Charges possible after false accusations against Texas DPS trooper

The woman who made a false allegation of sexual assault against a Texas trooper that led to threats against the officer on social media has yet to say anything publicly since the release of the video.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said there is no evidence on the body camera video to support Sherita Dixon-Cole's allegation against the trooper who arrested her Sunday morning.

But by the time the video was released, her false claim was already circulated on social media by her attorney Lee Merritt and civil rights activist Shaun King, who has three million followers. Not only was the trooper who arrested her named in the posts, but so was another trooper who had nothing to do with the case.

Merritt has since issued an apology. King did not, instead proclaiming, "She victimized us. She victimized the man she falsely accused and she victimized those who stood up for her."

The Ellis County Sheriff's Office says Dixon-Cole made an outcry alleging the assault during jail intake and she was instructed to make a formal complaint with DPS, but never did. That could now prove tricky for prosecutors considering a charge of making a false report.

But criminal defense attorney Nicole Knox says prosecutors may still have another option since the trooper involved and another unrelated trooper who happens to share his last name were threatened by people believing her allegations.

“If she has caused someone to threaten with serious bodily injury or their life then there could be an aggravated assault charge here. It will just depend on the strength, and the believability of the death threats -- whether it's something someone could carry out,” Knox said.

The lawyer said prosecutors may also be looking closely at Merritt and King.

“The allegations that she's made are awful and damaging and ruined the lives of really good people, but it's the players that came into this information and took it at face value and disseminated it, that are really at fault here,” Knox said.

She believes a civil lawsuit for libel may also be an option, but since the officers' jobs are not at risk it's difficult to assess damages.

“But I think the civil suit is worth pursuing if nothing more than to send a message to victims, to the public, to anyone who tries to think about doing this in the future, that this is not OK, that we are going to standup for the good officers,” Knox said.

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