SAN FRANCISCO (CN) — An alleged “liaison gone wrong” had a woman facing 17 years in prison for grand theft, but a jury acquitted her after finding it implausible that she had climbed nine stories in heels to burglarize an apartment.
The San Francisco Public Defender’s office said 36-year-old Tara Lowe was arrested on June 17, 2015 with a wallet, jewelry and iPod in her purse belonging to the wife of a 42-year-old man who claimed Lowe had burgled his studio apartment.
The man told police he had been at home cooking dinner when his wife came home. After their dog barked at a noise, his wife investigated and found Lowe ducking out the bathroom window. Lowe apologized and said she had been locked out after a fight with her boyfriend on the third floor before going down the fire escape.
His wife noticed the items were missing and the husband ran after Lowe, he told police.
But Lowe said the husband had invited her to his apartment for sex, and “shoved her out the window when his wife came home unexpectedly,” according to the public defender.
By the time the case got to trial, Lowe had spent a year in jail because she could not afford bail. The jury convicted her of petty theft, a misdemeanor. She was sentenced to time served.
Deputy Public Defender Carla Gomez argued at trial that the husband’s story was absurd. She said that Lowe would have had to climb nine flights, wearing heels and a jingling ankle bracelet, to gain entry to the man’s apartment undetected by the man or his dog.
The man was able to describe Lowe as blue-eyed, which he could not have done from just chasing her down the street. “The man’s story didn’t make sense on any level, and the jury could not reconcile his account with the evidence,” Gomez said in a statement.
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