UC Santa Cruz police officers have concluded that a sexual assault that was alleged to have occurred on campus last Sunday was a fabrication, authorities said.
Police chief Nader Oweis announced Thursday that the alleged victim has admitted to UCSC police investigators that she staged the attack and fabricated the report.
Oweis, who is prohibited from identifying the 21-year-old woman, said the investigation has concluded and that the entire matter will be forwarded to the Santa Cruz County District Attorney's Office for possible prosecution.
There have been no arrests in the case to date.
"The report of this incident has very understandably created a deep sense of unease among UCSC students, staff, and faculty, as well as residents of the Santa Cruz area," he said.
The 21-year-old, who said she was visiting the campus, originally told police she was raped and physically assaulted shortly after noon that Sunday in a remote area adjacent to the campus's Classroom Unit buildings.
Oweis said that several campus safety measures that were put into place following the report of the alleged attack — increased police and security patrols; a nighttime safety escort service on campus — would continue for the time being.
"The Santa Cruz community has seen a spike in violent crime in recent weeks,” he said. “Keeping these measures in place is the right thing to do."
As UCSC police now know that the sexual assault did not occur, the campus has rescinded the $5,000 reward it had offered last week for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the alleged assailant.
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