POLK COUNTY, Wis. - A western Wisconsin man has been cleared of all charges after an 11-year-old girl who had accused him of sexual assault admitted fabricating the whole story.
Paul Burritt of Turtle Lake is a driver for a handicapped transportation service. He was taken into custody and charged with sexual assault in mid-December after a client told authorities that Burritt drove her to his home and molested her before driving her home.
The case was widely reported in the media, including on kare11.com, because the case was officially charged by the Polk County District Attorney. That is among KARE's criteria for naming suspects in criminal cases.
Burritt was arrested, but as deputies continued their investigation they used GPS data to verify the driver's story that he drove his usual route, and did not make advances on the girl.
When confronted with the new information the 11-year-old admitted her allegations were false. The child did admit to making the false allegation upon being confronted with the facts.
Polk County District Attorney Dan Steffen told WQOW TV that what happened to Burritt is "a prosecutor's worst nightmare." Steffen has dropped the charges against Burritt and is assisting to get the charges cleared from court records.
The girl is being referred to juvenile authorities for making the false allegations.
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