EDITORIAL : Any woman who concocts a story about a rape that never occurred hurts not only those she accuses but also every genuine victim of a sexual assault. But a Union City woman apparently wasn’t thinking about anything but her image when she made up a gang rape story that sent a man to prison for three years. Now there’s a possibility that Biurny Peguero Gonzalez could face charges herself, for perjury.
Her lawyers want us to believe that Gonzalez, who just gave birth to her second child last week, was courageous for “finally” coming forward to admit it was all a lie.
She was not tricked, she said, into getting into a car with three men who beat and raped her at knifepoint. The one man she positively identified, William McCaffrey, had not laid a finger on her, she said.
McCaffery was released on bail a couple of months ago after serving three years.
A court date to consider prosecutors’ request to overturn the verdict is scheduled for Dec. 10. Then it’s up to those same state’s attorneys to determine whether to empanel a grand jury to consider charges against Gonzalez.
The woman apparently confessed to her priest — the Rev. Zeljko Guberovic at St. Anthony’s — who connected her with authorities. Her lawyer says she couldn’t live with the lie, cried every night over it and finally had to do something about it.
Curiously, her sudden recant came around the time McCaffrey’s lawyer convinced the prosecutors to test apparent bite marks on Gonzalez’s arm using new DNA technology. They showed the samples came from two women who had fought with her.Jerry DeMarco (Publisher/Editor)
Gonzalez reportedly told authorities she was upset with her friends for not believing that a group of men had frightened her. So she made up the story, they said.
Our justice system exists not just to punish someone who has committed a crime against people or property but also to deter others from similar behavior.
Even if we believe that Gonzalez lived in a hell of her own making, maybe punishment could serve a greater good.
There are already enough people who, in some twisted way, believe that a rape victim was “looking for it.” Irresponsible behavior like this only makes “reasonable doubt” an easier reach for a group of jurors.
I say the judge should sentence Gonzalez to a public apology. A news conference should be scheduled, and her remarks should be broadcast not only on television — but on the jumbo-trons in Times Square.
Gonazlez should then work a rape crisis hotline for however long the judge deems adequate. Once that’s done, she can write about the experience (a ghost writer could help), with the proceeds from her book going to help rape victims.
Lord knows they’ve suffered enough without having to pay for this woman’s sins.
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