Stanford employee faces charges for lying about rapes

Pedestrians walk on the campus at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., April 9, 2019. Prosecutors say a 25-year-old Stanford University employee has been arrested and charged with felony perjury for allegedly lying about being raped twice last year on campus. Santa Clara County prosecutors say that Jennifer Gries reported false sexual attacks in August and again in October to nurses who are legally mandated to inform law enforcement. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

In a rare case, a Stanford University employee faces felony perjury and other charges after prosecutors said she lied about being raped twice by unknown Black men who matched the description of a co-worker against whom she made a sexual harassment complaint.

Jennifer Gries, 25, told nurses a Black man had attacked her in a campus garage in August. Two months later, she reported that she was assaulted by a Black man in a storage closet, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement. The suspect also allegedly tried twice to apply for public money through the California Victim of Crimes Board, saying she was sexually assaulted.

She faces two felony counts of perjury and two misdemeanor counts of knowingly inducing another person to give false testimony pertaining to a crime, prosecutors said. She was arrested on Wednesday and faces jail time if convicted, officials said.

Prosecutors said Gries made up the story because she was angry with a co-worker. She told an acquaintance she was in a relationship with the co-worker and that he sexually assaulted her and that she became pregnant with his twins but suffered a miscarriage. However, officials said an investigation revealed Gries wasn’t pregnant at the time she said this took place.

In a statement, Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said Gries had made a recent sexual harassment complaint against a co-worker who fit the description of the alleged rapist. He called it a rare and deeply destructive crime.

“Our hearts go out to the falsely accused,” he said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to students who had to look over their shoulders on their way to class. Our hearts go out to legitimate sexual assault victims who wonder if they will be believed.”

Stanford employee faces charges for lying about rapes

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