Woman admits to false report on sexual assault

Police considering charges

Story by Chris Graham

A woman who reported to police that she had been the victim of a sexual assault in her Southeast Waynesboro home on Monday is now admitting that she made the story up.

The woman, whose name has not been released by Waynesboro Police, could face charges for filing a false police report.

The admission came during an interview with police investigators this morning, Waynesboro Police Sgt. Kelly Walker said.

“There were some inconsistencies in her story and some things that she was putting forward that could not be corroborated in any way,” Walker told AugustaFreePress.com.

Police combed the immediate area around the woman’s home between the Waynesboro Country Club on Meadowbrook Avenue and Lyndhurst Road in the hours after the 4:30 p.m. Monday report to police. The report was quite specific, describing the assailant as a 6-foot tall white man with dark hair, dark eyes and wearing khakis and a white T-shirt. The report included the detail that the suspect had fled the scene of the alleged crime in a green 2002 Ford Explorer.

A story in Tuesday’s News Virginian reported that police stopped a vehicle matching that description and conducted interviews with the vehicle’s occupants. Walker told AugustaFreePress.com today of another part to the backstory to the incident.

“We had gotten some calls during the day about some vacuum-cleaner salesmen. Because of that happenstance, we began putting some of that together with this case,” Walker said.

“Four or five men” associated with the vacuum-cleaner sales team were brought in for questioning, Walker said.

None of the men brought in for questioning met the physical description of the suspect, “but we didn’t know that until we rounded them all up, obviously,” Walker said.

Tips called into police in the days following the alleged assault included questions from people claiming to know the accuser that raised issues for investigators concerning the veracity of her story, according to Walker.

“The questions started to build. It wasn’t something immediate. It just built over time,” Walker said.

Walker could not give a time frame on when a decision on possible false-report charges could be made.

“We look at the state of mind of the person making the report. The histories – medical, mental health, whatever. In the end we try to make a decision that serves justice and also accounts for the resources that the city poured into the accusation,” Walker said.

“The nature of the alleged crime, the location, all of that contributed to an atmosphere of fear. I can tell you that I received calls from several citizens about, What should we do, Should we go about our daily routines, Should we lock our doors? It did raise a sense of angst in the community. That has to be considered as well,” Walker said.



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