Woman guilty of making false statement to police

June 22, 1994|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Sun Staff Writer

A Westminster woman was convicted yesterday of lying to police about being sexually assaulted by an acquaintance with whom she was later found to be sexually involved.

Deena Lynn Shifflett, 30, of the first block of Bishop St., was found guilty of one count of making a false statement to a police officer in the incident.

Ms. Shifflett told Westminster City Police Detective Michael A. Augerinos on Oct. 1, 1992, that she had been attacked by a male acquaintance as she walked along Bell Alley toward Thomas Lane.

She gave police a detailed, graphic description of the attack, which she said ended when she kicked her attacker in the groin and he yelled after her that "he would get her better next time."

Detective Augerinos filed the report and began to investigate the case, keeping a lookout for the suspect and sending officers to the man's home.

The next day, the suspect voluntarily approached Westminster police because he had heard that the officers were looking for him.

"After [an] interview with the suspect [Ms. Shifflett] was called and asked to come to the station for further information," Detective Augerinos said in his report.

Ms. Shifflett then told police she and her "attacker," whom she had been seeing for three months, had had an argument over their relationship the night she filed the report.

"She said she intended to tell the truth, but she was mad at [him] at the time," Assistant States Attorney Eileen McInerney said after reading the statement.

Assistant Public Defender Martha Ann Sitterding said Ms. Shifflett, mother of a 7-year-old, had been afraid her husband would beat her if he knew about her relationship with the other man.

Ms. Shifflett pleaded not guilty to the charge, but agreed to let the prosecution present the court with a statement of facts that contained enough evidence to convict her.

Carroll Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck convicted Ms. Shifflett of the misdemeanor and sentenced her to the 42 days she has already served in the Carroll County Detention Center.

All fees and costs associated with her case were waived.

Judge Beck warned Ms. Shifflett: "As a matter of record, you may have some difficulty in the future. People may find it harder believing you in the future."

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