Kimberly Mays, the teenager who was the focal point of a switched-at-birth court battle that generated headlines worldwide, made and then recanted sex abuse allegations against the man who raised her.
She gave dates, places and graphic descriptions of the abuse she said began when she was 7 years old and continued until June - but then said she made it all up, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Monday."She's a young lady who needs professional help," Philip G. Ramer, the FDLE's supervising agent in Tampa, told a news conference.
"She has been through an emotional hell," he added, referring to a six-year tug-of-war over custody between Mays, who raised Kim-ber-ly since birth, and biological parents Ernest and Regina Twigg, with whom she has lived since early this year.
Mays, distressed at the accusations, cooperated in the investigation and was relieved at the out-come, Ramer said.
"He feels she needs help," Ramer said. "He is more concerned about her than anything else."
Kimberly appeared relieved when she admitted making up the story, Ramer said.
The Twiggs didn't play any role in Kimberly's allegations, Ramer added.
The state attorney's office is studying the case, Ramer said. Kimberly could face a charge of filing a false police report, or prosecutors could negotiate an agreement that she would not be charged if she seeks counseling.
Kimberly and another girl were switched at birth in 1978. A decade later the swap came to light when the other girl - raised by the Twiggs - died of heart disease. Tests showed the girl was not the Twiggs' biological child.
For the next five years the Twiggs fought May for visitation rights.
Last year, a judge ruled that the Twiggs had no legal rights to act as Kimberly's parents or even to visit her. But in February, Kimberly ran away from home and later moved in with the Twiggs.