Sheriff: Encinitas teen kidnapping and sexual assault a hoax

ENCINITAS (CNS) – A North County teen's report about being kidnapped and
raped by three men last week turned out to be a hoax she floated in an
attempt to keep her parents from finding out that she'd had sex with a man she
met on the Internet.

The 10th-grader told sheriff's investigators she was walking home from
school along Melba Road in Encinitas on Friday afternoon when a stranger
grabbed her from behind and pushed her into a car occupied by two other men.

The 15-year-old claimed the trio drove her through residential streets
for about an hour while taking turns sexually assaulting her, then returned to
San Dieguito High School and pushed her out of the car.

The girl gave detailed descriptions of the supposed assailants, which
authorities turned into composite drawings and publicized widely, along with
warnings to area families and school officials.

News of the supposed crime stirred alarm and concern throughout the
North County, prompting many parents to drive their children to school and
campus administrators to warn girls against walking by themselves before and
after classes.

Following “an extensive investigation into the facts, evidence and
numerous interviews,” detectives determined the teen's story about being
kidnapped and raped was a fabrication, sheriff's Capt. Sherri Sarro said.

The girl went on to confess to having skipped the final class of her
school week, meeting with a man she had been in contact with via computer and
having consensual sex with him.

“The (girl's) parents had warned their daughter about the dangers of
communicating with strangers online,” Sarro said. “(She) was embarrassed,
ashamed and scared of how her parents would react to her being victimized by
someone she had met online.”

Investigators are now working to track down the man who had illegal
sexual relations with the underage girl, according to Sarro.

Since admitting her lies, the teen has expressed regret for “creating
an atmosphere of fear in the community” and has come to realize that she
should have been honest from the start, the captain said.

Sheriff's personnel are “somewhat outraged” by the hoax but relieved
that the reported crimes did not occur, Sarro told reporters during a late-
afternoon briefing at the Encinitas Sheriff's Station.

Categories: KUSI