Who is Rachael Myla Stagner? Wyoming woman faces 21 months in prison for lying about rape
According to the US Attorney’s office, her claims were aimed at extorting money from the victim during the investigation
LANDER, WYOMING: Rachael Myla Stagner, 36, was sentenced to prison for lying about a man sexually assaulting her and extorting money from him.
Stagner was sentenced in US District Court in Cheyenne to 21 months in prison for making false accusations of sexual assault. The court heard that Stagner was indicted on September 16, 2020, and pleaded guilty, months later, on January 4, 2021, for filing false police complaints that she was purportedly sexually harassed and raped by "a white male" on the Wind River Indian Reservation.
Stagner's claims of being sexually assaulted on the Wind River Indian Reservation resulted in an FBI investigation. According to the US Attorney’s office, her claims were aimed at extorting money from the victim during the investigation.
“The US Attorney’s Office and the FBI take any allegation of sexual assault seriously. The resources our offices have to investigate and prosecute crimes on the Wind River Indian Reservation are limited, and false reports hinder and delay other investigations. Not to mention how actions like this belittle the crime of sexual assault and those who are true victims, " said Acting United States Attorney Bob Murray.
According to court documents, Stagner will be serving a little less than two years in prison, which is a lengthier sentence than most women get after making false accusations of rape or sexual assault. In addition to this, Stagner is also ordered by the US District Court Judge Alan B Johnson, to serve three years of supervised release upon completion of her prison sentence. She has also been ordered to pay a $100 special assessment.
FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider said, “The FBI and our law enforcement partners take seriously acts of violence and sexual assault targeting our Native American community. In this case, false claims of such crimes meant to extort the alleged perpetrator, resulting in the diversion of valuable law enforcement and victim service resources away from actual victims."
In his statement, Schneider added, “The FBI thanks our partners at the US Attorney’s Office, Bureau of Indian Affairs – Wind River Police Department, Fremont County Sheriff’s Office, and Montana Department of Corrections – Adult Probation & Parole for their work in this matter.”
According to one FBI report, the number of "unfounded" rape cases in the US, defined as those determined to be false after investigation, is at 8%. However, figures from the US Bureau of Justice Statistics suggest that only 35% of all sexual assaults are even reported to the police.