The 18-year-old Washtenaw Community College student who claimed
she was sexually assaulted on the campus early last week retracted
her story, Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Commander Dave Egeler
said.

After the student reported being pulled into a van and raped
while walking through a campus parking lot, WCC began a
community-wide effort to raise safety awareness.

The future of the student remains uncertain. She could face
prosecution for filing a false police report, which is a felony
punishable by up to four years in jail, Egeler said.

Though the sexual assault claim was retracted, the college plans
to continue some of the newly implemented campus safety measures.
“This Wednesday we are having a safety awareness meeting that
will still be held,” WCC spokeswoman Janet Hawkins said.
“We will still continue the shuttle service for now. We are
taking a wait-and-see approach.”

The shuttle service, which runs from 6 to 10:30 p.m., transports
students from a campus building to their cars in the parking lot
— where the student claimed to be assaulted.

Other safety measures include campus-wide e-mails and notices
containing safety information.

“We have had an escort service, and from time to time we
post notices in the school newspaper and on bulletin boards,”
Hawkins said.

“It is possible that someone could recant their story to
avoid embarrassment, but we know that is not the case here,”
he said. “At this point the claim of being sexually assaulted
is unfounded.”

Initially, the WCC student’s rape claim was thought to be
linked to another incident in which a woman was found running
shirtless down Geddes Road in Superior Township last Tuesday. But
Egeler confirmed that the two assault cases are not linked.

Safety procedures available to students at the University
include SAFE Walk 24 hours a day, taking students from buildings on
campus to any destination that is within a one-mile drive or
20-minutes walk from the Central or North campus diags.

Night Ride and Ride Home, the University’s cab services,
are also available to students as an alternative to walking.

Blue light emergency phones located across the
University’s campus provide students with a direct connection
to the Department of Public Safety to report any crimes.

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