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False accusation in North Port sexual battery case

Posted at 11:39 PM, Jan 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-15 17:23:33-05

NORTH PORT, Fla. — UPDATE: 5:00 pm--The Juvenile has been charged with two counts of False Reporting of a Crime to Police. One count for the initial report and one count for a second fake report of an assault days later.

There are new developments in a North Port sexual battery investigation.

Earlier this week, a 15-year-old girl claimed she was violently attacked while jogging in her neighborhood.

After an extensive investigation, North Port police determined it was all a hoax.

Friday evening, the 15-year-old admitted to making up the story.

Neighbor Nadja Dickinson says she’s had her suspicions since hearing about the incident last week.

“There is a house right there right next to it, how could anybody do anything right there at 4 o’clock in the afternoon?

It doesn’t make sense at all,” said neighbor Nadja Dickinson.

Investigators say the victim says she made up the story for attention.

“I’m sorry this is just definitely no way for attention,” said neighbor Cheryl Loveland.

“Something is wrong when you do something like that and cause a police department to go hunting for someone that doesn’t exist, ” said neighbor Nadja Dickinson.

We spoke to a former police chief and private investigator about the tremendous amount of resources false accusations like this can cost the city.

“We’re talking thousands of dollars of manpower that are being used for this, ”said Walt Zalisko.

Police say false reports are not taken lightly; they are still determining whether charges will be brought against the 15-year-old.

“What I think that the city is going to want to look for is to be reimbursed for the expenses of the investigation. In this case, it would be the parents that are responsible for it, ” Walt Zalisko.

The focus of the case is now to make sure the young girl gets the necessary help.

“It really comes down to a mental health issue. Why did they make this claim? Are they seeking attention? Are they trying to hide something, ” said Walt Zalisko.

The north port police department says regardless of the outcome they will continue to investigate all reports with the rigor and respect they deserve.