Monday, December 15, 2008

Many months after Mary Jo Stolle's rape lie, no charges have been filed

Many months after Mary Jo Stolle's rape lie, no charges have been filed.


Police: Taxi driver assault was made up

Officials say the driver has reported 4 similar incidents in the past and the evidence doesn't match her story.

Edition Date: 01/19/08

A taxi driver fabricated a report that she was kidnapped and sexually assaulted, Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney said Friday.

Mary Jo Stolle's story did not match the evidence and she has reported four similar incidents in the past - at least one of which was proved to be untrue out of Las Vegas, Nev., Raney said.

"We are convinced this did not happen," Raney said, adding that he is "puzzled and disappointed."

Stolle told deputies she was kidnapped at a knifepoint by a man who attempted to sexually assault her south of Kuna early Jan. 8.

Stolle provided intense details and helped officials create a precise composite drawing of the man she said attacked her, down to a teardrop tattoo on his cheek. The Boise woman had a cut on her neck and bruises on her face, but Raney said a forensic investigation showed her injuries were inconsistent with her story.

At the time of the reported attack, the case was considered a high priority for the Sheriff's Office with deputies looking for leads, Raney said. Stolle's false report "robs a piece from all the other victims," he said.

Stolle does not have a listed telephone number, a cell phone number the Statesman found was disconnected and requests for her contact information from the cab company were unsuccessful. The company forwarded to Stolle the Statesman's request for comment, but she did not respond.

Raney said Stolle may be charged with providing a false report to law enforcement, a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a $300 fine. He will turn the case over to the prosecutor's office.

"If they were to find enough evidence, we would support the fact that she be charged," Raney said.

Stolle told detectives she picked up the man in her taxi near the Torch 2 Lounge in Boise around 11 p.m. Monday, Jan. 7, because he wanted to be taken to a Kuna bar. She said that on the way, a man took out a knife, placed it next to her neck, and eventually took over driving the cab into the desert off Swan Falls Road, where he attempted to sexually assault her.

Stolle told deputies the man closed her in the trunk of the cab and called someone to pick him up. She said after he was gone, she called the cab company to report the assault.

Raney said the details in Stolle's false report mirror those she's made in jurisdictions "from New York through the Western States."

Stolle was working as a limousine driver in Las Vegas about five years ago when she made a very similar claim to authorities there, Raney said. That claim was disproved, he said. Idaho Statesman calls to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department were not immediately returned.

Idaho Court records show Stolle also has worked as a limousine driver in Boise.

A worker's compensation claim Stolle filed against a local limousine company was thrown out as unfounded, but she appealed all the way to the Idaho Supreme Court where justices characterized her as "not a credible witness."

Mike Murphy, a manager at Boise City Taxi, said he can't think of a financial reason for Stolle to fake the incident.

Stolle worked as an independent contractor for the company about 12 days before the report, he said. The company is ending the contract with Stolle, he said.

"She worked for herself. There was no real way she could steal from us," Murphy said. "She was a relatively new driver. She struck me as a relatively level-headed human being and I'm surprised by this."

Raney said he couldn't explain why Stolle would file a false report, other than to get attention.

Raney said he's worried Stolle's false report will make the public question kidnapping and rape reports in the future.

Local residents called in dozens of tips after news reports of the reported attack, he said.

"The community did the right things for all the right reasons," he said.

Kathleen Kreller: 377-6418