The woman who accused a Texas state trooper of sexual assault could soon face criminal charges, after body cam video revealed no evidence of misconduct.
But before she deals with the legal system, Sherita Dixon-Cole was read the riot act by Ashleigh Banfield … on live national television.
“Dear Sherita,” Banfield said directly to the camera Thursday, reading from an open letter she wrote to Dixon-Cole, “you’re not helping.”
“If you hadn’t noticed, the rest of the country is wrenching and turning and churning through a movement that, when resolved, may just yield a lot of sunshine and goodwill among men and women who are all just trying to get along,” Banfield continued. “Your false accusations of rape against that cop, your viral cry wolf, just brought a dark cloud to our national therapy session, and your category-5 damage is not covered by insurance.”
“While you were busy with your twisted rape lie, this was actually a really rough day for a lot of people. Harvey Weinstein and his accusers may have to ready themselves for sex crime charges any minute now. And Americans who have loved and trusted Morgan Freeman were hit with allegations that he too may have broken the #MeToo code,” she said. “And when guys like Tom Brokaw and George Bush end up in that mix, it takes the wind out of a lot of people who have loved them deeply for a very long time, and they’re not sure how to process all this news, and sometimes they’re struggling to choose which side to be on.”
Dixon-Cole accused Texas Department of Public Safety trooper Daniel Hubbard of “forcefully groping” her during a traffic stop last weekend. She claimed Hubbard repeatedly told her he would let her go in exchange for sex.
She said that, when she refused, the trooper sexually assaulted her. Her story soon went viral and were shared more than 50,000 times online, thanks in part to social activist Shaun King, who shared her story on social media.
But on Tuesday, the Texas Department of Safety released nearly two hours of body cam video that showed no evidence of Dixon-Cole’s accusation. The footage shows her being pulled over and asked to take a sobriety test, handcuffed and taken to the county jail, where she can be seen charged with a DWI.
Lee Merritt, Dixon-Cole’s lawyer, later apologized for her claims, according to USA Today.
In an article published on Medium on Wednesday, King noted that Dixon-Cole “claims the body camera footage must’ve been edited to remove the worst parts.”
However, King added, “Outside of personal information being blurred out, the video appears to be in its original form. I viewed it with an editing expert. They agree.”
Banfield told TheWrap she felt the need to say something about the case on her show because, as she put it, “when Sherita Dixon-Cole lied and cried rape, it does exponential damage.”
“There is nothing more frustrating than ‘two steps back’ in a movement that’s showing promise,” Banfield said. “When I saw the headline it was deflating and as the old expression goes, ‘If you see something, say something.'”
Watch Banfield read her open letter below.
Editor’s note: The writer of this article, Itay Hod, was an associate producer for both “Region in Conflict” and “Ashleigh Banfield on Location.”
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