The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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February 12, 2013

Rape charges dropped against firefighter

BEAVER — Prosecutors have dropped rape charges against a decorated Michigan firefighter and are now investigating his accuser, a western Pennsylvania woman who claimed she was attacked during a visit last year.

Beaver County Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Popovich is investigating defense claims that 50-year-old Lee Finlayson’s accuser hacked into his phone and sent herself an alleged “confession” text message.

Authorities charged Finlayson because the message appeared to show he admitted raping the woman at her Brighton Township home on Sept. 22. The woman could be charged if phone records prove she faked the text.

Stephen Colafella, the Rockford, Mich. firefighter’s attorney, says in the Beaver County Times report that the results of the case are “bittersweet” because “it is a horrible thing he was accused of.”

Finlayson was the Grand Rapids Fire Department’s 2011 firefighter of the year.

 

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