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Meteorologist to plead not guilty to falsely reporting attack

From Julia Talanova, CNN
Heidi Jones told police November 24 that she had been attacked in Central Park on September 24, police say.
Heidi Jones told police November 24 that she had been attacked in Central Park on September 24, police say.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Meteorologist claimed she had been attacked while jogging, a police spokesman said
  • Heidi Jones of WABC-TV later recanted her statement, police claim
  • She is charged with a misdemeanor count of making a false report

New York (CNN) -- An on-air meteorologist for a New York TV station plans to plead not guilty to charges related to her arrest over the weekend, her attorney said, in which police say she falsely reported an attempted sexual assault, then recanted her statement.

Paul Callan, an attorney for WABC-TV meteorologist Heidi Jones, said his client "has had a distinguished career as a broadcast journalist and urges all concerned to refrain from jumping to conclusions about the unproven charges against her being discussed in the press."

Jones, who does weather reports for weekend newscasts, called police November 24 claiming that she had been attacked while jogging in Central Park on September 24, according to a police spokesman who would not provide a name, citing police policy.

Jones said she had crossed paths with the attacker, whom she described as a Hispanic male in his 30s, on November 21, when she said he taunted and harassed her.

Police say Jones recanted the story as she was being questioned after she filed the initial report.

Her motivation for giving the story is unclear.

Jones was arrested Monday and has been charged with a misdemeanor count of making a false report.

According to a statement read on WABC, Jones has been suspended from the station pending an internal investigation.

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