Campus police launched a hunt for the attacker while warning other female students to be on their guard.
It turned out Gullickson's claims closely matched a Craigslist ad that Gullickson admitted posting. When her fake "attacker" heard about the assault and the fear that had spread among other students he went to police and told them he answered the Craigslist ad by Gullickson who was seeking sex in a role play fantasy that involved her being kidnapped and raped. He related that he was instructed to grab her off the street, bound her with duct tape, force her to have sex, and then drop her off.
On Tuesday, March 26, 2013, Gullickson was arrested by campus police and pleaded guilty to filing a false police report.
Police said that Gullickson's iPhone contained so many responses to the ad that she wasunable to say which response came from the man she eventually met. Guillickson also allegedly asked some of the responders to pay her $100 for the privilege of participating in the fantasy with her.
On Thursday, March 28, 2013, Gullickson pleaded guilty in Cass County District Court to a single count of false information to law enforcement, a Class A misdemeanor. Prosecutors in the case asked for Gullickson to be sentenced to time served for the Class A misdemeanor, with a year of supervised probation during which she was set to receive a psychiatric evaluation and to follow through with the treatment recommended for her. Judge Douglas Herman approved the recommendation. She will also have to pay restitution, covering the cost of investigating the bogus rape claim. Prosecutors have 60 days to provide the bill to the court.
Gullickson blamed the false rape report on her boyfriend. He "forced" her to make the false claim, she alleged.
After Judge Herman noted that the initial report attracted a great deal of public attention, Gullickson said, “I don’t think that should be taken into consideration in my sentence.”
Writer Kiri Blakeley at The Stir said that "one of the saddest parts of this story" was that "there were so many texts from men responding to her ad that she couldn't even tell which reply came from the dude who had fake-raped her!"
It is not clear if Blakely thinks the men who responded to the request for consensual sex are "sadder" than the young woman who actually placed the ad, asked for money for sex, panicked the university community by lying about it, diverted precious police resources looking for an imaginary rapist, blamed her own boyfriend for her actions, and didn't think the publicity of the rape lie should be a factor in her sentence.
Personally, Ms. Blakely, I don't think that the "men" deserved a mention in this story. Their acts pale in comparison to a twisted rape lie told by a woman who does not appear to have accepted responsibility for her own misconduct.
Sources: here and here and here and here
In a bizarre twist, another college woman has been charged for engaging in the same sort of troubling conduct in an unrelated incident. In both cases, the community was warned to be vigilant because a rapist was on the loose. Here are three news stories about this incident:
Prosecutor: Woman in UC Santa Cruz rape hoax solicited attack on Craigslist
By Stephen Baxter
SANTA CRUZ -- A 20-year-old woman who admitted to fabricating a rape report at UC Santa Cruz solicited her attacker on Craigslist in exchange for sex, prosecutors said.
Morgan Triplett, a student at UC Santa Barbara, pleaded not guilty on Friday to a misdemeanor charge of making a false police report. She was ordered not to use the Internet except for schoolwork and continue mental health counseling.
In Santa Cruz County Superior Court, prosecutor Johanna Schonfield said Triplett's mental health problems played a role in the staged attack.
"Ms. Triplett essentially orchestrated this event," Schonfield said in court. "This case caused a lot of widespread fear in the community."
Triplett -- who appeared in court with her father and looked down for much of the hearing -- faces up to six months in jail if convicted.
She also faces court-ordered counseling and potential restitution to UC Santa Cruz police who facilitated a composite sketch, provided extra patrols and other services. The Feb. 17 report of Triplett's beating and purported rape kept many students on the campus on edge.
Schonfield said the prosecution was not necessarily aimed at sending a message about false police reports, but "about doing justice."
On Feb. 16, Triplett broke up with a boyfriend and posted ads twice on Craigslist that day for someone to harm her, prosecutors said.
"I am looking for a gun owner to shoot me in the arm/shoulder with the smallest caliber bullet possible," according to the post, which was quoted in court records.
"No charges will be filed and I am willing to compensate you. I need this to happen tonight, Feb. 16."
A second post that night titled "Seeking Strong Hand" said she wanted someone to "beat me up," including "punches, bruises and kicks."
Several men replied and a man came to the UCSC campus on Feb. 17. Triplett had been at UCSC to attend a Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender conference, prosecutors said.
Schonfield said Triplett met the man on campus and he agreed to beat her in exchange for sex.
"They had sex and afterwards she used a cellphone screen reflection as a mirror to see if the injuries were bad enough and then directed him to hit her some more," according to court records.
The man left and Triplett called 911, saying that she was looking for banana slugs on a path when a man attacked and raped her.
Police responded and Triplett was transported to Dominican hospital for her injuries, which included bruises to her head and torso, police said.
At the hospital, Triplett told authorities that she did not want her clothing taken for evidence, which "raised red flags in the minds of investigators," according to court records.
Triplett also asked that DNA samples taken from her body not be sent to the Department of Justice for tests, which also raised suspicions about the attack.
After news of the attack -- which supposedly happened at 12:30 p.m. -- several community meetings were convened on the UCSC campus. Police started a late-night shuttle service and warned people to be vigilant for the suspect.
On Feb. 28, UCSC police Chief Nader Oweis said the report was fabricated. Triplett admitted to police the report was false.
During the investigation, authorities talked to the man who attacked Triplett. He is not expected to be prosecuted, Schonfield said.
Triplett is due in court May 23 for a preliminary hearing in front of Judge John Gallagher, which will determine whether there is enough evidence to hold a trial.
Triplett was never arrested or jailed. She was released from court on Friday and declined to speak to reporters.
