Victim lied about attack, avoids jail with plea

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Victim lied about attack, avoids jail with plea
Regular Contributor
By Dave Koerner

A Gilmer County school employee who reported in August that she had been raped and stabbed has been forced to resign from her job and must pay a significant financial restitution after her allegations proved to be false.
Her claims sent ripples of fear through the north Georgia mountains, and Fannin County schools went into lockdown mode.
Joe Hendricks, district attorney for the Appalachian Judicial Court, said that Ellijay resident Sharon Martha Kendall, 44, entered into a plea negotiation after investigators and the woman’s attorneys repeatedly encountered problems with her statements.
Hendricks said that the investigation also revealed that Kendall had concocted a similar story in the past.

“About 13 years ago it was discovered that she went to her church and said that she had terminal cancer,” he said. “She never got sick.
“There’s a history of faking some sort of tragedy.”
The most recent fabrication began to unfold on Aug. 17 when Kendall – then a custodian at Ellijay Elementary School – said she had been raped and stabbed.
However, nearly a week after the alleged attack, Ellijay police said there still hadn’t been a description of the perpetrator or any good tips.
Hendricks said that all the blood found at the scene of the alleged crime came from Kendall’s body.
The district attorney added that all the blood was of low velocity.
“It was blood that was a single drop or blood that was smeared,” he said, adding that evidence showed that she had intentionally cut herself.
Hendricks acknowledged that he and others are disappointed – some even angered – that Kendall didn’t receive a jail sentence.
“Had we not negotiated this, the issue still wouldn’t be resolved,” he said.
“She should have gone to jail, but you have to be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this didn’t happen.
“The problem in Ellijay and Gilmer County is that teachers and parents still are scared to send kids to school. It has been hard to put people’s minds to rest.
“I know that people are angry and should be, but they can take comfort now that there isn’t a rapist running around out there.”
The goings-on also had a huge effect on Fannin County Schools, with Superintendent Sandra Mercier asking staff to be especially vigilant.
“This incident was most unfortunate and adversely affected the lives of many people, and the ripple effect was felt in Fannin County. As you remember, we went into a lockdown,” she said Friday, Sept. 29.
“My biggest concern over this incident was the effect on students, particularly the younger students, the fear. We always want our kids to feel safe.
“The only positive thing I can see that came from this is that it did allow us to test our security system, the lockdown that we went into”
Among terms in the plea negotiation imposed on Kendall:
•She was forced to resign from her job.
•She must pay back $8,422.96 to the Gilmer County school system for cleanup of the scene.
•She must serve 500 hours of community service and, in all, will be on five years of probation.
•She must repay all charitable contributions.
Hendricks said he does not know how much money had been given to Kendall but said that a bank gave more than $1,100 and that several people combined to pay off her car.
He said that people have until Oct. 28 to report claims and must submit a letter and, if possible, a copy of a canceled check to Office of District Attorney, Victim Witness Assistance Program, Attention: Sharon Kendall claims, Gilmer County Courthouse, 1 Westside Square, Ellijay, Ga., 30540.
All claims will be handled by Gilmer County Superior Court, Hendricks said.
Hendricks said that Kendall also pleaded guilty to making false statements to police, to interfering with the government and for fraudulent worker’s compensation benefits.
He said the first two charges are felonies, the other a misdemeanor.
Hendricks said that Kendall also was required to send a letter of apology to the school system.

10-04-2006 07:22 PM

Re: Victim lied about attack, avoids jail with plea
Regular Contributor
Hey, we just had a case kinda like that — a woman claimed her house had been broken into while she was home and that she’d been attacked by an Hispanic man, who stabbed her twice (non-threatening). All these stories ran on the TV, neighbors of the nice neighborhood there are all watching after their kids carefully, locking their doors all the time, etc.

But the CSI guys did their work, put two and two together, and now a few weeks later she’s confessed that she made the whole thing up and that the stab wounds were self-inflicted.

I think they’re talking about probation for her.

“The loudest, most strident voices calling women weak, stupid, and incapable of competing in the world at large are the feminists.” – zed the zen priest

10-04-2006 08:28 PM

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