This story contains references to rape and sexual assault.
Former Neighborhood S Housing Service Center Supervisor Jennifer Gries was arraigned last Monday on felony charges of perjury and misdemeanor counts of “inducing false testimony.” In March, she was charged by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office after falsifying stories about being violently raped twice on campus last year, allegedly in order to take revenge on a co-worker.
Gries has been allowed to remain free on supervised release by the Santa Clara County Office of Pre-Trial Services, according to a statement provided to The Daily by Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Marina Mankaryous. Mankaryous is the prosecutor for Gries’ case.
Gries was also issued a no-contact order, which Mankaryous wrote “requires the defendant to stay 300 yards away from the protected party, and to have no contact with him, either directly or through a third party.”
The University confirmed to The Mercury News that Gries is no longer an employee of the University’s Residential and Dining Enterprises (R&DE). Stanford did not respond to The Daily’s request for comment.
According to The Mercury News, Gries “appeared solemn and did not speak” at her first court appearance on Monday.
Gries’ next court appearance is June 21, when “the defendant can decide whether to enter a plea,” Mankaryous wrote.
False reports of rape are “very rare,” law professor Michele Dauber wrote to The Daily in a previous statement on the case. The rates of false reports range from two to ten percent of all reports, a rate similar to falsified reports of other crimes including murder.
Misconceptions about the prevalence of false reporting can deter victims from reporting sexual assaults. Dauber wrote that fewer than 3% of sexual violence survivors report the crime at Stanford. In general, 95% of college students choose not to report their assaults.
The co-worker who was falsely accused by Gries was described in crime reports as a Black man who was “6’ tall with a thin build, brown eyes, and a faded beard.”
Black individuals are almost eight times more likely than white individuals to be falsely convicted of rape, according to a 2022 report from researchers at the University of Michigan. The same report found that among prisoners serving time for sexual assault, Black individuals are more than three times more likely to be innocent than white counterparts.
Following Gries’ two reported rapes last year, students called for the University to take stronger action against faculty and students who have committed sexual assault and for better counseling services. The University wrote in emails that the administration would re-examine and increase security practices on campus, efforts which The Mercury News reported cost the University upwards of $300,000.
At Monday’s hearing, Mankaryous said that anyone who has survived sexual assault should still report the crimes, according to The Mercury News.
“A case such as this is damaging, not only to the victim, but to survivors of sexual assault who may be discouraged” from reporting future sexual assaults, Mankaryous was quoted as saying in The Mercury News article. “But again, we at the DA’s office want to encourage people to report, they will be supported and we will hold sexual offenders accountable.”