It began with a report by Georgetown resident Delisha Thomas. Ms. Thomas reported to police a bizarre and disturbing sequence of events that allegedly took place last month and began in North Austin, including being kidnapped for two days, being sexually assaulted, having bleach poured on her, and being locked in the trunk of her car. An investigation by law enforcement took place, and police now say that the entire episode was a fabrication. As a result, police have now charged the woman with filing a false police report.
The authorities claim that after the crimes were reported by the woman, their investigation of her allegations kept hitting what they described as “roadblocks.” According to the Georgetown PD, that investigation was extensive, and included medical examinations and a search using a police helicopter. In addition, nearby Southwestern University was placed on lockdown for a time, while police looked for the kidnapper in campus buildings.
Ultimately, the lack of any progress in following up the woman’s claims led the investigators to consider the possibility that the entire sequence of events was fabricated. At that point, the woman’s whereabouts during the two day period, during which she said she was being held against her will, was recreated through the use of cell phone records, receipts, and video footage from a security camera. These records place the woman at various locations, including a grocery store and a McDonald’s, during the course of the two days. Finally, the police say that after being confronted with the evidence, the woman confessed to making up the story.
At this point, Ms. Thomas is charged only with filing a false report under section 37.08 of the Texas Penal Code. That section provides that it is an offense (a class B misdemeanor) to make a false statement to police that is material to a criminal investigation, if that statement is made knowingly, with the intent to deceive. While it may appear that a class B misdemeanor is not a very serious charge, the woman faces up to six months in jail. She can also be fined up to $2,000, if she is convicted.
The Law Office of Matthew Shrum, P.L.L.C.
808 West Ave.
Austin, TX 78701