Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre announced a Covington woman has been arrested on several charges after falsely accusing a Thibodaux man of domestic abuse. Sandra Brooks (age 49) faces charges including domestic abuse, defamation, and filing a false report.
On June 29, 2017, Brooks filed a report filed a report with the Lafourche Parish Sheriff Office in which she alleged physical abuse by 57-year-old Carl Johnson Sr. of Thibodaux. Brooks and Johnson cohabitated from September 2016 to March 2017. Brooks reported having suffered several injuries due to Johnson’s abuse, and she presented audio recordings of encounters with Johnson, including an incident on February 24, 2017, in which she specifically accused Johnson of domestic abuse battery. Investigators also learned Brooks had filed a similar report with Johnson’s employer, the National Football League, three months prior on March 23, 2017. Johnson is employed as an NFL line judge and is a former vice president of officiating for the league. Detectives learned Brooks also contacted a national media outlet and shared her allegations.
Brooks filed for a temporary protective order against Johnson, and he was served with the order on July 11, 2017. Ten days later, a hearing was held to determine whether the order should be extended. Based on the evidence and arguments presented, Judge Christopher Boudreaux dismissed the protective order with prejudice.
In reviewing audio recordings which Brooks provided, and through interviews with both parties, investigators determined Brooks, not Johnson, was the predominant aggressor in the February 24 incident and had allegedly committed a battery on Johnson. Detectives also found no evidence of any wrongdoing by Johnson and ultimately exonerated him in the investigation.
On October 5, 2017, investigators met with Brooks and informed her that no charges would be filed against Johnson. They also informed Brooks of the investigation into her involvement as the predominant aggressor in the incident and filing a false report. The following day, Brooks contacted investigators requesting they end the investigation and to have all charges against Johnson dropped. Investigators again informed her that they were only pursuing charges on her, not Johnson.
During investigation that lasted several months, detectives interviewed nearly a dozen individuals and reviewed a large number of documents. They also painstakingly reviewed medical records from multiple medical facilities which contradicted Brooks’ injury claims. Detectives also concluded that Brooks had made the audio recordings in secret without Johnson’s knowledge, and she attempted to provoke him. Those recordings proved to be helpful in determining Brooks to be the predominant aggressor. Detectives have also maintained contact with the NFL throughout the course of the investigation.
Investigators obtained warrants for Brooks’ arrest, and on Tuesday, November 7, she turned herself in at the Lafourche Parish Detention Center in Thibodaux. She was booked on warrants for Domestic Abuse Battery, Defamation, Criminal Mischief (Filing a False Police Report), and Filing a False Petition for a Protective Order. She was released Tuesday afternoon after posting $2,500 bond. As a condition of her bond, Brooks has been ordered to stay away from the victim, Johnson.
Detectives indicate their investigation is continuing.