The FitBit fitness tracker has been known to tell a husband and wife that they would be expecting a baby, as reported by The Inquisitr. Now a woman’s FitBit is making the news for helping police discover that she was lying about a rape report. As seen in the recent segment from Today, FitBit trackers are helping authorities figure out if a person who claims to have been in a certain location was really there while wearing their FitBits.
As reported by Lancaster Online, the fake rape case of Jeannine Risley was foiled by Fitbit.
Risley told authorities she was raped. Hailing from Florida, Jeannine was residing in East Lampeter Township in Pennsylvania at the home of her boss when the 43-year-old said a man she didn’t know raped her. Risley claimed the man dragged her out of bed in a guest portion of the home and into the bathroom, held her at knifepoint, and raped her.
While Risley claimed to have been sleeping when the unknown assailant allegedly broke in the home and raped her, ultimately, the data given by her FitBit watch proved that statement wasn’t true. Risley told police she was fast asleep when a man in his 30s broke in, woke her up, and sexually assaulted her. She claimed he was wearing boots.
The FitBit data revealed that Risley was walking around during the time she claimed she was sleeping. Also, there weren’t any footprints in the snow surrounding the home, nor was there evidence of a break-in.
Investigators told Jeff Rossen of Today, as seen in the above Rossen Reports segment, that the FitBit data helped seal the deal to determine that Risley was lying about the rape.
Risley said the rape occurred on March 10, 2015, at approximately 2:30 a.m. She claimed to authorities that she had gone to bed around midnight and that the stranger broke in and beat her up — hitting her head against the bathroom door, the toilet, and the door jamb. Risley said she lost her FitBit during the attack.
The lack of footprints and the “lost FitBit” — along with other abnormalities — made police suspicious. Risley’s FitBit was discovered in the hallway, and she agreed to give police the data from the FitBit.
Suspicions grew, however, when Risley’s boss was turned down on his offer to fly Risley’s husband to their location after the alleged attack. Police also grew more suspicious when Risley’s FitBit dongle was supposed to arrive at the police station, but an envelope with holes the size of the FitBit Surge dongle arrived instead.
Cops got what they needed from the FitBit by using Risley’s username and password from the FitBit, and that’s how they discovered the discrepancies in her story. Police filed charges and Risley received two years probation and 100 community service hours.
The fact that tracker devices such as FitBit fitness bracelets are being used as court evidence, as reported by the New York Daily News, is a new twist in old-fashioned detective work. Whereas some people might view their FitBit trackers as a way to track their daily activities, the technology contained in such items can offer so much more.
The sensors found in some smartphones can not only tell where a person is located, but they can reveal whether the person is likely sitting, standing still, walking or even running.
While reports have emerged in recent months questioning the accuracy of fitness trackers in terms of the calories they estimate their wearers have burned, the new uses for tracking people for other purposes could be well worth the FitBit cost. Not only could FitBit data be used to prove a person guilty as in the above case, but FitBit data could also be used to potentially act as an alibi for a person proved to be wearing a FitBit when a crime was committed in a different location.
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