Thursday, March 18, 2010

Officials: Woman Lies About Fire, Rape

Investigators said a Louisville woman set her house on fire while her son and husband were inside.

Authorities also said Leslie Stricklan claimed she was raped and assaulted days earlier.

Major Henry Ott, who heads the Metro Arson Squad, said his investigation uncovered what may have been the bizarre motive behind the alleged crimes that lead to this housewife's arrest this week.

"She claimed she had been raped by an unknown assailant," Ott said. "She provided a physical description to LMPD and they were conducting an investigation.

"A day later, Stricklan filed another report.

"She was getting out the bathroom, out of her shower and someone assaulted her, hit a vase over her head and then ran," Ott said.

Then on Friday, Dec. 18, Ott was called to Stricklan's home after a fire started inside a bathroom.Matches found at the scene led him to believe the fire was no accident.

A phone call from Stricklan's attorney confirmed his hunch, and shed light on the rape and assault claims.

"She presented herself with her attorney and admitted that she had set the fire and that the rape allegation was false, and the assault accusation was false," Ott said.

When Stricklan failed to turn herself in, a warrant was issued for her arrest. It said Stricklan admitted setting fire to her home while her son was in the basement asleep, and her husband was in another room.

"He was under the same assumption that his wife had been raped, she had been assaulted, and now someone had come set her house on fire," Ott said.

The arrest warrant also said Stricklan was "upset at the attention her husband was paying to her when she set the house on fire."

"It was to get attention from her husband is what she explained to us," Ott said.

If convicted on the arson charge, Stricklan faces a punishment of 20 to life.

Meanwhile, a detective with the sex crimes unit says two warrants have been issued for Stricklan's arrest for charges of filing two false reports.

She's in jail on a $10,000 bond for the arson charge.