A 33-year-old Houston woman with an extensive criminal record has been charged with felony theft by deception after raising over $40,000 on GoFundMe for injuries she claimed she sustained during an assault that never occurred. Roda Osman, 33, was charged after refusing to cooperate with a police investigation into the incident.
Osman’s story first went viral in September of 2023 after she uploaded an emotional video to social media claiming she had been attacked by a man after refusing to give him her number. In the video, Osman was in a hospital room wearing a patient gown and was clearly distressed. The right side of her face was also severely swollen and deformed.
But police are now painting a very different story about what happened the evening Osman claims she was assaulted.
According to Houston Police Department, officers responded to an aggravated assault call and found Osman to be “intoxicated, hostile, and irate.” As detailed in the police report, Osman claimed that an unknown man threw a brick at her face after she refused to give her phone number to him. She went on to claim that she believed the man was an Uber driver and that he attempted to kidnap her. None of her claims could be verified by police.
The cybercrimes chief prosecutor with the Harris Country District Attorney’s Office, Keith Houston, explained to media that video surveillance footage did not substantiate Osman’s account of what happened.
“They were able to find video of the defendant and another person who we believe was the accused assaulter. They got into a car, they both got out of the car, and the defendant slapped the male, who then responded by slapping her back. He did have a water bottle in his hand. And we think that’s what left the mark on her, on her face. But it was mutual combat,” Houston said.
On X (formerly Twitter) many users responded to the news of Osman’s charges with skepticism, with many posting in defense of her.
@HeyImVeryDrew wrote: “This doesn’t make sense to me because we saw her injuries, reports, more documents and people said that they saw it. A man even came forward and said he did it. So it’s not adding all the way up. The article even said there was a dispute. So I will wait.”
But this is not the first time that Osman, known online as the “brick lady,” has lied about assault to commit fraud by deception.
After Osman posted her viral video and subsequent fundraiser, a member of the public contacted Houston police to report that Osman had pulled the same stunt in Minnesota in 2020. Houston police then verified with Minneapolis police that Osman had indeed faked an assault and created a fraudulent fundraiser there, too.
GoFundMe has banned Osman from their site and released a statement about the fraud.
“GoFundMe has zero tolerance for the misuse of our platform and cooperates with law enforcement investigations of those accused of wrongdoing. The fundraiser has been removed from the platform, all donors have been refunded, and Roda Osman has been banned from using the platform for any future fundraisers.”
Despite the new felony charge, Osman appears to still stand behind her original allegations. While she set her Instagram account to private; her bio reads: “Unprotected and targeted black woman assaulted by Olan & demonized for speaking out! A cash cow for bigots to profit off my pain!”