A second University of Michigan student has admitted to fabricating a hate crime, committed in the wake of Donald Trump’s election.
Halley Bass pled guilty, Monday, to filing a false police report, alleging that an unknown attacker had approached her in downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan, and scratched her face because she had a “solidarity pin” on her lapel—a safety pin worn as sign that she was a welcoming figure to those who felt marginalized by Trump’s victory.
Bass told the judge that she was “suffering from depression at the time” and had scratched her own face with her safety pin after a Women’s Literature class.
“I was suffering from depression at the time,” Bass told the judge. “I made a superficial scratch on my face. It was visible and I was embarrassed about what I’d done. So I made up a story and told a friend that a stranger had done it while I was walking. I was encouraged to report it to the police. I made the mistake of doing that.”
Bass reportedly told officers that the attack was in connection to a “surge” in hate crimes on the University of Michigan campus following Trump’s election. She described her attacker as a middle-aged white male in a black baseball cap and hoodie. She indicated to police that she was certain she was targeted for her overt display of solidarity with anti-Trump activists.
She also posted on Facebook, to convey, she told detectives, “that all people are equal and deserve to have their voice heard and not feel endangered.”
Heat Street reported on the surge in hate crimes as they were happening at the University of Michigan. This is now the second “hate crime,” however, to turn out to be a hoax. A Muslim student came forward several weeks ago to say that she’d also lied to police when she claimed a man approached her and tried to pull off her hijab shortly after Donald Trump was elected.
The UMich stories made national headlines and the FBI was even called in to investigate. The Muslim student was not punished for her false police report. Bass could could face up to 90 days in jail or a $500 fine.