19-year-old girl behind rape hoax faces 32 years in prison
A TEXAS teen who ran into a church half-naked saying she was raped was indicted for what turned out to be an elaborate hoax.
Breana Harmon, 19, was charged on Wednesday with two counts of tampering with physical evidence and two counts of tampering with a government record, which are felonies, according to the Herald Democrat.
Officials said that teen, who also uses the last name Talbott, made a false report to police on March 8 claiming to have been abducted and gang-raped behind a church in Denison, Texas.
The teen turned up at the local church covered in blood and wearing only a shirt, bra and underwear. She allegedly told parishioners that black men had taken her into the woods and raped her.
Harmon, then 18, told police that she was raped by two black men in ski masks while a third pinned her down. She claimed that the suspects had kidnapped her near her car in an apartment parking lot, news station KXII reported.
Police discovered her car with a door open and her phone, keys and shoe scattered on the ground.
Harmon was brought to a nearby hospital for examination, where physicians determined she had not suffered any injuries consistent with her claims, according to police.
Authorities searched for further evidence, but were not able to corroborate Harmon's story. Police also said the crime scene was "staged" and Harmon's injuries were "self-inflicted."
When investigators confronted Harmon, she admitted that the allegations were false. It is not known what prompted her to report the hoax.
She was arrested in March for the misdemeanour offence of false report to a police officer, but officials decided to seek more charges.
"The more we have looked at what happened in this case, and considered the harm it caused, and certainly could have caused, we believe what she did fits the elements of these higher charges," Grayson County District Attorney Joe Brown said in a statement.
"What she did was very serious, and we believe it was felony conduct."
If convicted, Harmon faces up to 32 years in prison.