Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Police charge woman with falsifying rape claim, fraud

After months of investigating an alleged rape that happened on a public trail, St. George Police have charged the alleged victim with fraud and filing a false police report.

Police responded to the alleged sexual assault on May 2 near a bike bath that runs beneath Sunset Boulevard. Captain Kyle Whitehead said Sarah Rutz told police she was jogging south on the trail when she was attacked, knocked to the ground and raped.

Whitehead said after months of investigation and sorting through several leads the detective assigned to this case developed some information that there may not have been a rape.  Whitehead said Rutz, who made the rape allegations, told the detective that the rape had not taken place like she had told investigators originally.

Whitehead said in addition to the false report the case detective found that the victim had committed fraud in obtaining money as a victim of the alleged rape from the Utah State Crime Victims Reparations.

Once the investigation was completed, Whitehead said the case detective met with a representative from the Washington County Attorney’s office.  After reviewing the case with one of the deputy attorneys a warrant was obtained for Rutz for fraud and false report to police. The warrant was served on Rutz and she was booked into the Washington County Jail on those charges.