Heidi Jones, the WABC/Channel 7 weather presenter has been suspended from her position by the TV station pending further investigation after police arrested her for falsely claiming that she was raped while jogging in Central Park.
Jones was shown a cold front by the station for whom she anchors on the weekend weather coverage, as well as playing occasional stand-in on “Good Morning America.”
She was officially charged on Monday for filing a false report, classified as a Class A misdemeanour. If found guilty she could be facing up to12 months in prison, or have to pay a fine of $1000.
WABC released a press statement saying they were suspending 37 year old Jones until a thorough internal investigation had been carried out.
Jones’ story to the police was weak from the off with vague descriptions of a Hispanic man aged between 30 and 50 who pulled her into bushes while jogging on the afternoon of September 24th, and attempted to rape her. She told officers she was saved when a couple of passers-by heard the commotion, causing the would-be rapist to flee the scene.
Upon further investigation the police began finding holes in her story.
The first problem they had was that she waited for 2 months until lodging her allegations with them on November 24th.
Jones apparently told the police that the same Hispanic man had found her again on November 21st, and had started threatening her, saying, “I know you went to the police.”
They then undertook a heavy investigation into the allegations, speaking to people at the park, checking video footage and issuing photo-fit mugshots. They also tried to find the “Good Samaritan” passers-by but searches were fruitless.
With nothing solid to go on they interviewed Jones for clearer information, but when she told them about the events again they began to notice inconsistencies in her recount.
Upon being called in to question about the inconsistencies, Jones then told the police that she had made the story up, hoping for sympathy to help her deal with an undisclosed emotional issue which was causing problems in her day to day life.
What causes a person to go to such extremes for attention, given that they are already a TV personality? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment.
Others in the media spotlight who’ve lied for the wrong reasons include Janet Napolitano, George W. Bush, and the CIA.
images: 123people.co.uk, nyrr.org