Wednesday, May 9, 2012

WSU student files false police report

Woman claims sexual assault, later admits to lying after police review surveillance video

A Wayne State student is facing possible charges for filing a false police report after admitting she fabricated a report that she was sexually assaulted on WSU’s campus April 23.

According to an April 25 WSU Police Department Campus Watch email, the 30-year-old student told police she was sexually assaulted at 8:45 p.m. April 23 in Lot 50, the parking lot located on Warren Avenue south of Matthaei Physical Education Center.

The woman, whose name has not been released, told police that she was “hit from behind with an unknown object, by an unknown male” and then sexually assaulted, according to the WSUPD email. According to the email, the student drove home and notified police of the alleged attack.

After police alerted WSUPD of the report, WSUPD reviewed surveillance video and noticed “inconsistencies” in her story, according to a follow-up Campus Watch email sent out April 27. When questioned again, the woman retracted her story and signed a statement admitting the report was false, according to the follow-up email.

“We spent all these hours figuring out how this could happen,” WSUPD Chief Anthony Holt said about the investigation process into the report. “All the work we put in and we realized things were not adding up.”

Holt said that WSUPD is still investigating what charges they’re going to file regarding the student’s false report, but said that filing a false police report is “no laughing matter,” because it takes police away from other, legitimate calls.

“We put in a great deal of effort into investigating every report,” Holt said, explaining that for every crime report WSUPD receives, they investigate with canine units, review surveillance tapes and “get everybody involved” in finding the perpetrator.

Holt said fortunately, the student gave a vague fake description of a possible perpetrator, so they “didn’t have to stop a great deal of people” for questioning, but he said if the student made up a more detailed description, “there’s no telling how many people (they) would have stopped and investigated.”

WSUPD is required by law under The Clery Act to notify the university’s students, staff and faculty members of crime on campus and in surrounding areas, according to the Campus Watch email.