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Posted on Mon, Jun 11, 2012 : 3:23 p.m.

Police: Sexual assault reported on U-M's campus Sunday did not occur

By Kyle Feldscher

The University of Michigan Department of Public Safety stated Monday that a sexual assault involving three men allegedly "groping" a woman did not occur and cancelled the crime alert sent to the university community.

The crime alert was sent Sunday morning and detailed a sexual assault reported between 11:30 p.m. Saturday and midnight Sunday in the 800 block of East Washington Street.

The woman told police she was walking northbound through Ingalls Mall and was taunted by three men with an anti-homosexual slur.

According to the crime alert, one of the men grabbed her multiple times, including her arm and breast, before she pushed him away. The update on Monday stated that never happened.

“Through follow-up investigation, it has been determined that the reported assault did not occur,” the report stated.

Department spokeswoman Diane Brown said there wasn't anything more to add to the alert cancellation. She said it's "too early to tell" if a charge of filing a false police report will be pursued against the woman.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Tue, Jun 12, 2012 : 6:01 p.m.

I agree with Orian. People dealing with reporting an incident like this often back out for many reasons, like feeling that no one will believe her or that she may feel that if she reports it, she angers the men involved in the incident and fears for her safety. There's so many reasons why people don't report or withdraw reports. And we know that statistically, it's not common for women to fabricate sexual assaults. That doesn't mean it doesn't happen, but we also don't have the details or the authority to make that judgement. The story is relatively vague and it's hard to say exactly what happened with so few details.

Eight Ball

Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 6:19 p.m.

The camera don't lie, people do.


Tue, Jun 12, 2012 : 5:26 p.m.

That's why should make it sound like it happened. The way the headline put it , it made it sound like it had happened, with out police investigation. This is two faced by the way. Are the writers here Republicans.


Tue, Jun 12, 2012 : 5:30 p.m.

Sorry i forgot the NOT in the first sentence. "Should Not" make it sound

Jaime Magiera

Tue, Jun 12, 2012 : 12:46 p.m.

I had a sense this was the case when I read the initial DPS report Sunday. It didn't jive with the types of behavior I see downtown - particularly the slur. I hope the police don't press charges. Yes, there were some wasted police resources. However, the person involved likely has more going on inside that needs to be addressed by professionals. Instead of being angry or feeling a need for punishment, we should try to help this person out. Compassion.

Jaime Magiera

Wed, Jun 13, 2012 : 3:11 a.m.

(I'm disappointed that apparently has a word filter that prevents using "bad" words, even if you are quoting them. That seems to dumb down the conversation)

Jaime Magiera

Wed, Jun 13, 2012 : 3:09 a.m.

Terri, I've lived here since 1990. It's changed quite a bit over the years downtown. I used to get comments here and there during the 1990s from mostly out of town people. However, I've noticed a substantial change downtown the past decade. There are less comments like that. In fact, I've experienced several situations in the past few years that indicated the person was going to say it but interrupted themselves thinking better. There's a cultural change that has happened in Ann Arbor to where people are beginning to police themselves. There are certainly drunk people on porches shouting things to passersby, but much less of the more serious stuff. I'm in no way intending to invalidate your experiences, but living and working on campus, I can definitely seeing its becoming much more rare. Also, perhaps my way of explaining the premonition doesn't do it justice. However, there are other people here who got the same vibe.

Terri Eagen-Torkko

Tue, Jun 12, 2012 : 5:09 p.m.

"It didn't jive with the types of behavior I see downtown - particularly the slur." I've lived in the area since 1995 and I've certainly been hassled in Ann Arbor for being a lesbian. Just because you don't see it doesn't mean it isn't happening.

Jaime Magiera

Tue, Jun 12, 2012 : 4:22 p.m.

I wonder if Kyle, or someone else with access to good police record resources, could determine the actual number of false complaints in Ann Arbor. Is it a rare thing? Is it a common thing? Is it an epidemic? How important is it that we make an example of the person vs. helping them? Overall, if it turns out to be psychologically motivated, I'd say the police should suspend any punishment if there is an agreement to seek some help. If it goes to court, I would hope the judge decides something along those lines as well.

Jaime Magiera

Tue, Jun 12, 2012 : 3:59 p.m.

Saying "what if" in terms of illegal imprisonment, resources spent, etc. seems to miss the mark. This took up resources for sure, but nothing like any of the examples provided. DPS quickly followed up on the complaint and it was deemed false. Comparing this situation with anything like Duke, or the man who was improperly imprisoned, is erroneous. More over, the nature of the complaint would seem to indicate that the person needs assistance. One doesn't fabricate such a serious accusation without some type of underlying issue. It's not unheard of in our society to treat people with compassion when there are underlying issues regarding the person's emotional, psychological or physical health. Again, there is not likely to be a copycat, nor is the person likely to commit this offense again. In terms of being voted down: That's OK. I can stand my ground just fine.


Tue, Jun 12, 2012 : 3:37 p.m.

