Colorado Woman Accused Of False Rape Claim Against Lander Man

As Lander police investigated Michelle Boyle's claims that a local man raped and punched her, they found evidence that the woman made the story up, slashed the man's tires and posted fliers around town falsely labeling him a sexual predator.

Clair McFarland

March 30, 20235 min read

Lander City Park crime scene 3 30 23

By Clair McFarland, State Courts And Crime Reporter 

A Colorado woman accused of making up a false, but very detailed, rape allegation against a Lander man is headed to court next week to determine whether she’s sane enough to face prosecution.  

Michelle Boyle, 36, faces a false reporting charge for allegedly accusing a man of raping and punching her. She also is reported to have stolen the man’s dog, slashed his tires, and posted fliers around Lander labeling him a sexual predator. 

Boyle is scheduled for an April 4 status hearing in Lander Circuit Court to determine whether she is mentally fit to face the charge, a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and $750 in fines.  

The case stems back to last July, when Boyle allegedly reported to the Lander Police Department that a man had raped her at a Fourth of July party at Lander City Park.  

She said she had COVID-19 and couldn’t leave her house to meet in person, so LPD detective Trevor Budd on July 12 asked her to provide a written timeline of events for the alleged rape, according to a probable cause affidavit in the case.  

Boyle provided 10 pages of timelines and narratives, wrote Budd.  

At the end of the statement, she said she took a dog from the man she’d accused of rape.  

“She details very specifically being punched in the face and sexually assaulted by (the man),” wrote Budd of the 10-page account.

Boyle allegedly claimed the rape happened between 7:30 and midnight that night.  

“She said at the party (he) trapped her in the bathroom, forced Boyle to remove her tampon, sexually assaulted her and then later punched Boyle in the face with a closed fist for crashing her bicycle into his pickup,” wrote Budd.  

Saved By Cell Data

Investigators contacted the suspect and reviewed his cellphone data.  

The cellphone location data showed that the only time Boyle and the man were in the same area that night was when he retrieved his dog from her at the park, the affidavit says. Aside from that, they were on opposite ends of town, and the man was in his home before midnight that night. 

Boyle emailed the detective to say that she, too, had found inconsistencies in her story, according to the affidavit.  

“One of my friends told me he told her he wasn’t at the party at all,” reads a July 16 email from Boyle to detective Budd, the affidavit alleges. “I was just drunk out of my mind and maybe am wrong. I guess please drop the charges, because maybe I’m wrong. I might just be out of my mind. Let me know if I need to turn myself in or anything. I tested negative for COVID.”  

The affidavit says that hours later that same day, Boyle emailed Budd again, pleading with him to drop the charges against the man and to send her a fine or let her know if she needed to do jail time.  

“I just don’t understand because I remember that stuff,” she wrote, according to the affidavit. “I’m so sorry, and I don’t understand how this happened.”  

Slashing Tires, Crying ‘Predator’ 

But on Aug. 3, 2022, police arrested Boyle for slashing the man’s tires.  

She has since been convicted of misdemeanor property destruction on that charge, though her false reporting prosecution is still ongoing.  

“She also admitted to hanging up flyers in the Lander area accusing (the man) of being a sexually violent predator,” wrote Budd.  

Boyle posted a $500 cash bond for her release Aug. 5, according to her court record.  

Pause Button 

Boyle’s attorney on Nov. 30 asked Lander Circuit Court Judge Jefferson Coombs to pause her prosecution so she could be evaluated mentally.  

Defendants in Wyoming cannot plead to charges unless they are mentally competent to do so.  

Coombs ordered a psychological evaluation Jan. 5.  

He has now scheduled an April 4 status hearing to determine whether she’s competent to be arraigned, which indicates that her mental evaluation is complete.  

Mental Help And Banished From The Park 

Boyle’s alleged victim wrote in a victim impact statement last August that he would recommend 15 days in jail, probation, counseling, drug and alcohol screening, and restitution payments as Boyle’s sentence if she’s convicted.  

He also said she should be banished from the park.  

The alleged victim said at the time that he fears retaliation from Boyle because “she explicitly told police the night she slashed my tires that if they let her go she was going back for the other two, and that when she gets out she is going to do it again.”  

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter