Mary Zolkowski
Photo: Bay County, Mich., Jail

A 21-year-old woman who admitted to lying about being raped in a parking lot at Delta College in Bay County, Mich., has been sentenced to 45 days in jail, USA Today reports.

Mary Zolkowski, 21, pleaded guilty back in March to falsely reporting a felony. She could have faced up to four years in prison and a $2,000 fine, but Bay County Circuit Judge Joseph K. Sheeran had already acknowledged that he’d likely sentence her to probation and not impose a jail sentence, MLive notes.

Advertisement

Zolkowski told her mother in February that she had been raped by a stranger.

“I called Delta College and falsely reported the rape on their campus,” Zolkowski told the judge in March. “My mother made the initial call and I took the phone and continued to report.”

Zolkowski never accused or named any particular individual in the case, but she did describe her attacker as a black man.

Advertisement

“I was assaulted previously, not at Delta’s campus,” Zolkowski said. “And because I was ashamed of circumstances of that, when my mother called, I vented through Delta, which was very wrong of me. I should have been truthful from the very beginning, and I used Delta.”

Police began a lengthy investigation, even though Zolkowski was unwilling to cooperate with it or go through a physical exam. During the investigation, investigators learned that a parolee with sexual assault convictions had been on the campus when the alleged attack occurred; however, that individual denied knowing about the incident and passed a polygraph.

As investigators dug deeper, Zolkowski started to change her story, until it ultimately fell apart.

Advertisement

On Monday, as USA Today notes, Zolkowski was sentenced to 45 days in jail, two years’ probation, a mental health assessment and an additional 220 days in jail if she violates her probation.