Columbia Police say a woman made up a story that she had been raped in the city’s popular Five Point’s entertainment district.
Police Chief Randy Scott held a press conference Wednesday to discuss the details. He says 26-year-old Heather Felicia Atkins told police she was assaulted by two black men Friday night.
“One of the black males struck her in the face and about the eye. Both of the males carried her behind 700 Harden Street,” says Scott. “The suspects were accused of repeatedly kicking her and hitting her. One of the suspects sat on her shoulders while another one sexually assaulted her.”
Scott says investigators worked on the case from the moment Atkins filed the report. He says she was then called back in for questioning after hours of security camera footage from the scene revealed nothing.
“After three days of investigating this case, investigators discovered that this whole story was a lie,” Scott said. “She lied to the City of Columbia Police Department. She lied to her family, she lied to the public, and she broke the trust of the people around her.”
Investigators determined that Atkins had fabricated the story because she was embarrassed to tell the real story behind why she had a black eye.
Here’s what the police chief says what really happened:
“She left work early on Friday morning with another male employee. They went back to his place where they were together. His girlfriend caught both of them,” says Scott.
Atkins told investigators that she really got a black eye from the man’s girlfriend.
Scott says Atkins making up the story hurts true victims of sexual assault. He explained that this is why he wanted to call a press conference.
“It’s too often that people are victimized. This is an underreported crime, but I can tell you that the city of Columbia law enforcement as a whole takes sexual assault very seriously,” says Chief Scott.
Heather Atkins was arrested on Tuesday for perjury and false swearing before police.
South Carolina Radio Network’s Tripp Girardeau filed this report