Monday, August 10, 2009

Jury: Trisha Farkarlun, Minneapolis woman's rape report false

Once again, we see modern technology saves the day for the falsely accused.

Trisha Farkarlun convicted of making a false report.

She said two Minneapolis police officers raped her, but a GPS tracker in their squad car placed them elsewhere.

A defense lawyer on Tuesday won a sentencing delay for a 23-year-old north Minneapolis woman convicted of falsely accusing two Minneapolis police officers of raping her.

After a three-week trial, a jury on Monday convicted Trisha Farkarlun, 23, of making a false report of police misconduct, a gross misdemeanor. She could be sentenced to up to one year in jail and fined $3,000.

Hennepin County District Judge Tanya Bransford delayed sentencing until Aug. 14 so she could receive written memos and respond to the defense motions for acquittal, a new trial and a hearing on potential juror misconduct.

Farkarlun's lawyer, Jill Clark, said one juror "made up his mind" after three days and slept through much of the remaining testimony. She also said the elements of the crime were not properly defined for jurors before deliberations, which lasted only an hour.

Assistant Minneapolis Attorney Judd Gushwa called Clark's claims baseless. He wanted
Farkarlun sentenced immediately, in part because one of the officers she accused, Paul Gillies, was in the courtroom and prepared to make a victim-impact statement.

But Bransford said given the "great likelihood" of an appeal by Clark, she wanted all the motions and orders in writing.

On July, 28, 2007, Farkarlun accused Gillies and Miquel Barnes of raping her in an alley. She claimed Gillies held her down and ordered Barnes, then a rookie in training, to rape her.

The officers had responded that day to a call of a fight in a home on Vincent Avenue N., where, at the request of Tracy D. Winters, they asked Farkarlun to leave the house. The officers left the scene at 6:31 a.m. Farkarlun claimed the officers followed her, dragged her into an alley and raped her.

Farkarlun, with Winters, arrived at North Memorial Hospital about 6:59 a.m., according to the criminal complaint.

A sexual-assault nurse found no injuries to the woman's genitals, and investigators did not find any dirt or evidence on her clothes consistent with being pushed down.