In March, 2017, 19-year-old Breana Harmon told authorities that she had been kidnapped and brutally raped by two black men while a third black man “held her down.” Police became skeptical of the Texas teens’ story when she reportedly kept changing her version of events. Eventually, reports Crime Online, Harmon admitted that she’d made the whole thing up after a fight with her fiance.
According to investigators, Breana Harmon “knew” that her engagement was likely to come to an end after the altercation with her fiance, and she “made up the ordeal” so that her family wouldn’t be angry with her. The Caucasian teen even went so far as to cut up her clothing and even herself to make her tale of violent rape at the hands of several African-American males more believable.
After police realized that the so-called “victim” was lying, the Texas 19-year-old found herself facing several felony charges, including tampering with a government record and evidence tampering. Bob Jarvis, Breana Harmon’s attorney, claims that his client was sorry for her crimes and that her future plans would be compromised by a felony conviction, so she pleaded guilty in exchange for a plea bargain that would spare her prison time and allow the felony conviction to be removed from her criminal record upon completion of probation.
“She’s very remorseful for what she did and what she said and that’s why she decided to plead guilty.”
While she will escape prison time, Breana Harmon will have to serve eight years of probation, as well as pay fines and restitution in the amount of $10,000 and complete 160 hours of community service; she could have faced up to 32 years in prison for her lies. Provided that the Texas teen completes her probation as agreed upon, her felony conviction will be expunged from her criminal record. The fact that she pleaded guilty to the serious charges against her, however, will remain for the rest of her life.
In court on March 20, Harmon pleaded guilty after telling the court that her future plans include becoming a nurse, something she cannot accomplish with a felony conviction on her record. According to the Texas teen, she was “severely depressed” when she fabricated the story of being raped by two black men.
She also explained to the court that she had recently undergone a medically necessary abortion at the time of the crime, adding that she had been cohabiting with an “abusive ex.”
According to the Denison, Texas, chief of police, Jay Burch, Breana Harmon’s false tale of rape was damaging to the local community, particularly after the descriptions of the alleged rapists were shared with the public following claims of sexual assault.
Prior to her sentencing, a Change.org petition was launched to demand that Harmon be “held accountable” for her false claims. The petition went into detail regarding the lengths Breana went to in order to perpetuate her hoax, including walking into a church wearing only her shirt, bra, and underwear to claim that she’d been kidnapped and raped, as well as the fear that plagued her town as a result of her false claims.
In total, the petition gathered 1,850 signatures; petition creators were asking that Harmon face the same punishment as her alleged rapists would have gotten had her story been true.