Monday, December 24, 2012

Woman charged with making false rape report

A woman who reported in August that a former boyfriend had raped her in a Billings Heights parking lot as she left work was charged Thursday in Yellowstone County District Court with fabricating evidence.

Christina Nadine Nelson pleaded not guilty to the felony charge during an arraignment before Judge Susan Watters. Nelson was allowed the remain free while the case is pending on a $20,000 bond.

According to court records, staffers at Billings Clinic called police at about 11 p.m. on Aug. 10 to report that a woman had arrived at the hospital for treatment after a sexual assault.

An officer said Nelson reported that she had left her workplace in the Billings Heights at about 5:30 p.m. and was walking to her car when her former boyfriend approached her from behind.

Nelson said the man told her he missed her, and she responded by telling him to go away because she was now married.

Nelson said her former boyfriend then began punching her in the face and stomach and took her to a van where she was raped.

Nelson said the assailant let her go, and she joined friends at a downtown brewery for a drink before arriving home at about 7 p.m.

Nelson said she and her husband then went to a gym to work out. During that time, she said, she sat in a sauna and a hot tub, showered and changed her clothes.

She said she told her husband about the rape at 10 p.m., and that is when he brought her to the hospital.

On Aug. 28, Nelson repeated the allegations during an interview with a Billings police detective assigned to the case.

During the investigation, the detective reviewed surveillance video from Nelson's workplace, which showed Nelson leaving work and driving away in her vehicle. Neither the man she accused of raping her nor his vehicle could be seen in the video, court records state.

The detective also spoke with Nelson's husband, who said that after the couple returned from the gym they had unprotected sex. He said Nelson told him about the rape afterward, and he took her to the hospital.

The detective then spoke with Nelson's former boyfriend, who said he met Nelson at Rocky Mountain College and the two dated from November 2009 until about June 2011.

The man said that he left Billings on Aug. 9 and drove to Seattle, where he stayed until Aug. 18. The man provided several receipts and photos documenting his activities during that period, court records state.

The detective then tried unsuccessfully to contact Nelson again. On Aug. 29, the detective said, Nelson sent an email stating she did not want to press charges.

The detective said a review of Nelson's medical records show she had made similar rape reports in the past, including two in 2009 and two more in April of this year.