No Charges For UMichigan Student Who Filed Fake Hate Crime Report

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Rachel Stoltzfoos Staff Reporter
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Police won’t charge a University of Michigan student for filing a false hate crime report, and have yet to press charges against a second female student they also concluded filed a false report.

The school and police department have not revealed the identities of either student. Both falsely claimed to be the victim of hate crimes in the wake of the presidential election, prompting significant investigations and weeks of media hype, but so far, both students appear to have avoided any kind of disciplinary action from the school or the local police department.

Police said Tuesday they would not press charges against one of the women, who claimed a white man wielding a lighter threatened to set her hijab on fire. Her complaint set off a time-intensive investigation involving the university, the local police department and the FBI, and weeks of media hype. But after interviewing witnesses and reviewing surveillance tapes, authorities could find no evidence to support the woman’s story, and concluded she made the whole thing up.

The second woman, 21, told police she was assaulted by an older man wielding a safety pin. Authorities investigated for months, but again turned up no evidence to support her allegation, as well as inconsistencies in her statements.

“Flat out, it did not happen,” Ann Arbor Police Detective Lt. Matthew Lige said when the investigation concluded. Law enforcement have not yet determined whether they will press charges regarding the false report.

The second woman could face a misdemeanor charge for filing a false report of a misdemeanor, while the first avoided what could have been a felony charge for filing a false report of a felony.

A spokeswoman for the University of Michigan told The Daily Caller News Foundation the incidents occurred off campus, and the school would not provide further information on the students.

The Ann Arbor police department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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