NORTH PORT, Fla. (WWSB) - A 15-year-old girl who police in North Port say made up a story about being raped by a man while jogging near her home is now facing charges.
The teen is facing two counts of false reporting of a crime to police - one for the initial claim about the sexual battery and a second for a claim about a physical assault made days later.
Last Monday, January 6, after getting an initial report about the sexual battery from the girl, police alerted the public and media in an effort to keep the community safe and obtain leads. But after an extensive investigation and multiple interviews, detectives say they determined the teen had made it all up.
Police spoke to the girl again the evening of Friday, January 10 and say she admitted making up the story to seek attention.
In a statement on Facebook, police said, “False reports of this nature are not taken lightly and can impact the perception of real reports of sexual battery. Charges in this case will be determined at a later time. Our focus right now is making sure the young woman gets any necessary help. We will continue to investigate all reports such as this with the rigor and respect they deserve.”
The teen had reported to police that around 4:45pm Monday while jogging in the area of Landover Terrace, she was raped a man described as white, between 36- and 38-years-old, 5′8″ tall and an average to muscular build. She told police the man was driving a Ford when he pushed her down, assaulted her and stole her underwear.
Based on the information the teen provided, a digital sketch artist created an image of the suspect.
But police say a sexual assault kit and exam found no internal or external injuries and the teen later admitted making up the report.
On Monday, January 13, police were called again, this time to the teen’s home, where detectives say she told them that around 7:20pm, she opened the door to her lanai to let her dog out when an unknown man pushed her down and then ran off. She told detectives the next thing she remembered was being woken up by a friend.
The following day, detectives interviewed the girl and say she again admitted making up the story.