For release on March 15, 2023
Public Communications Officer
Stanford Employee Charged with Lying about Two Sexual Assaults
A 25-year-old Stanford employee faces felony perjury and other charges for intentionally lying about being raped twice on campus last year.
Jennifer Gries, of Santa Clara, told county sexual assault forensic exam nurses in August that she had been attacked by a Black man in a campus garage. Two months later, Gries reported being attacked again by a Black man in a storage closet. Evidence shows that the Gries made up the stories due to being angry at a co-worker. The reported attacks triggered campus wide safety alerts and campus unrest.
Gries twice applied under penalty of perjury to get public money from the California Victim of Crimes Board (CalVCB), attesting that she was sexually assaulted. She was arrested this morning and will be arraigned at a later date in the Hall of Justice in San Jose. She faces incarceration, if convicted.
“This is a rare and deeply destructive crime,” DA Rosen said. “Our hearts go out to the falsely accused. Our hearts go out to students who had to look over their shoulders on their way to class. Our hearts go out to legitimate sexual assault victims who wonder if they will be believed.”
On August 9, 2022, the defendant reported to Valley Medical Center for a sexual assault forensic exam. She said she did not want law enforcement to contact her at that time. She signed the consent form, acknowledging that the nurse is a mandated reporter who must notify law enforcement. Gries reported to the SART nurse that she was raped by an unknown assailant in the Munger Residence Hall restroom from Wilbur parking garage. She then told the SART nurse that the assailant was in his “late 20s, black male.” She reported that the assailant approached her when she was going to her car, grabbed her, told her not to scream, and raped her.
On October 7, 2022, Gries reported to Stanford Hospital to get another rape examination. She told that nurse that she was coming back from lunch to her front office and an unknown male grabbed her arm, took to her to the basement into a storage closet and raped her. She described the assailant as a Black male, slender, young, 6ft, late 20s. Gries signed the consent form, acknowledging that the nurse is a mandated reporter.
Both of Gries’s sexual assault examination kits were analyzed as priority rushes given the extreme public safety risk of a potential sex offender. The lab results were not consistent with her story.
Given the public safety risk, Stanford DPS continued to investigate the two alleged sexual assaults. The investigation revealed that Gries had made a recent sexual harassment complaint against a coworker who fit the description of the alleged rapist. It also revealed that Gries told an acquaintance that she was in a relationship with the man and named him (the actual victim in this case). She said she was sexually assaulted by the victim and became pregnant with his twins. Gries claimed to have suffered a miscarriage. The investigation revealed that she was not pregnant at that time.
On January 24, 2023, DA Investigator Sheena Woodland interviewed the defendant, during which Gries wrote a letter of apology to the victim.