Police: Teen's False Report One Of Many
False Reporting Punishable With Imprisonment
MAULDIN, S.C. -- A teenage girl is accused of filing a false police report about being attacked on New Year's Day, and hers is just one of many such cases over the past few years in the Upstate.
Mauldin police are still investigating what led 16-year-old Pearl Brown to lie about being attacked.
Mauldin Police Chief Bryan Turner said Tuesday that Brown injured herself and called on her own cell phone, pretending to be a man who had attacked her.
Detectives believe the teen did it because of a dare.
"From what I understand, it may have been partly in a dare -- that somebody told her 'Hey, this might be something to do,'" Mauldin Police Chief Bryan Turner told WYFF News 4. "I do think that she was looking for some attention. And she got it."
Brown's false report is one of many in the Upstate over the past few years.
Psychiatrist Gretchen Enright said the quest for attention is common among individuals who lie about being the victim of a crime.
"They see in the media and in movies and on television shows that victims get a lot of nurturance and protection and care from individuals," Enright said. "They may feel they're not getting those needs met."
Enright said they may be trying to deflect attention from other problems.
"They may be trying to avoid some other aspects of their life and they may feel that this is the only way that they can get out of those other sorts of responsibilities," Enright said.
Enright said some of these individuals may not comprehend the consequences of crying wolf to law enforcement.
"Young people don't necessarily understand the seriousness of the consequences of when they're telling a lie," said Enright.
Mauldin Detective Brian Wright said, "It's really frustrating to us to waste all this time, energy and effort. Somebody else could be hurt in other cases and we're wasting our time on something that's not even true."
The penalty for a juvenile convicted of filing a false report varies at the discretion of a family court judge.
For adults, the sentence varies in accordance with the crime reported. The penalty for false reporting of a misdemeanor is up to 30 days in prison and $500 fine. For the false report of a felony, such as rape, the penalty can be up to five years in prison and a $1,000 fine.
Below are Upstate incidents from the past two years in which investigators say false police reports were filed:
Clemson student rape report http://www.wyff4.com/news/15441777/detail.html
Pastor arson report
Simpsonville abduction report
Anderson University student rape report http://www.wyff4.com/news/18567437/detail.html
Pebble Creek rape report http://www.wyff4.com/news/21897894/detail.html
Spartanburg robbery report
Greenwood rape report http://www.wyff4.com/news/15914226/detail.html
College students' attack report http://www.wyff4.com/news/15047031/detail.html
Judge's threat report
Previous Pearl Brown Stories:
January 6, 2010: Police: Teen Faked 911 Call, Attack http://www.wyff4.com/news/22143326/detail.html
January 5, 2010: 911 Caller: 'I Just Killed A Girl'
RAW AUDIO OF THE 9-11 CALL -- http://www.wyff4.com/video/22124909/index.html