Megan Williams, an African-American woman who was allegedly raped, tortured and kidnapped by a group of whites in West Virginia two years ago at the age of twenty is now claiming that she was playing with our minds. It is a shock to hear that Williams is now saying that the story is a lie, a complete fabrication. She is set to recant her story in a press conference today.
The stomach-turning story that involved drinking urine and eating human feces while being raped repeatedly and subjected to racial slurs was something she apparently made up for fun. If Williams were playing with our heads, I only wish she’d come up with a less disgusting way to do it. The problem is that the prosecutor, Brian Abraham, isn’t buying Williams’ new story, and neither am I.
The prosecutor’s position is that he did not convict the defendants based solely on Williams’ testimony. Abraham has stated in published reports that he learned early on that Williams tends to exaggerate and embellish details, perhaps due to the fact that Williams has been described as being “mentally slow.”
Abraham also claims that he did what any good prosecutor should do: achieve a conviction based on physical evidence and the defendants’ statements. If there is evidence that a sexual assault occurred and proof that Williams endured kidnapping and torture, such evidence should certainly outweigh the significance of any statements made by Williams. There are also other possibilities in this case, such as the chance that Williams may be receiving threats that have pressured her to change her testimony.
If it is indeed the case that Williams was lying all along, a few things need to happen. The defendants should be released, Williams should be prosecuted, and the prosecutor’s office should be held accountable for convicting innocent parties for crimes they did not commit. The mere possibility that such an outrageous distortion of the truth made its way through the scrutiny of our justice system should scare the heck out of all of us.
Williams’ case brings quite a few questions to light and is one of the most confusing sequences of events I’ve seen in media over the last few years. First, there is the question that was asked by my good friend Roland Martin, who wondered why the rape and torture of this woman did not receive more media attention. Secondly, there is the question of how you go about properly compensating the family for what they may have been put through. Thirdly, there is the question of what to do with Williams now, given that she is throwing herself under the bus. Finally – if Williams isn’t lying about her first statement being a lie – we need to ask the prosecutor how he so firmly convicted individuals for crimes they did not commit.
When it comes to Megan Williams, the bottom line is that the public needs reliable answers. Williams’ press conference today has very little credibility. Either this woman is a serious liar, mentally disabled, or she is under undue pressure to state things that simply aren’t true. Either way, she has almost no tenability as a potential witness.
Independent investigators who have nothing to gain from the outcome of this case should unearth the facts. It is also important that we realize that the lies allegedly told by Megan Williams have nothing to do with the many sexual assaults that take place throughout our nation. Nor should her case be used as a political pole vault to justify a sometimes oppressive and unjust legal system.
The reality is that this case is about as weird as they come, and the rest of us should simply sit back and wait for the truth. One thing is clear: the truth certainly isn’t going to come from Megan Williams.