A University of North Florida student was arrested in Jacksonville last week for filing a false police report after her story about being sexually assaulted in Jacksonville in a recreation center locker room didn’t check out. The woman was charged with filing a false report by the University Police Department, which said several women have done the same over the past couple of years, according to the a report by News4Jax. Police have pushed for each of the women to be charged with filing a false report, which in Florida is a first-degree Duval County misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. The State Attorney’s Office will have the final say on whether charges will be filed against the female student. The school put up fliers all over the recreation complex and the woman provided police with a seemingly detailed description, including her alleged attackers’ clothing and his height within two inches, the television station reported. Students who were interviewed by the station following the alleged Jacksonville assault said they were surprised it could have occurred because there are so many employees working around the gym at all times. It turns out they were right.
The false report charge about this Jacksonville Sex Crime appears to be more to send a message to others than it is to punish the student who lied about the rape, though it would be interesting to know how many man hours were spent investigating the case before the woman admitted to lying about the Jacksonville sex case. News reports that she made the story up came about a week after the alleged Duval County rape. It will be interesting to see how far the state pushes the false report case, if at all. One possible condition of a plea bargain could be her paying back the University Police for the money spent on the investigation of the alleged Jacksonville sex crime. Luckily, there was no one in their early 20s with dark blonde hair between 5-foot-10 and 6-feet tall that police had locked in on before the woman came clean. Sex crimes carry an enormous stigma and even an accusation can be extremely difficult to recover from. And, in many cases, all it takes is an accusation for the state to file charges. There is often very little physical evidence in Jacksonville sexual assault cases and the word of the alleged victim is sometimes the only evidence. The stakes are extremely high for a he-said, she-said case like that – especially since capital sexual battery carries a mandatory life sentence. Lesser offenses require people to register as sexual predators or offenders for the rest of their lives.
Our Jacksonville Sex Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, has represented men falsely accused of sexual assault, and taken cases all the way to trial to clear their names. If you or a loved one needs an experienced sex crimes attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a free consultation. Our Jacksonville sex crimes lawyer is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.