A Riverside woman was found guilty Thursday of felony disorderly conduct for filing a false police report last year, claiming that she had been sexually assaulted.
Mary Malik, 47, of Riverside, had originally claimed that she was sexually assaulted in November 2011.
Police reported that fear was high among residents as the original report was that the victim had been followed home from the train depot at the Longcommon Crossing in Riverside. Once she arrived in the rear of her apartment building, she told police that a man sexually assaulted her in the dark alley.
Malik faked the sexual assault to persuade her daughter who had just moved out to move back home, police said.
As a result of Malik’s allegation, the police department added extra patrols to the night shift, increased patrols in and around the train station, reassigned street officers to assist in the investigation, required extra patrol assistance from railroad police and spent numerous hours on foot patrol assignments in the area of the victim’s home.
Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel said his and other agencies dedicate a great deal of time and effort investigating reported crimes, and the false report could mislead others on the validity of sexual assault claims.
Weitzel also expressed concern that future victims may be less likely to report sexual assaults.
“I hope the dialogue will focus on how we can encourage victims of sexual assault to speak up and get the help they need,” Weitzel said.
Weitzel has asked the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office to request reimbursements for $2,220 in costs associated with overtime as a result of the investigation.