Cops: Woman Arrested after Lying about Being Raped by 2 Men in Five Points
October 5, 2012
A West Columbia woman who claimed two men abducted and raped her in Five Points was arrested Tuesday after police discovered she was lying.
As it turns out the woman was assaulted by the girlfriend of a male co-worker after she went to the man’s home, according to Columbia police.
But the false report has angered investigators who spent 90 man-hours of wasted time on the case, which further fueled fears over public safety in the popular entertainment district.
Ms. Heather Felicia Atkins, 26, was charged with filing a false police report and perjury for making a false oath to officers, police spokeswoman Ms. Jennifer Timmons said.
She was in the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on a $20,000 bond for the felony charges that each carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
Police said Ms. Atkins’ lie was detailed and elaborate, leaving little room for doubt.
Ms. Atkins told police the incident happened about 3 a.m. Friday in the 700 block of Harden Street.
“Atkins further stated that two black males approached her while she was walking along the sidewalk,” Ms. Timmons said. “One male punched her in the eye and both carried her to the 700 block of Harden Street where she claims the sexual assault occurred.”
The woman said the men then robbed her at gunpoint and threatened her life, Ms. Timmons said.
Ms. Atkins gave police detailed descriptions of the two men.
“Upon further investigation and approximately 90 hours of police work, it has been determined that Atkins lied about the incident and tried to cover up what really occurred,” Ms. Timmons said.
Ms. Atkins had been in a fight with another woman over a man and was trying to cover up that incident, police said. Ms. Atkins’ booking photo showed a blackened left eye.
“Atkins went to the home of a male co-worker,” Ms. Timmons said. “The man’s girlfriend lawfully entered the same residence and assaulted Atkins and her male companion, resulting in Atkins’ black eye.”
Ms. Atkins confessed Tuesday night to making up the entire account, he said.
“She lied to the city of Columbia Police Department,” Police Chief Randy Scott said in a news conference, according to The State newspaper. “She lied to her parents.”