Looks like you are 0-8, there sport. Maybe on the way to a record? Who knows.


Tue, Jun 12, 2012 : 3:17 p.m.

My compassion is limited to people who, out of illness or desperation or whatever, do something that doesn't involve potential harm to others. When you put other people's lives and or well-being into jeopardy, you deserve what you get. There are just too many alternatives available to people who are hurting and need help for me to have compassion for a person who does something like this. She should be charged, and if the court sees fit to order some type of therapy or whatever, in addition to restitution to the city for the expenses involved in what had to be a pretty labor-intensive initial response, so be it.


Tue, Jun 12, 2012 : 2:32 p.m.

So we should all get one mulligan in your opinion? Awesome! I'm gonna make mine a good one.

Jaime Magiera

Tue, Jun 12, 2012 : 1:57 p.m.

Oooooo, I've been marked down by three commenters. I can't help but feel that all this "Press Charges! What about Duke University?!", etc. is motivated by a type of anger and spitefulness. Social/legal situations of a sexual nature often do this. I think it's safe to say that the person won't do something like this again, and that there is little chance of a copycat. So, there is little value in punishment when clearly the person needs some support. C'mon people, stop letting your frustrations with other incidents cloud your judgement on something in our community.


Tue, Jun 12, 2012 : 12:09 p.m.

Before being exposed as a hoax, a few posters were crying out that the groping/ anti-homesxual slur perps should be charged with a hate crime. Others noted with irony and disgust that the groping/ anti- homsexual slur incident would NOT be counted as a hate crime. Why isnt anybody insisting the false victim be charged with her own hate crime? Perhaps falsely accusing anyone ( even phantom perps) of making anti- homosexual slurs is a hate crime against ( even phantom) homophobes. Its notable the "hate crime" hopes have dried up.


Tue, Jun 12, 2012 : 3:30 a.m.

I thought their were some pieces missing in this story. She really should be charged, after opening such a can of worms. Make her pay for the officer's time, and lets not forget the K-9.


Tue, Jun 12, 2012 : 3:11 p.m.

She should also be identified, but I bet she won't be unless she's charged, which I don't agree with since she wasn't the victim of a sexually oriented crime. If she had reported a burglary, she'd have been named in the article. Since the alleged crime was sexual in nature, she was not named. Now that we know she made it up, she should be named.


Tue, Jun 12, 2012 : 2:09 a.m.

Do we know why the report was cancelled? Did she admit to it?


Tue, Jun 12, 2012 : 1:23 a.m., Could you clarify a certain ambiguity in this article? I am not clear whether, according to the University Police, the entire incident did not happen, or is it that the woman was harassed, but not groped as initially reported? If some of this did happen I think it is important to let the public know that an anti-gay harassment did happen on Saturday night. Thank you!


Tue, Jun 12, 2012 : 4:58 p.m.

hmmm... I wonder what it means: "It may have happened at another location and time"? sounds really strange and evasive to me... and DennisP, in cases of sexual assault/harassment, the experience of interrogation and testifying may be scary and humiliating for the victim. One reason for someone to back our of their report could be being too emotionally fragile to deal with it. The original incident was described in details, it pointed toward anonymous pretty generic suspects (so it wasn't a case of vengeance). Why would some make something like that up? Make more sense to me that she back out because she was scared. As a female who has experienced anti-gay verbal harassment a couple of times in the last few weeks (and has friends have been also harassed on different occasions, also lately), I feel there is a phenomenon here that deserves some attention, rather than immediate dismissal.

Kyle Feldscher

Tue, Jun 12, 2012 : 3:24 p.m.

Orian- Diane Brown told me today that the entire incident, including the taunting, did not occur at the location specified by the woman. It may have happened at another location and time, but did not happen at Ingalls Mall.


Tue, Jun 12, 2012 : 1:33 p.m.

Could be they checked cameras in the area and saw she was all alone.


Tue, Jun 12, 2012 : 11:03 a.m.

How would you know? If the assault story was fabricated, then any other claims would be suspect at the least. One common way of identifying false stories is the police will come back later and have the person repeat his/her account. It rarely jibes with the original story and when asked to explain discrepancies, more inconsistencies result. For instance, descriptions of alleged perpetrators. The problem with a lie is that it is fabricated. A person can't "remember" facts because it isn't based on facts. A person then begins to fabricate on the fly and inconsistencies are a natural result. At that point, nothing the person claims can have any credibility.

Stephen Landes

Tue, Jun 12, 2012 : 1:08 a.m.

There's a young man trying out for the Seattle Seahawks who was wrongly charged with sexual assault and served time for it -- only to be found innocent (not just not guilty, but truly innocent) after serving his time. These charges are too serious and have too much impact on everyone's life (including the supposed victim) for the prosecutor to fail to charge in such a case.


Tue, Jun 12, 2012 : 12:45 a.m.

Just think for a moment of an arrest had been made based on tghe victim's lies. The suspect would be guilty until proven innocent and his life would be ruined. So how about we even the playing field by publishing the alleged victim's name and address?


