Walmgate rape did not occur, police report

The investigation into the alleged rape of a woman in Walmgate Stray last month has come to a close after the victim admitted her story was false.

The North Yorkshire Police had been investigating a case of rape in Walmgate Stray in early May. A woman had reportedly been sexually assaulted by a man in the early hours of the morning in the path next to the university campus, heading southward. She gave a description of her attacker and received support from specialist counsellors.

However, the police wrote on social media this week that the victim had “confirmed to officers that the events reported did not happen” and that “No further action will be taken in this case.”

The police stated that officers were satisfied with public pledges of support and assistance in the investigation, writing on Facebook:

Police take all reports of rape and sexual assault seriously and will carry out a full investigation as well as providing support from specially trained officers and partner agencies. The investigating officers were extremely pleased with the response from the public and students following the media appeal and thank everyone for coming forward to help the investigation. We encourage the public to continue to support investigations in this way.

Several members of the public have voiced their frustration in Facebook comments on the police’s announcement. One user wrote that the woman “needs either psychiatric help or prosecuting.”

In November the President of the University of York Student Union (YUSU) Ben Leatham started a petition to install lighting through the Stray. Earlier this month, he announced that disks would be installed down the sides of the pathway.

If you wish to remain anonymous when providing information, you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

If you have been affected by sexual abuse, assault and / or rape, Survive offers counselling and support. Consult their website here or contact 01904 638813.

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Jack Harvey

Alumni & Public Relations Officer at The Yorker
Comment and Politics Editor 2015/2016, Editor 2016/2017, Alumni & Public Relations Officer 2017/2018 and acting, 2018/2019. Waiting to graduate with MA in Philosophy at University of York in 2019.