A woman has apologised after wrongly accusing a nine-year-old boy of sexually assaulting her inside a store.
Teresa Sue Klein, dubbed ‘Cornerstore Caroline’, called police after claiming she was grabbed from behind by the young boy at a store in New York, US.
Her reaction following the alleged incident was filmed by a local and captured by CCTV footage which eventually surfaced online and disproved her claims of harassment.
The surveillance video from the store shows the boy walking by the woman unaware of her presence with both his hands in plain view. His backpack appears to brush the woman as they pass.
In the initial clip outside the store she can be heard saying, “the son grabbed my a**”.
However, a gathering crowd at the store quickly tries to shut down her claims.
In the wake of the public uproar over the incident, Ms Klein tried to make amends for her accusations.
“Young man … I don’t know your name but I’m sorry,” she said in a public address, according to the New York Times.
Ms Klein also acknowledged the boy touched her accidentally.
In the CCTV footage, the boy, alongside his sister, were left traumatised by the incident as the woman remonstrates with their mother.
Jason Littlejohn, who uploaded the video of Ms Klein outside the store to Facebook, reiterated to Pix11 how upset the two children were.
“How can you be sexually assaulted by a nine-year-old child who was walking by?” Mr Littlejohn told PIX-11.
“He was so traumatised by the situation, he started crying, his sister started crying.”
A GoFundMe page has since been started to raise funds for the boy’s education.
“While I do not know the nine-year-old boy personally, I cannot go to sleep tonight without doing something for him,” Michael Skolnik, who launched the campaign, said.