Santa Barbara’s idyllic oceanfront campus—the stuff of college admission dreams—has been rocked and is buzzing about the case of fellow student Morgan Triplett, a 20-year-old-coed who claimed that while visiting the UC Santa Cruz campus on February 17th to attend a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender conference, she was attacked, beaten and raped on university property.
During the course of the investigation by Santa Cruz Police Detectives into the reported incident, inconsistencies in Triplett’s statements to police began to surface. According to Santa Cruz County Assistant District Attorney Johanna Schonfield’s statements to the media, Triplett’s 911 Emergency call reporting the crime brought law enforcement to the scene promptly. No suspects, however, were identified or found, and when Triplett was transported to a local hospital for a rape exam she became uncooperative and would not give permission to send DNA samples to the Deparment of Justice. Schonfield said that her behavior at that point “raised red flags in the minds of investigators.”
Ensuing investigation into Triplett’s activities prior to the alleged beating and rape established that she had previously posted ads on Craigslist soliciting both someone to shoot her “with the smallest caliber bullet possible” in the arm and for someone to inflict a beating upon her with “punches, bruises, and kicks”.
Schonfield’s investigation revealed, as she reported to the media, that an individual responding to those ads did ultimately physically assault, beat, and inflict multiple superficial injuries to Triplett. “Ms. Triplett directed him to hit her repeatedly in the body and face…they had sex and then she directed him to hit her some more.” The hired assailant then left her, and Triplett then called 911 Emergency to report the attack as random and criminal.
With evidence of Triplett’s false reporting in hand, misdemeanor charges were filed against her, with trial scheduled to begin on May 23rd. While the UCSB community remains keenly intrigued by the bizarre case, Assistant D.A. Schonfield classically understated the problem in remarking that Triplett “has made some poor choices.”
If found guilty of filing a false police report, Triplett could face up to six months in jail.
Photo: Courtesy www.KSBW.com
Santa Barbara Independent: UCSB Student Heads to Trial for False Rape Report
The Daily Nexus: Student Faces Allegations of Staged Assault in Santa Cruz