WWU student retracts report of sexual assault in Happy Valley

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDOctober 11, 2013 

BELLINGHAM - A Western Washington University student falsely reported a sexual assault last month in the Happy Valley neighborhood, police said Friday, Oct. 11.

The woman, 22, told detectives she'd been sexually assaulted by two men while walking home on Taylor Avenue in the early morning hours of Sept. 28. At first, a friend reported the incident to police for her.

In follow-up interviews, police found inconsistencies in the woman's story. Detectives believe post-traumatic stress disorder from a past sexual assault may have led her to make the report, said Sgt. Shawn Aiumu.

Investigators spent "many hours" on the case - a testament to how seriously the police department takes any report of a sexual assault, according to a press release. Police will review the case with prosecutors to see if charges of false reporting would be appropriate, Aiumu said.

Anyone needing emergency support can call domestic violence and sexual assault counselors 24 hours a day at 360-715-1563.

Reach Caleb Hutton at 360-715-2276 or caleb.hutton@bellinghamherald.com. Read his Dispatcher Blog at bellinghamherald.com/dispatcher-blog or follow him on Twitter at @bhamcrime.

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