Woman charged with making false rape report

A Wood River woman has been charged with making a false police report alleging she had been raped.

Kiersten Cherry, 19, came to the South Roxana Police Department with her boyfriend on May 20 and reported that she had been raped by a resident of South Roxana, according to police. An investigation led to Cherry’s admission that the sex was consensual, according to police.

“These cases are extremely hard to pursue due to the fact that we take every sexual assault complaint very seriously,” said South Roxana Police Chief Bob Coles. “We do not want to offend a reported victim or deter future victims from coming forward. We seek the truth regardless of the complaint or complainant.”

Coles said he was “disturbed” by false reports, which he said in this instance was motivated by a guilty conscience from multiple consensual contacts.

“The stigma from being accused of a sexual offense is not something that goes away when guilt or innocence is proven,” he said. “It can haunt the person for the rest of their life.”

Cherry has been charged with disorderly conduct, a Class 4 felony punishable by one to four years in prison or up to two and a half years’ probation.

A warrant has been issued for her arrest, but she was not in custody as of late Tuesday. Coles said he expected her to be apprehended shortly.