Woman charged with lying about Stanford University rapes that shook campus
SAN JOSE — A Stanford University employee who authorities say twice reported last year that she was viciously dragged out of sight on campus and raped — touching off panic about a serial predator — is now accused of fabricating the claims as part of a revenge plot against a co-worker.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office has charged Jennifer Ann Gries, 25, of Santa Clara, with two felony counts of perjury and two misdemeanor counts of making a false crime report.
Gries was arrested Wednesday and booked at the Santa Clara County jail and then released pending an April 17 arraignment date, according to authorities and jail records. Gries works for the college’s housing services. The university did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In a statement, District Attorney Jeff Rosen called the allegations against Gries “a rare and deeply destructive crime” that affects “legitimate sexual assault victims who wonder if they will be believed.” Assistant DA Terry Harman took that notion a step further.
“We are dismayed at the different levels of destruction that she engaged in,” Harman said. “When you make a false allegation of sexual assault, it’s an insult to all of those who have survived sexual assault. You are mocking their pain and experience and using it in a way that is so destructive.”
An investigative summary accompanying the criminal complaint filed Tuesday indicates that Gries felt romantically spurned by a co-worker and generally described him — a Black man in his late 20s — as her purported assailant.
She was also the source of an earlier human resources complaint involving a claim she became pregnant with, then miscarried, the man’s twins after he raped her, all of which was deemed unfounded. Her resentment also appeared in text messages to another co-worker that were reviewed by police in which she discussed trying to make the man’s life “a living hell” and that “I’m coming up with a plan. That way he’s (expletive) his pants for multiple days.”
Authorities say the man was never romantically involved with Gries, and that forensic exam kits collected after the two rape claims yielded no corroborating evidence. Months later, in late January, DA Investigator Sheena Woodland contended that Gries, in a recorded police interview, “admitted to lying about the rapes and wrote an apology letter to the target of the false allegations.”
Gries also said “she was upset with the victim because she felt he gave her ‘false intention’ and turned her friends against her.”
The first rape report was made Aug. 9; Gries claimed she was in a parking lot near the Munger Residence Hall when an unknown man grabbed her, took her into a bathroom and raped her. The woman made the report at Valley Medical Center, where she went to get a sexual assault forensic exam and told medical staff that she did not want to speak to police.
A second report by Gries was made Oct. 7, after which she went to Stanford Hospital for another forensic exam. She told medical staff there that a man walked into her campus office, grabbed her and dragged her into a basement and raped her. She similarly stated that she did not want to talk to law enforcement.