Columbus, Ohio Megan Williams’ shocking accusations initially strained the imagination: Seven white people beat her with sticks, forced her to eat feces, raped her and taunted her with racial slurs over several days in a ramshackle trailer in West Virginia.
But the suspects eventually confessed to their actions and pleaded guilty. All but one were sent to prison. Now Williams, who is black, is taking it all back.
Williams lied in 2007 because she wanted to get back at a boyfriend who had beaten her, her attorney, Byron L. Potts, said Wednesday at a news conference in his Columbus office.
Williams no longer wants to live a lie, Potts said.
“She told me the only thing not self-inflicted were the bruises on her face,” Potts said.
Williams, 22, who now lives with a caregiver in Columbus, was in the office with Potts, but she did not appear before reporters. Potts said she has received several anonymous phone calls from people threatening her life.
“She is recanting the entire incident. She says it did not happen, and she’s scared,” Potts said.
Seven white men and women were convicted in the case, in which Williams had also said that hot wax was poured on her and that two of her captors had forced her to drink their urine.
Police said the assaults occurred at a trailer owned by Frankie Brewster in a rural area of Logan County, about 50 miles from Charleston, W.Va. Williams was rescued after an anonymous caller alerted authorities.
Potts said that Brewster’s son, Bobby, was the boyfriend who had beaten Williams and that she had stabbed herself with a straight razor to help embellish the story of being tortured.
Prosecutors, who knew about the relationship even during the case, dismissed the new claim by a woman whose mother described her during the 2007 case as “slow.”
Brian Abraham, the former Logan County prosecutor who pursued the cases, said the seven defendants were convicted on their own statements and physical evidence.