A Woman Falsely Accused a Navy Sailor of Rape. It Wasn’t her First False Report

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An aerial view of Norfolk Naval Station. (U.S. Navy photo/Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Stoltz)
An aerial view of Norfolk Naval Station. (U.S. Navy photo/Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Stoltz)

A Chesapeake woman falsely accused a Navy sailor of raping her 18 months ago inside his Naval Station Norfolk barracks.

And it wasn’t the first time she’d told such a lie.

Miranda S. Overton, 21, pleaded guilty Tuesday to making a false statement to Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigators. She is set to be sentenced June 3 in U.S. District Court in Norfolk.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia declined to comment on the case, but state and federal prosecutors seldom file charges in such matters.

Some research suggests people rarely file false reports regarding sexual assaults. Citing a review of available studies, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center reported in 2012 it happened between 2% and 10% of the time.

But the group said most of the research on the subject "is unreliable because of inconsistencies with definitions and methods employed to evaluate data.”

Overton and the sailor connected on the dating app Tinder, according to court documents. They met July 1, 2018, for what prosecutors say was consensual sex.

The next day Overton went to Bon-Secours Depaul Medical Center in Norfolk and told an agent with an NCIS agent she’d been raped.

She said she told the sailor explicitly she did not want to have sex with him, but he started ripping off her clothing when she entered his barracks and threw her on a bed. There, she said, he assaulted her as he repeatedly told him “no” and “stop.”

The report prompted NCIS to open an investigation.

In August, the sailor agreed to speak with agents. He acknowledged having sex with Overton, but described it as consensual.

The sailor provided agents messages from Overton in which she expressed interest in having a threesome with him and his significant other.

Agents also located video from the sailor’s barracks. It showed Overton and the sailor kissing in the elevator prior to entering his room the day of the alleged assault.

Agents re-interviewed Overton on Dec. 18, 2018, about what happened. She initially stuck to her story, but started to waffle when shown the Tinder messages and elevator video. While continuing to assert she’d been sexually assaulted, she said she was “guessing on the details,” and wasn’t "remembering things.”

It was at that time that the agents confronted Overton with a prior police report she’d filed “years earlier.” It involved her alleging a different sexual assault involving a different person.

Overton then admitted she’d lied and made up both attacks.

“The defendant stated that she fabricated the report against (the sailor) out of the fear that her significant other would end their relationship" if he learned what happened, prosecutors wrote in an agreed statement of facts.

This article is written by Scott Daugherty from The Virginian-Pilot and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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