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Police say woman faked report after alleged assault

By Stephen Betts | Oct 15, 2020

Rockland — Rockland public safety crews responded Oct. 13 during a torrential rainstorm to a report that a woman was assaulted and thrown or fallen into a quarry off Old County Road.

But after the woman was rescued and police spent four hours investigating, it turned out she faked the story, according to police.

Laura Engel, 33, was issued a summons for making a false report, according to Rockland Deputy Police Chief Joel Neal.

Shortly before 8:30 p.m., Oct. 13, police, fire and emergency medical service crews responded to the woman's call for help. She called 911 and said she was assaulted by an ex-boyfriend who pulled her by her hair through the woods and then either pushed her or she fell into the quarry adjacent to Thompson Meadow Road.

A Rockland officer located the woman and climbed down an embankment and found the woman in shallow water.

She was taken to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport and repeated her claims to hospital staff, Neal said.

The initial name of the ex-boyfriend she gave police was false, Neal said. She then positively identified an ex-boyfriend as the assailant. But detectives confronted the woman when it turned out the man was in jail and has been for the past month.

At that point, Engel admitted she made up the story, the deputy chief said. She told police she was homeless, living in a tent and was unable to locate where she set up the tent. The deputy chief said she could not explain why she fabricated the false story about being assaulted.

Neal said her false report consumed a lot of time for public safety. For the police department alone, two detectives spent four hours on overtime trying to locate an assailant who did not exist.

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