A local woman has been arrested for fabricating a reported rape attempt Monday night, Starkville Police Department detectives say.
Dominick Ellis, 31, of 98 Sandhill Arms — who also lists a Williams Road address — was arrested mid-Wednesday morning on a charge of filing a false crime report.
Ellis was released on a $500 bond Wednesday.
Late Monday night, police were notified of a reported rape incident on Industrial Road near South Louisville Street (Old Highway 25) after E-911 operators received a telephone call from a man who had stopped to help a woman who said she had been attacked, said SPD Detective Jimmie Thomas on Wednesday.
The woman — soon identified as Ellis — told officers she had been walking home from work along Industrial Road when two men in a pickup stopped to offer her a ride, Thomas said.
When she declined, Ellis said the two men — both African-American — got out of the pickup and attacked her, trying to take her clothing off and tearing her shirt and pants in the process.
“She said they were trying to rape her. She said she escaped the scuffle and fled on foot,” Thomas said. “A short time later, another passerby saw her curled up in the fetal position on the side the road and stopped to help her.”
The passerby called E-911 operators and took her to OCH Regional Medical Center Monday night, Thomas said.
But during followup questioning
the next day, Ellis confessed that the fabricated the story about the attack “because she wanted to make her friends feel bad for kicking her out of the house,” Thomas said.
“She was walking home and ran into the woods, and her clothes got torn in the trees,” he said.
Municipal Court affidavits state that Ellis did give a formal statement confessing to lying about the rape.
This is not the first time Police Department detectives and patrol officers have had to investigate false crime reports. Such incidents are extremely problematic, said SPD Lt. Mark Ballard.
“These types of incidents distract officers and use of resources away from following up on actual crimes,” Ballard said.
“If false crimes are reported, we will prosecute those involved.”
Though a misdemeanor offense under state law, conviction on a charge of making a false crime report can result in a one-year jail term, up to a $1,000 fine and restitution to a law enforcement agency for costs associated with investigating the false crime.