A 38-year-old man made the decision to kill himself. His name is Ross Bullock.
He did so because of a person accusing him of rape—a person who can’t be named because of legal reasons.
Ross denied the accusations made against him. He actually saved text messages between him and his accuser, and he did so in order to provide evidence that the sexual relationship between the two was truly consensual.
The two apparently met in February of 2015, and the pair allegedly engaged in intercourse at the man’s place of work. After that incident occurred, the two seemed to exchange flirtatious messages with one another.
About a month after the two met up, Ross was arrested and then questioned by police. He was arrested due to suspicion of rape, which was the result of accusations made by the woman to authorities.
He ended up out on bail for a month, and that happened after he showed the law enforcement officers the text messages. The message from him read that he hoped she had a good time; she apparently replied that it was alright—she supposed.
Ross was let go by police, but he was also warned that he might end up being charged at a later date. The year that followed was described by Ross as a “year of torment”, and he ended up leaving a note saying that he had hit rock bottom.
As he put it, he wanted to be free from “living hell”. He then hung himself in March of 2016.
His mother Carole, who is 74-years-old, found his body. She told reporters that the allegations against her son changed him as a person. As a result, she said, Ross cut himself off.
Ross’ father, Ronald, who is 76 years old, added that Ross would likely be alive right now had police dealt with the whole matter differently—and in a sensitive way.
According to a report from the coroner’s office, Ross’ death was the result of the “distress” he experienced as a result of the accusation against him.
Therefore, Ross’ parents are now considering legal action against the West Mercia Police. They are pushing for the accuser, who may have been in another relationship at the time of the alleged sexual encounter, to be charged. According to local media reports, the accuser is under investigation because she may have perverted the course of justice.
In a statement, the West Mercia Police said that Ross was arrested and then released—with no further action. They offered his family condolences as a result of Ross’ “tragic death”.
According to a spokesperson for IOPC—The Independent Office for Police Complaints—a complaint has indeed been filed and has also been brought to the attention of West Mercia’s police department; according to the statement, the department concluded there was no case that needed to be answered.
We have no way to determine whether or not the accusations made against Ross were truly false; however, false accusations of sexual assault and violence are definitely a fact, and false accusations harm everyone involved. Research suggests that roughly four percent of allegations made are false, which makes it more complicated for true victims to get the help that they need.
It is a complicated matter, certainly; an accuser may be lying intentionally, or the circumstances of the alleged crime may not be entirely accurate when reported to law enforcement. Confabulation, a memory disturbance that occurs without the intention of deceiving anyone, may also be a factor.
It is worth noting that those falsely accused of a sexual crime do tend to exhibit behaviors that one might consider consistent with a person who could commit a crime—as a result of normal emotions such as fear and anger.
The sad fact of the matter is that there are a lot of victims out there. Recent studies show that over 20 percent of women in the EU have experienced sexual harassment. In the United Kingdom, the figure is higher. It is believed that about a quarter of women in the UK have been sexually harassed.