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Third assault at WSU a false report, officials say

WSU president offers reward for information on earlier assaults

A woman who reported being sexually assaulted on Washington State University’s Pullman campus Monday night has recanted her story, police said.

The false report followed two earlier assaults on campus, one on Aug. 19 and another early Monday, which WSU police continue to investigate, said WSU police Lt. Steve Hansen.

The assaults occurred in the Terrell Mall area and in both cases, the attacker was described as a white male about 5-foot-9 with a stocky build and wearing a hooded sweatshirt and shorts.

On Tuesday, WSU President Elson S. Floyd announced a reward for information leading to prosecution of the assailant. Floyd said he donated $5,000 of his own money to the WSU Women’s Resource Center, which will administer the reward fund with the WSU Police Department.

WSU police advised students beginning classes this week to be vigilant, to walk in well-lighted areas, not to walk alone and to use safe transportation when possible.

Anyone with information about the incidents can call police at (509) 335-8548 or 911 in an emergency.

Hansen said the woman who falsely reported a sexual assault recanted Tuesday morning. The woman, described only as a WSU student, has not been charged. She has “emotional issues,” Hansen said. “We are trying to get her help.”