Dar Heatherington is expected to appear in a Great Falls courtroom next week to plead not guilty to making a false statement to police.

The alderman's lawyer appeared on her behalf Wednesday and asked that the case be put over for a week.

Dar Heatherington (AP Photo)

Kory Larsen, assistant city attorney for Great Falls, says he expects that when Heatherington appears she will plead not guilty – which allows her to accept a deal prosecutors are offering any time before a trial starts.

The deal is called deferred prosecution and would allow Heatherington to abide by conditions the court sets out, which would likely include counselling, and in exchange have the charges dropped after a year. If she is found guilty of making a false statement, she faces a maximum fine of $500 or six months in jail, or both.

Heatherington, a 39-year-old mother of three, caused a stir last week when she disappeared from Great Falls and turned up three days later in Las Vegas, claiming to have been kidnapped and possibly drugged and sexually assaulted.

After a four-hour interview with Great Falls police May 7, they charged her with making a false statement. The county prosecutor said Heatherington had initially told officers that she had been drugged while standing by her car in a downtown parking lot and then awoke en route to Las Vegas.

The prosecutor said when pressed, she admitted that wasn't true and that she had met a married man from Alberta along the river bike path and decided to travel south with him, ending up in Las Vegas.