A Bellevue, WA police chief was cleared on charges he raped a woman after it was discovered she created fake emails to prove her accusation.
Bellevue Police Chief Steve Mylett says he is moving on from the false accusations, made by a woman who still is not being named, but seems likely to be charged with multiple crimes relating to her claims. The Seattle Times reports that Mylett was cleared after a two-and-a-half month investigation completed by neighboring Bothell police.
The 44-year-old Issaquah, WA, woman who accused Mylett claimed he raped her two years ago at his Bothell home during an encounter arranged “through an adult sex website.” The woman also made accusations against two other Bellevue detectives, which led to domestic violence and witness tampering charges against one of them (those charges were dropped earlier this month).
“Bothell investigators found Mylett’s accuser had gone so far as to create phony, backdated email exchanges that contained the address of a Bothell rental home where Mylett temporarily lived,” the Times reported. “But lease records and other evidence proved Mylett had moved out of that house prior to when the woman claimed the assault occurred, and DNA tests ruled Mylett out as a possible match to genetic evidence gathered from clothing the woman turned over as part of the case.”
Mylett was put on administrative leave when the allegations were made against him.
The woman had a history of hooking up with men she found on Craigslist and then claiming the consensual encounters as rape, according to the sheriff’s office. Though she had made two false accusations prior to Mylett, she was not charged because of her mental-health problems.
This time, however, it appears she won’t get away with her false accusations against men.
“Bothell police have since forwarded probable-cause findings against the woman recommending charges of perjury, tampering with evidence and making a false statement to police,” the Times reported. “Prosecutors are now reviewing the case. A lawyer representing the woman said earlier Tuesday he wasn’t able to comment on the open investigation for ethical reasons.”
Mylett wouldn’t outright say his accuser should be charged for her crime, but did say “people should be held accountable for their actions.”
“I think the process of the claims that were made against me worked, and I think another process will take place and I am confident that the right decisions will be made,” he said.
Mylett also said he hoped his situation wouldn’t lead women to not report sexual assaults, though it is unclear how someone clearly faking a rape accusation would keep genuine survivors from coming forward.
Mylett said earlier in a press conference announcing his return to work that he “wouldn’t wish this upon anybody,” referring to his false accusation.
“I have a deeper appreciation about what it means to be falsely accused, and I also have a deeper appreciation of what it’s like to be on administrative leave,” Mylett said. “And I think it will make me a better chief and a better human.”