By Nate Bertasso
Two Salt Lake girls who said they were abducted, and one of them raped on Monday, said they fabricated the story.
Wednesday evening, the two girls told investigators they lied about the story.
The girls had been out late riding with some older boys, Bell said. The girls said they made up the story to avoid being grounded.
Tuesday the girls told police they were abducted when a man pulled up in a minivan and told them to get in, showing them a handgun. They said he drove them to 18th Avenue where he told one girl to keep a look out as he raped the other. The girls said he dropped them off at the Smith’s grocery store, 402 E. 6th Ave.
Salt Lake Police Sgt. Don Bell, director of the sex crime unit, said that as the investigation began it didn’t make sense.
Bell said police searched the area of the crime and found no evidence that concurred with the girls’ reports.
Bell said police responded seriously to the report until the girls admitted it was false.
No charges have been filed against the girls because the parents reported the crime and not the girls.
The girls told Bell they had no idea the police would be called or that the response would be so active. Bell investigates sex crimes along with three other detectives.
The sex crimes unit is a volunteer unit and the detectives are trained for the challenges of sex crimes, Bell said.
Sex crimes involving children less than 18 years of age are handled differently then other crimes, Bell said.
Sex crime investigators interview child victims of sex crimes at a Children’s Justice Center, he said.
There are 12 Children’s Justice Centers in Utah, two in Salt Lake. The Children’s Justice Center, usually a home, is used to create a more comfortable setting for children being interviewed.
Bell said forensic child interviewing is the method used “to get the most out of an interview.”
Parents should believe children if they think they were sexually assaulted and contact authorities as the families of these two girls did, he said.