An ongoing investigation by the Union County Sheriff’s Office and SLED is calling into question a Lockhart woman’s claim that she was abducted from her home and sexually assaulted.
On June 21, a woman was found naked, covered in mud on the front porch of a house in Lockhart. The woman told deputies called to the scene that around 2 p.m. that day two men broke into her home in the Lockhart area and knocked her out. When she regained consciousness, the woman said she discovered she was lying naked on a gravel road next to the Lockhart waterway. The woman said she covered herself with mud and walked down the road attempting to get help, finally making her way to the house where she was found by the resident who called 911 and gave her a housecoat to cover herself.
Investigators were dispatched to the woman’s home and to the gravel road where she said she’d been abandoned by her attackers. SLED was also called in to assist with processing the crime scene at the victims’s house which had been ransacked. This was the beginning of an ongoing investigation to which Sheriff David Taylor said Wednesday his office has already devoted 255 man hours and the SLED Forensics Team has devoted numerous hours to as well. While the investigation is continuing, Taylor said the evidence gathered by his office and by SLED has called into question the woman’s story.
“It has been determined that the complaint in this case has been unfounded,” Taylor said during a press conference in the Grand Jury Room of the Union County Courthouse. “Nothing indicates that the assault happened as reported.”
Taylor said witnesses questioned by investigators said that during the time the woman said she was being kidnapped and assaulted said they’d seen her walking down the road, dressed but out of touch with reality.
“Statements from witnesses confirm that during the time of the assault and the abduction, the victim was seen walking alone, fully clothed, in what they refer to as a ‘delusional state,’” Taylor said. “Also, evidence from the crime scene revealed that at least part of the damage to the residence appeared to be done by the reported victim.”
Taylor said he’d called the press conference to let the people of Lockhart and the rest of Union County know that the woman’s alleged attackers do not exist.
“We just want to assure the people of Lockhart and Union County that this is not going on,” Taylor said. “It should be comforting to know that we do not have people in the community carrying out such assaults.”
As for for the woman who made the allegations, Taylor said she is voluntarily undergoing psychological evaluations, but declined further comment about her condition. When asked if the woman will be charged with filing a false report, Taylor said that would not be determined until after the psychological evaluations are completed and evidence had been collected by investigators has been analyzed and reviewed.
While the evidence gathered so far indicates the woman was not kidnapped and assaulted as she claimed, Taylor said the investigation is continuing in part because his office is waiting on the results of tests being conducted by the SLED lab on some of the physical evidence collected including the Rape Kit. Taylor said he could not say for certain when the investigation would be completed or what the final conclusions would be.
“I can’t give a time line on when we’ll be able to close it, hopefully it will be soon,” Taylor said. “We’re thinking it didn’t happen, but we won’t rule anything out until we get all the evidence. We do know that it didn’t happen the way it was reported.”