EAU CLAIRE, Wis. — A River Falls woman has the chance to avoid a felony conviction for setting up a fictitious Facebook site in an attempt to get sexual assault charges against an Eau Claire man dropped.
The account was set up in the name of the alleged sexual assault victim, police said.
Rachel N. Lind, 24, pleaded guilty this week in Eau Claire County Court to a felony count of conspiracy to commit identity theft and a misdemeanor count of obstructing an officer.
She was fined $443 for the misdemeanor charge.
As part of a two-year deferred agreement with prosecutors, the felony charge will be dismissed if Lind pays another $250, commits no new crimes, performs 80 hours of community service, pays restitution, possesses no one else’s identifying information and has no contact with the victim or her co-defendant.
A felony count of identity theft and a misdemeanor count of defamation were dismissed.
Lind’s co-defendant, Colton C. Schneider, 24, 2507 S. Hastings Way, returns to court Feb. 6.
According to the criminal complaint:
An Eau Claire police officer investigated a Facebook post on Jan. 28, 2019, made by a woman who accused Schneider of raping her and then saying she “set him up.”
The officer subsequently uncovered Facebook messages between Schneider and Lind conspiring to create a false Facebook account in the woman’s name and posting the above information.
Schneider supplied the photo of the woman for the false Facebook account.
Schneider was previously charged in Eau Claire County Court with felony counts of second-degree sexual assault and third-degree sexual assault where the woman was the alleged victim.
You have free articles remaining.
A jury trial in that case was scheduled on March 4, 2019.
Before a final status conference in February, Schneider’s attorney provided prosecutors with a Facebook post claiming the woman posted the following message:
“Yes, I set Colton Schneider up. I did not want him anymore, so I tell him that I set him up...No, Colton Schneider did not rape me. He is innocent. He never did any of those charges.”
Police contacted the woman on Feb. 15. She said the Facebook post was made from a fake account she did not create.
Police served a search warrant to Facebook to determine who set up the account. On March 29, police received information from Facebook that the account was set up by Lind.
Police contacted Lind on April 10. Lind told police she knows Schneider but doesn’t know the woman.
Lind said Schneider probably set up the account using her information. Lind said Schneider had told her he wanted to get back at the woman.
Lind confirmed Schneider was at her residence at the end of January in 2019.
In an interview with police, Schneider denied creating the account but admitted to thinking about doing it.
Police executed a search warrant on May 21 for both Schneider’s and Lind’s Facebook accounts.
Police found several messages about the planning of the fictitious account using the woman’s information.
Colton’s sexual assault trial is now scheduled for April.