A 25-year-old woman was arrested Wednesday for allegedly lying about being sexually assaulted while working at Stanford University, prosecutors say.
The woman later admitted to prosecutors that she made up the false allegations because she was angry with a co-worker.
Jennifer Gries of Santa Clara claimed she was raped twice while working at Stanford and told investigators her attacker was a 6-foot man in his 20s and was black, according to the county prosecutor’s office. of Santa Clara.
Gries was charged with perjury and perjury, a misdemeanor, prosecutors say.
Dist. Atti. Jeff Rosen called the crime “rare and deeply disturbing”.
“Our hearts go out to the falsely accused,” Rosen said in a written statement. “Our hearts go out to the students who had to look over their shoulders to get to class. Our hearts go out to legitimate victims of sexual assault who wonder if they will be believed.
Both incidents sparked campus-wide alerts to students and staff about a possible serial rapist on campus.
In August, Gries told a Valley Medical Center nurse that she was approached by a man as she walked to her car. The man pinned her to the floor in the bathroom and raped her, according to an investigator’s report that accompanied the charging documents.
Gries agreed to be examined at the hospital for any male DNA left by the attacker and the samples were placed in a sexual assault forensic evidence kit.
In October, Gries claimed she was again raped while working in a reception desk at the university and forced into a storage closet in the basement. She described the same attacker to a nurse at Stanford Hospital.
Each time, Gries refused to speak to law enforcement. When a Stanford Department of Public Safety detective attempted to question her, Gries declined to provide further details and said only that she knew the person who raped her, according to the report.
Gries was surprised that a community alert was sent to campus about her first attack, according to an investigator’s report. She continued to ask the detective questions about how the rapes would be investigated and what would happen to the sexual assault forensic evidence kit, according to the report. She also asked if there were any witnesses, prosecutors said.
On two occasions, Gries signed an application to receive benefits as a crime victim with the California Victim Compensation Board, authorities said.
Forensic investigators rushed to examine evidence taken from Gries, but no male DNA was detected in the samples.
Investigators learned that in March 2022, Gries filed a sexual harassment complaint against a co-worker who matched the description of the person she believes assaulted her. The male colleague’s workplace matched the areas where she claimed she was attacked, investigators said.
The work complaint turned out to be unproven and Gries was reassigned to work in another field. But Gries told a friend who also worked at the university that she was romantically involved with the man she had filed the complaint against, investigators say. Gries claimed the man sexually assaulted her and that she became pregnant with his twins, which investigators found untrue, prosecutors said.
In text messages with her friend, Gries said she was angry with the man and, according to the charging documents, she wrote, “I have to start defending myself…. I am so pissed off…. I’m making a plan. This way he is in his pants for several days.
When a detective met with Gries in November, she grew nervous after the detective asked if the man named in the work-related complaint could be ruled out as a suspect in the two sexual assaults, investigators said.
In January, Gries admitted to a district attorney’s office investigator that she lied about the sexual assaults, prosecutors said. She then wrote a letter of apology to the man who was named in her work-related complaint and the target of her false sexual assault reports, according to investigators.
The university said it spent more than $300,000 during its investigation and hired additional security on campus. Hundreds of students marched on campus after Gries’ second rape complaint, demanding the university do more to address the issue.
The man who was the target of Gries’ false allegations was questioned by investigators and said the work-related complaint that accused him of sexual assault scarred him. At the time, he was caring for his ailing mother who later died, investigators said.
He denied sexually assaulting Gries and provided an alibi to investigators, investigators said in their report.
He also agreed to have his mouth swabbed for a DNA sample. He was emotional and had tears in his eyes, according to investigators, and explained how the whole episode was emotionally and physically traumatic.
He told investigators: “It’s disgusting. I don’t feel human. I don’t feel human at all.