Police investigating a report of a sexual assault in a Lakeville park in March have said following exhaustive investigation, they have determined it didn't happen.
Lakeville Police Department announced they believe that the sexual assault report that spurred an investigation last month was a fabrication, telling the Pioneer Press, "we have nothing to support what we were told that day."
Now, the person who made the report may be facing charges, with the Lakeville PD forwarding the case to the Dakota County attorney for review, the paper notes.
The investigation got underway on March 27, when the department appealed to the public for help solving a brazen sexual assault at East Lake Community Park, where a "female victim in her 40s" said she was lured to a wooded area and attacked by a male suspect.
Nearly a month later, police have issued a followup announcement on Facebook, saying "there is no threat to the community in the East Lake Park area at this time":
"We would also like to take the opportunity to acknowledge legitimate victims of assault," the department said, noting that they "put in hundreds of hours investigating the case, including a neighborhood canvas, an extensive search of the park, following up on numerous tips, and executing several search warrants."
"The lengths Lakeville Police took to investigate the reported crime should give confidence to any victims that we always hear their voices, and we will always investigate the reported crime to the fullest."
Research compiled by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center shows that the prevalence of false reports is low, while the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network notes that 3 out of 4 sexual assaults go unreported.
Note: Some of the details provided in this story are based on the police’s latest version of events, and may be subject to change.