Comment: In report after report after report about false rape claims, police say that diverting law enforcement resources to the false claim hinders police officers' ability to investigate other crimes. These assertions are generally made in the abstract. Here is a case where police are pointing to a real life investigation that was hindered because of a false rape claim, and it underscores that police aren't kidding when they complain about misdirected resources.
By Elena Ferrarin
Reported here: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20130315/news/703159743/?interstitial=1
Elgin police, investigating a 2-week-old murder, say they wasted valuable time and resources looking into a report of a nearby sexual assault that turned out to be false.
A Larkin High School senior who lives on the same block as murder victim Lisa Koziol-Ellis made the false report to cover up the fact she lost a dog she was watching, police said.
Katrina R. Sedlock, 18, of the 0-100 block of Garden Crescent Court, was charged with felony disorderly conduct and making a false crime report. She appeared Friday in the Elgin branch of Kane County bond court, police Cmdr. Glenn Theriault said.
Sedlock is a senior at Larkin High School, where she played volleyball in the fall, a school employee confirmed.
Investigators spent time looking into any connection between the alleged sexual assault and the March 2 murder of Koziol-Ellis, who was found stabbed to death, also on the 0-100 block of Garden Crescent Court, Theriault said.
"It was significant," Theriault said of the amount of wasted resources on the false claim, "due to the area it was reported in, and any potential connection to the homicide investigation."
In the meantime, he said, police will be seeking restitution for the costs incurred checking out the assault claim.
Police initially responded to a call just before 7 p.m. Wednesday about a woman lying on the ground and crying at Tyler Creek Plaza in Elgin.
Sedlock was with two friends, a male and a female, and told police her dog had been stolen while they were in an ice cream shop, Theriault said. About 9:20 p.m., he added, Sedlock and the dog owner went to the police department to report the alleged sexual assault. The owner said Sedlock called him to tell him the dog went missing during the attack she spoke of.
Sedlock told police she was walking the dog near Garden Crescent Drive and Wing Street when she was approached by black man who asked her for a cigarette, then punched her in the head and dragged her to a secluded area where he sexually assaulted her, police said. Sedlock said the dog ran away during the assault, Theriault said. Sedlock was taken to Sherman Hospital for an examination.
The next day, police reinterviewed Sedlock's friends. The female said she had been with Sedlock the entire afternoon, while the male said Sedlock didn't mention the assault while they were looking for the dog.
Sedlock's father, who was out of town at the time, said his daughter told him the dog went missing while she was at an ice cream shop, police said.
Police also reinterviewed Sedlock, who eventually admitted to lying, Theriault said. She was arrested at the police department.
"We had some suspicions early on. There were some inconsistencies," he said. "We were able to verify and clarify what did happen."
Sedlock's bond was set at $5,000 on Friday morning in Kane County bond court in Elgin. She is next due in court on April 5.