A teenager told police on February 19 that she was sexually assaulted by a man impersonating a police officer in Opelika, Alabama. Around 4:30 p.m. on the day in question, police arrived at Old Opelika Rd to look for the person impersonating an officer.
The teenager said she was driving alone at the time when a white pickup truck pulled up behind her. She said the truck had a flashing orange light, so the teenager assumed the man was an official. The teen said the driver approached her vehicle and sexually groped her before letting her drive away, WTVM reported.
The teen said the man was in his mid-to-late forties and wearing a black uniform with an Opelika Police badge on it, though it did not have patches on the sleeves.
When police recreated the events of the night based on the teen’s report using surveillance video from several cameras in the area, they discovered the assault as described could not have taken place. They confronted the teen with the evidence and she admitted she made up the whole thing, WTVM reported.
The outlet said police are keeping the investigation open but the focus is now on the teen’s false reporting. Opelika police told the outlet criminal charges are still being determined, if the woman is charged at all. The teen’s name has not been released because she is a minor. WTVM reported that “no further details will be given about the investigation or the outcome” because of her age.
The idea of a police state – like China – with hundreds of cameras on every street watching our every move is a terrifying prospect for America, yet there have been many cases where such cameras have been the only reason a falsely accused man was able to clear his name.
In February 2015, Lindsey Sweetin, a University of Arkansas student, told police she had been groped by a stranger in a parking garage. Police investigated her claims, which were disputed by witnesses and surveillance video of the area. Sweetin eventually admitted she had lied. Less than a year earlier, Julia Garcia claimed she had been raped in a different UA parking garage. Video surveillance again proved she was lying.
In 2017, a Lynn University student settled with his school after it suspended him for allegedly sexually assaulting a female student who claimed she was too drunk to consent. Again, surveillance footage showed this was not the case, as the woman was seen walking and talking normally with her friends both before and after her sexual encounter with the male student. Less than 30 minutes after she had sex with the male student, she was seen balancing on one foot while holding two cups of liquid and using her other foot to push the elevator door button.
In November 2018, a woman claimed a police officer raped her after she was arrested for shop lifting, but in-car video proved the male officer did no such thing.
In June 2019, a woman claimed an unknown man raped her in a parking lot after he jumped into her car and forced her to drive there. It later turned out the woman knew the man and surveillance footage as well as other evidence proved it was not rape.
At Yale University in 2017, a male student was accused of sexually assaulting a drunk female student. The male student was found not guilty in 2018 at a trial after jurors saw surveillance footage of the couple walking arm-in-arm back to their dorm. Prosecutors had claimed the male student was dragging the female student, yet cameras showed something different.
Just last week, Miranda S. Overton plead guilty to lying about a Navy sailor raping her two years earlier. As in the other cases, surveillance footage, along with text messages, showed the rape didn’t happen – the sex was actually consensual.