… and they say writers are creative

It’s a true story that defies the convoluted plots fiction writers dream up. Girl meets Boy. Girl Likes Boy. They start living together. Girl discovers Boy is a pathological liar. Girl asks Boy to move out. Boy refuses. Boy rapes Girl. Girl lodges police complaint. Boy is arrested and released on bail. A few months later, Girl is arrested on armed robbery charges. Girl goes to jail. Twist in the tale? Boy concocted every one of the charges against the girl when she refused to withdraw the rape allegations. The story continues and in a bizarre twist, the Boy now claims that the Girl is the one who framed the charges against him.

If this wasn’t real life, it would probably make for great cinema. But to the person at the centre of the storm, it is an experience that shatters everything she has held dear. That innocence is sacrosanct until guilt is proven. That a nonexistent trail can be created to lead to an unsuspecting victim. That the police can act on evidence even when the facts don’t check out. When the Girl in this case – Ms. Sumasar, a former Morgan Stanley analyst running a restaurant was arrested for armed robbery, she had no idea of what was happening to her. This extract from the New York Times aptly describes her predicament – And so even as Mr. Ramrattan ( the accused rapist) remained free on bail in the rape case, Ms. Sumasar, who had no prior criminal record, was facing up to 25 years in prison. Despondent, Ms. Sumasar passed her days behind bars scouring the indictments against her for clues that could help prove her innocence, even as news of lurid crimes that she had not committed were splashed in newspapers.

“From the beginning, I said he made it up,” Ms. Sumasar said. “I never thought my life would become a cop film.”

One of the lessons that Ms. Sumasar has learned is to make credit card purchases and never use cash since credit cards provide evidence of being in a certain place at a certain time. It indicates how hard it is for an innocent person to deny what the police are accusing them of when there isn’t an alibi. Even though her phone records showed that she was in a different place when the robberies were committed, it was sidelined. The break came only when an informer called the accused rapist’s bluff and told the police that he had staged the plot. The case that was due to go to trial in just a few weeks collapsed and Ms. Sumasar was set free in December of 2010. She has lost her business and her house. It probably is the rarest of rare cases where revenge is by subterfuge. But it shows that real life can easily go where no movie has ever gone before.