Lodi News-Sentinel

Woman charged with lying about Stanford University rapes that shook campus

- Robert Salonga and Jakob Rodgers

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.

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