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Woman Faked Beating to Get Sympathy
September 12, 2006

Amanda Butterfield Reporting

Another strange turn in the case of a former high school teacher charged with having sex with a student. This summer, Melinda Deluca was beaten, in what she said was retaliation. Now police believe she wasn't attacked afterall.

South Jordan police have been investigating the last two months, since Melinda Deluca was found beaten. Investigators now say she made it all up.

Back on June 30th, Deluca called 911 and told police that she had been beaten. Her injuries appeared so serious she was airlifted to the hospital.

Deluca had said two teenage boys attacked her inside her home, as payback for having a relationship with a teenage boy while she taught at Copper Hills High School. But after a long investigation, police say Deluca made it all up, apparently in an effort to get sympathy, as she is prosecuted for having sex with a former student.

Lt. Matt Evans, South Jordan Police Dept.: "Obviously our biggest concern is the amount of resources that we spent. And we get to the result and find out that it was all false.It's obviously very frustrating to have wasted that amount of resources at the tax payers' expense and to find out that it was all just made up."

Deluca faces two second-degree felony charges of forcible sexual abuse for allegedly having a relationship with a 16-year old boy. She was fired last December when the allegations were made.

That has prompted the family of the high school student to come forward for the first time, in hopes of gaining community support. The victim's mother talked to KSL. She says her family knew any chance the alleged beating had to do with her son was false.

Victim's Mother: "We knew it all along, we knew the truth, but weren't sure it would ever come out."

But it did.

Matt Evans, South Jordan Police Dept: "She admitted she made it up."

The boy's mother hopes this will make people think twice about believing Melinda Deluca, the woman accused of having sex with her son.

Victim's Mother: "My son, cause he's the most important person in this, has been through hell, quite frankly."

It's been almost a year since police say Deluca had sex with the 16-year old student at Copper Hills High School. She has since been charged with two counts of forcible sex abuse, and ever since, the 16-year old hasn't been the same.

Victim's Mother: "He has been harassed, had emotional difficulties related to this. He doesn't live the life of a normal high school senior anymore."

The boy is now earning his diploma at home -- he hasn't been to school since the alleged abuse happened. And he doesn't play football or basketball for the school anymore either. The worst part, the family says, is they've had to defend him.

Victim's Mother: "My son is 14-years her junior, she's the adult, she was the person in power. When this happens to girl, victim; when boy, people see it as both of them are at fault."

But with this latest announcement, that Deluca made up being attacked at her home, the boy's family hopes Deluca won't be seen as the victim anymore.

Victim's Mother: "Always remembering our son is the victim."

Melinda Deluca would not talk to us. However, a close friend says Deluca denies admitting that she faked the beating and maintains her innocence.

Now South Jordan police are considering charging her for making a false police report-- when she called 911 saying she had been beaten.

Deluca will be back in court in a couple of weeks and is scheduled to enter a plea to the charges then.

South Jordan police are considering misdemeanor charges for making a false police report when she called 911 saying she had been beaten.