CANONSBURG, Pa. - An 18-year-old Venetia woman is facing perjury charges after investigators said she lied about being raped in the parking lot of the South Park wave pool last year.
According to the criminal complaint, Katelyn Webster told authorities she raped by Matthew Folino while sitting in the pool’s parking lot in June 2012.
Webster told police that Folino put his hands around her neck to hold her down. There were marks on her neck to validate her story.
Folino, who adamantly denied the claim, spent four days in jail and was then placed on house arrest. Despite no DNA evidence, Webster was so convincing that the case headed for trial.
“I have never seen such a fabrication as this. It’s such a sick thing to do,” Folino’s defense attorney William Difenderfer said.
A few weeks before the trial, two of Webster’s friends came forward and said Webster wasn’t at the wave pool that day. They said she was at a dance club and spent the night at another guy’s house. They said the marks on her neck were ‘sucker bites’ from that guy.
Authorities said Webster admitted to making the false report earlier this month.
“It’s hard to understand why or how someone could sit there and lie for that long. This isn’t a white lie. It’s complete disregard for somebody’s well-being,” Difdenderfer said.
The complaint said she made up the story so she wouldn’t get in trouble with her father for having the marks on her neck.
All charges against Folino were immediately dropped.
“It was a great feeling to know they were dropped. What should have been done in the first place was done,” Folino said.
Webster faces charges of perjury, false reports to law enforcement authorities and false swearing.
The case has cost the Folinos more than $20,000 in legal fees, in addition to the damage to Matt’s reputation. The family said they plan to file a civil suit against Webster.