The woman who cried wolf: fake police report consequences

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Police say a woman who reported she was sexually assaulted on the Greenbelt was lying.

Boise Police and BSU officers spent about 14 hours Sunday investigating her sexual assault report.

"When it comes to filing a false police report or making false criminal allegations, that's a pretty serious hole that is not one you want to dig for yourself," said Lynn Hightower, spokeswoman for the Boise Police Department.

The woman could now be looking at a misdemeanor charge which would be punishable with up to six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. But sexual assault victim advocates say the consequences of this fake report could stretch much farther than that.

"It might give some victims who are already hesitant to report maybe a little more anxiety that they would not be believed now," said Rebecca Lovelace who directs the FACES Family Justice Center in Boise.

FACES works with a large number of the sexual assault victims in Ada County. Lovelace says it's important that all victims know that this one unusual instance will not affect how they're treated.

"We do not want that holding anybody else back from reporting," Lovelace said.

Hightower stresses that all legitimate sexual assault victims should always feel comfortable to step forward.

"Sexual assault reports are too important to go unreported," Hightower said. "Victims need to know that when they come forward to police with a legitimate allegation, that they are going to be believed and detectives are going to do all they can to bring justice for them."