Student Who Claimed UCSC Rape Hired Man to Beat Her in Return for Sex, D.A. Says
Morgan Triplett, 20, from UC Santa Barbara took out two ads on Craigslist: one asking someone to shoot her in the shoulder; the other asking to be beaten in exchange for sex.
By Brad Kava Email the author March 29, 2013
SANTA CRUZ, CA -- The student who claimed to have been raped on the UC Santa Cruz campus reportedly had a man beat her and then have sex with her shortly before calling police and saying she was raped, the Santa Cruz District Attorney's office alleged Friday.
Morgan Triplett, 20, pleaded not guilty to all charges during a court appearance Friday.
Triplett was on the UCSC campus Feb. 16 and 17 for a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender conference, said Assistant District Attorney Johanna Schonfield, in an interview outside the courtroom Friday morning. She is a student at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Triplett took out two ads on Craigslist, one asking for someone to shoot her in the shoulder and the other asking to be beaten in return for sex. "No charges would be filed," the ads said, according to Schonfield.
UCSC police found the ads during an intensive investigation that started President's Day weekend, when the rape report terrified the campus. Schoenfeld has asked for reimbursement of the police costs as part of the sentence, if Triplett is convicted.
"She was suicidal and she wanted something to bring her back to reality," Schonfield said was the reason Triplett posted the ad asking to be shot.
"The second ad, which ultimately was the one responded to, was seeking someone with a strong hand to inflict punches, bruises and kicks and compensation was to be provided with sex."
A man answered the ad, beat Triplett, and had sex with her on campus Feb. 17, Schoenfeld said. The man, who she wouldn't name, is cooperating with investigators. He isn't from Santa Cruz, she said.
"Several people responded to the ad," said Schonfield.
Triplett then called 911 and said she was attacked, beaten and raped on a campus trail and gave police a description of the alleged attacker for a sketch. Ten days later, police said the rape claim was fake.
Triplett appeared in Santa Cruz County Court with her father, who asked that the court not allow photographs of her. "There's been enough damage already," he said.
Judge John Gallagher, however, allowed pictures after Schoenfeld argued that the public had a right to know about this case in light of the terror it caused on the UCSC campus.
Triplett's father, Richard Triplett, spoke with a Register-Pajaronian newspaper reporter outside of the courthouse. He disputed how the case was characterized. Read about it [below].
If convicted of the misdemeanor of filing a false police report, Triplett could get six months in county jail and pay restitution to police for the dozens of hours spent investigating the crime.
Schoenfeld asked that the student be allowed her freedom while waiting for a May 23 court date because Triplett is undergoing psychological treatment for depression. Judge Gallagher ordered her to stay off the Internet except for school work because, he said, her online activities were a major part of the case.
District Attorney Bob Lee sat in the courtroom during the hearing.
Woman who filed alleged false rape report pleads not guilty
Modified: Friday, Mar 29th, 2013
BY: TODD GUILD
SANTA CRUZ — The woman who allegedly falsely reported being sexually assaulted on the UC Santa Cruz campus Feb. 15 pleaded not guilty Friday, and she was released on her own recognizance.
Prosecutors and defense agreed that keeping her in jail before her next court date of May 23 was not appropriate, especially since Triplett is reportedly undergoing psychological treatment for depression.
Flanked by her father, Richard Triplett, and defense attorney Jack Lamar, Triplett quickly left the courthouse after the brief hearing.
Prosecutors said Friday that Triplett allegedly placed two ads on Craigslist, one requesting someone to shoot her in the shoulder with a small caliber gun in exchange for sex. The second ad was a request for someone to punch, kick and bruise her in exchange for sex.
In the ads, placed in the Santa Cruz County region of Craigslist, Triplett also stated that she would not file charges.
Prosecutor Johanna Schonfield said people did respond to the ads. One man reportedly beat Triplett, who was visiting UC Santa Cruz for a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender conference.
"She was suicidal, and she wanted something to almost bring her back to reality," Schonfeld said of Triplett’s reason for posting the ad.
In an interview outside court, Triplett’s father Richard Triplett disputed prosecutor’s claims, saying that the physical attack on his daughter was invited, but the sexual assault was not.
He said she gave a description of someone who doesn’t exist because she was scared of the man who responded to the ad.
“Morgan asked for some trouble, but she did not ask to be sexually assaulted,” he said.
He declined to elaborate, saying there are “two sides to every story.”
Richard Triplett said his daughter realized the impacts of filing the report.
“She is sorry for any problems or chaos that she has caused,” he said.
“What we're dealing with is a very scared, very upset, very confused 20-year-old girl who has made some poor choices,” he said. “This is the culmination of those choices.”
Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge John Gallagher ordered Triplett to avoid the Internet, except for schoolwork.
Schonfield told reporters outside the courtroom that police spent “dozens of man hours” investigating the case.
Schonfield said that she was not aware of any other false police reports in the past by Triplett.
Prosecutors say that Triplett, 20, called 911 and told police that she was severely beaten and sexually assaulted by a stranger she encountered while she was walking alone on a path between the upper quarry amphitheater and the classroom unit buildings on the UCSC campus looking for banana slugs.
Triplett had extensive bruises that corroborated her story. She was treated at Dominican Hospital.
During the sexual assault exam Triplett requested that DNA samples not be taken, which raised red flags for investigators, Schonfield said.
In a brief interview outside court Friday, Morgan Triplett declined to talk about the allegations, saying that the details will emerge later.
“Right now I just want this to settle down,” she said. “I’m trying to move on with my life.”