Nova Scotia

Sherbrooke woman charged with mischief after sex assault complaint

The woman's interviews with investigators and a forensic sketch artist revealed she 'was not being truthful,' RCMP say.

'Unfortunately, there are occasions where people are not honest with police,' RCMP say

A 24-year-old woman from Sherbrooke, N.S., is facing a public mischief charge after reporting she was sexually assaulted.

RCMP told the public on Saturday that a man was believed to have driven up to the woman's house and sexually assaulted her after speaking with her. Officers released a description of the man, including details like his "sweet pine" cologne and of his purported vehicle. 

Officers now believe the sexual assault did not happen, RCMP spokesman Cpl. Dal Hutchinson said Monday.

"Unfortunately, there are occasions where people are not honest with police," he said.

'Everybody is safe'

The woman's interviews with investigators and a forensic sketch artist revealed she was "not being truthful" and that her complaint was unfounded, Hutchinson said. 

"If there's anything positive that comes out of this [it's] that the community can rest assured that a thorough investigation was done and that everybody is safe in their community, that this did not take place."

Victims encouraged to report

Hutchinson said he does not want this incident to discourage victims of sexual assault and other crimes from reporting what happened to them.

"It's very important that anyone who has been legitimately victimized come forward to police," he said.

"We are going to take your allegation of being victimized seriously."

False reports can lead to charges

After responding to the complaint Friday, RCMP called in extra resources and staff for a "full-fledged investigation," Hutchinson said. The team worked through the weekend.

"When someone makes a false report to police, they can find themselves being charged with public mischief," he said.

The woman is scheduled to appear in Antigonish Provincial Court on Oct. 26.