Content Warning: This article contains descriptions of rape and violence and might be upsetting for some readers.
In 2008, an 18-year-old woman named Marie called the police and told them she had been raped.
The young Washington woman told police that a man had broken into her home, had snuck quietly into her bedroom during the night and then proceeded to blindfold her and rape her at knifepoint for hours on end.
When police detectives arrived at the house they found Marie huddled on the couch, crying while wrapped in a blanket.
But as Marie began to recount the details of what had happened that night the people who listened to her story, the police detectives, her two sets of foster parents and her ex-boyfriend began to become suspicious of her story and the events she was recounting.
The more the police detectives pressed her for information, the more unsure of her own story Marie apparently became.
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She could not describe what her attacker had looked like, saying it had all become a blur. All she was sure of was that after the rapist had left, Marie had managed to retrieve some scissors from the bottom drawer of a cabinet using only her feet and managed to cut her hands free before calling for help.
It was a harrowing story, but as Marie seemed calm in the days following the event, the suspicion grew that she had fabricated the story.
Then just three days after Marie had reported the rape and had been taken to hospital to undergo medical testing, the detectives who had come to her home that night escorted her to the police station and confronted her about the inconsistencies between her statements and accounts provided from other “witnesses”.