Attorney: Text Message Implicating Michigan Firefighter In Rape May Be Fake
BEAVER, Pa. (WWJ/AP) – A text messaged “confession” used to charge a Michigan firefighter with raping a woman in western Pennsylvania may have been faked by the alleged victim.
Beaver County Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Popovich says she’s investigating whether 50-year-old Lee Finlayson’s accuser hacked into his phone and sent the message to herself.
The victim told police that she and Finlayson were lying in bed at her home in Pennsylvania’s Brighton Township discussing their relationship when he indicated he wanted to have intercourse. She told him no, but he allegedly forced her to engage in sexual acts with him.
Finlayson, who is married, reportedly left the next morning and returned to his home in Rockford, Mich.
The victim told police she received a text message from Finlayson a few days after the incident, in which he admitted to raping the woman.
According to WOOD-TV, which obtained a copy of the criminal complaint filed in Pennsylvania, the text message read in part “…Think I’ve been cruel enough to you already for ten lifetimes. I (RAPED) you and I can’t get that out of my head. Then on top of that I was an a**.”
Popovich and Finlayson’s attorney, Steve Colafella, told the Beaver County Times that there’s reason to believe the message was bogus.
Popovich said further investigation may lead to the charges being dropped against Finlayson. She said Finlayson’s accuser could face charges if it’s proved she faked the text.
It’s unclear exactly how the two knew each other, but the victim allegedly told reporters she’s known Finlayson for over 30 years.
Finlayson, who was freed on bond from Michigan’s Kent County Jail, is a lieutenant with over 20 years in the fire service and was last year’s firefighter of the year in the Grand Rapids Fire Department.
He’s due back in court on Feb. 11 on several sexual assault charges.
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