Overlea High teen recants sex assault allegations

Discrepancies found in girl's report that 2 boys raped her in bathroom

October 22, 2004|By Sara Neufeld | Sara Neufeld,SUN STAFF

An Overlea High student who said she was raped this week in a school bathroom told police yesterday that her story was not true, police said.

Baltimore County police said they had collected evidence contradicting the 15-year-old girl's account of what happened. When they interviewed her yesterday about the inconsistencies, "she admitted that she made the story up," according to a statement issued by the police.

Police said they will not file charges against the girl. School system spokesman Charles A. Herndon said the school will investigate whether to take disciplinary action against her.

Officer Shawn Vinson, a Police Department spokesman, declined to comment on the girl's motive for naming two boys who she said were her attackers.

On Tuesday, the girl alleged that she was pulled into a boys bathroom near the school cafeteria during lunchtime and raped by two boys while a third stood watch at the door. But several staff members told police that the bathroom door was open at the time the girl said the attack took place and that many people were in the area, according to a police report.

The school's principal, James F. Thanner, said Wednesday that a staff member was standing just outside the open bathroom door at the time the incident was alleged to have occurred, and that three other staff members were supervising the area around the cafeteria.

The girl's allegation was similar to another that proved to be unfounded this year.

In April, a female student at Mount Hebron High in Ellicott City said a boy raped her in a boys bathroom at the school while a second held her down and a third stood watch at the door. Three teenage boys were charged, but the girl recanted a week later.

In the Mount Hebron case, police determined that the girl had consensual sexual contact with two of the boys. In the Overlea case, police determined that no sex act occurred.

Last week, a Woodlawn High student alleged that she was raped after leaving the school with two boys. Baltimore County police have said they will turn over reports from their investigation to the county state's attorney's office, which would determine whether charges should be filed.

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