Former WABC-TV Weatherperson Heidi Jones Pleads Guilty To Faking Rape Story
NEW YORK (WCBS 880/AP) – Former Eyewitness News weatherperson Heidi Jones has admitted she made up claims of being sexually assaulted twice in New York City — claims that sparked an extensive police investigation.
WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell On The Case
Jones, 38, pleaded guilty Wednesday to two misdemeanor counts of falsely reporting an incident. The judge says she will be sentenced to three years’ probation and 350 hours of community service — the same amount of time prosecutors say police spent looking into her phony claims.
“This has been a tragic case for Heidi Jones. She was at the pinnacle of the broadcast industry at ABC and Good Morning America and her life has really been destroyed, her professional life, by this incident, and Heidi, from the moment I first met with her, she wanted to accept personal responsibility for what she had done,” said defense attorney Paul Callan.
Jones told police on Dec. 1 a man had attacked her in Central Park last September and again outside her apartment in November.
Ultimately, when a detective spoke to Jones again around midnight on Dec. 13, she admitted she’d fabricated the assaults, the court complaint said.
“I made it up for attention. I have so much stress at work, with my personal life and with my family,” she said, according to the document.
Jones no longer works at New York’s local ABC station. Her lawyer declined to comment on the circumstances of her departure.
She previously worked in cities including Albany, N.Y., and Houston.
She also has filled in on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Jones is due to be sentenced Oct. 26.
(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)