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Woman admits falsely accusing cop



Published: Thu, October 19, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



AUSTINTOWN -- A woman charged with falsification for accusing a township police officer of hitting her and forcing sex on her has pleaded guilty.

Charmin Merchant of Amanda, Ohio, had been set to have a jury trial Oct. 26.

She pleaded guilty Oct. 2, according to Mahoning County court records.

She was fined 100 plus 20 costs on two counts each, with 180 days in jail. She was given 45 days' credit, and 135 days of the sentence were suspended.

She is to have 24 months' nonreporting probation, and she is not to contact the Austintown Police Department, according to court records.

Merchant had accused the officer of raping her in a hotel room in February. She told police she'd had a romantic relationship with the officer. After an investigation, police did not file charges against the officer.

Instead, Merchant was charged later that month.

Merchant had pleaded innocent at her arraignment in March. She missed two June court appearances and was extradited from Fairfield County after a hospital stay.

At a court appearance June 19, she refused a deal with the prosecutor and said she wanted a trial.




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