Rape Trial Witness Charged With Perjury

Rape Trial Witness Charged With Perjury

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DAPHNE, Ala. - Lyric Russell's family says the Daphne High School student has told the truth the entire time.

During the rape trial of Spanish Fort Football Star Deon Johnson it was Russell who testified the alleged rape victim recanted her story.  Some consider that testimony the main reason Johnson was acquitted. 

Thursday Russell was arrested at school and charge with perjury.  Her lawyer says the district attorney did this in retaliation for her testimony and to embarrass her.

“By going after this young lady, she sent her heavy [investigator] to interrogate her and intimidate her and try to make her recant her testimony which she has not done, she has told the truth in every material way,” says Lyric Russell’s Attorney AJ Cooper.  Russell’s mother says she wanted to help her daughter avoid getting arrested in public in front of her classmates. 

“They went into the school in the auditorium with all the other students around they handcuffed her roughly took her out to the car like she was some kind of criminal and it's a perjury charge, she's never had any kind of trouble, nothing,” says Russell’s mother Pamela Lysack.   Her mother Pamela was also hit with misdemeanor charges--allegedly interfering with an investigation.  Lysack says she was trying to help her daughter avoid public shaming.

District Attorney Hallie Dixon says it is nearly impossible to get witnesses to testify in a high school rape case because of peer pressure.  She says when they can prove someone lied under oath they will prosecute to be a warning to others who might do the same.  Dixon says their investigation shows it was Russell who made up the story of the victim recanting her rape claim.  Russell's family expects an apology and the DA expects to follow through with this prosecution.

This arrest changes nothing with Deon Johnson's first rape trial.  The case cannot be retried.  Johnson goes on trial for rape again next week in Daphne.  He's accused of sexually assaulting another girl in a different case. 

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