Police say a white teenager falsely accused three black men of gang raping her. Breana Harmon-Talbott, 19, appeared in a court on 16 November facing charges of tampering with evidence and government records.

She was still 18 when in March she ran into a Texas church, drenched in blood with some of her clothes removed, claiming to have been sexually assaulted by two black men while a third held her down.

She had to be covered up by churchgoers because her legs were bleeding so badly.

However, police were immediately suspicious of her story and after an investigation concluded that it was fabricated. She was indicted in July.

She now faces two felony charges, which could lead to a 10 year prison sentence and a $10,000 (£7,500) fine.

"Breana Harmon-Talbott's hoax was also insulting to our community and especially offensive to the African-American community due to her description of the so-called suspects in her hoax," Denison police chief Jay Burch said in an online statement.

"The anger and hurt caused from such a hoax are difficult and all so unnecessary."

Harmon-Talbott initially told police that the black men had been wearing ski masks when they raped her but several elements of her story did not add up.

A nurse examining the teen after the alleged assault said that in her professional opinion there was no evidence she had been raped.

The police say their suspicions were justified when on 21 March, Talbott admitted to staging the 'assault' while walking alone after an argument with her fiance.

Breana Harmon Talbott
Breana Harmon Talbott appears in court again in December Denison Police

"Things from her past started going through her head and she began cutting herself and her jeans," according to police chief John Burch, reported by The Herald Democrat.

The knife had been given to her earlier in the day by ex-fiance Samuel Hollingsworth after she told him she had heard about a sex-trafficking ring in Grayson County. Hollingsworth said that he had now ended the relationship with her and was hoping to move on with his life.

Harmon-Talbott was initially charged with the misdemeanour offence of giving a false report to an officer. However, on reflection the District Attorney felt that the degree of harm her actions could have caused others and the community at large warranted felony charges.

KXII reports that she will appear in court again in December. Burch said: "It's unfortunate a person can falsely report such a major incident in our community that wastes the time of law enforcement and needlessly puts some people in fear.

"I apologize to those who have current investigations with the department as we delayed those to focus on this case."