General Crime

Woman Admits She Lied About Being Raped at University of California at Santa Cruz Trail

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A woman who told the University of California at Santa Cruz police that she was sexually assaulted on campus earlier this month admitted to fabricating the incident, the campus police chief said today. The 21-year-old woman, from outside Santa Cruz County and not a student, had reported that she had been raped and beaten around noon Feb. 17 while walking in a remote area of campus near the Upper Quarry Amphitheater and Classroom Unit building, UC Santa Cruz police Chief Nader Oweis said.

Oweis said in the past day the woman had admitted the crime did not occur. “We have worked around the clock and confirmed that the information that she had provided regarding the event was false,” Oweis said. The Police Department is sending the case to the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office for review and prosecution, Oweis said. “It’s still very important for the public to be vigilant and to understand that this did not occur,” Oweis said.

No one was arrested in connection with the fabricated assault. The woman had told police the suspect had fled. The alleged attack had spurred increased safety measures in the past 11 days — including increased police and security patrols and a nighttime safety escort service on campus — which Oweis said will continue regardless.

A $5,000-reward for information about the sexual assault suspect that was announced last week has been rescinded in light of the admitted fabrication, according to Oweis.

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