A California woman was arrested Wednesday and charged with felony perjury for lying about being raped on two occasions last year on campus, according to authorities.
Jennifer Ann Gries, 25, an employee of Stanford University, made two false rape accusations against her male coworker between August and October last year, just because she was “upset” with the man.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office said that the first false sexual assault was reported by Gris in August, when she told a nurse at Valley Medical Center in San Jose that a man grabbed her while she was at a campus parking lot, forced her to a restroom and sexually assaulted her.
Prosecutors said that Gries went to Stanford Hospital in October to get another rape examination. But this time, she told the nurse conducting the exam that she was returning to her office when a man grabbed her, dragged her into a basement storage closet and raped her.
However, on both alleged rape occasions, Gries declined to report it to the police. Instead, she signed a consent form acknowledging the nurse was a mandated reporter who must inform law enforcement of the attack and signed forms to get public funds, according to prosecutors.
Consequently, both of Gries’ sexual assault examination kits were analyzed quickly “given the extreme public safety risk of a potential sex offender,” prosecutors said, adding that the findings from the laboratory results “were not consistent with her story.”
Gris admitted to having lied about the rapes during an interview with a District Attorney’s Office investigator in January and has written an apology letter to the man who was the target of her allegations.
“Gries stated she was upset with the victim because she felt he gave her ‘false intention’ and turned her friends against her,” according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors said Gries was charged with two felony counts of perjury and two misdemeanor counts of making a false crime report to nurses at two different hospitals.
Stanford University released a statement stating that Gries was placed on a leave of absence and the university “will be reviewing her employment.” “These bogus reports are damaging, both for true survivors of sexual assault and for the members of our community who experienced fear and alarm from the reports,” the university said.
Jeff Rosen, a Santa Clara County District Attorney called the alleged false rape reports “a rare and deeply destructive crime” and said he felt for those who are falsely accused, for the students who had to look over their shoulders and for the “legitimate sexual assault victims who wonder if they will be believed.”
As a result of Gries’ rape reports, the Stanford University police issue a campus-wide electronic alerts, which prompted widespread fear and a protest in October by hundreds of students who marched to demand university officials do more to protect students.
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Investigators also found that Gries had filed a sexual harassment complaint in March 2022 against a male coworker with the university’s human resources department, which found the allegation was unfounded, prosecutors said. The co-worker fit the description Gries gave the nurses she reported the rapes to, they said.
Gries, who works in the university’s Housing Services Department, has been released on $25,000 bail, and an arraignment is scheduled in San Jose for April 17, a DA’s spokesperson said.
She could face at least five years in jail if she is convicted.