Friday, December 3, 2010

Police: Greenbelt sexual assault report not true

BOISE -- After investigating a report of a sexual assault along the Greenbelt, Boise detectives now believe the attack did not happen.

"After all that investigation, it has boiled down to new, solid evidence that the report was false, that the attack did not happen," Lynn Hightower, with Boise Police, said.

A woman told Boise Police that on Oct. 10 a man attacked her from behind under the Capitol Bridge, just yards away from the Boise State University campus.

After hearing a woman reported being attacked, sexually assaulted on the Greenbelt, some college women made some changes.

"I enjoy running by myself, and now it's definitely something I do less often, even in the daytime," student Sydney Schaub said.

"I have mace, so now wherever I go I always have it ready, ready for anything," student Morgan Hurley said.

With the proximity to campus and downtown, the community was on high alert.

"A stranger attack on the greenbelt, near a busy college campus, it was very concerning," Hightower said.

"I thought it was really shocking, especially being a freshman on campus and it being in the first few months in college, it was pretty scary, especially being a female," Schaub said.

In the hours following the reported attack, Boise State alerted students and police eventually released a sketch of a man described as a suspect.

Some people questioned whether it was true in the first place.

"I actually did question the validity of it," student Sara Williams said. "Maybe there just wasn't enough information, a [more detailed] description or something."

Now that police say the attack didn't happen and the sketch isn't a suspect at all, some students who were frightened are now angry or irritated.

"I guess it's kind of annoying that girls or guys would make something up. I don't know why you would do that," Williams said.

Investigators are still working with the woman who reported the attack, but they have solid evidence that the attack did not occur.

"The case is still under investigation. What if anything did occur involving this woman. That's what's still under investigation, so no charges have been filed, it's still ongoing," Lynn Hightower with Boise Police said.

They have not yet said if the woman will be charged with filing a false report.

Boise Police still urge you to be aware of your surroundings and practice safety in numbers when walking at night and report any suspicious activity

"Hopefully there is a little bit of relief that in fact there does not appear to be at least associated with this case any sort of predator out there," Hightower said.

"It makes me feel safer now that it didn't happen," Hurley said.