Prosecutors say two women hired a man to assault them in order to gain leverage in a harassment lawsuit the women had filed against their former employer.
In November 2008, two women called police, claiming to have been assaulted by two unknown masked men. However, prosecutors say that the two women had actually agreed to pay a man $100,000 to physically assault them and to sexually assault one of the women. The purpose of the staged assault was to increase damages in the sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the women against their former employer, prosecutors allege.
The prosecutors say that the women planned to link the assaults to their employer by having someone call one of the women from a phone at her employer. Under the plan, the woman then would call police to report that she had been threatened by an unknown man.
The man hired a fourth person to make the call from the employer, but the plan unraveled when that person actually used his own cell phone to call. The FBI was able to trace the call back to the cell phone.
In court, the man who prosecutors say carried out the staged assaults pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison. Both women pleaded guilty to their role in the scheme as well. One was sentenced to serve five months in a residential reentry center followed by five months of home confinement. The other was sentenced to three years of probation.
Source: Department of Justice