TV meteorologist Heidi Jones has pleaded guilty to faking claims she was assaulted by a mystery man in Central Park. The New York weather presenter will serve 350 hours community service after admitting fabricating the attack. Hit the jump to read the rest of the story.
The ex-WABC forecaster also got three years probation and was ordered to get psychiatric counselling, New York Daily News reported.
Had she been convicted in court the broadcaster could have faced up to two years in prison.
Jones, 37, who worked for WABC/Channel 7 and filled in on ‘Good Morning America’ in the past, was given 350 hours because it matched the amount of time the NYPD used on her case, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors took the unusual step of indicting her without notice of the grand jury or an opportunity to testify. New York law doesn’t require notice in all cases.
Ms Jones told police she’d been attacked by a Hispanic man while jogging in Central Park, and again near her apartment, but prosecutors later said she ‘made it up for attention’.
After police confronted her with discrepancies in her version of events, she admitted inventing the story, blaming a stressful job.
Defence lawyer Paul Callan said: ‘She’s expressed personal responsibility for this unfortunate incident. She wants me to express, on her behalf, her deepest regrets and apologies for any inconvenience that was caused to the New York City Police Department or to any law enforcement officials in connection to this incident.’