Mistaken Identity Charges Dismissed

Santa Barbara Woman Spends Months Proving Her Innocence

Beth Farnsworth, KEYT NewsChannel 3 Anchor, beth.farnsworth@keyt.com
POSTED: 06:07 PM PDT Sep 26, 2013    UPDATED: 05:42 PM PDT Sep 27, 2013 
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

A horrible case of mistaken identity is over for one Santa Barbara woman.

Santa Barbara County Chief Deputy District Attorney Hilary Dozer told NewsChannel 3 the case started back in July when a woman by the name of "Kathleen Porter" was arrested and charged with elder abuse and theft.

Around the same time, another woman by the name of Kathleen Jo Porter said she received a citation. It turns out police -- and the D.A.'s office -- got the wrong woman.

"The description of the woman is 5'10", I'm 5'2", said Kathleen Jo Porter, the woman incorrectly accused.

"She has blue eyes. I have brown eyes. They described her with a mustache and 225 pounds."

"We made a mistake based on information provided to us," said Dozer.

"Incorrect (information)," he clarified. "And we made every effort to make good on that mistake and wouldn't occur in the future."

After two months, seven court appearances, and representation by attorney Ernest Panizzon, Porter's case was dismissed Thursday.

It is unclear whether she will pursue a civil complaint or recoup any losses for legal fees or time away from work.