Fitbit Evidence Clears Man Accused of Sexual Assault
Being accused of any crime can stop your life in its tracks. When someone is accused of sexual assault, their life can be irreparably harmed, even if the charges are ultimately dismissed, or they are acquitted. Unfortunately, the public is often quick to assume someone accused of sexual assault is automatically guilty. Being falsely accused of this type of crime is frustrating, scary, and overwhelming.
For one Pennsylvania man, sexual assault allegations turned into a nightmare. His vindication came from a surprisingly high-tech source. According to a Wall Street Journal report, police pulled data from a woman’s Fitbit fitness tracker, which contradicted her claims of being sexually assaulted while staying at an employer’s home.
The alleged victim claimed she was assaulted in the middle of the night by an intruder. When police analyzed her Fitbit, however, they found she’d logged thousands of steps during the time she claimed to have been raped. The Fitbit also revealed she hadn’t slept at all the night of the alleged attack. The device logged her activity up until the time she called the police, and then begin logging activity once again when the call ended.
Another source reports the alleged victim claimed to have been dragged from her bed – something the Fitbit data disproved. The fitness tracker monitors the wearer’s steps, heart rate, movements, and other health data. The device showed no evidence of a violent attack, which would have caused a jump in the woman’s heart rate and other data.
Police corroborated the fitness tracker’s evidence by showing a lack of footprints in the snow outside the home where the woman claimed she was assaulted.
After the man was vindicated, prosecutors charged the woman with making a false report, tampering with physical evidence, and reporting a false alarm. She can eventually clear her record by participating in a pretrial intervention program for first-time offenders.
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