By MARY RAINWATER
Rumors of a serial sex case running rampant on the internet and among local citizens are unverified and untrue, according to reports from the Palestine Police Department.
According to PPD Sgt. James Muniz, the department has received information that there is concern from the public of a large number of sexually related offenses and that the sexual assaults are being reported on social networking sites.
Officers are investigating a series of sexually related offenses, Muniz said, but have determined that the incidents are not related in any manner, if they occurred at all.
“There were five such offenses reported over the past two weekends,” Muniz said. “These offenses took place at different locations...in all cases but one the victim knew the attacker. It has been determined that one case did not take place at all.”
Sgt. Muniz reported that he received a faxed copy of a flyer being circulated which states that there are people going around posing as salesmen and forcing their way into homes when the door is opened.
“The Palestine Police Department has received no such report from anyone,” he said, also reporting that a second flyer containing similar information has been received but has not yet been verified.
Due to state law, the police department cannot release the names of any person who may be the victim of a sex related crime.
“It is unfortunate that some people use (social media) to spread rumors that cause the public to become fearful,” Muniz said. “If there was a case of multiple related crimes the Palestine Police Department would notify the public at once.”
“The safety of the public is of the utmost importance,” he added, “and when deemed necessary, information pertaining to major and/or violent crimes can be released without jeopardizing the integrity of the case.”
Mary Rainwater may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org