Lander, Wyoming, United States: A woman was given a prison sentence for falsely accusing a man of sexual assault and trying to extort money from him.

36-year-old Rachael Myla Stagner was given 21 months behind bars for falsely accusing a white man of sexually assaulting her on the Wind River Indian Reservation. She was indicted in September 2020 but pleaded guilty in this year to making false statements to authorities.

Stagner’s lies ignited an investigation by the FBI due to the alleged crime taking place on an Indian reservation. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that even as her story started to fall apart, she kept on insisting she had been sexually assaulted in an attempt to extort money from the falsely accused man.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI take any allegation of sexual assault seriously,” said Acting United States Attorney Bob Murray. “The resources our offices have to investigate and prosecute crimes on the Wind River Indian Reservation are limited, and false reports hinder and delay other investigations. Not to mention how actions like this belittle the crime of sexual assault and those who are true victims.”

Needless to say, Murray is right when saying that false accusations “belittle the crime of sexual assault and those who are true victims.”

Not taking them too seriously also shows that making false accusations — even against named persons who have to then with the shame and stigma of being accused of horrible a crime they were not guilty of — makes it clear such actions are tolerated. The false accuser will serve less than a couple of years in behind bars, and that is actually a lengthier sentence than most women get after making such life-destroying false accusations.

Strangely, most women get very little or no prison time at all even though the men they accused could have spent the rest of their lives locked up if they were wrongly convicted, and this happens more often than people might think. Just a week ago, a woman who falsely accused a man she knew of sexual assault and repeatedly lied to authorities was punished with just 50 hours of community service.

After serving her time in prison, Stagner will be spending the next 3 years on supervised release.

In addition, she had to pay a $100 special assessment.

FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider said:

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“The FBI and our law enforcement partners take seriously acts of violence and sexual assault targeting our Native American community. False claims of such crimes, in this case meant to extort the alleged perpetrator, result in the diversion of valuable law enforcement and victim service resources away from actual victims. The FBI thanks our partners at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Bureau of Indian Affairs – Wind River Police Department, Fremont County Sheriff’s Office, and Montana Department of Corrections – Adult Probation & Parole for their work in this matter.”

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