A teenage girl who told police she was raped by a man in Essex has withdrawn her allegation.
She had alleged the attack happened in an alleyway as she walked home in Westcliff on 9 November.
Police said the teenager had since confirmed that she was not raped, had apologised and was "extremely remorseful".
The girl will not be prosecuted but is working with a youth offending team, Essex Police said.
Det Insp Marina Ericson said: "The appeals for information surrounding this incident have caused unnecessary fear and concern for the community who believed a rapist was on the loose.
"Making false claims of rape affects genuine victims and affects how they feel about seeking help from police and I hope that this incident doesn't deter genuine victims of rape from coming forward."