Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Heidi Jones WABC-TV Weatherperson Pleads Guilty To Faking Rape Story
Ex-weather gal Heidi Jones admitted she lied to cops, pleading guilty today to two misdemeanor counts of filing a false police report and agreeing to serve 350 hours of community service as part of a plea deal brokered with Manhattan prosecutors.
Jones, 38, who forecast for WABC/Channel 7 and filled in on "Good Morning America" in the past, was given 350 hours because it matched the amount of time the NYPD used on her case, prosecutors said.
She was also given three years probation.
Had she been convicted at trial, Jones could have gotten up to two years behind bars.
Jones, who was wearing a gray dress and high heels, showed up to court with her mother.
She whispered "guilty" twice and nodded when she entered the plea.
Jones will be sentenced Oct. 26. She declined comment as she left the courthouse in lower Manhattan.
Jones claimed she was jogging in Central Park on the afternoon of Sept. 24, 2010, when a Hispanic man in his 30s or 40s grabbed her from behind and attempted to rape her.
After police confronted her with discrepancies in her version of events, she admitted making the whole thing up.
She's expressed personal responsibility for this unfortunate incident," defense lawyer Paul Callan said. "She wants me to express, on her behalf, her deepest regrets and apologies for any inconvenience that was caused to the New York City Police Department or to any law enforcement officials in connection to this incident."
Unemployed after WABC fired her, Jones has had to give up her apartment.
She’s paid a high price for the crimes she pleaded guilty to,” said Callan.