Utah Man Dies After False Sexual Assault Claim Sparks Fatal Revenge Attack

By Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times. He has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education.
May 8, 2019Updated: May 8, 2019

A Utah man has died after being struck shortly after being accused of a sexual assault aboard a city bus.

The Logan Police Department said in a news release that Michael Fife of Logan died on April 27 at the McKay-Dee Hospital, where he was being treated for injuries sustained in a revenge attack.

Fife was accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old aboard a Cache Valley Transit District bus in Logan at around 3 p.m. on April 23, according to police.

Shortly after the alleged incident on the bus, the 16-year-old girl called her 17-year-old brother and claimed Fife had sexually assaulted her.

Minutes later, as Fife got off the bus, he was met by the 17-year-old brother of the alleged victim. The teenager struck Fife, according to police. Fife fell and suffered head injuries when he hit the sidewalk.

The 17-year-old suspect fled the scene on foot as Fife lay on the ground unconscious.

Someone called 911 and paramedics rushed Fife to the hospital.

“His injuries were so bad that he was transferred to McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, UT where they performed emergency surgery on his skull to relieve the swelling of his brain,” said Brandie Callahan, the organizer of a GoFundMe campaign to cover funeral expenses.

The Logan City Police Department announced on May 7, “Early Saturday morning, April 27, 2019, Mr. Michael Fife died of his injuries.”

When detectives reviewed surveillance footage of the alleged sexual assault, they said that “the video showed Mr. Fife walking past the girl, but no sexual assault occurred.”

The police have not released the names of the 16-year-old accuser or her 17-year-old brother, the assault suspect.

The case remains under investigation, police said, adding they were consulting with prosecutors on further steps.

In a post on the campaign page, Callahan has asked people to “help lay big Mike to rest,” adding that donations would go towards settling “the cost of hospital bills, cremation, and entering into a burial plot.”

Woman Jailed for False Rape Claims

The incident recalls the case of a woman who was handed a 10-year prison sentence for making a string of false rape allegations and sexual assault claims.

Jemma Beale, from Hounslow, west London, was given the jail term in August 2017 after claiming she was raped by nine men and sexually assaulted by six in four incidents over the course of three years.

Beale made a bid to overturn her convictions for perverting the course of justice and perjury. Her appeal was rejected by three judges at the Southwark Crown Court of Appeal on March 28, 2019.

The 27-year-old’s false claims against 15 men led to one serving a two-year prison term after being wrongly convicted of rape, while another fled the country.

The string of claims meant police spent more than £250,000 ($326,900) and 6,400 hours investigating her allegations, The Times of London reported.

Man Spends 5 Months in Jail After False Rape Accusation

In another case of false accusations, a 31-year-old man said he spent five months in a maximum security prison after his ex-girlfriend falsely accused him of rape, according to a report.

Australian Daniel Jones, of Canberra, said he was accused of rape and assault by Sarah Jane Parkinson in 2014.

Jones, 31, was arrested at a room in her parents’ home and was detained by police. Parkinson, he said, told the police that he beat and raped her that morning, 9News reported on April 4.

“I’d just built a house and she’d moved in with me, everything was going well,” Jones said. “I had everything going right… and in that instant, everything just went to [expletive],” he added.

Parkinson worked at the local Queanbeyan Police Station, and she told her colleagues that Jones abused her.

In the 2014 incident, he was taken to a maximum security prison and served five months behind bars, reported the Daily Mail. During that time, police investigated multiple false accusations against him.

Parkinson was eventually sentenced to three years in prison for making false statements.

Epoch Times reporters Jack Phillips and Isabel Van Brugen contributed to this article.