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KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Air Force investigators said Thursday that a 12-year-old American girl who claimed she was raped on Halloween was never assaulted.

Air Force investigators determined the girl's allegation that she was assaulted in a wooded area behind an elementary school in Vogelweh housing was bogus.

As a result, the Office of Special Investigations “is no longer seeking information from the individual described in previous press reports,” said Col. Richard Weathers, commander of the 38th Combat Support Wing, in a statement issued to Stars and Stripes.

“I can not stress enough the fact that our investigative system works. I want to commend the quick reaction of everyone in the community for their support in helping us bring this to resolution as quickly as possible.”

The revelation is a relief to many parents.

The Air Force did not say why the girl would make up the story, but Air Force spokesman Maj. Michael Blass said, “there were some bad decisions made.”

The initial accusations shocked many people stationed in this large American military community and had families on edge and concerned for the safety of their children.

The possibility that somebody would attack a child in the gated community stunned those who live in the housing area, home to hundreds of Air Force and Army families and guarded by security forces.

Due to the false allegations, the U.S. military increased patrols around Defense Department schools throughout the area, which is the largest American military community outside of the United States with around 55,000 Americans.

Weathers went on the military’s radio station on Wednesday and talked about the allegations, while a note sent to parents encouraged family members to avoid unlit areas and not to go anywhere without a buddy.

The girl told investigators that a black man between the ages of 20 and 30 assaulted her as she walked home from school. Investigators had an artist sketch a picture of the alleged suspect, but they did not release it because of its ambiguity, Air Force spokeswoman Capt. Jenny Lovett said Thursday, before investigators determined the accusations were false.


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