This sketch, drawn from information provided by Valerie Marie Lesoski, was released by Michigan State Police shortly after Lesoski claimed she had been abducted and sexually assaulted on Oct. 20. On Monday, Lesoski received a year in jail after being convicted of false report of a felony in connection with the incident.

Wells Township kidnapping was fake, prosecutor says

Wells Township abduction suspect (MSP, 11.1.16)
Wells Township abduction suspect (MSP, 11.1.16). It was later determined this person does not exist.

A woman who told police investigators she was kidnapped and sexually assaulted in Wells Township on Oct. 30 could be facing criminal charges of her own.

Tuscola County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Reene said Thursday that the reported incident has been determined to be a hoax by the woman claiming to be the victim.

Initially, she told police that she stopped to help two men by the side of the road and that she was forced into a vehicle and assaulted by two men. She even helped Michigan State Police with putting together a sketch of one of the purported assailants that was widely distributed days later.

However, Reene said “it was conclusively determined that the report that was made on Oct. 20, 2016 was false and entirely devoid of merit. The investigation continues at the present time as to all of the circumstances with the false report.”

Reene said the woman has not been charged with any crimes, but confirmed it is currently “under consideration.”

Reene said finding the suspects had been a top priority for Michigan State Police and that “countless hours and resources have been expended to investigate all information that became available.” Area residents and township officials also told The Advertiser they were on high alert and described the act as “disgusting,” among other things.

Reene said it was important to note that the Wells Township incident has “absolutely no connection whatsoever” to the alleged kidnapping and assault that took place Sunday, Nov. 6, in Tuscola County’s Dayton Township, which The Advertiser was the first to report on.

-Andrew Dietderich


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