A 63-year-old white woman in Virginia has been charged with filing a false police report after she allegedly lied about being assaulted by a Black couple, the Powhatan County Sheriff’s Office says.

Gladys Townsend reported around 6 p.m. on Wednesday that she had been assaulted by a Black man and woman on Ridge Road, according to a statement obtained by The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Townsend said she did not know her alleged assailants but described the couple and their car, authorities said.


“Further investigation by the Powhatan County Sheriff’s Office revealed that the assault did not occur,” Chief Dept. Jeffrey Searfoss said in a statement. “Townsend confessed to fabricating the assault and she has been charged with filing a false police report.”

The details of Townsend’s allegations are unclear. Searfoss said the incident is under investigation and no further details would be released at this time.

Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Cerullo condemned the “heinousness of the allegation” in a statement to the outlet.

“We take all allegations of false police reports seriously because of the burden imposed on the sheriff’s office in the way of resources expended to investigate the false claim, but also on the potential harm that a false report can cause a citizen who may be wrongly accused and or arrested,” Cerullo said.