Ceres Man Exonerated after Attorney Says Girl Made Up Attempted Kidnapping Story

CERES -- A Ceres man who made headlines as a suspected kidnapper last summer has been found innocent.

The Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office says they dropped the charge against Sandeep Singh on Wednesday. Singh's attorney says the girl who accused him lied about the whole ordeal.

Singh says he feels vindicated after surveillance video showed what really happened.

"Once I saw the video, I literally cried," Singh said.

The video itself is anti-climactic. It shows a yellow truck and a 14-year-old girl walk into frame -- but for Singh, it was his lifeline.

On June 26, 2018, Singh says he was driving around Tokay Avenue running errands, on a phone call with a friend when he saw the girl about to cross the street.

"So I was just gonna, like, wanted to just alert her and I just honked," he said. "Not even an argument, nothing."

He told FOX40 that his next stop was a shoe store. When he walked out, he says he was arrested by Modesto police officers for attempted kidnapping.

"I got shocked all of a sudden then I just was like, 'Come on, why you handcuffing me?'" Singh said.

Singh's attorney, Kirk McAllister, says the girl painted a dramatic story for officers.

"She had claimed to police that the car had stopped, he gets out of the car, he chases her," McAllister said.

Singh is known to devote his time to helping those in need including wildfire victims.

"It almost just took my life away," he told FOX40.

So he fought, first sharing his story with the Sikh community and then hiring his attorney.

McAllister says he found inconsistencies in the girl's story.

"It's a little bit subtle but twice she indicated to the officer that she hoped that he didn’t find any surveillance videos," McAllister said.

Investigators unearthed the video from a nearby church and McAllister says the girl admitted to the district attorney that she made everything up.

"She lied about everything and I was innocent from day one," Singh said.

Justice came for Singh on Wednesday when the charge against him was dropped and a judge found him factually innocent.

"I'm just so glad that this ended this way," he said.

Singh says he can restart his life, but the legal troubles for the girl are just beginning. McAllister says the DA's office forwarded the case to the juvenile probation department, since it is illegal to file a false report.

The district attorney says because of the girl's age, anything that may happen to her would be totally confidential.

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