A Pennsylvania woman who falsely accused two State Police troopers of rape was sentenced to just 23 months in prison for her crimes. She likely won’t even serve the full sentence.
False rape accusations are classified simply as filing false police reports, which is what Christine Cromer, 38, was charged with, along with unsworn falsification. The Citizens’ Voice, a news outlet for Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, reported that Cromer was convicted in April and that Assistant District Attorney Angela Sperrazza argued for the woman to face jail time since her claims damaged the troopers’ reputations.
“This wasn’t one lie,” Sperrazza reportedly said. “This was continuous lies.”
Cromer and her husband were both arrested in April 2018 for drug trafficking charges. She had already been accused of falsely accusing the troopers of rape in 2017, and he had previously been arrested for allegedly handcuffing Cromer to a radiator and abusing her, The Times Leader reported.
Cromer had claimed a State Police officer raped her in the front seat of his patrol car outside Mohegan Sun Pocono, the casino where she worked as a cocktail waitress. As the Voice reported, Cromer then changed her story and made the accusations against a different trooper who had interviewed her while investigating her claims against the first officer.
“Prosecutors alleged Cromer fabricated the rape allegations to retaliate on behalf of her husband, a former member of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club who had been kicked out of Mohegan Sun Pocono,” the outlet reported.
At trial, Cromer claimed she had been romantically involved with the first officer she accused while her marriage was in turmoil. She said he raped her after she tried to end the relationship. As to her second allegation, Cromer claimed she misidentified the second officer during a “lineup” because she wasn’t wearing her glasses.
The jury didn’t buy it and deliberated for about 30 minutes before finding Cromer guilty.
In 2017, left-wing outlet The Daily Kos suggested Cromer made her accusations after being inspired by the #MeToo movement, which insisted any claim against a man made by a woman must be instantly believed, implying investigation into claims was disrespectful to accusers.
Despite the damage Cromer caused to the troopers’ lives, she faces little jail time. Had the men gone to trial or, worse, been convicted of her false allegations (which happens), they would have faced years or decades in jail.
Cromer joins a long line of women who have falsely accused men of rape only to be sentenced to a year or two in prison, if they receive a prison sentence at all. In June 2018, Mary Zolkowski spent just 45 days in jail after falsely claiming she was raped. Nikki Yovino, who infamously and falsely claimed two Sacred Heart University football players raped her, was sentenced to just one year in prison.
Falsely accusing someone of rape is not its own crime. In Alabama, State Rep. E. Richard “Dickie” Drake (R-Leeds) has introduced a bill trying to make it one and separate it from filing a false police report because false rape accusations cause permanent damage to innocent people.