Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Woman makes false reports

A Blanchester woman has been charged with making false alarms after she reported that she had been sexually assaulted and evidence indicated that no sexual assault occurred, said Blanchester Police Chief Scott Reinbolt.

Collene Holcomb, 50, of 107 N. Broadway St., Blanchester, was charged by p0lice in connection with a report she made on July 29, 2012 that she had been sexually assaulted at her home several days earlier while her children were present. Reinbolt said Holcomb named her alleged assailant.

“An investigation was opened, which involved interviews with all of Holcomb’s children as well as the man accused of the assault,” Reinbolt said. “The evidence gathered indicated that no sexual assault had occurred.”

The police chief said this is not the first time that Holcomb has claimed she had been sexually assaulted.

“The details provided by Holcomb were very similar to a sexual assault she reported in February of 2012, which was also unfounded,” Reinbolt said. “Holcomb reported to police that she had been sexually assaulted at her home several days earlier and identified her perpetrator as the same man she named in the July 2012 allegation.”

Police also investigated an alleged incident reported by Holcomb on Oct. 15, 2010 which allegedly involved the same person, Reinbolt said.

“Holcomb reported to the police department that her food was being adulterated by the same perpetrator she named in the sexual assault cases,” Reinbolt said. “An investigation was opened into that matter, and the evidence indicated that no criminal offense had occurred.”

Reinbolt said the charge of making false alarms alleges that Holcomb reported a crime to police, knowing that no such crime had occurred.

“This is an important distinction, in that we do not want to do anything to discourage any victim of crime from coming forward to make a report,“ Reinbolt said. “We fully understand that sometimes allegations may be difficult to prove. However, knowingly making a false report is something altogether different from honestly bringing forth an allegation of a crime in a difficult case,” he said.

Reinbolt said the police department is prepared to investigate any allegation of criminal conduct.

“We place a particular emphasis on investigation of personal crimes which are those involving harm to people,” he said. “However, it is our job to gather facts in order to seek the truth, no matter where that search leads. Repeatedly identifying the same innocent suspect as the perpetrator of felony crimes, and thus subjecting him to police scrutiny, is something that is unjust to the accused, as well as a disservice to others in the community by consuming limited police resources.”

Holcomb will make an appearance in Clinton County Municipal Court to answer the charge.