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Former WABC Meteorologist Gets Community Service For Attempted Rape Hoax

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- It was a gloomy day for former WABC weathercaster Heidi Jones. She was sentenced Wednesday after admitting she lied about being attacked last year in Central Park.

"It's been entirely destructive of her life and her career, and she's going to do the best she can to try to recover from this terrible, terrible situation," said Jones' attorney, Paul Callan.

The former Channel 7 meteorologist was sentenced to three years probation in a plea deal. She must also perform 350 hours of community service and seek psychiatric counseling, CBS 2's John Slattery reported.

Jones had claimed she was the victim of an attempted rape by an unnamed Hispanic man in Central Park. She then claimed the same man showed up at her apartment two months later. Police investigated, but Jones later admitted a hoax, saying she was under a lot of stress.

In court Jones said "I just want to express my sincere and profound apologies to all who were involved, most importantly to the police department. I will work to pay back the city and the department through community service."

"I think she expressed regret for the entire incident. She said she's going to do community service to try to make amends for a terrible mistake," Callan said.

Jones' claim was a slur on the Hispanic community and didn't help the cause of real rape victims. She pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges and no longer works at Channel 7.

What do you think about the sentencing?  Share your thoughts in the comments section...


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