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Girl’s sexual assault claim leads to man’s beating death—but police say the assault didn’t happen: Report

A false sexual assault allegation reportedly led the 16-year-old accuser’s older brother to attack a Utah man, resulting in his death days later.

KUCW reported that Michael Fife died four days after sustaining severe head trauma in an April 23 assault where he was tackled by a 17-year-old who was led to believe that Fife had sexually assaulted his 16-year-old sister. While the girl reportedly claimed the incident occurred on a Cache Valley District bus, authorities said surveillance footage doesn’t support her claim.

“Logan Police detectives reviewed the video footage of the alleged assault,” police wrote, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. “The video showed Mr. Fife walking past the girl, but no sexual assault occurred.”

Police alleged the 16-year-old immediately called her older brother and claimed Fife assaulted her, leading him to find Fife as he got off the bus and knock him to the ground. The teen boy allegedly fled the scene and bystanders called for help. The girl allegedly reported the sexual assault three hours after the altercation.

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Authorities have declined to disclose additional details regarding the deadly incident or reveal the siblings’ identities. The Gephardt Daily News reported that the incident remains under investigation as local police consult with the Cache County Attorney’s Office.

“Laws are written,” Jensen told KUCW. “There are elements put in place that create the notion of the crime. So, we’re looking at this case trying to decide if the elements, and the knowledge of the perpetrator versus what actions took whether they meet the elements of certain crimes.”

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[Featured image: Michael Fife/GoFundMe]