Mon, Jun 11, 2012 : 11:14 p.m.

Sigh, if she reported this "crime" that didn't happen I wonder what the wait is in charging her. Is there a psych evaluation they're waiting on perhaps? Well whatever the reason, I'm glad no one was falsely arrested and imprisoned, like that man in the national news recently. He served 5 years in prison before being released and proven innocent.


Mon, Jun 11, 2012 : 11:03 p.m.

Seriously? Is that what they say....what they "quote" you? Too early to tell? lol Why don't the cops speak english. Too early to tell means we haven't made up our minds yet and this is a yes or no question. There are no mitigating circumstances in my opinion that could possibly make the DA determine NOT to charge. Charge Her. This is such an insult to women especially but to the cops, the school, the town and all of us. Lock her up.


Tue, Jun 12, 2012 : 3:09 p.m.

No, I didn't miss that part, but this part: "Why don't the cops speak english. Too early to tell means we haven't made up our minds yet and this is a yes or no question." made it seem that there was question as to who was responsible for the decision to charge.


Tue, Jun 12, 2012 : 1:02 p.m.

"There are no mitigating circumstances in my opinion that could possibly make the DA determine NOT to charge." You must of missed this part.


Tue, Jun 12, 2012 : 1:34 a.m.

It's not up to the police to decide if she gets charged. Is this something of which you are not aware? It's up to Brian Mackie, the county prosecutor, and his office, and I can tell you that he almost NEVER charges females who make false reports of sexual assaults. It's indefensible, but it's true. Females, especially college students, in Washtenaw County make so many false reports of sexual assault, fondling and outright rape every year that most people would never believe it, and yet I can't remember a single one being charged. Yet Mackie gets reelected over and over.


Mon, Jun 11, 2012 : 10:58 p.m.

"The woman told police she was walking northbound through Ingalls Mall and was taunted by three men with an anti-homosexual slur." What was their first clue? ^^^^^^


Mon, Jun 11, 2012 : 10:13 p.m.

Let's just go with the original story like they did with the Duke Lacrosse Team case or the Trayvon Martin case in Miami. It doesn't have to have taken place but it sure make good copy!

Ivor Ivorsen

Tue, Jun 12, 2012 : 2:12 p.m.

Trayvon Martin is alive?

Michigan Man

Mon, Jun 11, 2012 : 11:56 p.m.

xmo - like your line of thinking! Its slow around A2 these days with the students gone and M football not yet in swing - so why not some fabricated/pretend/made up news for the locals to gnash their teeth over.


Mon, Jun 11, 2012 : 10:02 p.m.

I thought this story sounded fishy.


Mon, Jun 11, 2012 : 10 p.m.

Remember the child porn case? The resident was in tears after being harrassed by the University lawyers. If the DPS does not have enough evidence to bring charges, then I am not sure who I believe.

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Jun 11, 2012 : 8:01 p.m.

"Department spokeswoman Diane Brown.....said it's "too early to tell" if a charge of filing a false police report will be pursued against the woman.' What will be the deciding factor I wonder? According to the original story she even gave a description..... "18 to 20 year-old, 6-foot white male of medium build, medium-length blonde hair and unshaven. He was wearing a light-colored T-shirt and blue jeans."


Mon, Jun 11, 2012 : 7:51 p.m.

I don't get these people who do this..there's nothing funny about it..its a huge waste of everyones tie and money...throw a charge her way and send her a bill maybe if these people had to dish out a few thousand bucks every time they did this they might think twice.


Mon, Jun 11, 2012 : 7:45 p.m.

Department spokeswoman Diane Brown said there wasn't anything more to add to the alert cancellation. She said it's "too early to tell" if a charge of filing a false police report will be pursued against the woman why? she wasted resources of the department, charge her and send her a bill.


Mon, Jun 11, 2012 : 7:31 p.m.

So....will the police charge her with faking a hate crime and stirring up the user community?


Tue, Jun 12, 2012 : 12:05 a.m.

The Duke rape hoax accuser was never prosecuted for any crime after putting three innocent men through months worth of hell including death threats from the new black panther party (inside the courtroom) removal from school, alienation from other students AND faculty, and hundreds of thousands of dollars of legal bills. Not to mention the eventual disbarring and criminal prosecution of the District Attorney at the time. Evidently when a woman makes a false claim of rape, they're not entitled to any punishment in this country no matter how much harm it causes.


Mon, Jun 11, 2012 : 10:16 p.m.

Peregrine, if the stirring up is a crime, we must give thanks to the anonymous feature - several of us would be doing hard time and old smoke there could be charged as an habitual offender.


Mon, Jun 11, 2012 : 8:14 p.m.

I didn't know the police could charge someone with "stirring up the user community".

Kyle Feldscher

Mon, Jun 11, 2012 : 7:43 p.m.

smokeblwr- I spoke to Diane Brown just after your comment was posted. I asked her if the woman will be charged with filing a police report and she told me it's too early to tell.