A candidate in a crowded South Carolina mayoral race is accused of orchestrating an elaborate ruse for sympathy votes using a fake kidnapping and Facebook Live.
Sabrina Belcher, 29, was arrested and charged with conspiracy and filing a false police report after Sumter police say she filmed herself being kidnapped, beaten and robbed on Facebook earlier this week.
Christopher James Eaddy, 34, was also charged with conspiracy in the case, the Sumter Police Department said in a news release.
“They staged a kidnapping and beating in order to garner publicity, sympathy and votes in the November election,” police said.
Belcher met with officers just before 11:30 p.m. Tuesday and told them she had been “assaulted and kidnapped by an unknown man during an attempted robbery,” according to police. She also said the man had knocked out the windows of her car.
Police said Belcher was taken to a nearby hospital for her injuries and was later released.
In the video, Belcher had tried to “discredit a fellow candidate,” according to police. They also said she had “ongoing plans to smear other mayoral candidates prior to the election.”.