Over the years, we've reported about numerous cases in which DNA led to arrests in sexual assaults.
The same is true in regard to Jasmine Burlingame — but with a twist.
In previous instances, the people busted were men accused of committing sex crimes against women.
This time around, Burlingame has been charged with making a false rape claim after a DNA test showed that the person who she said had harmed her was actually innocent.
Warning: The details of the incident may disturb some readers.
The story, as told in an arrest affidavit on view below, got its start this past Valentine's Day.
About 7:30 a.m. on February 14, a Denver police officer traveled to St. Anthony's hospital on a report of a sexual assault.
There, Burlingame told him that she had gone to the home of a male co-worker. Already there upon their arrival was the co-worker's roommate, who was playing video games — so Burlingame and the other man headed to his room to talk.
While the two were there, she said, the roommate came in and elbowed her co-worker in the head, causing him to lose consciousness. According to her account, the roommate elbowed her as well, then pinned her to the bed, pulled her pants down, pushed her underwear to the side and sexually assaulted her both vaginally and anally.
At that point, Burlingame maintained, she managed to get to her feet and kick the roommate in the groin. Then, after removing a bloody condom from her anus, she ran to a nearby address to phone her family; she said the roommate had removed the battery from her cell, preventing her from using it. Her cousin picked her up at a nearby Safeway and took her to the hospital.
A shocking tale — but there were problems with it.
For one thing, Burlingame's co-worker had no memory of any happenings such as she described. He told investigators that he and Burlingame had gone out drinking the night before, and while the two of them might have "fooled around," he wasn't sure about that — and if the act had taken place, it was consensual. Moreover, he didn't have any symptoms or physically wounds that suggested that he'd been knocked unconscious.
Meanwhile, the roommate denied doing anything like what Burlingame described — and like the co-worker, he voluntarily supplied a DNA sample.
This evidence proved key. A bloody condom was indeed found in the apartment, and when it was tested along with the rape kit taken at the hospital, the results "directly contradict[ed] the version of events provided by Burlingame," the affidavit states.
During a subsequent interview, Burlingame stuck by her original story. But in this case, her consistency didn't do her any favors. Indeed, it convinced the officer who wrote the report to recommend that she be accused of attempting to influence a public official and false reporting to authorities.
The Denver District Attorney's Office concurred. Burlingame has now been officially charged with two counts of the former (a felony) and one of the latter (a misdemeanor). She was released from custody on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond; she's due in court on September 28.
Look below to see Burlingame's booking photo, followed by the aforementioned affidavit.
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