A woman who posted on social media about being sexually assaulted admitted she made up the story during a visit by police from Kirkland, Washington, at her office on Nov. 17.
The Kirkland woman pinned the fact she fabricated the story on having been "distraught over the recent [presidential] election," KIRO reports. Police did not elaborate what it was about the election that prompted the woman to make up the story.
A concerned citizen had seen the woman's post on Facebook claiming she has been sexually assaulted and emailed city employees about it on Nov. 11, reports KCPQ. The woman claimed Kirkland police had responded but did not file a report or investigate the case.
The local police had no record of a call matching the woman's claims in its dispatch center.
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Law enforcement officials had little scope to trace and find the writer of the Facebook post because information was blanked out on the email. When they located her, they went to interview her at her Kirkland office.
Police said the woman confessed to having fabricated the story. She clarified that she had not been assaulted and that she had never contacted Kirkland police.
"The Kirkland Police Department takes all allegations very seriously and the department conducted an investigation to locate the victim in an effort to bring light to the event," Lt. Rob Saloum wrote on Nov. 18.
"The Kirkland Police Department has worked very hard to gain the trust and cooperation of the citizens of Kirkland and continues every day to build on this trust through transparency and accountability. False reports such as this can cast doubt on an agency's reputation," the Kirkland police stated in a release.
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Local police did not say whether they would file charges against the woman.
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, only 2 to 10 percent of rape reports are made up or recanted.
The executive director of Women Helping Women, a women's empowerment group in Ohio, dubbed false rape reports as "concerning" because they may sway a legitimate claim from being filed.
"It takes a lot of courage to stand up and say, ‘I’ve been sexually assaulted' out loud and to be believed,"
the organization's Executive Director Kristin Shrimplin told the Dayton Daily News.