An owner of the Wild Country nightclub where a woman reported being raped said he “had my doubts” about her claim, which police say was false.
Mike Major, one of the owners of the Collinsville club, said he and his employees were a little skeptical of the assault report, but still took the initial allegation seriously.
“I had my doubts, but I had to pursue it,” Major said.
The woman, 21-year-old Lisa M. Soest of Imperial, Mo., has been charged with felony obstruction of justice and felony disorderly conduct.
Collinsville police said Soest was booked Thursday and then released on bond.
Soest on Wednesday was charged in Madison County with the two felony counts. Her bond was set at $50,000, meaning she needed to post $5,000 in cash for bail.
She faces one to three years in prison, or can be sentenced to probation and a fine if convicted.
Attempts to reach Soest for comment have not been successful. It was unclear Thursday whether she has an attorney.
Soest reported that she was raped in the early-morning hours of Feb. 4 on the parking lot of the nightclub. She told police she went outside for some fresh air when she began talking to a male. The male began trying to kiss her, but she declined his advances, she told police. The man then pulled her into a vehicle and sexually assaulted her, the woman told police.
The woman described her attacker as a “clean-cut” male in his mid-20s with dark hair and sleeve tattoos.
Collinsville police Major Brett Boerm said detectives interviewed numerous people and followed numerous tips, but statements given by Soest and those given by individuals she was with at the club didn’t add up. He declined to comment on what would motivate the woman to make a false report.
Soest sent out a tweet in the early-morning hours of Feb. 4, in which she mentioned being “kicked out of a bar so that’s how my night is going.” She sent out a second tweet saying she was “locked outside in the cold because these security guards suck butt.”
Wild Country was having a “college night” when the woman reported being raped, so there was a younger crowd at the popular club.
Boerm said Wild Country is a safe place.
“There is not a rapist running around the parking lot of Wild Country,” he said.
Major, the owner, said last call at the bar is 12:30 a.m. and anytime after midnight, when someone goes outside of the bar, they are not allowed back in. People would know they can’t go out for air and return, he said.
At the time the woman reported being assaulted, there probably would have been 500 people in the parking lot, as well as two security guards in the well-lit parking lot, Major said.
“It’s difficult to commit a crime,” Major said.
“This is very unusual, we have no trouble at Wild Country,” Major added. “We cooperated fully, and our staff does a really good job.”