Local News

Campbell Student Admits Report of Rape Was False

Posted February 9, 1999

— An alleged rape atCampbell Universityhad students on the campus worrying about their safety. Now, police say the accuser confessed to making up the story.

Students were stunned that anyone could make up such serious allegations. Many female students believe that some good could actually come out of this incident.

Lee Anne Woodall, 21, said she was attacked early Saturday morning as she was walking to a dorm. She reported the attack later that day.

Investigators say they were initially suspicious about Woodall's allegations, because her story did not make sense.

"It's hard not to be a little bit angry with her," says student Carri Crow. "But realizing that she does have some problems, I feel more sorry for her than angry. It is bad though, not to be able to trust people on campus."

Wednesday, authorities said Woodall admitted she made up the story and lied because she was having personal problems.

"I think it is bad, because it gives girls a reason to be scared. It gives them false impressions of male students. I think to cry rape is real serious and is not something you should just play around with," said Kelly Pearman.

"Everybody in the dorms the past couple of days has been on high alert. We've been scared to death. We don't know what to do. We don't know how to protect ourselves. Then again, maybe this is the sort of thing that needs to get Campbell up and running and getting the safety precautions that we need here on campus," said student Jennifer Pitts.

"I think there is something that can be learned from it," says student Janey McNeill. "That you can be more cautious, and that there are improvements to be made."

Woodall has been charged with filing a false report. That is a misdemeanor, and she did not have to post bond.

"I think it is good because it will make us all a little more cautious," says student Lori Forbis. "I know that I walk around a lot at night, but now even though she did lie, I think something like that could happen."

Rape crisis counselors say a false report can intimidate future victims, but false allegation are not made very often.

"It's important that people understand that to file a false report in a rape case is only a 2 percent likelihood," says Aurelia SandsBell, a rape crisis volunteer. It is just like other major crimes, the percentage is no higher."

The school has beefed up patrols and say this is a wake-up call. Although Campbell is considered to be one of the safest campuses in the country, they know they always have to be careful.


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