Lehigh U. woman recants rape claim

Student reports sexual assault, then recants

By Autumn Gould

Issue date: 9/8/09

Early Friday morning, a student reported to the Bethlehem Police Department that she was sexually assaulted on campus, according to an e-mail sent out to the campus community by John Smeaton, vice provost for student affairs. Lehigh Police Chief Edward Shupp said the student reported the assault at around 2:15 a.m.

The 19-year-old female was already in the custody of Bethlehem Police for an unrelated matter.B

ethlehem, Lehigh and Pennsylvania State police departments began an investigation immediately regarding the assault.

Several hours later, the student recanted her statement, saying no such assault actually took place, Shupp said.

Again, both police departments further investigated the situation and decided to support the student's retraction, Smeaton said.

Another e-mail was sent out that afternoon to the campus community, stating that the woman's claim had been unfounded.

According to The Express-Times, the student reported a rape.

Shupp did not comment on the actual type of sexual assault she reported.

Shupp said he hopes students still notify police immediately of any crime. "We should be seen as an advocate, not an adversary," Shupp said.

Smeaton said students should contact the Lehigh University Police Department, the Dean of Students Office or the Break the Silence Hotline in case of any crime.

Link: http://media.www.thebrownandwhite.com/media/storage/paper1233/news/2009/09/08/News/Student.Reports.Sexual.Assault.Then.Recants-3764484.shtml

EARLIER REPORT

State police: Lehigh University rape report unfounded

Saturday, September 05, 2009
By LYNN OLANOFF
The Express-Times

BETHLEHEM Pennsylvania State Police say they can't prove a Lehigh University student's rape allegation, but the investigation is continuing.

The 19-year-old woman was in custody of city and university police on an unrelated matter when she reported the rape, state police said. State police met with her about 2:30 a.m. Friday.

The woman could not tell police where the assault occurred.

State police on Friday afternoon said they deemed it unfounded upon their preliminary investigation. The investigating officer did not return a call for further comment.

Bethlehem and university police declined comment on the incident.

A Lower Nazareth Township woman was charged last month with falsely reporting to police she had been raped at knifepoint at East Stroudsburg University.

Laura Gruver, 22, allegedly made up that rape allegation to take focus away from personal problems and failing out of two schools.

Gruver allegedly told police a man forced her onto her back and she lost her underwear and glasses before a sound scared the attacker off about 11 a.m. Aug. 13 at the university.

Reporter Lynn Olanoff can be reached at 610-867-5000 or by e-mail at lolanoff@express-times.com.

Link: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf?/base/news-1/1252123548109010.xml&coll=3

Back to False Rape Society