Thursday, February 20, 2014

False rape claim gets woman deferred year in jail

A Somersworth woman received a deferred jail sentence on Tuesday when she admitted to falsely claiming she was raped by a specifically named man.

Cassandra Nickerson, 25, of 16C First St., pleaded guilty in the Portsmouth Circuit Court to a misdemeanor charge of making a false report to law enforcement. Her plea was part of a negotiated agreement with police prosecutors who dismissed a companion charge of unsworn falsification.

According to a police affidavit, Nickerson told investigating detective Rochelle Jones that a named man pushed her onto a bed in a Gosling Road motel, removed her clothing, then raped her. She alleged the rape occurred Feb. 23, 2013, and made the false report at the local hospital, police said.

During a subsequent interview, Nickerson told the detective she “made up” the story because she was “embarrassed” by her consensual sexual conduct with the man she accused of rape, the affidavit states.

Nickerson was given a 12-month jail sentence, which is deferred for a year providing she remains of good behavior and continues counseling. After the year, Nickerson is required to petition the court to suspend the jail time for an additional year.

She was also convicted for a charge of breaching bail conditions and given an identical sentence of one year in jail, first deferred, then suspended. That conviction was due to Nickerson's guilty plea to a charge of theft in Newington, while under bail conditions mandating she remain arrest-free.