Decatur Police dispel false rumors about active sexual assault investigation

Decatur Police

DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — The Decatur Police Department says a May sexual assault investigation has become subject to misinformation in “the public realm.”

A press release from Deputy Chief Shane Brandel says on May 20, detectives began looking into a sexual assault claim that occurred 10 years ago. He says the suspect knew the victim.

The police department says the investigators served several search warrants to look for evidence of the allegations.

“At this time, no other individuals have been named or identified as being involved in this allegation or other criminal misconduct,” says the press release. “This case is complex and involves significant man-hours to ensure a thorough investigation. It is unknown how long this investigation will take to complete.

“The Decatur Police Department does not typically comment on sexual abuse or sexual assault cases. Doing so can risk further trauma to the victim and also jeopardize the investigation. However, this case has become a focus of rumors and false information within the larger public realm.”

DPD says a rumor has made the rounds on social media stating officers found children locked in a storage shed. The release says that rumor is completely false.

“In addition, allegations of other citizens of the area being involved in this investigation are false,” the press release continues. “These types of rumors are dangerous and can shatter lives and reputations, and potentially jeopardize the investigation.”

The chief says he’s encouraging the public to allow the investigation to continue without “such false and dangerous information being spread.”

“Decatur Police Department will make further comments as this case continues and information is able to be released to the public.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.