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Sexual Offences

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 updated the law, much of which dated back to 1956.

The main provisions of the Act include the following:

  • Rape is widened to include oral penetration
  • Significant changes to the issue of consent
  • Specific offences relating to children under 13, 16 and 18
  • Offences to protect vulnerable persons with a mental disorder
  • Other miscellaneous offences
  • Strengthening the notification requirements and providing new civil preventative orders

Find out more about how we prosecute sexual offences

Decision to Charge

Once the Police have completed their investigations, they will refer the case to the Crown Prosecution Service for advice on how to proceed. We will then make a decision on whether a suspect should be charged, and what that charge should be.

Find out more about private prosecutions

The Role of The Crown Prosecution Service

The Crown Prosecution Service is the government department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales.

As the principal prosecuting authority in England and Wales, we are responsible for:

  • advising the police on cases for possible prosecution
  • reviewing cases submitted by the police
  • determining any charges in more serious or complex cases
  • preparing cases for court
  • presenting cases at court

Find out more about the role of the Crown Prosecution Service

Woman convicted of making false rape claims against innocent men

06/07/2017

A woman who invented a series of false rape and sexual assault allegations against innocent men has been convicted of perjury and perverting the course of justice.

 Jemma Beale, 25, [29/12/1991], was found guilty today (6 July) at Southwark Crown Court of four counts of perverting the course of justice and four counts of perjury.

Samuel Main, London CPS reviewing lawyer, said:

"False allegations of sexual assault and rape are rare but, when made, they are serious as they undermine the credibility of genuine victims and the efforts of the CPS and police to see perpetrators brought to justice.

"Jemma Beale was a determined liar who repeatedly went to great lengths to fabricate evidence in an attempt to see innocent men convicted, including telling deliberate lies under oath. She knew what she was doing but cynically tried to use the criminal justice system to serve her own purpose.

"In the circumstances of this case it was right that a prosecution was brought.

"However, this has been an unusual case and it is important for genuine victims of rape or sexual assault to understand that they should never fear coming forward to report the crime to police.

"The CPS will never prosecute somebody for perverting the course of justice simply because, for instance, there may be discrepancies in the evidence, or because the victim chooses not to continue to support a case, if the prosecution stops the case, or if a jury finds the defendant not guilty.

"A prosecution will only be brought where there is clear evidence that the allegation was provably false."

Within the space of four years Beale claimed she had been seriously sexually assaulted by six men and raped by nine, all strangers, in four different encounters.

One man was imprisoned as a result of a rape allegation. During his trial, Jemma Beale lied under oath saying she would never have sexual relations with a man and that therefore any sexual relations could not have been with her consent. She made the same claims in a retrial.

It was later discovered she had a boyfriend with whom she had a sustained sexual relationship. Sometime after the trial she also confessed to a third party that her allegation had been false.

Another man, who she accused of two serious sexual assaults, fled the country. Her allegations led to his arrest but a later review of CCTV evidence showed the allegations to be false.

After Beale made another allegation in November 2013, the police reviewed all of her previous claims, and discovered a clear and sustained pattern of wilful falsification. Her accounts were contradicted by medical evidence, forensic evidence and witness testimony.

In one false claim on 7 July 2012 she self-harmed using wire to fake an alleged sexual assault by several men after she left a pub in Hounslow.

Beale is due to be sentenced on 24 August.

The CPS guidance on perverting the course of justice is available on the CPS website.

Beale's fake allegations:

26 November 2010 - Told police she had been raped the night before by a man after getting a lift in his car. He was subsequently jailed and later released after an appeal.

7 July 2012 - claimed two separate sexual assaults, one by a man in The Windsor Castle pub in Hounslow, the second by the same man and three other men near the car park of a nearby medical centre. The man in the pub fled the country after being charged. CCTV showed he had not assaulted Beale, she had attacked him. The charges were later dropped.
CCTV from the medical centre suggested the gang attack could not have happened as she claimed and forensic evidence later showed she had self-harmed using wire from a hanging flower basket to fake the sexual assault.

2 September 2013 - reported another sexual assault, five days earlier, outside her home in Addlestone, Surrey.  No-one was arrested or charged.

17 November 2013 - reported a gang rape by four of a group of eight men in the street in Feltham. Two men she identified were arrested, but not charged.

Charges:

  1. Perjury between 12 and 15 December 2011 as a witness in the trial of Mahad Cassim made a statement she knew to be false alleging an act of sexual intercourse without consent between them on 25 November 2010.
  2. Perjury between 12 and 15 December 2011 as a witness in the trial of Mahad Cassim made a statement she knew to be false that she had never had consensual sexual activity with a male.
  3. Perjury on 16 January 2012 as a witness in the trial of Mahad Cassim made a statement she knew to be false alleging an act of sexual intercourse without consent between them on 25 November 2010.
  4. Perjury on 16 January 2012 in the trial of Mahad Cassim made a statement she knew to be false that she had never engaged in consensual sexual activity with a male.
  5. Perverting the course of justice. On or about 7 July 2012 with intent to pervert the course of justice falsely alleged to police she had been sexually assaulted by a male.
  6. Perverting the course of justice. On or about 7 July 2012 on an occasion other than in count 5 with intent to pervert the course of justice falsely alleged to police she had been sexually assaulted by several men.
  7. Perverting the course of justice. On or about 2 September 2013, with intent to pervert the course of justice falsely alleged to police she had been sexually assaulted by a male.
  8. Perverting the course of justice. On or about 17 November 2013, with intent to pervert the course of justice falsely alleged to police she had been sexually assaulted and raped by several men.

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. For the latest in breaking news from the CPS Press Office follow @cpsuk on Twitter and visit our official News Brief - blog.cps.gov.uk
  2. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906. Out of Hours - 07590 617233