A rape reported by a WCU female freshman on December 20, 2001 was in fact a false allegation, according to Gene McAbee, director of Public Safety.
McAbee said an investigation revealed that the report was false and that the victim has admitted so to her family.
“We received some reliable information from people who knew her that suggests she had fabricated the story,” said McAbee.
The student no longer attends Western and, thus far, has not been penalized.
“We did refer the results of that investigation to the Assistant District Attorney,” McAbee stated. “We mutually agreed that prosecution would not be appropriate.”
McAbee noted that the emotional state of the student and her family was taken into consideration.
A mass e-mail was sent out to members of the WCU community at the time of the report, and flyers were posted throughout campus.
Sophomore Deanna Riley was among students who took the warning more than seriously and are now relieved, but at the same time, angered.
“I can’t believe someone would go that low,” said Riley. “The situation kind of put everyone on edge for a while and really had everybody worried. As far as her not being punished, she lied to the cops; isn’ t that a punishable crime?”
McAbee said there has been only one false report of a rape in the 16 years that he has been at Western; that was in 1987.