Prosecutors Dismissing Woman's Claims She Lied In Hate Crime Case

West Virginia prosecutors are dismissing claims from a black woman who now says she was not beaten and tortured by seven white people two years ago in a trailer.

Former Logan County Prosecutor Brian Abraham says it looks to him "like another attempt to generate more publicity." All seven confessed and pleaded guilty, and all but one was sent to prison.

The lawyer for Megan Williams says his client is recanting because she no longer wants to live a lie. He says she leveled the charges to get back at a boyfriend who had beaten her.

Abraham says it's "absurd" to say that the whole thing was made up, saying he relied on the defendants' own statements and physical evidence. Williams wants those in prison to be freed. Lawyers for the defendants are refusing to discuss their plans.



Previous Story:

She now says she lied.

An attorney for Megan Williams says the black woman is ready to recant a story about being kidnapped, sexually assaulted and tortured by seven white men and women in a West Virginia trailer two years ago. She's scheduled to attend a news conference later today.

The man who helped put the white defendants behind bars isn't buying it. A skeptical Brian Abraham calls the whole thing "absurd," and tells The Associated Press it looks like an attempt to "generate more publicity."

Abraham says while authorities realized early in the case that statements from Williams were unreliable, her seven accused attackers pleaded guilty, with none of them filing an appeal.

The Reverend Al Sharpton was among those supporting Williams. He has written to the prosecutor in Logan County, West Virginia, urging him to vindicate those who found to be responsible if it's determined that Williams made up the story.


Previous Story:

A black woman at the center of a West Virginia torture case that raised racial questions now says she lied about being a victim.

The office of Columbus, Ohio, attorney Byron L. Potts says Megan Williams will attend a news conference there Wednesday saying she lied about being assaulted by a gang of whites.

Seven people pleaded guilty in the 2007 case. All but one were sentenced to long jail terms.

The former Logan County prosecutor who oversaw those cases calls Williams' new claim absurd. Brian Abraham tells The Associated Press the seven were convicted on physical evidence and their own statements.

Authorities say Williams was held for days in a trailer where she was forced to eat animal feces, sexually assaulted and stabbed.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Bill Location: Greenville on Oct 22, 2009 at 05:50 PM
    oops, my bad, meant fictional rather than non-fiction, maybe i need a refresher course , also him shoulda been them, my apologies ,haste in my ignorance
  • by Bill Location: Greenville on Oct 22, 2009 at 04:58 PM
    To Db, you can't go to jail for being just an idiot, but you can go back to school. Why don't you take a refresher course. lmao Oh, and to "to Wise One at 2:56 " you watch way to much TV or read to many non-fiction books if you believe what you say !The fact is is that your not the brightest bulb in the box . LOL Wondering , how can you plead guilty to something you didn't do because the lawyer told you to , You don't, you report him to the bar and find a new one ! Oh dang, there I go, trying to reason with a idiot !
  • by J Location: NC on Oct 22, 2009 at 01:20 PM
    Let's not play the race card on this either,if they pled guilty,they are guilty!!!This girl has lost her mom and probably doesn't have anyone else she feel's protected with.
  • by Db on Oct 22, 2009 at 12:55 PM
    Sometimes lawyers inform you to plead guilty whether your guilty or not so they will recieve less time.This woman should be put in prison for lieing and being an idiot
  • by NevadaNiro Location: Kinston on Oct 22, 2009 at 11:58 AM
    To WOW and others...that is not a smirk! The woman has diminished mental capabilities! Please at least read the entire article and if it references previous happenstances read those too. Ignorance may be bliss but if your going to live there don't take the rest of us with you.
  • by to Wise One... Location: nc on Oct 22, 2009 at 11:56 AM
    ...you may not "buy it" but I don't think you've ever been a situation where you were told that no matter what you didn't do, the authorities could come up with enough "evidence" to convince a jury you DID. The next step is to convince you that a plea for reduced punishment would get you a MUCH better deal than continuing to claim innocence - even if you really are innocent. It happens way too often. You might want to keep an open mind on this one until ALL the facts are reviewed.
  • by Wow Location: Greenville on Oct 22, 2009 at 11:29 AM
    she ought to have that smirk slapped right off her face...reminds me of the Duke Lacross Players story...
  • by The Wise One Location: NC on Oct 22, 2009 at 10:08 AM
    No one in his/her right mind plead guilty to something he/she did not do. I'm not buying it. They're guilty! She's mentally challenged and it is likely difficult for her to deal with so much pressure. This cannot be compared to the Duke Lacrosse case. Williams is not an exotic dancer and she does not have the same mental faculties as the Durham exotic dancer. This is a case of exploitation and abuse!
  • by wondering... Location: enc on Oct 22, 2009 at 09:55 AM
    I wonder if anyone has considered the way lawyers may have pushed those folks into a corner with threats of what "could" happen if they didn't admit guilt for what they offered, ie. plea bargain to get lighter sentences. If those people didn't think they had a way out of whatever was being thrown their way, they may have taken what tehy thought was the best way out of the situation. There are many good people forced into such arrangements withOUT being guilty but who are told that "evidence" would be generated or contrived to prove they were. Keep in mind the area where this happened - education and legal knowledge may have been lacking for those accused.
  • by agree w/ bill on Oct 22, 2009 at 09:49 AM
    I agree Bill, She is mentally disabled and before this event she dated one of the men involved in her torture. I imagine he writes her from prison and she wants him out because he "loves her" and he is so "sorry".
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