Monday assault found to be false report
Dec. 12, 2012
ECU News Services
East Carolina University Police will not file charges against a student who falsely reported an assault earlier this week, Chief Scott Shelton said today.
In the early morning hours Monday, ECU Police received a call from a student reporting she had been assaulted on campus near Christenbury Gym around 12:45 a.m.
ECU investigators were unable to corroborate the young woman’s account of the assault. During an interview with the student, it was determined that the crime had been falsely reported.
“We take every reported crime seriously,” said Shelton. “Our primary concern is the safety of the ECU community. We investigate each report that comes into our department. At the same time, we must be vigilant for false reports that cause unnecessary concern and worry on campus.”
“During the investigation it was determined that the best course of action was to use other avenues at the university to address the young woman’s needs,” Shelton added.
Dr. Travis Lewis, director of student safety and services in the Dean of Students Office, said the university offers several options through the Counseling Center and the Dean of Students Office for students who report being the victim of a crime on campus.
“We will work with the young woman as she wishes,” said Lewis. “We can use this as an opportunity to make sure students learn from this and realize there are consequences for false reporting.”
He added that false reports of crimes can also be harmful by triggering memories for students who were true victims of crime. Lewis said the Counseling Center is available for continued support for those students as well.
“If there’s a positive to come out of this, we want it to be a teachable moment for other students,” he said. “There are other avenues for students who are facing personal or academic problems, such as the Center for Counseling and Student Development, Academic Advising, Dean of Students Office and for students living on campus, resident advisors and housing coordinators. People on campus want to help.”