A 19-year-old Troy woman has been sentenced to 72 days in the Latah County Jail for falsely testifying that two men raped her.
The two migrant workers Angela Jean Stephens accused of the crime spent 78 days behind bars before Latah County Prosecutor Craig Mosman dropped the charges against them.A deputy prosecutor argued Wednesday that Stephens should serve 156 days in jail - as many as the total served by the men she falsely accused.
Robin Eckman said the stories of true rape victims would be viewed with skepticism because of Stephens' false testimony.
"She deserves to be punished," Eckman said. "The message needs to go out that this type of conduct is criminal."
But 2nd District Judge E.B. Ponack ordered the shorter term and imposed a withheld judgment. He also placed Stephens on probation for six years.
If she successfully completes probation, she will have no felony conviction on her criminal record, Ponack said. Her probation will include completing a rehabilitation program determined by a parole officer and a treatment program as well, he said.
If Stephens does not successfully complete probation, she could be sentenced to up to 14 years in jail for the felony conviction.
The judge said Stephens had chances during May 4 and May 11 court hearings to recant her story. But she only admitted lying after her mother pressured her and a friend changed her story about the incident.
Last month, Stephens pleaded guilty to falsely testifying about the alleged rape at the May 11 hearing. In exchange, Mosman dropped a second felony charge of perjuring herself in testimony during the May 4 hearing.
Ray Barker, Stephens' attorney, asked Ponack for a withheld judgment because of the woman's age and drug and alcohol problems. He said ordering a lengthy jail term as revenge "isn't going to do the two young men any good."