Bogus kidnap, attempted rape report leads to charge
- Lee van der Voo
- Lake Oswego Review - News
Police: Woman fabricated the story because her boyfriend forgot their anniversary
In the end, the detailed description sounded just too detailed to be true.
Lake Oswego Police announced Friday that a local woman was cited for filing a false police report in connection with her report of kidnapping and attempted rape earlier last week.
Elizabeth Ann Brown, 22, Lake Oswego, was cited for filing the bogus report, Lake Oswego Police Capt. Mike Hammons said.
'The investigation into this matter revealed that Ms. Brown allegedly filed a report of kidnapping and attempted rape because her boyfriend had forgotten their anniversary,' Hammons said. 'She left the house after an argument and made her claim upon returning.'
Her report, made the evening of Aug. 22, triggered a search for a man who was said to have dragged her into a wooded area off Boones Ferry Road to try to rape her.
At the time, Brown, who told officers she was not injured in the alleged attack, provided police with a detailed description of her assailant.
The suspect was described as a white male in his late 40s, approximately five feet, five inches tall, weighing roughly 160 pounds. Brown added that he had collar-length, straight, brown hair, a receding hairline and was balding on the top of his head.
She said the man was sporting a full, scraggly beard at the time of the attack and was dressed in a green military field jacket, dark pants and white tennis shoes. Finally, she noted he was also carrying a red backpack and described him as extremely dirty, with very bad body odor and green teeth.
'It's an unusually accurate description,' Hammons said at the time.
It was also fiction.
Suspicion about the account first emerged when efforts to produce a composite drawing of the attacker were rebuked by Brown.
'To begin with, she was reluctant to or refused to meet with the sketch artist,' Hammons said.
Instead, Brown told the artist she had a headache, then refused to meet the woman when she offered to come to her home.
Brown could not be reached for comment for this story but Hammons said other holes in her story emerged. During a police interview, he said Brown showed no interest in a flier handed to her by a neighbor while a panicked effort to find her attacker swept through the neighborhood. Brown lives on Neff Park Lane, near to where she reported the attack. Hammons said neighbors there didn't know she was the target of the alleged attack and attempted to warn her and others by circulating a flier from the Lake Forest Neighborhood Association about a possible predator in the area.
'She didn't even look at it. She just folded it up and put it in her pocket. If you were an (attempted) rape victim, wouldn't you look at it?' Hammons said.
He said a lack of physical evidence in the area, Brown's lack of bruising and lack of cooperation with the investigation all led police to question the truthfulness of the account.
Witness accounts that she had been seen walking down a pathway where she said she had been dragged also contributed to suspicion. Ultimately, when questioned by police, Brown confessed to fabricating the tale.
Brown originally told police she was approached from behind after walking up Boones Ferry Road from the direction of Tualatin, then turning up Washington Court.
The incident was said to have happened at about 9 p.m. Aug. 22.
At the time, Brown told police she struggled for five to 10 minutes with her attacker before the sound of a police siren scared him away and he fled the scene on foot.
She was cited for filing a false police report, a misdemeanor, and faces up to 30 days in jail, mandatory counseling or probation.
'The real issue is the trauma she put the entire neighborhood through,' Hammons said. 'To frighten people to that degree - that should be criminal.'