couple that were entombed together?

    • JCF

      Ancient Egyptian Extra-terrestrials? I saw that movie! [Please tell me they were androgynes? 😉 ]

  • Will Parkinson

    Oh, I wish this ‘reporter’ wasn’t dead. I’d love to throw this in his smug face.

  • ChrisMorley


    Bannonfreude: how Breitbart (and the internet) immediately turned on Bannon

    – The former White House chief strategist’s comments about the president presented the pro-Trump media with a choice. Turns out it wasn’t that difficult

    • HoneyBoySmith

      That’s the way it is with cults. The Republican party is a cult. And, the cult leader is Donald Trump.

      Members who turn on cults or cult leaders are viewed as defectors and traitors even if they’re telling the absolute truth.

      We’ve seen it over and over and over again. Peoples Temple, Scientology and now with Mr Bannon.

      Bannon’s fall is the result of his arrogance. He thought he was more important than he really was. And, he forgot that ancient proverb: those who have foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger have ended up inside.

  • Lazycrockett
    • The_Wretched

      I’d like to say that the ruling was the obvious legal conclusion based on the shear insanity of the districts in question but these days, who knows how a court will rule.

    • Lazycrockett

      Sorry that happened yesterday.

  • zhera

    Poor woman! I hope she can get some restitution from NYPD. How can they call her a liar when there’s physical proof?

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Heartbreaking, because she had to wait so long for justice.
    Tragic, because women still face this bullshit today.
    Infuriating, because those responsible for the smear campaign will probably never be punished.

    The one bit of light in all this: that Jane Doe is now vindicated and the man responsible is known. I just hope she can take some form of comfort in that knowledge, not that it will ever erase the decades of injustice.

  • Aaron Smith

    Cancer? I’m sure his guilty conscience had something to do with it.

    • ECarpenter

      Hey, don’t be stupid. Cancer patients are not responsible for their cancer, it’s a disease not a metaphysical event. Too many cancer patients are told that they caused it and they can cure it by being “positive” or whatever – which, studies have shown, is just made-up, not real. And that myth is bad for cancer patients, who have enough to worry about without being blamed for getting ill and for not getting well.

      McAlary was a despicable man, and saying that’s enough.

  • JWC


  • 1) People very rarely lie about rape or sexual assault.
    2) Most who do make these accusations, whether legit or not, end up having their lives ruined and their psyches shattered by BOTH the experience of being assaulted and then again by way of how their accusations are treated afterward.
    3) This is why so many rapes and sexual assaults go unreported.

    Notice how I even did not specify the gender of the victim? Because these precepts happen to be true for both male and female victims.

    • Robert

      When I was 12 years old, I was raped by an army sgt. No one believed that a boy could be raped. I told my minister. He made me get down on my knees and pray for forgiveness for the rapist! I told my mother. She did the same thing. No one ever told my father because he would have killed the man, then I would not have had a father! Sixty -plus years later, thousands of hours of therapy later, I’m better, but the sting is still there…for all the BS and neglect for the adults who should have been there to protect me and didn’t!

      • I’m so sorry for you, Robert. You’re right: You SHOULD have been able to count on adults to protect you..

      • Steve

        I was sexually assaulted at 26 years of age by a 40 yo grossly overweight Cook County Forest preserve cop. I was too ashamed of the experience to tell anyone for 20 years.

      • JCF


    • Spongebob CrankyPants

      1) Where did you get that from?
      2) If you report a fake rape your life should be ruined.
      3) How do you know.

      • Guffey

        Tl;dr – “says who?!”

        Am I feeding a known troll? I don’t comment much so I’m not sure.

  • Jmdintpa

    lets hope his cancer was the kind that caused lots of pain and was a loooooong slow death. giving him plenty of time to fret over what he did.

    • Tempus Fuggit

      …let’s hope his death was reported as a case of fake cancer he made up to advance a political agenda.

  • clay

    This is an example of the other, more dangerous, side of the gay-panic defense. The gay panic defense almost never worked, but sexualizing and criminalizing African-Americans, women, and queers happens before the accused’s defense ever makes it to the courtroom, by the police, by the prosecutors, and by the press (and often even by the judges). And it’s this that has had a greater impact on our lives.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    O/T I don’t think Trump is going to be very happy with us, but hey, you push too hard and people tend to push back. There’s already a movement to stop water and energy exports to the US and sell them elsewhere if Trump pushes much further. Talk to citizens here and you’ll find that Canadians are in no mood for Trump anymore.

    • And we know: Traditionally, it takes a great deal to annoy Canadians to the point of doing more than expressing mild displeasure.

      We could use way more of your culture and far less of ours.

  • justme

    Time for a really big lawsuit settlement

  • Skeptical_Inquirer

    For women, everyday is a witch hunt.

  • Spongebob CrankyPants

    All claims of rape and molestation should be viewed with skepticism, but should also be investigated.

  • JCF
  • YUGE