Update: UPD investigation found “major discrepancies” in student’s story alleging fondling, police chief says

Liam Sanderson and Carter Mudgett

[This article was updated Friday, March 24, to include new information about how UNF police determined the alleged crime never actually happened.]

On March 6, the University of North Florida Police Department alerted the campus community that a student was allegedly forcibly held and fondled on campus. 

UPD launched an investigation into what truly happened the night of the alleged crime, and now, two weeks later, UPD Chief Frank Mackesy told Spinnaker that they found “major discrepancies” in the student’s story leading them to discover that it never actually happened. 

Because the university was shut down for spring break, the investigation was delayed, Mackesy explained. 

Though he wouldn’t go into detail about how the investigation unfolded, he said that police offered the student an opportunity to recant their story, and they did. 

On Thursday, the university community was officially alerted that the alleged crime “did not occur,” sparking some outrage from students about how police came to that conclusion. 

[The original story continues below.]

The University of North Florida Police Department told the university community Thursday afternoon that they’ve determined an alleged instance of a student being fondled and forcibly held on campus never happened.

After an “extensive investigation” of the original report in early March involving an interview with the alleged victim, UPD said that the case has now been referred to the UNF Dean of Students.

A screenshot of the Clery Act alert update sent to the University of North Florida community Thursday afternoon.

“The University encourages the campus community to promptly report potential crimes to the University Police Department,” the Clery Act Alert read. “However, it is a serious offense to make a false police report as it wastes valuable University resources and delegitimizes police reports made in good faith.”

Crimes can also be reported confidentially through the UPD’s Silent Witness Program here. Additional safety tips can be found on the UNF Police Department’s website here

View the full Clery Act alert here.


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