Multiple sex crimes reported at VCU deemed false, police find

Posted at 12:08 PM, Feb 19, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-19 17:58:20-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- VCU Police have determined multiple sex crimes recently reported on campus were falsely reported, a university spokesperson said.

Police have identified one person believed to have reported four crimes that never actually occurred.

"In investigating a February 14 report of an aggravated assault at Cabell Library, police reviewed video footage and could not find evidence to corroborate the report," the university statement indicated. "Police interviewed the person who reported the assault and the person admitted they had fabricated the incident."

The other incidents the person admitted to making up include:

Nov. 10, 2022, Cabell Library, Monroe Park Campus: An anonymous individual reported being sexually battered by two suspects.

Jan. 12, 2023, 8th Street Parking Deck, MCV Campus: An anonymous individual filed a delayed report of being sexually battered by an unknown suspect on the deck.

Feb. 4, 2024, Cabell Library, Monroe Park Campus: An anonymous individual reported being assaulted inside the library, followed out of the library, and raped in an alleyway.

"Police are consulting with the Commonwealth's Attorney regarding charges for filing false police reports," the statement said.

Police have not yet said if or how the person who made the false report is associated with the university.

"It is imperative to note that false reports to police are rare," VCU Police Chief John Venuti said. "Community members should not be deterred from contacting police as needed. VCU Police officers, dispatchers, detectives, and support staff take all reports of crime seriously, including sexual assault, physical violence, and property crimes. Every report will be investigated thoroughly and resources will be provided to victims and survivors."

VCU student Viviana Moran said she felt safe on the school's city campus and was concerned when she learned someone admitted to making false reports.

"I feel there should be consequences for what they did," Moran said. "I’m glad our security offices and policemen are taking action to look into these reports. I’m glad they’re taking seriously the word of these students or people on campus and making sure that our campus is safe for all students."

Three of the four false reports involved Cabell Library.

Chief Venuti wanted to assure the campus that the library was safe.

"We’ve got extensive camera coverage in Cabell Library," he said. "We’ve got security coverage in Cabell Library. We also have police rounding through Cabell Library."

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email to send a tip.

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