Sexual assault story was fabricated -- RCMP

By Helen Murphy    

SHERBROOKE – Labour Day weekend was an uneasy one in Sherbrooke and surrounding communities. On Saturday RCMP issued a news release about a disturbing attack the evening before. The story was that a stranger drove up to a home where a woman was outside. They had a brief conversation and then the man sexually assaulted her. He then fled in his car.

But according to an RCMP release on Monday, it was just that -- a story. The complaint was unfounded, RCMP said, and a 24-year-old Sherbrooke woman has been charged with public mischief.

Over the weekend the RCMP Major Crimes Unit had taken over the investigation. A suspect description was released and RCMP asked for the public’s assistance to identify the man. An RCMP forensic sketch artist was also called to provide assistance.

There was unease in the community.

“It did cause unease for something like that to have reportedly taken place,” St. Mary’s Warden Michael Mosher told The Journal. “It would have in any community of any size, and here in our rural community we have a lot of seniors. People look out for each other.”

Mosher also commented that Sherbrooke RCMP do their job well covering a very large rural area.

The woman is scheduled to appear at Antigonish Provincial Court on October 26, 2016.

The RCMP acknowledged assistance from the public with the investigation.