- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 5, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - A TV meteorologist told police she concocted claims of being attacked because she was under personal and professional stress and wanted attention, a court document released Wednesday shows.

Heidi Jones said nothing as she appeared briefly in a Manhattan court Wednesday to answer misdemeanor false-reporting charges. Her lawyer, Paul F. Callan, said she would “vigorously contest the accuracy and legal admissibility of the so-called confession.”

Jones, who has been suspended from her job at New York’s local ABC station, told police Dec. 1 that she’d been attacked in Central Park in September and then again outside her apartment in November, according to a court complaint prosecutors filed Wednesday.

Police have said she told them the same man targeted her both times _ the first time while she ran in the park _ and she provided a detailed description including the alleged attacker’s race, height and clothing.

A detective unit that specializes in investigating sex crimes spoke to possible witnesses and canvassed the area to look for a suspect. Callan said Wednesday that Jones hadn’t told police there was a sexual component to the alleged attack.

Ultimately, when a detective spoke to Jones again around midnight on Dec. 13, she admitted she’d fabricated the assaults, the court complaint said.

“I made it up for attention. I have so much stress at work, with my personal life and with my family,” she said, according to the document.

Callan noted that police had brought Jones to a precinct in the middle of the night, after meeting her as she left the studio after a broadcast. While Jones was ultimately released with an appearance ticket, he maintained she should have been read her rights and wasn’t.

Prosecutors declined to comment. The law surrounding the use of the Miranda warning is complicated and often the subject of court arguments.

Released without bail, Jones is due back in court March 16. The misdemeanor charges against her carry the possibility of a year in jail if she’s convicted.

A spokeswoman for WABC-TV didn’t immediately return a call Wednesday about Jones.

Jones, 37, has been with the station for about five years and has anchored its weekend evening weather coverage. She also has filled in on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

She previously worked in cities including Albany, N.Y., and Houston, where she gave a weather forecast while running a marathon.

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