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TV weathergirl made up attack claims for attention

NEW YORK - A TV meteorologist told police she concocted claims ofbeing attacked because she was under personal and professional stressand wanted attention, a court document released Wednesday shows.

NEW YORK - A TV meteorologist told police she concocted claims of
being attacked because she was under personal and professional stress
and wanted attention, a court document released Wednesday shows.


Heidi
Jones said nothing as she appeared briefly in a Manhattan court
Wednesday to answer misdemeanour false-reporting charges. Her lawyer,
Paul F. Callan, said she would “vigorously contest the accuracy and
legal admissibility of the so-called confession.”


Jones, who has
been suspended from her job at New York's local ABC station, told
police Dec. 1 that she'd been attacked in Central Park in September and
then again outside her apartment in November, according to a court
complaint prosecutors filed Wednesday.


Police have said she told
them the same man targeted her both times - the first time while she
ran in the park - and she provided a detailed description including the
alleged attacker's race, height and clothing.


A detective unit
that specializes in investigating sex crimes spoke to possible
witnesses and canvassed the area to look for a suspect. Callan said
Wednesday that Jones hadn't told police there was a sexual component to
the alleged attack.


Ultimately, when a detective spoke to Jones
again around midnight on Dec. 13, she admitted she'd fabricated the
assaults, the court complaint said.


“I made it up for attention.
I have so much stress at work, with my personal life and with my
family,” she said, according to the document.


Callan noted that
police had brought Jones to a precinct in the middle of the night,
after meeting her as she left the studio after a broadcast. While Jones
was ultimately released with an appearance ticket, he maintained she
should have been read her rights and wasn't.


Prosecutors
declined to comment. The law surrounding the use of the Miranda warning
is complicated and often the subject of court arguments.


Released
without bail, Jones is due back in court March 16. The misdemeanour
charges against her carry the possibility of a year in jail if she's
convicted.


A spokeswoman for WABC-TV didn't immediately return a call Wednesday about Jones.


Jones,
37, has been with the station for about five years and has anchored its
weekend evening weather coverage. She also has filled in on ABC's “Good
Morning America.”


She previously worked in cities including Albany, N.Y., and Houston, where she gave a weather forecast while running a marathon.

 
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