VALPARAISO — The Valparaiso woman who attracted national attention after allegedly walking out of a nail salon without paying and then attempting to drive away with an employee clinging to her BMW will have her criminal charge dropped if she remains out of trouble for six months, her attorney said.
Charley Fowler, 29, on Thursday entered into what is known as a pretrial deferment on the single misdemeanor theft count, attorney Jesse Harper said. "The circulation of this sensationalized story has undermined my name, character, reputation and everything I have worked so hard for," Fowler said in a prepared statement. "As a consumer I believed you had the right to dispute a service in which you are unsatisfied and causes harm; never did I have the intent to steal from this business," she said. "Prolonging this traumatic experience by going to trial seems illogical, and instead I will be donating those funds to endcyberbullying.org, an organization that combats public shaming and the detrimental impact cyberbullying has on individuals."
Fowler, who works as a mental health therapist in Munster, had told The Times she hoped to have the case dismissed. She also had faced a misdemeanor count of criminal recklessness at the time of her arrest stemming from accusations she dragged a salon employee across the parking lot with her car. But prosecutors opted against pursuing that charge after viewing a video shot inside the business.
The incident occurred just before noon June 16 at the Diamond Nails & Spa, 2505 LaPorte Ave. in Valparaiso. Fowler is accused by Valparaiso police of walking out of the business without paying a $30 bill after voicing her displeasure with a manicure. While salon employees told police they offered to redo the manicure and Fowler declined, attorney Bob Harper said Fowler was too busy to stay and said she would return the following day.
Harper has argued the incident is civil and not criminal in nature. "It's not a crime in Indiana to have a dispute over services," he said.