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Accuser in home invasion arrested: Woman faces charges of filing false report

10-10-2004 New York

.The apparent victim of an Amherst home invasion swapped places in the Amherst town jail Friday night with the man she claimed attacked her. Amherst police detectives said Kim Novara, 36, confessed that she lied when she reported Gregory L. Mitchell, 42, of Buffalo broke into her house with a gun early Thursday, tied her up with a telephone cord and tried to rape her.

Minutes after felony burglary and unlawful imprisonment charges were dropped against Mitchell and he was freed, Novara was arraigned before Amherst Town Justice Geoffrey K. Klein on misdemeanor counts of filing a false written statement and falsely reporting an incident.

"During the course of our investigation, more and more information came forward and led us to believe that what we were being led to believe was not exactly true," Assistant Police Chief Ronald H. Hagelberger said.

Novara, a mother of four children, initially told police that Mitchell broke into her Glenhaven Drive apartment about 7:30 a.m., tied her up with a telephone cord and threatened to kill her and her children. She claimed he slashed her across the arms, subjected her to sexual contact and attempted to abduct her 10-year-old daughter, all while holding her at gunpoint until 9:30 a.m.

Amherst police talked with Novara, her 15-year-old son - who according to Novara's story, beat the attacker away with a baseball bat - and other witnesses. Police realized there was something fishy about the story, Hagelberger said.

Later, Novara confessed it wasn't Mitchell. "She was mad at Mr. Mitchell. That is why she was making the allegations against him," Hagelberger said. ..more.. T.J. PIGNATARO | News Staff Reporter

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