The former Sacramento news anchor who plead no contest to helping her ex-boyfriend steal thousands of dollars worth of brand-name says if she’s guilty of anything, it’s of being an enabler.
Sabrina A. Rodriguez, 31, still denies having any involvement in any shoplifting scheme involving her ex-boyfriend Nicholas Gray. But on Friday the former news personality entered a “no contest” plea to a single misdemeanor charge of grand theft.
Rodriguez was originally charged with three felony counts of grand theft after prosecutors say she and Gray stole $2,400 worth of merchandise from a Coach outlet store in Folsom, California last year. Gray remains in custody for the alleged shoplifting incident as well as separate drug- and arson-related charges.
Prosecutors claimed Rodriguez was a willing participant in the shoplifting scheme, pointing to a number of text messages that appeared to implicate the former reporter. Rodriguez said the text messages were taken out of context, relating to an apparent drug purchase happening later that day in San Francisco and not the shoplifting incident in Folsom.
Prosecutors also said they found several cellphone images on Gray’s phone showing a woman resembling Rodriguez holding name-brand merchandize that was presumably stolen. In a phone interview with The Desk on Friday, Rodriguez said it was “entirely possible” the woman was her, but that she did not participate in any shoplifting scheme.
Despite the plea entered on Friday, Rodriguez maintains she’s innocent of the charges, saying she’s only guilty of being an enabler of Gray.
“I didn’t want to turn him in,” Rodriguez said by phone. “I didn’t want to get him in trouble, so I condoned it by enabling him when I should have walked away, and I didn’t.”
Rodriguez was arrested last July. She resigned her position as news anchor and reporter at Sacramento’s KTXL-TV (Channel 40) a few days later.
The Desk‘s interview with Sabrina Rodriguez appears below, edited in parts for clarity: