Absurd Prison Sentence for Couple in False Rape Extortion Scam

Jessica Langshaw, 20, and her boyfriend, Raul Umana, 28, had a neat little scam that left them with more than $500,000 in profits before they were caught. But it was what happened after they were caught that was just as outrageous.

The scam worked like this. Langshaw would get to know men whom she’d meet over Internet chat room (and a few she knew personally). Then she’d tell the marks that unless they gave her money, she would file sexual assault charges against them.

Over a period of 8 months, Langshaw targeted 8 men in this way and she and her boyfriend collected more than $500,000 from this blackmail scheme.

She was finally caught during a routine meeting of different California law enforcement agencies. Langshaw’s name was mentioned and several law enforcement officials realized they all had rape reports filed by the young woman.

According to Ed Ward, Langshaw was charged with 6 felony counts of extortion, 5 felony counts of postal threats, and 3 perjuries and false reports of rape. Her boyfriend was charged with 9 counts of extortion, 8 threats, three counts of perjury and 3 false reports of rape.

Rather than go to trial, District Attorney Jan Scully reached a plea bargain with the couple which isn’t surprising. But the plea bargain involved Langshaw spending only 1 year in jail and Umana spending less than 2 years in jail. For filing numerous false reports of rape and extortion for material gain that is a ridiculously low sentence. Surely the District Attorney could have obtained a better plea bargain that for attempting to subvert the criminal justice system for personal profit.

The result is just mind boggling.


It’s almost official: Abuse U.S. Courts for power and profit. Ed Ward, NewsWithViews.Com, April 28, 2003.

Bite-sized items from here and there. KnoxNews.Com, April 22, 2003.

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