BRYAN - Brazos County sheriff's investigators now believe a woman who reported she was sexually assaulted by a person who was either a member of law enforcement or an impersonator was lying.
Elizabeth Hilty, 24 of Huntsville, turned herself in to authorities Monday morning on a felony charge of tampering or fabricating physical evidence, along with a misdemeanor charge of filing a false report to a peace officer.
On the evening before Thanksgiving -- November 27 -- the sheriff's office says Hilty claimed she was driving on Highway 30 when she said she was signaled to pull over by a dark-colored Dodge Charger with police-like lights in the grill. She reportedly said she stopped on 30 near Bird Pond Road on the east side of College Station, was asked by a middle-aged man in a mask and civilian clothing to exit the vehicle, and was forced into the back of her own vehicle and assaulted.
As part of their investigation, the sheriff's office looked at cameras in the area of the alleged assault. Investigators say they saw Hilty's vehicle, but not the Charger involved in the reported rape.
A call from Hilty's cell phone that Hilty hadn't mentioned in her interview had recently been made to a man with an Arlington area code. When authorities talked to that person, he said he and Hilty had a consensual sexual encounter on November 26 -- the day before the reported rape -- after the two had communicated on Craigslist.
The results of a rape kit test Hilty took showed that man's DNA, and he provided pictures she had sent him of herself.
A person who said they were an acquaintance of Hilty's had reportedly also come to sheriff's investigators, telling them Hilty knew the work that was being put in to looking at this case and wanted their probe stopped.
The DNA test from the rape kit that matched the man from Craigslist was the last piece of evidence needed, and Sheriff Chris Kirk says that came back last week. Hilty was told to turn herself in, which she did Monday morning. She is out of jail on $11,000 bond.
Kirk said he did not know Hilty's motive.
At the time of Hilty's report in November and at Monday's announcement of her arrest, Brazos County law enforcement told citizens that if you're not sure if it's a member of law enforcement pulling you over, keep your doors locked, call 9-1-1 and verify with dispatchers that you have been pulled over by law enforcement.