Tulsa Woman Falsely Reported Rape

Monday, April 27th 2009, 10:48 pm
By: News On 6

By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- It turns out a report from a woman found under a porch was mostly false.  The woman had claimed she was kidnapped and raped. Tulsa Police say much of her story was a lie and they are frustrated they spent so much time and effort on the case.

The story was heart-wrenching and scary all at the same time.  A man and his mother found a woman crying out for help underneath their porch.  She told them and police she'd been walking when she was kidnapped, held for two days and sexually assaulted inside a nearby house.

04/08/2009 Related Story: Tulsa Woman Claims She Was Held Prisoner, Raped

Police say she wasn't kidnapped. Several witnesses confirm the man picked her up at her home. Detectives say they can also prove she wasn't assaulted inside the home, either. The man involved, saw the story on the news and went to police before they even called him.

He told them it was a consensual encounter from the beginning."

"It's just a fact, in sexual assault investigations, that we have false reports," said Tulsa Police Sgt. Gary Stansill of the Sex Crimes Unit.

Police rarely ask for charges to be filed against false reporters, unless someone ended up being falsely arrested or the case took a lot of time and effort, like this one.

"Probably 50-60 man-hours," said Sgt. Gary Stansill.  "Estimate probably at least $2,000- $3,000, maybe more."

False rape reports are a big taboo subject.

Advocate groups estimate only 2% are false, but police departments believe it's much higher, in some places, half or more.  Detectives don't usually make a big deal out of it because they don't want real victims to be reluctant to come forward.

"I'd rather work 20 false reports than lose one legitimate case because someone was fearful they wouldn't be believed," said Sgt. Gary Stansill.

The Good Samaritan in the case says learning the truth will make her think twice before offering help to someone else in the future.

Police say people have different reasons for filing false reports:  emotional problems, revenge, to cover up for something they shouldn't have been doing.  If the woman is charged with filing a false police report, it would be a misdemeanor.