Bethany Anne Montgomery arrested for false claim.
North Branch, 22, resident claimed police officer sexually assaulted her on desolate road
by SUSAN YOUNGER
LAPEER -- A young woman who claimed she was sexually assaulted by a police impostor was arrested and charged with fabricating the rape.
Bethany Anne Montgomery, 22, of North Branch, was arraigned Thursday by District Court Magistrate Mike Delling on two counts of false reports of a felony, one for allegedly inventing the attack, and the other for a home burglary she reported. Montgomery is also facing unrelated charges for writing bad checks.
"We made an arrest, but it wasn't a rouge cop," said Lapeer County Sheriff's Sgt. Jason Parks. "Miss Montgomery owes this entire community an apology. What she did was wrong. She frightened many people and victimized our community. This is very disturbing."
"We wanted to get this out to the public as soon as possible let people know there is no evidence the assault occurred," said Lapeer County Prosecutor Byron Konschuh. "Again, I appreciate the prompt tenacious investigation by Sgt. Jason Parks."
Montgomery told Parks and The Lapeer County Press that she was pulled over at 1 a.m. Sept. 20 on her way home from work by a man she first thought to be an authentic police officer. She described an older style Ford Crown Victoria, equipped with a light bar, parked along the south side of Stephen's Mill Market with headlights on. She contended the bogus patrol car followed her for about one mile and then activated his red colored high intensity strobe lights.
She said the fake cop directed her to drive down Beyers Road. The man wore a brown police-style uniform and hat, got out of his car and asked her for a driver's license, she said. He then ordered Montgomery out of her car, suggested she was smuggling dope and made her take off her clothes, she stated. In elaborate detail, Montgomery described how the sham police officer attacked her with his hands and mouth.
When news of the alleged assault was published, many in the county were frightened and upset. Parks, 9-1-1 dispatchers and The County Press received numerous calls from people who had questions or gave tips. Parks distributed a wanted person bulletin throughout Lapeer and to other counties. He and other investigators followed up leads in Lapeer, Genesee and Sanilac counties.
"People were scared," Parks said. "We received a lot of leads and followed up on them all. I think we investigated every security company in Lapeer and Genesee County. We were still receiving tips only a few days before she was arrested."
During the investigation, Montgomery phoned in some of her own tips. She reported coming eye to eye with the sham cop in a restaurant, and in other instances phoned the sheriff's department saying he was following her. But no one but Montgomery saw her attacker.
In March, Montgomery reported a burglary at her North Branch home and deputies found several discrepancies in her story. In April, Parks received numerous reports of bad checks that were tied to Montgomery in both Lapeer and Oakland counties.
"We were tracking her activity and could see a pattern," Parks said. "This lead to other information and lack of evidence on the police impostor."
Delling ordered Montgomery held on a $15,000 or 10% bail. At press time Friday, she remained in the Lapeer County Jail.
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