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Woman Who Made False Claim About Being Raped In College Parking Lot Gets Jail Time

Mary Zolkowski initially said she had been raped by a black man, and then said it was by an acquaintance.

By Gina Tron

A Michigan woman is going to jail for making up a story about being raped in a college parking lot.

Mary Zolkowski, 21, was sentenced to 45 days in jail Monday in a Bay City courtroom, MLive reported. She gets no credit for time served, and if she violates probation she’ll have to serve an additional 220 days in jail. After being released from her 45-day stint, she’ll be on probation for two years.

The presiding judge also ordered a mental health assessment for Zolkowski.

The false claim stems from a February 2017 incident in which Zolkowski claimed she was raped at Delta College in University Center, where she was a student. She said an attacker grabbed her from behind as she was getting into her car, WNEM in Saginaw reported.

"I called Delta College and falsely reported the rape on their campus," Zolkowski told the judge in March when she pleaded guilty to making a false report of a felony, an offense that could have resulted in up to four years behind bars. "My mother made the initial call and I took the phone and continued to report."

When the judge asked her why she made up the story, Zolkowski replied, “I was assaulted previously, not at Delta's campus. And because I was ashamed of circumstances of that, when my mother called, I vented through Delta, which was very wrong of me.”

Zolkowski didn’t name her supposed attacker at the time, but described him as a black man, MLive reported. She said she only saw his hand.

She then changed her story to claim she was raped by an acquaintance at his home earlier in the day. That man admitted to having sex with Zolkowski but said it was consensual. He showed police texts from Zolkowski in which she told him that she was raped at a Walmart. 

Zolkowski dropped out of classes around the time she claimed she was attacked, and blamed her academic troubles on stress stemming from sexual assault. Her defense attorney James F. Piazza said in March that Zolkowski is bipolar and suffers from PTSD.

[Photos: Bay County Jail, Instagram]

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