Monday, October 29, 2012

Man pleads guilty to falsely accusing officer of rape

Authorities said 26-year-old Andrew Jackson Boyington pleaded guilty Monday, October 15, to filing a false report after accusing a Fairhope police officer of rape and threatening to go to the news media with the allegations.

Baldwin County District Attorney Hallie Dixon said Boyington was sentenced to one year in jail, split to serve 45 days, with the remainder suspended for two years of probation, during which he is to have no contact with witnesses or victims in the case.

Filing a false report is a Class A misdemeanor.

Dixon said that Boyington anonymously called the Fairhope Police Department in June, alleging that one of the Fairhope police officers had raped a woman.

Investigators said he also made two harassing calls to the officer, during which he threatened to tell reporters the same story. To ensure that the investigation be handled objectively, Fairhope officials asked the District Attorney’s Office to investigate. After determining that there was no basis for the allegation against the officer, investigators identified Boyington as the caller.

“False reporting not only harms the person falsely accused, but also can be detrimental to the prosecution of legitimate crimes. It casts a shadow that true rape victims have to overcome,” said Dixon. “To falsely accuse a police officer of rape is especially serious, because it tarnishes the reputation of someone whose job is to protect the public, undermines citizens’ faith in law enforcement. ”