Woman Who Took Rap For Boyfriend In L.I. DWI Crash Sets Record Straight
RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — There was a tearful apology Thursday from the woman who took the blame for her boyfriend in a DWI crash that plowed through a Long Island home. Sophia Anderson said her smooth-talking beau convinced her to take the blame, using lies and empty promises.
Anderson, 21, was arraigned on charges of conspiracy and obstruction of governmental operation after prosecutors determined she wasn’t the driver in the Memorial Day crash that displaced two elderly sisters from their Huntington house.
WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall: Anderson Apologized
Before her arraignment, Anderson spoke out about the incident for the first time and offered a tearful apology to the sisters.
“I want to apologize to Helen Indiere and her sister, Virginia Bennett, who were innocently sleeping inside their home the night of the accident,” Anderson said.
1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports
Anderson had told police she was behind the wheel of a Mercedes convertible when she lost control and smashed through the home. However, prosecutors later said she made up the story, taking the fall for her boyfriend, 23-year-old Daniel Sajewski. Prosecutors said he convinced her to switch places with him before police arrived, CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.
“He told me the authorities would treat me lightly, that he would post bail for me, pay for my attorney and take me on a promised vacation to the Hamptons,” Anderson said.
Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said Sajewski told Anderson to tell police “you have to say you were driving — I can’t afford to get into any more trouble.”
“He actually drove right with the tree, an entire 30-foot tree which he uprooted, right through the kitchen and into the back of the house,” Spota said.
Anderson said she was drunk and high when she agreed to take the rap and by the time she sobered up it was too late to change her story. Her attorney, John LoTurco, convinced her it was not. Sajewski is now facing a slew of charges that include driving while intoxicated, reckless endangerment and making false statements.
“He manipulated his former loved one to take the rap for him. That is unscrupulous,” LoTurco said.
LoTurco said Sajewski convinced her to go along with the plan by promising her that the arrest would be “no big deal” and insisting he had more to lose since he was already on probation for drug charges.
“I feel betrayed by a man who I was in love with and lived with for two years,” Anderson said, fighting back tears. “I feel Dan manipulated me and took advantage of our relationship and his actions were abusive and devastating.”
Sajewski pleaded not guilty Wednesday to an 11-count indictment and was ordered held without bail on a prior probation violation.
Prosecutors plan to drop DWI charges against Anderson on Friday.
The sisters, both in their 90s, hope to be back in their home by Thanksgiving. They were not in court to hear her apology. They said this has been a most upsetting ordeal.
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