Digital Forensics Dispatch

Digital Forensics Blog
by Sensei Enterprises, Inc.

Whoops…Fabricated Text Messages Discovered

January 7, 2021

Elliot Hirsch recently posted on the ELL Blog about a case where the court discovered that victim in a sexual harassment case created fake text messages. In summary, the case revolved around text messages that were sent between two colleagues that were engaged in a consensual sexual relationship.

Sarah Lee, the victim, alleged that Paul Sims and other employees continued to verbally and sexually harass her after she had decided to stop their relations. She was fired from her job and then filed a suit claiming gender discrimination and state law claims. 

Sims however, hired a computer forensic expert to look into the electronic evidence. The expert reviewed the evidence in the case and determined that Ms. Lee had fabricated text messages and that they were not sent when she said they were. A review of court documents in the case revealed that the expert hired to look into the messages discovered that of the messages that were provided in discovery, at least 44 of those messages resided in the phone’s unsent messages folder and that their date and timestamps were almost a year after the incident had taken place. After hearing testimony from the expert, the court concluded that messages were indeed fabricated. Hirsch writes “She obstructed discovery by not producing, in electronic format, the text messages.” More information about the case can be found here.

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