woman in jail cell wearing orange jumpsuit

A California woman spent 13 days in jail after being mistaken for another person with the same name, according to a lawsuit against the City of LA

Have you ever spent a night or two in a jail cell? What if you were not even guilty? What if it were a case of mistaken identity? Sound like something out of a movie? Well, this woman spent a whole 13 days in a cell all because she had the same name as someone else. She is suing for violations of her civil rights, emotional distress, and negligence, among other claims. She is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

Meet Bethany K. Farber, she’s not too please with how her trip to Mexico went down. In fact, she’s suing because of what happened. Bethany was on her way to Mexico when she was mistaken for another woman with the same name. She then spent a whopping 13 days in a Los Angeles jail cell. Apparently, the police refused to listen to her when she told them she’d never been to Texas, where the crime of the guilty Bethany Farber was committed. Bethany has since filed the wrongful arrest lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles in federal court.

Read: Truck Driver Rogel Aguilera-Mederos Sentenced To 110 Years Has Jail Time Reduced To 10 Years

Bethany K Farber
Image credit: KTTV via nypost

What lead to the mistaken identity?

Everything went wrong for Bethany last April. Her lawyer had the following to say about the events that transpired that day at Los Angeles International Airport where she was taken to a private room to be interrogated and eventually jailed.

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“TSA comes and says that she ​has a warrant for her arrest out in Texas. Ms. Farber, this Bethany Farber, has never been to Texas. At the time Ms. Farber was booked, the police do nothing to confirm whether or not this Bethany Farber is that Bethany Farber.”

Rodney Diggs

Apparently, the law officials did not bother to cross-check her identity in any way. According to a report on Sierra Sun, “authorities didn’t check her drivers license, ask for her date of birth or Social Security number, take fingerprints or otherwise try to confirm her ID.”

Her lawyer also mentions that the officials easily “could have checked the fingerprints, her birthdate, social security number, or even a photo. They did none of that.”

Bethany K Farber is a young woman with long blond hair, while the guilty party, Bethany Farber, is older and has short, dark hair. Rodney continues that had they checked, they would have picked this up. “In this case, what I can say is that they did not check the basic information to determine that Bethany K. Farber was not the other Bethany Farber.

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Bethany K. Farber alongside Bethany Farber
Image credit: nypost

Read: Man Shoots And Kills Stepfather For Molesting His Young Sister, Gets 1,800 Years In Jail

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Why it took them 13 days to realize they had the wrong woman

It turns out that the accused’s mother had to prove her innocence, something that could easily have been picked up, preventing the woman from spending nearly two weeks in jail. Her mother had to send Assistant District Attorney Olivia Neu, from Cooke County Texas a photograph of her daughter to show that they had arrested the wrong Bethany Farber.

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I was able to compare that photograph to the surveillance video that we have from the office to determine that that, in fact was the incorrect Bethany Farber, so we immediately dismissed that case and notified the jail to have her released.”

Olivia Neu

Bethany also issued a statment via those legally representing her.

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This was an experience that no one should go through, especially a law-abiding citizen. You know this is why we have our amendments in place to protect us. We shouldn’t be fearing law enforcement. This is causing me a lot of distress in my life, a lot of anxiety, it has set me back financially, it impacted my business, and there’s a lot of people out there who this is happening to that don’t have anyone advocating for them. Every day that they’re in jail, wrongfully, their lives are being dismantled, being away from their jobs and family.

Bethany K Farber

Keep Reading: Mother and Daughter Spend Months in Jail After Cops Mistake Tea for Drugs

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Sources

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  1. A California woman spent 13 days in jail after being mistaken for another person with the same name, according to a lawsuit against the City of LA.” CNN. Stella Chan. February 23., 2022
  2. Nevada County native says she was jailed due to mistaken identity, is suing LAPD.” Sierra Sun. Victoria Penate.
Jade Small
Freelance Writer
Jade is a freelance writer and content creator from South Africa with over 7 years experience writing and creating. She's also a proud single mom to a super 13 year old boy.
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