A 38-year-old Caro woman faces up to four years in prison after being charged Wednesday for falsely reporting to police she had been kidnapped and raped.
Valerie Marie Lesoski was arraigned in Tuscola County District Court.
The arraignment was a result of Tuscola County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Reene authorizing a four-count felony warrant against Lesoski.
She faces charges of false report of kidnapping, false report of first degree criminal sexual conduct, false report of second degree criminal sexual conduct, and false report of unlawful imprisonment.
Initially, Lesoski allegedly told police that she stopped in Wells Township to help two men by the side of the road only to be forced into their vehicle and assaulted by them. She even helped Michigan State Police with putting together a sketch of one of the purported assailants that was widely distributed days later.
The report caused many in the area to be on high-alert and afraid. Area residents and township officials also told The Advertiser they thought the reported kidnapping was “disgusting,” among other things.
However, Reene said on Nov. 10 that “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 after the initial report of the kidnapping, finding the suspects had become a top priority for Michigan State Police and that “countless hours and resources have been expended to investigate all information that became available.”
Based on information provided, Michigan State Police went so far as to widely distribute a sketch of the purported suspect.
Lesoski is free on a $15,000/personal recognizance bond.
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.