Earlier today investigators with the Gainesville Police Department declared one of four recent attacks on female students on the University of Florida’s campus unfounded.
On Sept. 5, a female student at the University of Florida reported to UF police that she had been attacked by a suspect on campus near Library West. However, in a follow-up interview with the Gainesville police, the woman’s recollection of that night was different.
“It became very evident, during our investigation, that what she originally reported may not have happened,” said Officer Ben Tobias, spokesman for the GPD.
Tobias said it was the first time the department’s investigators had a chance to speak to the woman, explaining that they give people who have experienced some kind of traumatic incident time to collect their thoughts.
The woman still maintains being “groped” by an “unknown male,” but says it occurred at an establishment off-campus, according to a UF Police Department press release. Tobias confirmed Balls Bar located on University Ave. as the establishment mentioned.
In regard to the suspect’s description, the woman initially provided one matching that of the instigator in the incidents currently being investigated. While the initial description was similar to the other three attacks occurring on or near the campus, the investigation revealed this information to be questionable.
“She got that information, we believe, from a friend of hers who is also a friend of one of the other victims,” Tobias explained. “So she knew that information. It had already been in the news and she said her mind just filled in the blanks when she was hysterical and intoxicated.”
The woman admitted being intoxicated when she reported the incident, according to a press release from GPD. The police do not believe the victim “consciously fabricated a story with any sort of malicious or criminal intent to mislead police,” according to the release.
Tobias said that this incident is in no way connected to the other attacks.
“It’s not going to change our response,” Tobias said. “It’s not going to change the tenacity that we’re bringing to the investigations. So in the grand scheme of things, this does not take away from anything.”
This story has been updated from its original version with additional quotes from Tobias.