Tuesday, January 7, 2014

False accusations net Calgary woman jail term

The following story was reported here:

False accuser Jessica Lynne Rogers dabbed away tears Friday as a Calgary judge ruled she’d have to go to jail for trying to frame her ex-boyfriend for crimes he didn’t commit.

Provincial court Judge Ken McLeod said while a sentence of less than two years was warranted — which would permit a community-based term — incarceration was needed.

“This kind of conduct obviously must be denounced,” McLeod said, in sentencing Rogers, 24, to a total of 20 months behind bars.

“This was serious and prolonged,” he said.

McLeod said anything short of real jail, such as a period of house arrest, wouldn’t send out the right message to others who might consider abusing the judicial system.

“The disposition must be such that it sends a message to deter others,” he said.

Rogers had earlier pleaded guilty to six charges, including four of public mischief for repeatedly filing false complaints against her ex-boyfriend, Larry Tremblay, that he had committed crimes against her.

Among the false allegations was a complaint of a history of domestic abuse after the couple split in March, 2011, for which Tremblay spent some time in jail, and an accusation he set her mother’s house on fire.

Rogers went so far as to use applications on her phone which allowed her to create a false record of phone calls he had made to her and a series of threatening e-mails purportedly to have come from him,

As the police investigation into Tremblay progressed it became apparent all of the allegations were fabricated.

Some 16 months after she was charged, Rogers once again tried to frame Tremblay, pretending to be her neighbour while calling police to suggest a group of men were attempting to break into her home.

Crown prosecutor Darren Maloney had sought a sentence of three years in a federal penitentiary.

Outside court, he noted the use of technology by Rogers made it even more difficult to uncover her subterfuge.

“Certainly it poses a difficulty for the prosecution and the police,” Maloney said.

Following sentencing, Maloney withdrew a group of outstanding charges, including one of arson for allegedly setting fire to her mother’s home.

Defence counsel Tonii Roulston, who had sought a community term, said her client was obviously emotional at the outcome, but was prepared to go to jail.

“She knew there was a possibility that she could have to serve her sentence in jail instead of the community and she’s taking responsibility,” Roulston said outside court.

With credit for pre-trial custody, Rogers must serve another 18 months, which will be followed by two years of probation.