The 15-year-old girl who claimed she was raped while jogging during the day will now face charges.
The girl, whose name has not been released, faces two counts of “false reporting of a crime to police,” WWSB reported. The first count relates to her initial claim of sexual battery and the second refers to another claim she made about a physical assault a few days later.
The Daily Wire previously reported that the girl claimed she was out jogging near her neighborhood when a man attacked and raped her and then fled in a black four-door car. She gave police a DNA sample and worked with a sketch artist to come up with a drawing of the man she claimed had attacked her. She said her attacker was a white, 36- to 38-year-old man about 5’8” with dark hair and a goatee.
Josh Taylor, a police spokesman, initially told Fox 13 that authorities believed it “was a targeted attack” on the teen based on her accusation. Taylor added that the “DNA will tell a lot,” but that it would take time, leaving a potential attacker “roaming the streets.”
The girl made the accusation on January 6, prompting police to spend the next week investigating her claim.
“The North Port Police Department said it spent the next week investigating the teenager’s claims by speaking with neighbors and business owners in the area. Police determined something just wasn’t right about the girl’s story – they couldn’t find any witnesses or video of the alleged incident despite it taking place in broad daylight,” The Daily Wire reported.
When police spoke to the girl again after finding no evidence of her claims, she admitted to making up the story. Police then issued a statement to the media, saying it would “continue to investigate all reports such as this with the rigor and respect they deserve.”
The statement also called out false accusations.
“False reports of this nature are not taken lightly and can impact the perception of real reports of sexual battery,” the statement said. “Anytime we have a report this serious, we simply can not take the chance of failing to educate the public when necessary.”
WWSB reported that “a sexual assault kit and exam found no internal or external injuries.”
After the girl admitted to lying about the initial report, police were again called out on January 13. This time the girl told them that around 7:20 p.m. she let her dog out only to be pushed to the ground by an unknown man, who then ran off. She told police the push knocked her out and that the next thing she remembered was a friend waking her up, WWSB reported.
Detective interviewed her the next day and she admitted making that story up as well.
Police initially told Fox 13 after the girl’s first story that they would focus on getting her whatever help and support she needed. It appears now that police might actually take seriously the false accusations, though punishment will likely be minimal.