Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Samantha Rager pleads guilty to false claim of rape

LISBON - A woman accused of making false rape accusations at a party pleaded guilty to one count of falsification before Judge Mark Frost Thursday in Columbiana County Municipal Court.

Samantha Rager, 25, of Boardman, had been charged with two counts of falsification after she repeated her story at least twice during interviews with deputies. The second count was dismissed.

Rager had been charged after making claims that a man ripped off her clothes and raped her during a party at a county residence last month.

According to court documents, multiple witnesses alleged Rager had voluntarily engaged in acts of nudity, numerous lap dances and other suggestive behavior during the party.

According to Assistant County Prosecutor Don Humphreys, Detective Sgt. Steve Walker, who led the investigation into the case, was less concerned with Rager serving jail time than he was with her making an acknowledgment she had made the false statements.

Defense attorney Eric Kibler said the events of that night were "very hazy in the mind of my client."
Rager, who appeared in a pink jogging suit with matching pink ponytail, told Judge Frost she had been drinking, but knew she had not drank that much. Judge Frost questioned if she thought she had been drugged, to which she responded affirmatively.

Humphreys pointed out a false accusation of rape is serious not only for investigators but for the person against whom the allegations are made. The man accused reportedly was questioned at length, but not charged.

"Ample evidence would suggest anything but innocent participation to the party," Humphreys said, adding. "I understand anyone can be raped" but misstatements by Rager affected the detective's ability to investigate what happened.

Kibler said he had the opportunity to read all the statements and did not see Rager use the word "rape" in her statements. Instead, he saw "very hazy recollections of events and maybe shadowy interpretations."

Rager was fined $250 and ordered to perform 50 hours community service.