Monday, December 21, 2009

Haverstraw woman accused of making up kidnap, rape story

Update: Links to cached version of story updated.

Unfortunately, the link to this news story has since been pulled.

It appears to be a case of falsely claiming rape to cover up being out late, being drunk, and based on what she stated, doing cocaine. It sounds like she partied it up, hooked up with someone, and then didn't want her family to know.

Francia Lopez charged with false reporting.

HAVERSTRAW — A 23-year-old woman who claimed three men kidnapped and raped her in a trailer park was charged last night after police said she made up the story.

After spending the weekend investigating the woman's report, Haverstraw police detectives and officers found that Francia Lopez's story didn't stand up to facts, Haverstraw police Lt. Martin Lund said.

Police interviewed more than 100 people in the Parkway Trailer Park and the Pomona area, several of whom told them they saw Lopez during the eight or nine hours she claimed to have been held captive, Lund said.

Police also followed up on public sightings of vehicles matching the description of a red, four-door Jeep that she claimed was used in the attack. Officers also did identity and background checks on people, Lund said.

When all leads failed to turn up any suspects, police called Lopez back to police headquarters last night for another interview.

Police then charged her with third-degree falsely reporting an incident, a misdemeanor.

She was released without bail for arraignment on March 15 in Town Court.

"Through our investigation, we found some flaws in her story," Lund said. "We brought her back for another interview, and she recanted her statements."

The woman's report and subsequent police investigation brought the media to Parkway Trailer Park, off Route 202.

"This received such a public outcry and media awareness, we want the public to know that there is not three people running around abducting people," Lund said.

Lund said Lopez might have made up the story to explain to her family why she was out until 6 a.m.

Police said Lopez called them at 6:04 a.m. Friday and told them that she had been walking home from her uncle's house in Parkway Trailer Park at 9 p.m. Thursday when three men drove up to her in a red Jeep.

She told police that one of the men called out her first name and, after she ignored him and kept walking, the driver pulled the vehicle next to her, police said.

She told detectives that one man claimed they knew her brother and they would kill him if she didn't get into the car, police said.

One man pulled her into the car and drove to a wooded area, detectives said Friday.

She told police they forced her to drink alcohol and snort cocaine, and then they raped her.

She reported that she escaped, and said she called the police from a Route 202 gas station near the trailer park.

She said she did not know the wooded area where she had been taken, and she had bruises and remained intoxicated for most of Friday in Good Samaritan Hospital, police said.

Lund said last night that the woman seemed drunk, but toxicology reports were pending on the level of substances in her system.

Lund said the Haverstraw police were assisted by the Sheriff's Department Bureau of Criminal Investigation and detectives from the Rockland County District Attorney's Office.

"We spent countless hours thinking we might have a serious crime that occurred and serious people who needed to be apprehended," Lund said.