Diane Woodcock and Charles Scott — one false allegation too many

January 20 & May 28, 1982: At Wilmore, Kentucky, Diane Woodcock is raped twice by the same man. Or is she?

The alleged victim waived her anonymity, and this case was covered in detail by the local press. What follows is based on reports from the Lexington Herald-Leader, principally the August 15, 1985 article by Bill Estep, (accessed here through NewsBank).

On January 20, 1982, Wilmore housewife Diane Woodcock reported to the police that she had been raped but could not identify her attacker. On May 28, she reported she had been raped again, and gave a description which led to the arrest of farmworker Charles Richard Scott.

Scott was tried in December the same year; the jury voted to convict 9-3, which led to his being released on bond until June 1983. This was before DNA, of course, but what medical evidence there was, was at worst neutral, at best favourable to the defense.

Facing an extremely heavy sentence, and having already spent several months on remand, he accepted a plea which resulted in two 5 year sentences that were to run concurrently.

In August 1983, with Mr Scott safely behind bars, Mrs Woodcock told the Lexington Herald-Leader she was sure she would end up in a mental hospital. After her husband left for work, she would sit in the living room with the telephone on her lap, afraid to answer it if it rang, and afraid not to answer it. She was afraid to sleep with the light off, and became generally paranoid.

Then, quite extraordinarily, Diane Woodcock told the police she had received threatening phone calls and a letter from a woman - yes, a woman - who planned to kidnap her daughter. Probably a bit suspicious by this time, the police determined the letter concerned had been written on Mrs Woodcock’s typewriter.

This led to Lieutenant Bill Kline reinvestigating the two rapes, and establishing a solid alibi for the first one.

Mr Scott was released from prison on November 1, 1983, was eventually cleared totally, and went on to sue both his accuser and his lawyers - the latter for incompetence.

Charles Scott was no angel, and had a number of previous convictions for offences of dishonesty during his misspent youth, but one should have some sympathy for him, especially as his false accuser continued to insist he really had raped her. File Diane Woodcock under HEAD CASE.


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