Largo police: False rape allegation leads to neighbor's stabbing death

Image 1 of 3

Largo police have charged a woman after they say she lied about being sexually assaulted and detectives say her set off a bizarre chain of events that lead to a man's death.

The victims’ family says they can’t wrap their heads around what happened.

Brittany Sorey may have not been the one to kill Michael Peterson, but Largo police say a lie she told certainly played a role in his death, leaving the victim’s brother in a world of pain.

“Gonna be sad. He’s going to be so missed because I really really wanted to see him,” his brother, Mark Peterson said through tears.

Investigators say in April, Brittany Sorey filed a police report claiming an unknown man, wielding a box cutter, forced his way into her apartment near 137th Street and sexually assaulted her.

Detectives say Sorey was also having financial troubles and borrowed money from her neighbor, Mark Peterson.

Fast forward to last weekend, Sorey had moved out of the apartment but was letting a friend stay there.

Investigators say Peterson had been drinking and was upset Sorey hadn’t repaid him. He started banging on her door and confronted Sorey’s friend.

Police say Sorey told the man over the phone that Peterson was the person who sexually assaulted her.

The fight ended with Peterson being stabbed to death.

Police say Peterson was the aggressor in the fight and that the man staying in the apartment acted in self-defense and will not be charged.

Detectives say Sorey confessed and can only be charged with filing a false police report. She is out on a $150 bond, giving little comfort to this family, now forced to make final arrangements.

“His ashes will be scattered where he used to fish. That’s all he wanted to do with his life, is fish,” the victim’s brother said.