Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Man charged with falsely accusing Fairhope officer of rape

Andrew Jackson Boyington, 26, of Robertsdale, was arrested on a charge of falsely accusing a Fairhope police officer of rape, and threatening the officer with a promise to go to the media with the allegations, Baldwin County District Attorney Hallie Dixon said today.

“Last month, the Fairhope Police Department received an anonymous call alleging that one of the Fairhope police officers had raped a woman,” Dixon said. “This caller also made two harassing calls to the officer, during which he threatened to tell reporters the same story.”

“Fairhope Police Chief Bill Press requested that the District Attorney’s Office investigate,” Dixon said, “in order to ensure that the investigation be handled in a manner that would be above reproach. I commend Fairhope Police Department for the above-board handling of this incident.”

The District Attorney’s Office initially looked into the rape allegation. After determining that there was no basis for the allegation against the officer, investigators focused on the person who generated the report. Further investigation identified Boyington as the caller.

Boyington was charged with filing a false report, a Class A misdemeanor that carries a prison sentence of up to one year, and harassing communications, which carries a sentence of up to three months in jail.

He was released from the Baldwin County Corrections Center on $1,500 bail, according to jail records.

“False reporting not only harms the person falsely accused,” Dixon said, “but also can be detrimental to the prosecution of legitimate crimes.”