A Stanford University employer was arraigned on perjury charges after she allegedly lied about a co-worker of raping her twice for spurning her romant
A Stanford University employer was arraigned on perjury charges after she allegedly lied about a co-worker of raping her twice for spurning her romantic advances.
Jennifer Gries, 25, of Santa Clara did not speak on Monday during her first appearance in court on two felony counts of perjury and two misdemeanor counts of making a false crime report.
Gries is alleged to have fabricated claims about being raped by a co-worker that, in turn, sparked a widespread panic across Stanford’s campus about a sexual predator stalking women in the area.
Protesters took to the campus last October as a result of rape claims prosecutors now say were fake, and which allegedly came as the result of an unrequited crush.
It is believed that Gries spun the lies as part of a revenge plot against the co-worker, who she is said to have accused of leading her on.
Gries was ordered to return to enter a plea on June 21. She will remain free in the meantime on supervised release. She was additionally issued a no-contact order, which requires her to stay at least 300 yards from the co-worker about whom she made the claims.
No mugshot or images of Gries have yet been issued. Stanford fired her from her job at housing services after she was charged over the crime.
Gries’ alleged lies triggered protests across the Stanford campus as students claimed the elite university was failing to support victims of sexual assault. This was one of the protests triggered by her allegations in October 2022
Gries filed two rape reports two months apart, both targeting her co-worker, who may have spurned her romantically
Her initial report came last August, when Gries claimed she had been in a parking lot near a campus dining hall when an unknown man grabbed her, took her into a bathroom, told her not to scream, and raped her.
She filed a report at the Valley Medical Center, where she went to get a sexual assault forensic exam. There, she told the medical staff that she did not want to speak to police.
Almost exactly two months later in October, Gries against sought a forensic exam after saying that a man walked into her office on campus and dragged her into a basement, where he proceeded to rape her. Again, Gries declined to speak with law enforcement.
On both occasions, Gries gave a general description of her co-worker – a 6ft tall black man in his late 20s – as her alleged assailant. Gries’ race has not been disclosed publicly.
The reports provoked widespread fear on campus that there was a rapist running amuck on Stanford’s campus.
One student group, Sexual Violence Free Stanford, led a protest march on campus following the report of the second rape.
Protestors called for more counseling support for survivors, better training for incoming students, and the immediate removal of all students and members of staff who commit acts of sexual assault. They blamed the school for failing to support victims.
Students held posters that read, ‘Stanford protects rapists.’
The false report charges that have been filed against Gries allege that she lied to the hospital’s medical staff, who, each time she arrived, made it clear that they were required to alert police of the reports.
The perjury counts are based on Gries signing forms to receive California Victim Compensations Board benefits.
Further, prosecutors are alleging that prior to her allegedly false rape reports, Gries filed a human resources complaint saying that she had become pregnant with, then miscarried, her co-worker’s twins after he raped her.
Those claims were deemed baseless, according to authorities.
Gries was terminated from her position at the university following an investigation that followed her arrest in March
Advocates for survivors of sexual assault fear Gries’ case may impact whether or not future victims of sexual assault or rape will come forward with their claims
Investigators looking into the case say they found text messages Gries sent to another co-worker, in which she discussed attempting to make the male co-worker’s life a ‘living hell.’
‘I’m coming up with a plan,’ she wrote.
Authorities say the man was never involved with Gries and that the multiple rape kits failed to produce any corroborating evidence in regards to her claims.
District Attorney Investigators Sheena Woodland said that Gries, in a previously recorded police interview, ‘admitted to lying about the rapes and wrote an apology letter to the target of the false allegations.’
In that interview, Gries said she was ‘upset with the victim’ because he gave her ‘false intention’ and ‘turned her friends against her.’
The allegations against Gries have drawn upset among advocates for sexual assault survivors, who fear they’ll make it even harder for future victims to secure a rape conviction.
Santa Clare County District Attorney took this position into consideration when he announced charges against Gries, saying that the allegations against the young woman were a ‘rare and deeply destructive crime’ that will impact ‘legitimate sexual assault victims who wonder if they will be believed.’
On Monday, Marina Mankaryous – the prosecutor handling Gries’ case – encouraged those who have suffered instances of sexual assault to continue reporting those crimes.
‘A case such as this is damaging, not only to the victim, but to survivors of sexual assault who may be discouraged,’ she said.
‘But again, we at the DA’s office want to encourage people to report, they will be supported and we will hold sexual offenders accountable.’