Heidi Jones, the former New York weather reporter for WABC-TV, pled guilty Wednesday to filing a fraudulent rape charge.
Jones claimed last November that an unidentified Hispanic male tried to sexually assault her while she was jogging in Central Park.
Under the plea deal, she's expected to escape jail time but might be ordered to perform community service. Police later found serious holes in her story, and she recanted and admitted she had lied due to “pressures” at her job and personal life.
She eventually lost her job at WABC and her Manhattan apartment.
However, Jones is hardly the first TV weatherman (or weatherwoman ) to run afoul of the law.
A few weeks ago, a TV weatherman in Arkansas, Brett Cummins, was found sleeping in a hot tub next to a nude dead man. Cummins has since quit his job, although no charges have yet been filed against him.
In Cummins case, police have unearthed a lurid sex and drug habit in connection with the death of Dexter Williams (who was reportedly wearing a dog collar).
Indeed, there's something amiss with TV weather prognosticators – a long line of people in the profession have found themselves on the wrong side of the law.
Bill Kamal, a popular weatherman in South Florida, was caught in an Internet sex sting – he was reportedly seeking to meet up with a 14-year-old boy. He was eventually sentenced to five years in prison. (He claimed he was framed.)
Yet another South Florida weatherman, Michael Koolick, was arrested last year on drug charges – he had apparently forged a prescription for painkillers.
Earlier this year, a weatherman at KUSI-TV in San Diego, Joe Lizura, quit his job after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of lewd behavior in public (he was masturbating in the window of an office building).
In 2009, Jay Patrick, a former weatherman at WJAC-TV in the Pittsburgh area, was caught in Kiev, Russia after being on the lam for four years. He was originally arrested in 2004 on charges that he sexually assaulted a young girl.
In December 2010, Rick Mecklenburg, a weatherman in South Bend, Ind., was picked up for making false claims to police – he had alleged that he called the cops complaining that a police squad car backed into his car and that someone was shooting at home.
In 2003, David Rogers, a former weatherman for KYW-TV in Philadelphia was arrested in Cleveland on charges he hit two road workers with his car and sped away. (He had been drinking.)
In 2009, a Las Vegas weatherman named John Fredericks was arrested for stalking and harassing a woman he was obsessed with.
And these incidents are certainly not limited to the U.S. either.
In February of this year, a British weatherman for BBC named Desune Coleman was arrested for pointing an imitation gun at other motorists while driving down the highway.
In 2010 in Germany, a very popular weatherman named Jörg Kachelmann was arrested on charges that he raped his girlfriend at knifepoint. He was eventually acquitted. (He was reportedly seeing up to 14 different women simultaneously.)