Stanford employee charged with lying about rape
In a rare case, a Stanford University staffer is facing perjury and other charges after prosecutors said she lied about being raped twice by unidentified black men who matched the description of a colleague against whom she had a complaint filed for sexual harassment.
Jennifer Gries, 25, told nurses a black man attacked her in a garage on campus in August. Two months later, she reported being attacked by a black man in a storage room, the Santa Clara County Attorney’s Office said in a statement. The suspect is also said to have twice attempted to solicit public funds through the California Victim of Crimes Board and said she was sexually assaulted.
She faces two counts of perjury and two counts of misdemeanor in which she knowingly caused another person to make false statements about a crime, prosecutors said. She was arrested on Wednesday and faces jail time if convicted, officials said.
Prosecutors said Gries made up the story because she was angry with a colleague. She told an acquaintance that she was in a relationship with the colleague and that he sexually assaulted her and that she became pregnant with his twins but suffered a miscarriage. However, officials said an investigation revealed that Gries was not pregnant at the time she said this happened.
In a statement, Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said Gries recently filed a sexual harassment complaint against a co-worker who fits the description of the alleged rapist. He called it a rare and deeply destructive crime.
“Our hearts go out to those wrongly accused,” he said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to the students who had to look over their shoulders on the way to class. Our hearts go out to legitimate victims of sexual assault who are questioning whether they are believed.”
On August 9, Gries told a nurse that on the way to her car, a black man in his late 20s “grabbed her, told her not to scream and raped her,” prosecutors said. She told the nurse she didn’t want law enforcement to contact her, but signed an agreement confirming the nurse’s obligation to notify law enforcement, officials said.
On October 7, she told a nurse that a slim black man, 6 feet tall and in his late 20s, grabbed her arm and raped her in a basement compartment and raped her after she returned to her office from lunch, officials said.
The reports prompted a campus-wide alert about a possible threat to the community. The sexual assault investigation kits were tested as “priority rushes” given the “extreme risk to the public safety of a potential sex offender,” officials said. But prosecutors said the lab test results didn’t match her story.
Gries wrote a letter of apology to the actual victim in this case in January. She was placed on leave when officials reviewed her employment.
“These false reports are damaging, both to true sexual assault survivors and to members of our community who have experienced fear and alarm at the reports,” Stanford University said. “We would also like to emphasize that both false reports and findings like this are extremely rare in sexual assault cases. Unfortunately, sexual assault and other sexual offenses remain prevalent both at Stanford and in our wider society. Our unwavering commitment to compassionately supporting survivors of sexual assault and preventing these acts from even taking place remains undiminished.”
The student-run Stanford Daily reported that Gries was a Neighborhood Housing Service Center supervisor for Neighborhood S (Wilbur Hall).
Michele Dauber, a law professor who teaches a course called One in Five: The Law, Policy and Politics of Sexual Assault on Campus, told the Daily that 1% to 10% of all sexual assault reports are false are. She told the newspaper that less than 3% of survivors of sexual violence at Stanford report it.
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https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/deeply-destructive-stanford-university-employee-made-false-report-about-being-raped-because-she-was-angry-at-co-worker-prosecutors/ Stanford employee charged with lying about rape