accuser is now charged [USA]

March 31, 2004

A man who authorities said falsely accused deputies of sexually assaulting him at the Hennepin County jail is now charged with filing a false police report and obstructing the legal process.Philander Jenkins, 22, has been in jail since August on burglary, assault, robbery, firearm possession and drug charges. In October, he told several jail officials he had been raped by one of the deputies when they were moving him to a new cell. But according to the criminal complaint filed by the St. Paul city attorney’s office, Jenkins told other inmates that he made up the allegation as part of a scheme to get an early release from custody and obtain a $50,000 to $60,000 lawsuit settlement. The assault allegation was investigated by the state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.In a statement, Hennepin County Sheriff Pat McGowan said “it has now become apparent to all that Jenkins was lying when he made these false allegations against our detention deputies and the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office.” He also said that the deputies’ reputations were tarnished by Jenkins’ false statements and by the “precipitous actions of those who appoint themselves as community leaders.”The new charges allege that Jenkins didn’t cooperate with a search of his belongings and heed deputies’ orders and that a fight resulted. An investigation of Jenkins and some evidence connected to the sexual assault allegation revealed no evidence he was assaulted, the new criminal complaint said.Jenkins was charged with filing a false police report, a misdemeanor, and obstructing legal process, a gross misdemeanor.Jill Clark, Jenkins’ attorney, said it appears that law enforcement agencies all over the state are upset that the public is demanding accountability from police. The case has less to do with Philander Jenkins, she said, than with using the criminal justice system to quell dissent about police.A statement from Communities United Against Police Brutality said that “we find it outrageous that an individual who has complained against abuse while in the Hennepin County jail is now being charged with a crime for filing that complaint. This appears to be a preemptive strike against a possible civil lawsuit.”

Star Tribune

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