Friday, July 12, 2013

Woman who allegedly solicited her own attack then falsely cried rape is offered plea deal: 60 days and a written apology

Last February, when Morgan Triplett was attending a conference for Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgendered students, she reported that she was raped on the UCSC campus by a man who came out of the woods and attacked her behind the student union. Several people were detained and questioned. The report terrorized women on campus and led to community meetings about safety fears.

After investigation, UCSC Police linked her to an ad posted on Craigslist asking for a strong man to exchange beating her in return for sex. On Feb. 16, Triplett had broken up with a boyfriend. That same day, she posted ads twice on Craigslist for someone to harm her, according to prosecutors. "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."

According to the criminal complaint, on February 17 on UCSC’s campus, a man answered the ad. "Ms. Triplett directed him to hit her repeatedly in the body and face. They had sex and afterwards she used his cell phone screen reflection as a mirror to see if the injuries were bad enough and then directed him to hit her some more.” They parted ways, and Triplett called 9-1-1. Then she called police.

Triplett has been offered a chance to go to jail or a work program for 60 days by the Santa Cruz County District Attorney's office. In the deal offered before Judge John Gallagher, Assistant District Attorney Johanna Schonfield asked for a doubling of the hours of mandatory counseling Triplett would receive to 60 hours. Triplett didn't appear in court. Her public defender Jack Lamar will discuss the terms with his client and they are due back in court July 25.

The new terms passed by Judge Gallagher include a possible ban from social media sites including Craigslist for the remainder of her probation. The terms also include a written letter of apology to UCSC and its faculty, staff, administration, and students, the admission of a false report, and standard fines.