Police: Alleged victim lied about kidnapping - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Police: Alleged victim lied about kidnapping

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Paul Lenz, wrongfully accused of kidnapping Paul Lenz, wrongfully accused of kidnapping

Less than a month after a Perry County man is arrested for kidnapping, he is now out of jail. Police say it's because the alleged victim lied about being kidnapped. 

Back in November, 20-year-old Cord Bennett, of Cannelton, told police that he'd been held up at gun point and kidnapped by Paul Lenz at Dot's Car Wash. But after a second interview with Bennett, police have now determined that his original story was completely made up.

The charges that Lenz faced in the case have been dropped.

"I see this guy run up from behind. He says, 'Hey,' lifts up his shirt probably about half way up. I could see a pistol or something right there. He says, 'You need to take me. You need to get in the car, and we're going to go for a ride," Bennett said.

According to police, that isn't the story Bennett is telling now.

"We've learned, after re-interviewing Mr. Bennett, that there was no firearm involved. There were no threats made of any kind," Cannelton Police Chief Lee Hall said. 

Police say it started when they tried to arrest Lenz for public intoxication at his home. He escaped police by jumping out his back window and eventually made his way to the car wash.

"That boy was up there. I asked him if he could take me to WalMart. As we started toward Walmart, I said, 'No. Can you go ahead and take me over to my friend's house?' He said, 'Yeah, that's fine.' I gave him $3.00 for the ride. Never threatened the boy. Never once," Lenz tells 14 News.

Police say during the ride, Lenz told Bennett he was fleeing officers and police say that's when Bennett decided to make up the kidnapping story.

"He said he became scared of getting in trouble for assisting somebody that was fleeing from the police and fabricated the story," Hall said.

Now, Lenz is out of jail and says he's just happy police got it right in the end.

"It's just been an eye opener, man. Like I said, I don't want the boy in no trouble. Mr. Lee Hall, he's a fine feller," Lenz said.

Police say Lenz will still face his charge for public intoxication and could face additional charges for fleeing police. As for Bennett, they say he will face a misdemeanor charge of false reporting. 

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