NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) - Taxpayer dollars were wasted. Precious police time was abused. It was all because a Newport News teen lied about being raped.
"It's very frustrating because we have actual legitimate cases that come through our unit," said Detective Amber Rogers of the Newport News Special Victims Unit.
On Monday, Sept. 24 Rogers had no reason to believe a 15-year-old told her anything but the truth.
"She alleged that an unknown male, unknown race, abducted her from the bus stop, drug her to the woods behind the bus stop, and then sexually assaulted her," Rogers said.
Afraid that a violent sex offender was on the loose, Rogers says police began extra patrols in the victim's Willow Green neighborhood. She worked overtime to interview the teen and investigate the case.
A nurse put in time administering a PERK, Physical Evidence Recovery Kit, also called a rape kit, which is worth approximately $1,200. That kit was sent to the Virginia State Lab, normally filled with demands for DNA results.
"The State Lab is extremely backed up. It already takes approximately three months minimum to get the PERKs back as it is," Rogers said.
Everything done to protect a victim and find the suspect is all worth the time and money, according to Rogers, except when the victim isn't really a victim at all.
"She didn't want to tell her father that she had been fooling around at the bus stop that morning and she didn't want to get pregnant," Rogers said.
Rogers says the teen lied to receive the 'morning after pill,' which she did get.
"All those other cases that were legitimate had to be put aside and didn't get the proper time and effort that was needed," Rogers said.
Rogers emphasizes police do want you to come forward immediately if you have been sexually assaulted. They will believe you and they will always work to solve your case and protect you.
In the meantime, police charged the teen with filing a false police report which is a misdemeanor. If found guilty, she or her parents may have to pay the costs of the rape kit and even possibly some of the overtime spent in this case. She may also be sentenced to community service.
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