Woman arrested, accused of lying about being raped by deputy
DENHAM SPRINGS – State Police arrested a woman investigators said falsified a report alleging she was raped by a Livingston Parish Sheriff's deputy.
Sherri Penton, 38, of Denham Springs, was charged with filing a false complaint against law enforcement and criminal mischief. State Police filed the charges since troopers conducted the investigation.
According to detectives, Penton said she met a deputy on a dating website and had sex in a Walker park. Authorities said Penton went to a hospital three days after the encounter and reported being assaulted.
During interviews, troopers said the woman and the deputy gave conflicting stories – Penton reported being raped in the deputy's car; the deputy said the pair had sex in the park bathroom. Authorities said they confirmed through DNA evidence the sex occurred in the restroom, corroborating the deputy's account of what happened. Furthermore, State Police said, there was no evidence the woman was ever inside the deputy's car.
The sheriff's office said the thorough investigation was transparent, and the initial accusation was taken seriously.
“I treated the allegations against one of my deputies seriously, and the work of the LSP found that the allegations against him were false,” Sheriff Jason Ard said in a prepared statement provided by State Police.
“My job and the job of this office is to investigate those complaints. The facts of any investigation reveal the validity of any complaint. In this particular incident, the evidence did not back up the accuser’s story,” he said.
Police say the deputy was not on-duty at the time of the incident.
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