Police say woman made up story of attack at Campus Lodge apartments
Published: Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 10:51 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 8:36 p.m.
A woman who told authorities that she had been attacked in the Campus Lodge apartment complex parking lot last week now has said she made it all up, according to Gainesville police.
Tanya Borachi, 22, recanted her story on Wednesday and told Gainesville Police Department detectives she fabricated the story “as a lesson to women in the area that an attack could happen to them,” according to a report.
Borachi now faces a charge of filing a false police report, a first-degree misdemeanor, according to GPD spokesman Officer Ben Tobias.
Police initially identified Borachi as a University of Florida student, but Tobias said Thursday she has not been enrolled at UF for about a year, according to the report.
Tobias said that may have played a role in her decision to fabricate the story of an attack. “Her family was expecting her to graduate this weekend,’’ he said.
Borachi told police that she had been assaulted around 1:50 a.m. on April 23 when she went to get some items from her car in the parking lot of the complex at 2800 Williston Road.
She said that a man dressed in black and wearing a black mask and gloves attacked her as she was getting out of her car.
Borachi said the man gagged her and tied her hands, but that she was able to escape by kicking the man in a vulnerable area, police reported. She said she then ran to her apartment, where her roommate untied her hands and removed the gag.
A torn shirt found at the scene was believed to have been used to tie and gag the woman, Tobias said at the time.
In a follow-up interview on Wednesday, after GPD Detectives Martin Honeycutt and Joe Mayo pointed out several inconsistencies in her story, she reportedly admitted making up the tale.
Detectives were skeptical of Borachi’s report after they realized she had not been truthful with them about several aspects of the case, Tobias said, but detectives with the sexual crimes unit and members of the special operations unit continued to work on the case.
Tobias said that Borachi gagged and bound herself, and that her roommate was not part of the scheme. “Her roommate was duped, too,’’ he said.
Susan Jennings, a representative of the company that handles security for Campus Lodge, said she was “relieved that it was a false alarm. This is a reminder of the importance of safety.”
Detectives will be filing a sworn complaint against Borachi, recommending charges of filing a false police report to the State Attorney’s Office. The charge carries a maximum fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year of jail time.
GPD may also request that Borachi repay the cost of the police resources used during the investigation, Tobias said. He said the amount is still being calculated.
The incident was reported just as law enforcement officers were investigating at least two other recent sexual attacks on female students. Borachi did not report being sexually assaulted during the attack, but investigators looked to see if the circumstances fit a pattern.
On Tuesday, police arrested a Gainesville man in connection with the rape of a female student at knifepoint in 2011, and said he is a “person of interest” in the April 15 armed burglary and sexual battery of a female UF student on Southwest 10th Street.
Andre Locus, 19, was arrested at 4427 NW 31st Ave. by GPD, assisted by the University of Florida Police Department and the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.
Police said Locus, who has a criminal history involving theft and burglarizing an occupied dwelling, is being looked at in the April 15 sexual assault case based on similarities in the composite sketch provided by the victim and surveillance video.
Police have said they believe the man entered through an unlocked rear door and attacked the woman at gunpoint. He then took two MacBook Pro laptops, an iPhone and other personal items before leaving, police said.
GPD investigators said they had received forensic evidence on Monday that linked Locus to the April 2011 case. Police said the assailant in that case forced his way into a home in the 1200 block of Southwest First Avenue armed with a knife and raped a female student.
The rapist then stole her personal electronics and fled, police said.
When Locus was arrested, he had in his possession property that had been stolen last week from another occupied dwelling at 1123 SW First Ave., according to the report.
Also at large is the culprit in an attempted sexual battery on Jan. 24 in Northside Park at 5701 NW 34th St. A woman told police she was playing racquetball at about 7:30 p.m. and was attacked when she went to retrieve a ball that was hit over a wall. She was cut on the arm and thigh.
The Borachi case marks the second incident in recent months in which a female UF student has recanted a report of an attack.
In October, Sarah Lawrence, 20, told police she was walking near Weimer Hall on the UF campus around 9:30 p.m. when a man armed with a knife tried to sexually assault her.
UPD spokesman Maj. Brad Barber later said Lawrence admitted falsifying her story after detectives found inconsistencies in her account.
Detectives filed a sworn complaint against the woman accusing her of filing a false police report, Barber said.
Lawrence told The Sun that the incident was “a mess up and a bump in the road.”
“Something happened in my life, something got out of hand basically, and it didn’t have to be that way,” she said. “It became a bigger deal by itself, and it kept going, I guess.”