Authorities: Woman who claimed sexual assault in Zionsville barn lied to police

Authorities investigate an alleged sexual assault in Zionsville on March 17, 2017. (WISH Photo)

ZIONSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Boone County authorities say a woman who claimed she was assaulted by a masked man in a barn made up part of the story.

Back on March 17, a 41-year-old woman said she was sexually assaulted in a Zionsville barn while working as a caregiver for 76-year-old Helen Fix in the 1500 block of S. US 421. The 41-year-old, who has not been identified, was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Her condition was later updated to stable.

The caretaker reported that both women left for their daily walk from the residence at 5 p.m. Once the two arrived at the barn, she claimed they were approached by an unknown male wearing a ski mask and holding a gun. The caretaker said she was hit in the head and a rope was tied around her neck.

The Boone County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday that the caretaker lied to law enforcement and has since stopped cooperating. Fix, who lived at the home, was uninjured and not involved in the incident, the sheriff’s department says.

A weeks-long investigation determined that evidence at the scene contradicted the caretaker’s account. The sheriff’s department says there’s no evidence a crime occurred.

Sheriff Mike Nielsen issued the following statement Wednesday:

As far as a reason for this reported incident, we can only speculate on the participant’s motive. Our Criminal Investigations Division has worked many hours on this case. As I have stated in prior press releases, we take every case seriously and we will leave no stone unturned. In this case our investigators did not leave a stone unturned and the outcome proved in many ways that this crime did not occur. Although we can theorize why someone would do this, we cannot prove the reason why this crime was alleged by the participant because they have stopped communicating with us. We are fortunate that Miss Fix was not hurt during this alleged criminal act. We feel that Boone County overall continues to be a safe community because of its citizens and its law enforcement agencies working together. However, we do want to stress that it is always important to pay attention to your surroundings and always be vigilant. As citizens, you are many times our eyes and ears.

The sheriff’s department says criminal charges may be filed against the caretaker.

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