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Three teens jailed for a crime that never happened

Published On: Dec 24 2013 03:30:47 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 15 2013 10:58:48 PM CST
RED BLUFF, Calif. -

Three Tehama county teens were recently released from jail for a crime they didn't commit and investigators say never happened.

The male teens are between the ages of 16 and 18.

The Tehama County District Attorney's Office said two of the three spent three weeks in the Tehama County Juvenile Justice Center, another spent two weeks.

The DA's office said the supposed victim's story kept changing but he still had a wound to his chest that represented potential gang signs, however, after some serious questioning he finally admitted he made the whole scenario up.

The teens were released from the justice center on Friday, Nov. 8.

Assistant District Attorney Matt Rogers said it's a situation he's never experienced.

"I can say in my time here I've never seen it happen. It is scary, it certainly is and I think it's eye opening for everyone involved," reflected Rogers.

It was the night of Sept. 8 when the minor, whose age authorities won't release, said he was attacked by three Red Bluff High students.

He identified the three suspects in a picture lineup and they were arrested and jailed by Red Bluff Police.

"This was not out of the ordinary for them to be arrested. He's saying I was held down and attacked by these three people and here's the wound to prove it," explained Rogers.

The supposed victim said the attack happened in a creek bed that runs between Red Bluff High School and Bidwell Elementary.

The minor told police the three teens held him down and carved an X-3 into his chest.

"Ultimately it appeared the wound was suffered by accident it sounds like on a fence," said Rogers.

When police started asking more questions that's when the young man's story began to change.

The number of suspects involved changed and he also said some were wearing masks.

The investigation also revealed two of the three suspects had valid alibis.

Rogers said when confronted the minor admitted he made the whole story up.

Following the admission the three teens were released and District Attorney Gregg Cohen spoke with the families involved.

Rogers would not say why the minor made up the story but said there might've been some kind of problem between his older brother and one of the alleged suspects.

Rogers said the next step is deciding how to appropriately deal with the boy's story.

We reached out to the Red Bluff Police Department for comment but never heard back.