Friday, July 2, 2010

SoCal woman charged with filing false police report

Prosecutors on Friday filed a misdemeanor charge against a Southern California woman accused of making up a story about being abducted to avoid telling her parents she had dropped out of college.

Nancy Salas, 22, of Glendale was charged with one count of giving a false report of a crime to a peace officer, said District Attorney Larry D. Morse II.

If convicted, she faces up to a year in county jail and a fine, Morse said. Salas vanished May 12 after saying she was going for a morning run in Glendale, a Los Angeles suburb.

An extensive search began, but detectives soon learned that although Salas had told her family she was about to graduate from the University of California, Los Angeles, she hadn’t been enrolled since 2008.

Salas turned up the next day 300 miles away in the Central Valley city of Merced, where authorities said she called 911 and claimed to have been kidnapped and sexually assaulted.

Her brother, Henry, who earlier had acted as family spokesman, said Friday he was unaware of the charge. He said he did not know if his sister had retained an attorney.

Morse said Salas will be notified to appear in court for arraignment. A date has not been set.

The investigation was very expensive and time consuming for law enforcement, including the need to take Salas for a sexual assault exam, the district attorney said.

“While we do feel some sympathy that she seems to have painted herself into a corner that she didn’t know how to extricate herself from ... we are compelled to hold her accountable,” he said.