The female student who claimed she was assaulted in a Mitchell Hall bathroom last week admitted to University Police that she filed a false report, UPD Director Dolores Stafford said.
The student told UPD last week an unidentified person entered the women’s bathroom on the eighth floor of Mitchell and threw a knife and two bricks into the stall where she was taking a shower. Stafford said the woman confessed to fabricating the story after she was questioned by UPD and Metropolitan Police last Monday.
“She put the bricks and the knife there,” Stafford said. “The incident did not occur in any shape or fashion.”
The student’s motive for filing the report was to move out of Mitchell Hall without having to pay a moving fee to the Community Living and Learning Center, Stafford said.
The student could not be reached for comment.
Stafford said she suspected from the start the report was a hoax.
“The physical evidence did not add up,” she said. But Stafford said indications are the reports the female student filed earlier this year with UPD are not false.
Student Judicial Services is investigating the incident, said Linda Donnels, associate vice president and dean of students. A false alarm or report is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and the highest sanction can be expulsion.
“It’s a very serious matter,” Donnels said. “We will proceed according to the code.”
MPD will not prosecute the woman for filing a false report because she confessed within a specified time frame, Stafford said.
Stafford said students asked to move out of Mitchell Hall after the incident was reported.
“She filed a report and people on this campus reacted,” Stafford said. “It’s a very serious report and it was taken very seriously by the GW community. It’s a terrible situation to put members of the GW community in.”
Ray Zaccaro, a resident of the eighth floor of Mitchell, said people on his floor were upset with the turn of events.
“I’m even more shocked than when it happened in the first place,” Zaccaro said. “It’s so shocking to hear that somebody could think of something like that.”
He said some residents are still skeptical about the incident, thinking the University may be defending itself by saying the story was false.
“It almost seems like a conspiracy theory because you can’t believe that somebody would put other people through that emotional roller coaster,” he said.
Zaccaro said although the incident did not happen, it has heightened safety awareness in Mitchell.
“We’re looking at access to the building a whole lot differently than before,” he said.
Residents of Mitchell have not received any official information about UPD findings, although Zaccaro said he saw a note signed by the female student in which she admitted making up the story. The note has been ripped down, he said.
“Either way, students would like some confirmation of what happened,” Zaccaro said. “Nobody has addressed it, and it leaves us hanging in the midst.”