Former Lindenwood student placed on probation for false report of sex assault


Essi A. Virtanen | News Editor
Nov. 30, 2016; 3 p.m.

A former Lindenwood student has been placed on probation for falsely claiming she was sexually assaulted in the bathroom of Butler Library.

Joanna L. Newberry, 23, of Des Peres, entered an Alford plea Nov. 14 to a misdemeanor charge of making a false report. The plea means that Newberry did not admit guilt but conceded that the prosecution likely could get a conviction.

St. Charles County Associate Circuit Judge Elizabeth Walker Swann sentenced Newberry to two years in prison, but suspended imposition of the sentence as long as Newberry follows the terms of her probation.

They include that she continue counseling and follow all the directives of treatment professionals. In addition, Newberry is prohibited from entering the Lindenwood University property in St. Charles, and she must pay for the court costs.

Newberry reported being assaulted in the basement bathroom of Butler Library to Lindenwood Security on March 4, 2014. Her report caused a campus wide Rave alert.

Newberry later admitted fabricating the story when she was interviewed at the police station. She was dismissed from the university.