Police say a sexual assault reported in Niagara Falls at the end of March did not occur and are saying the woman who claimed the assault of directly misled officers.
The woman came forward March 31 to report that she had been sexually assaulted by five unknown men in the area of Clifton Hill and Victoria Ave. in Niagara Falls.
After a three week investigation, officers formed reasonable grounds to believe the incident didn’t happen.
The 22-year-old St. Catharines woman was arrested and charged with the alleged offence of public mischief on Thursday and was released from custody on a promise to appear in court.
Niagara Regional Police Services said the Service would like to inform the public that allegations of sexual assault are treated “very seriously” and that officers are sensitive to the fact it is difficult for victims of sexual assault to come forward for a number of reasons, including a potential fear that they may not be believed.
Police said they hope this incident “does not negatively impact the willingness of others to come forward.”
NRPS has stressed that in this case the investigation and evidence gathered led to a belief that the accused willfully misled police.
Police said they will not be releasing the name of the accused given the nature of the case.
“To do so would not advance the public interest,” said a police release.