UPDATED and CORRECTED (November 23, 2013 – 5:20 p.m.): The alleged sexual assault that was reported to have happened on the campus of UH-Hilo last week is apparently a lie.
Tiffany Edwards-Hunt of the Big Island Chronicle confirmed the rumor with a report on Saturday.
Hunt reports she spoke directly with 19 year old student who told her harrowing story of escape to police (see previous version of this article below). According to Saturday’s BIC article:
|“I’m sorry, I want to make amends,” the student told BIC. ”I didn’t know how big it was going to get.”At first, the student told BIC she made up the story to try to bring attention to the fact that a friend of hers was attacked in the Soren’s last month. But when pressed for details on that case, and any similarities to the story she concocted, she waffled. She said the description of her non-existent attacker bore no resemblance to her friend’s attacker. “It was totally made up.”|
The university heard criticism for its late response to the assault, which was alleged to have happened on Tuesday, yet students claim news wasn’t circulated by UH officials until days later.
The falsified tale got a lot of press. It was front page news on the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, the Big Island’s paper of record, and the student even appeared on statewide TV news. This Hawaii News Now story aired Thursday:
But as the weekend began, the tale began to unwind. The rumor mill began as Damon Tucker reported on his blog that the student attack was fabricated.
The university planned to hold a forum with student on Monday to discuss campus safety and security, due largely to the false report.
original story – Nov 22, 2013
HILO, Hawaii – Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a sexual assault in Hilo that happened on Tuesday
An adult female was reportedly attacked in the bathroom of the Geology building on the campus of the University of Hawaii-Hilo around 4:30 p.m. The victim was able to fight off her attacker, who fled in a 2003-2006 red Ford Expedition with tan or gold on the bottom.
Police say the suspect is described as a man in his early 20s, 6-feet tall, 160-180 pounds with a thin build, curly blond hair and facial acne. He was wearing a white tank top and black surf shorts.
Police ask anyone with information on this case to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Jesse Kerr at 961-8883 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.