Yet another rape allegation on an American college campus has fallen completely apart.
The campus in this instance is the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities.
Last weekend, an 18-year-old student at the school had told campus police that two young men who were complete strangers raped her at knifepoint in her fourth-floor dorm room.
After a resulting criminal probe, police have now concluded the woman in lying.
“After further investigation, the University of Minnesota police department is no longer investigating the report of a sexual assault in Sanford Hall as a stranger sexual assault,” school officials said in a Wednesday statement obtained by the Star Tribune, the big Twin Cities newspaper.
The case is no longer a sexual assault case, school officials explained. Instead, it’s “a student crisis intervention case.”
The freshman student is now deemed “in crisis” and needs “professional assistance,” a university police spokesman suggested on Thursday.
The University of Minnesota will not say if the unidentified student has changed her story. That information falls under confidentiality laws, officials insist.
“Our priority right now is on providing the support to this student that she needs,” police department supervisor Pam Wheelock told the Star Tribune.
Another University of Minnesota official, Katie Eichele of the Aurora Center, “a safe and confidential space” for victims of sexual assault, suggested that no one should judge the unidentified student who made the armed rape allegations police don’t believe.
“The victim-survivor is the most important person in all of this, and supporting what it is they’re going through and what they may want in the process,” Eichele told the newspaper.
On Tuesday, the Star Tribune breathlessly reported the student’s allegations of a dorm room rape at knifepoint by two men in the wee hours of Sunday morning.
School spokesman Tim Busse said campus police were looking for two men who may be students who had found their way to the student’s fourth-floor hallway inside her 500-student, coeducational residence hall.
The nonexistent attackers — who looked between 18 and 21 years old — “walked her back to her room” and sexually assaulted her under the threat of a weapon, the freshman had claimed.
For their initial story about the rape claim, Star Tribune reporters Paul Walsh and Nicole Norfleet interviewed female University of Minnesota students.
“It’s just kind of frustrating to know that she was just walking in the hallway,” freshman Jenae Herron told the paper. “In the place that I’m living, I have to be on guard.”
“It’s kind of sad when we live in a world where a female can’t walk home by herself,” 21-year-old junior Lamin Manjang added, alluding to a free campus security escort program.
Campus rape hoaxes are common across America. The most famous one of recent vintage is disgraced Rolling Stone reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s wildly inaccurate article, “A Rape On Campus.”
Other twisted, totally false and astonishing rape hoaxes have been proffered over the years by female college students. In each case, the cruel hoaxes were initially accepted as true. In some cases, real lives were ruined. (RELATED: Here Are EIGHT Campus Rape Hoaxes Eerily Like The UVA Rape Story)