A 21-year old Ann Arbor woman pleaded guilty on Monday to one count of filing a false police report on November 15th. She had claimed to have been attacked and had her face cut by a strange man when he saw she was wearing an anti-Brexit pin on her jacket.
Michigan student Halley Bass had claimed the attack was part of the surge of hate crimes which occurred soon after Trump had been elected.
Bass admitted to scratching her own face, fabricating the existence of the attacker, and the reasoning for the attack. She said she fabricated the incident because she was depressed from the results of the election. She wanted a “concrete reason to be scared” rather than talk out her problems with friends or fellow students.
Halley Bass admitted in court that she fabricated a story about a strange man scratching her face in downtown Ann Arbor on Nov. 15.
“I was suffering from depression at the time,” Bass told Judge Elizabeth Pollard Hines. “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.”
At the time, Bass claimed her attack was part of the surge in hate crimes following the election of Donald Trump a week earlier. She told police she was targeted for wearing a solidarity pin connected to Great Britain’s “Brexit” vote.
Bass admitted to scratching her own face with the pin after becoming upset during a Woman’s Literature class at the University of Michigan, according to the Ann Arbor Police Department report.
“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,” she said. “…It was more like I wanted a concrete reason to be scared then to just talk, I guess.”
The Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office authorized the misdemeanor against Bass on Jan. 30, records show.
She faces up to 93 days in jail and/or a $500 fine.