Monday, October 5, 2009

Emily J. Petersen, claiming officer raped her, arrested on false reporting charge

PARKER, Colo. -- A 22-year-old woman who claimed a Parker police officer beat and raped her after she was kicked out of a bar was arrested Thursday on charges of false reporting.

Emily J. Petersen, of Castle Rock, will also be charged with an attempt to influence a public servant and forgery, both felonies.

On June 13, at around 1:30 a.m., Petersen and several friends were at the Tailgate Tavern in Parker, and were asked to leave because the bar was closing.

Petersen became uncooperative because she didn't want to leave so bar staffers called police for help, Douglas County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Cocha Heyden said.

Petersen was escorted out of the bar by two uniformed Parker police officers.Later that morning, Petersen reported that she was "beaten and raped" by one of those officers.

The Parker Police Department asked the Douglas County Sheriff's Office to investigate the case to avoid a conflict of interest.

Douglas County detectives conducted a two-month investigation and determined that Petersen was not assaulted by anyone. Detectives discovered significant evidence including video footage and phone records that showed her report was untrue, Heyden said.

"The Douglas County Sheriff's Office and the Parker Police Department take false reporting cases very seriously because they do a grave disservice to actual victims and waste valuable resources," Sheriff David A. Weaver said.

Peterson is being held on $3,000 bond.