A 21-year-old Michigan woman pleaded guilty Monday to fabricating a “hate crime” in which an unknown white male approached her and slashed her face with a safety-pin, local news outlets are reporting.
University of Michigan student Halley Bass admitted she scratched her own face with a pin after becoming frightened by a classroom discussion in her women’s literature class.
“I had been in a discussion in my women’s lit weirdly and there were a few people in my class that sort of said some things that scared me,” Bass said. She claims she was “suffering from depression at the time.”
Bass originally “claimed her attack was part of the surge in hate crimes following the election of Donald Trump a week earlier,” MLive.com reports. She told police after the fake attack that she believed she was targeted because of a safety-pin she was wearing.
“The significance of the safety pins is that … to sort of like to show a solidarity with immigrants who feel threatened by Brexit. Um … but now it’s … for people who feel threatened by president elect, Trump’s his name … Um so it was, it was to show, yeah, solidarity with the people like we show your fear and we want to help you get through it,” the police report quotes Bass as saying.
The charge of falsely reporting a misdemeanor carries with it up to 93 days in jail, a $500 fine or both, according to the Michigan Daily. Because of her depressed state at the time, Bass’s lawyers are requesting she be sentenced in mental health court.