PoliceOne Staff Report
(LOS ANGELES) -- The scorned girlfriend of the prosecutor's key witness in the Ramparts police scandal pleaded guilty yesterday to a federal charge of making false statements to authorities.
Sonia Flores had told prosecutors that Officer Rafael Perez killed three people and dumped their bodies in Mexico, which prompted federal authorities to expend from $200,000 to $300,000 to investigate.
Under a plea agreement, signed on Nov. 30, Flores, 23, agreed to pay back the cost of the investigation and to cooperate with the FBI.
She could still face prison time or home detention, according to the Los Angeles Times.
"I guess you could say that she 'fessed up to all the falsities that she had told," Flores' lawyer, Marshall Bitkower told the Times. "She's lucky, because it's one count of lying to the FBI. There could have been a lot of other charges, but they were nice enough to have some understanding about how emotional she is, and her motivations."
Flores told authorities that she felt jilted by Perez and lied because she wanted him punished.
The FBI expended months of manpower and resources investigating her claim, but ended their investigation when Flores failed a polygraph test and they found the alleged victims alive.
James V. DeSarno Jr., assistant director in charge of the FBI's Los Angeles office, told the Times: "It certainly is frustrating when you expend that kind of resources and end up finding that an individual has lied to us about very serious allegations. When we get lied to, prosecuting that individual is appropriate."