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Organization: Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station
Date: November 2, 2009
Woman To Be Charged In Skeleton Assault Hoax
    A twenty-two year old Santa Clarita woman will face misdemeanor charges after falsely reporting she was attacked by a man in a skeleton Halloween costume.
    On October 21, 2009, deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station responded to a Newhall residence to take a report from a twenty-two year old female who claimed she was attacked on a school campus by a person wearing a Halloween costume resembling a skeleton.
    The woman reported she was walking through the school parking lot approaching her car when someone approached her from behind, knocked her to the ground, and forcibly removed and took her jacket and shirt. She reported that she fought off the attacker and managed to escape. She waited several hours to report the alleged incident and detectives from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station launched an immediate investigation. As detectives were gathering details so that public safety notices could be drafted and sent out to local residents and students, they began to notice several inconsistencies in the woman's story. Time was of the essence as detectives wanted to educate the public about the "attacker" and apprehended the perpetrator; Halloween was approaching. Numerous resources were dedicated to the investigation and it didn't take long before the alleged victim's story began to completely unravel.
    Through the investigation, detectives learned the female Newhall resident was not a victim at all, she instead became a suspect after reportedly admitting to investigators that she had fabricated the entire story. The student conceded that she no longer wanted to go to school in the area and wanted to return home to Taiwan to be with her boyfriend. She felt by using a made-up story reported to the Sheriff's Department she could convince her parents it was not safe and she needed to return home.
    Detectives recovered her clothing in a trash dumpster near her place of employment in a Valencia industrial park. On Friday, October 30, 2009, the Newhall District Attorneys Office elected to file one misdemeanor count of Filing a False Crime Report on the twenty-two year old woman. If convicted, she could face up to one year in Los Angeles County jail.
    Sheriff's officials strongly advise that falsely reporting crimes is illegal, it ties up much needed resources required to investigate real crimes, and can cause undue fear in the public.
    "People need to understand that law enforcement services and the legal system are serious business and they should not be used to carry out personal agendas," said Captain Anthony La Berge of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station. "There are victims out there who truly need our services and resources. They shouldn't have to wait just because a person decides to inappropriately use the public safety system," he added.
    The investigation is ongoing and there is no further information available at this time. -ref 18467

    If You See Something, Say Something! Report non-emergency crime anonymously by visiting the following link: Crime Tips or calling (661) 284-2-TIP / (661) 284-2847.
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