Emma Mannion, an 18-year-old student studying at the University of Alabama, was arrested this weekend after filing a false rape report Sunday. The college student told police she was forced inside a red Jeep Cherokee at 2 A.M. Sunday morning by two men.
Gary Hood, Tuscaloosa County’s Metro Homicide Captain, said that detectives interviewed witnesses and recovered video surveillance of the area Mannion claimed she was assaulted at but neither supported her initial account of the incident. Once confronted with this evidence, Mannion admitted to falsifying the report to investigators.
“She confessed to making up the report,” Hood told AL.com, without revealing the reason she gave as to why she lied. He also credited the abundance of surveillance cameras throughout the area, located both on and off campus, for getting her to confess. “It disputed what she told us early on,” he said, referring to the surveillance footage. Mannion was also drinking and reportedly knew the man she identified as a possible suspect.
Hood and his unit have investigated a total of 104 sexual assault crimes this year alone, 27 of which were reported by University of Alabama students. Only two had resulted in an arrest, while a majority have been unfounded or investigators were unable to obtain enough information and evidence to secure a warrant.
“A common denominator is underage drinking,” Hood explained. “Not social drinking, but drinking to the point of losing consciousness or losing memory. It makes it very difficult for us to…find out the details of what happened.”
The university has since released a statement following Mannion’s arrest.
“Tuscaloosa County investigators today arrested the female student who reported the sexual assault in the parking area near 6th Street and Wallace Wade Blvd. The report triggered a timely warning being sent to the campus community and numerous news reports. After interviewing witnesses and viewing video surveillance, investigators confronted the student who admitted falsifying the report. She is being charged with a misdemeanor by police, and the report is being forwarded to the Office of Student Conduct.
The University’s Title IX Office and Women and Gender Resource Center provide services to anyone who is a victim of sexual assault, harassment, exploitation, violence and abuse. This case should not discourage anyone who has been affected by any of these crimes to report the incident to the appropriate authorities. Information is available at https://wgrc.sa.ua.edu/counseling-and-advocacy/ or http://titleix.ua.edu/”
Mannion has since been charged with filing a false report, a Class A misdemeanor.