July 24, 2009 10:20:00 AM
A Mississippi State University student who reported to police that an assailant snatched her purse Sunday evening is now being charged with filing a false report, according to a statement released by the university.
The university did not release the student''s name in the statement and a call to MSU Police Department Chief Georgia Lindley was not returned as of press time.
The student initially said the incident took place near Sessums Hall, but police eventually determined the report was not true.
"Filing a false report is a serious charge," Dean of Students Thomas Bourgeois said, adding that conviction can result in up to a $1,000 fine and up to one year in prison.
Bourgeois said false reports are dangerous to the general campus because they can unnecessarily divert valuable police resources, among other reasons.
"We treat false reports as seriously as we treat crime reports," Bourgeois said.