Breana Harmon, then 18, knew her relationship with her fiancee was unraveling when she concocted the story of her abduction and rape in March 2017.
She walked into a church on Eisenhower Parkway in her hometown of Denison, Texas, with cuts and scratches on her body, wearing only a shirt, a bra and underwear just hours after she had been reported missing. She said three black men in ski masks had abducted her, forced her into an SUV and two of them had raped her while the other held her down in a field near the church.
On Thursday, though, Harmon pleaded guilty to four felony counts of tampering with physical evidence and government documents, for making the whole thing up.
“We’ve had major crime before, but nothing like this,” Denison Police Chief Jay Burch said in a press conference after Harmon’s plea.
She had originally been charged with a misdemeanor for making a false report, but Grayson County prosecutors later determined that the scope of her scheme warranted more serious charges, according to the Dallas Morning News.
According to the Sherman Herald Democrat, Harmon admitted to investigators that she cut herself that day, in despair over the realization that her relationship with her then-fiancee would soon be over. She made the abduction up because she didn’t want her family to be upset with her over the breakup.
“We believe the crime scenes — from the initial ‘kidnapping’ scene at the apartment complex to the point of [Harmon’s] condition when she walked into the church — were staged,” Burch said in during the investigation.
Harmon, now 19, will be sentenced on March 20. Despite the four felony counts, the Herald Democrat reported that the plea deal leaves two options: either a deferred adjudication arrangement, or probation.