Can a teen be prosecuted or charged with a crime for falsely accusing a man of rape?
2 attorney answers
Your stepdaughter can definitely face criminal prosecution for filing a false police report. Because she alleged rape, which is a Class Y felony, she could be charged with a felony herself, in this case punishable by up to 6 years in prison. This is a tricky situation. On one hand it's immoral to allow someone to be prosecuted for anything they are not guilty of, much less such a serious crime. On the other hand she will be implicating herself of a felony by admitting it was a lie. I definitely suggest you engage a criminal defense attorney who practices frequently in your jurisdiction; he or she may be able to mitigate the damage and make this right.
As for the lawsuit, intuition tells me that's a possibility, but a civil attorney would be better suited to answer that question.
You need to sit down with a local attorney to discuss this matter. To answer your question simply, both scenarios you've suggested are possible. If the accused elderly man were to sue, he would have to be able to show some form of damages. Based on what you've described he would be hard pressed to find an attorney to take that case on a contingency basis. On whether she is criminally prosecuted, a local attorney could act proactively to find out whether those types of cases are prosecuted in your county. Additionally, he/she could be helpful in coming up with a proactive plan to give the prosecutor a reason not to formally prosecute (get your daughter in counseling to explore the reasons for the false accusation - essentially make some effort to show the prosecutor this was a one time difficult time for her and steps are/have been taken to make sure it does not happen again). Best of luck to you.