New charges won't be filed against a woman who accused a Texas trooper of sexual assault during a traffic stop.
In a Friday statement, Ellis County District Attorney Patrick Wilson says the woman made her allegations to a jailer and her attorney and not to a sworn peace officer, meaning no false report was filed.
“The real harm, in this case, was caused when outside parties with no concern for the truth employed social media to ignite flames of malice and discontent," Wilson stated. "That bell, once rung, cannot be un-rung.
Wilson added the situation that unfolded across Ellis County over the last five days is "repeated in communities all across our country every day."
"In our fast-paced, social media-driven world, truth and justice too often take a back seat to misguided keyboard anger," he continued. "As we know, there are tragic consequences for that behavior. Baseless digital rage can create real world, innocent victims. As things stand in our world today, there is no reason to think the problem will soon be solved."
Wilson then commended the "traditional media outlets who exercised professional restraint and accountability in reporting this story. They investigated first and reported second. The rock of truth has special meaning to those who have been crushed under a tidal wave of lies.”
The woman's attorney, Lee Merritt, apologized Wednesday after the release of body camera video appeared to contradict her claims.
"The body camera footage released directly conflicts with the accounts reported to my office," Merrit stated.
He added, "I take full responsibility for amplifying these claims to the point of national concern. [...] We are thankful to the members of the community willingly to echo our demands for transparency and justice. However, in this matter, it seems your righteous vigilance was abused."
Merritt initially told reporters the trooper offered to let his client go in exchange for sexual favors. He also said the trooper groped her.
The video shows the unidentified trooper questioning the 37-year-old woman early Sunday, arresting her on a drunken-driving charge and booking her into the Wayne McCollum Detention Center in Waxahachie.