Woman claims innocence in rape-hoax case

A 23-year-old woman pleaded not guilty Thursday to lying to authorities when she claimed she was raped by at least three men in Foster City two months ago.

Karyn Galila, of San Mateo, told police that after her Jeep stalled on Foster City Boulevard at about 9 p.m. on June 12, three men helped push the vehicle onto a side road. Once they parked the car, she claimed, one of the men drew a gun, and she was sexually assaulted by the group.

Galila admitted the claim was a hoax after one of the suspects offered an alibi in which he and Galila were together at a restaurant that same night, according to police.

Galila faces two misdemeanor counts for lying on two separate occasions, once while being interviewed by police and again duringan interview at The Keller Center at San Mateo Medical Center.

Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe would not detail why Galila lied about the rape, but said that problems with a relationship may have been the cause. Foster City police Cpt. Jon Froomin said the case could be damaging because it could cause women to be reluctant to report incidents of sexual assault and violence.

“You don’t want to dissuade true victims of sexual assault from coming forward who might not have remembered everything that happened to them,” he said. “But there needs to be a balance in that you can’t use the justice system to get someone in trouble or get back at someone else.”

Galila’s attorney, Earl Jiang, entered the plea on behalf of Galila, who was not present. She is free on her own recognizance. A jury trial date was set for Nov. 19.

bfoley@examiner.com

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