07-15-08 Sexual Assault Claim Recanted; Officers Investigate Filing of False Report
Boise, July 15, 2008 - Boise Police Detectives want to alert citizens that the report of a sexual assault that allegedly occurred over the weekend near Eagle & Chinden has been recanted.
Detectives say the 19 year old Caldwell woman who made the claim now says she was trying to cover up a fight she'd been in with another woman earlier in the evening.
Boise Police Detectives say they plan to charge the woman with filing a false police report, a misdemeanor that could allow the department to recoup some of the cost of the intense three-day investigation.
Again, Boise Police want to thank citizens in the area of Eagle & Chinden for being on the watch for anyone suspicious, but to emphasize that the evidence, including the victim's own admission, points to no sexual assault occurring in that area this past weekend, and as a result, no outstanding suspect.
Background: Early Saturday morning, approx. 5:16 a.m. July 12th, Boise Police were called to a local hospital where a woman was being treated for injuries she claimed were the result of an attack. The woman was brought to the hospital by a group of friends after she'd returned to a party with injuries.
The woman told police she'd gone to a convenience store at the corner of Eagle & Chinden at approx. 4:00 a.m. and was attacked by a man in the parking lot. She claimed she was beaten and sexually assaulted. Indeed, the woman did have injuries consistent with being in a violent physical struggle.
During the investigation, detectives began to gather evidence, including witness statements, that pointed to a violent struggle between the woman reporting the attack and another woman. Both women know each other and have been involved in an ongoing conflict. The physical fight occurred at a home outside the City of Boise. At this time, no charges have been filed in connection with the altercation.
At about the same time detectives were gathering new evidence, the victim earlier today recanted her story of the sexual assault and admitted she made up the story.
Filing a False Police Report: Filing a False Police report is a misdemeanor under Idaho Code, with fines and penalties being set by a judge in a court of law. Police detectives say investigating false reports can be more costly and time consuming than investigating legitimate claims because there is no true trail of evidence to follow. Boise Police will work with prosecutors in trying to recoup department costs for investigating false claims.
Sexual Assault Reports: Boise Police investigators hope news of isolated cases like this do not deter other victims of sexual assault from reporting potential crimes. Boise Police have developed effective policies and protocols with community partners like hospitals, counselors, and victim advocates to provide investigative services as well as emotional support and counseling to those who have been the victim of an unwanted sexual attack.