Cathleen Crowell Webb and Gary Dotson

July 9, 1977: This extraordinary and well-documented case needs no citations. Teenager Cathleen Webb of Homewood, Illinois, has sex with her boyfriend, then fearing she might become pregnant, rips her clothing, cuts herself and bruises her vaginal area, before claiming she was kidnapped by three men in a car, one of whom raped her.

Gary Dotson is arrested, and charged on the strength of her testimony and flawed forensic evidence. In 1979, he is convicted and receives a heavy sentence. In 1981, Webb marries, becomes a Baptist, then RECANTS HER TESTIMONY in 1985, which is not accepted. Eventually, Dotson is exonerated by DNA evidence, the first person in the US to be so cleared.

Cathleen Crowell Webb does not face prosecution, but on his release meets with Dotson, who forgives her. She died from cancer in 2008 aged 46. Dotson suffered serious problems readjusting to life after his release, marrying but divorcing soon following allegations of domestic violence by his wife.

Unbelievably, some rad-fems still insist a rape was committed, like this muppet, who in her 1995 book Rape On Trial says Webb identified the wrong man, and that the DNA evidence bears this out. No she didnít and no it doesnít. Unreal.

Back To False Rape Timeline