Friday, May 13, 2011

Inmate switches plea on false rape allegation at Hopkinton halfway house

Andrea Davio-Michaud, 40, was released last October from MCI-Framingham, where she was serving a sentence for credit card fraud and identity fraud in Chicopee. She was released on parole to Serenity House in Hopkinton, a halfway house run by the South Middlesex Opportunity Council that specializes in treating women with drug and alcohol problems.

On Oct. 21, Davio-Michaud reported that she was raped at the Hopkinton facility, prosecutor Kristin Noto Palmieri said. Although she did not identify her attacker, she suggested a maintenance worker may have been responsible, the prosecutor said.

Police found inconsistencies in her story and questioned Davio-Michaud's husband, who told them his wife has falsely claimed she was raped at least four other times in the past 15 years. He said she would even injure herself in hopes of making her story believable, the police report said.

"She ultimately confessed she fabricated the allegations of rape," Noto Palmieri said.

Police charged Davio-Michaud with making a false police report. She was also returned to MCI-Framingham.

Noto Palmieri asked Judge Douglas Stoddart to sentence Davio-Michaud to six months at MCI-Framingham, to start after her current sentence is completed. Davio-Michaud, she said, has a long criminal record, including 20 separate convictions and 20 continued without a findings.

The prosecutor also said police estimated that they and state agencies spent about $15,000 investigating the case.

"It also puts true victims of rapes in danger," Noto Palmieri said, with people less likely to believe accusations due to the false report.

Davio-Michaud's lawyer, Deborah Downs, asked Stoddart to sentence her client to 30 days at MCI-Framingham, to run concurrently with her current sentence.

"She recanted the story," Downs said. "Nobody was accused in this case. It was determined to be a false allegation before anything happened."

After Stoddart rejected Downs' request, Davio-Michaud rescinded her plea.

The case is now scheduled for a hearing on May 31.