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Penn State Student Accused of Making False Kidnapping Report

by on March 31, 2014 1:05 PM

A Penn State student faces criminal charges after telling police she was kidnapped in January.

Investigators say the reported abduction never happened.

Twenty-year-old Samantha Sernekos of Landing, NJ allegedly reported that she was kidnapped on Shortlidge Road near Simmons Hall on the night of Jan. 28.

Penn State Police say their two-month investigation turned up no evidence that a crime occurred. In a statement police chief Tyrone Parham says, "As the investigation progressed, the victim admitted to investigators that the incident did not happen as it was initially described.

"We spoke with witnesses and friends, looked at video from the area, obtained phone records, carefully worked through the times and dates provided and used all available technologies to determine that this individual was not kidnapped and there was no crime committed."

Sernekos is charged with one count of making an unsworn falsification to authorities and also making false reports to law enforcement authorities. Those are considered second-degree misdemeanors.

Sernekos allegedly told police that she was kidnapped by men in a dark colored sedan. According to information from the original police report, Sernekos told investigators that she was forced into the vehicle and driven to an off-campus location where an attempted indecent assault took place, before she was able to escape.

At the time, police issued a "Timely Warning" notifying students about the alleged crime.

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Steve Bauer was the Managing Editor of Steve and his wife Trina are longtime area residents. They reside in State College along with a wacky Golden Retriever named Izzy.
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