Sunday, March 23, 2008

Girl lied about gang sex assault, police say

The story

Emma Reilly Staff Reporter

A shocking story of the kidnapping and sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl is untrue, police say.

The girl initially told police she was picked up by eight men in the McCowan and Ellesmere Rds. area on Tuesday night. She said she was put into a van, sexually assaulted by each of the men and dropped off just after 10 p.m., possibly near Kipling Ave. and Highway 401.

The girl was taken to Sick Kids hospital immediately after she reported the assault, where she was examined and interviewed by police.

Yesterday, police revealed that the teen's story was untrue. They are not revealing how they discovered that she made up the ordeal, but they say they don't expect to lay charges.

According to clinical psychologist Dr. Gregory Hamovitch, incidents like this are unusual.

"It's quite rare. If anything, under-reporting of these kind of events is more likely than overreporting," he said.

Hamovitch said the girl might have created the story for attention or to cover up for an unexplained absence.

"Any of these things are possible," said Hamovitch.

In 1994, a 14-year-old girl falsely told police that she was sexually assaulted by a group of men. In that incident, the teen said she was picked up by four men driving a black car in the southeast end of the city.

Police later found out that the girl's story was false. The teen was charged with public mischief.