NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)– A defense lawyer says he and prosecutors are discussing “a possible resolution” of charges that a local WABC TV meteorologist fabricated claims of being attacked twice in Manhattan.
Heidi Jones’ attorney declined to elaborate Wednesday on whether the discussions included a potential plea deal in the misdemeanor false-reporting case. For now, lawyer Paul Callan said he’s preparing to file papers contesting aspects of the case, including statements police say Jones made.
Jones declined to comment after a brief court hearing.
According to published reports, Callan told the judge that if no deal is reached he will seek to have several statements Jones allegedly made to cops barred as evidence against her at trial.
“I did make this up. I made it up for attention. I have so much stress at work, with my personal life and with my family. I know there is no justification for it,” Jones told cops last December, according to court documents.
Jones is due back in court May 4.
Prosecutors say Jones told police in December that a man had attacked her in Central Park on Sept. 24, but she reported the incident through ABC security on Nov. 24. Police said when her story fell apart, she was arrested. She later admitted she “made it up for attention,” prosecutors added.
Jones was later suspended from her job at Channel 7.
She stated that she had some personal problems and that the facts, the information, that she had given to the police initially was incorrect,” NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
Kelly also told 1010 WINS’ reporter Carol D’Auria that valuable police resources and time were wasted on the investigation.
The personal problems police said were a breakup in a relationship. Psychiatrist Dr. Eric Hollander, of Montefiore and Albert Einstein, said filing a false rape charge can sometimes happen.
“These individuals sometimes have a history of early abuse or neglect which leads to some difficulties in inter-personal relationships,” Hollander said.
In a career at ABC, Jones has often filled in on shows like “Good Morning America.” If convicted Jones could face up to a year in prison. Her arrest came 10 months after former WABC sports anchor Marvell Scott was charged with raping a 14-year-old runaway.
Scott could face a trial early next year.
And in October, Fox 5 reporter Charles Leaf was charged with molesting a 5-year-old girl inside his New Jersey home. Leaf is out on bail.
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