Ben Johnson contributed to this report.
Mary (no last name was given in the interview), who in 2004 caused a tumult in her California town when bigoted remarks appeared on her locker, told Buzzfeed's Sandra Allen that she faked it all because “I hadn’t done” homework assigned at least a week earlier. “None of it. Hadn’t read anything, hadn’t done the notes. I don’t remember what the assignment was, but it was something that we had a week or two to do and I hadn’t done any of it.”
“So I broke into the locker room and I graffitied my locker,” she said.
According to Mary, “The first or second period of the day, they called me out of the office. They said, ‘You can go home if you want to.’ I was like, Sweet. I went home and did my homework.”
Things progressed. At one point, Mary claimed she had been hit with an egg in the face. Two local boys were arrested at gunpoint as possible suspects, and a vigil with at least 250 people was held to stand with her.
Yet the crimes kept happening throughout the school year, and threatening phone calls began to be made to several homosexual teachers.
Mary said she targeted the teachers in an attempt to force them out of the closet.
Eventually, Mary admitted she had committed all of the crimes. Mary, who described her actions as “totally selfish,” says some of her actions were stress-induced, including the divorce of her parents, her sister leaving for college, issues with teachers, and normal teenage uncertainty.
After the truth was known, Mary turned to cough medicine to get high, bought a gun for her own suicide, and spent 24 hours in a psychiatric institution. As punishment for her crimes, Mary had to pay restitution to her school, attend parole meetings with an officer, and volunteered at the school for community service.
Mary is not alone in her dishonest representation of alleged hate against homosexuals. In 2012, a lesbian woman in Iowa named Charlie Rogers faked an anti-gay “hate crime” that included tying herself up, carving a cross into her own chest, and writing hateful words on her arms and stomach. She claimed her attackers tried to set her house on fire.
Eventually, she admitted that all of the claims were false, after police failed to find evidence matching her story. Police became suspicious because she gave different versions of the story in each of the four interviews they did with her. She was sentenced to seven days in jail and probation for making a false report.
In 2013, Sarah Bray tearfully complained that an Indianpolis Catholic hospital would not let her visit her girlfriend. However, officials actually kept Bray out of the hospital room because they suspected that she had actually beaten the woman unconscious and told hospitals the female had overdosed on prescription drugs. The girlfriend's family said the homosexual domestic abuse had gone on for years.
Likewise, a 15-year-old transgender student in California falsely claimed she was sexually assaulted by three men in a high school restroom as part of a “hate crime” last year, but within two hours of police questioning admitted she made the story up.
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Late last year, New Jersey waitress Dayna Morales said that customers refused to leave her a tip because they do not “agree with your lifestyle.” However, the couple who dined there recognized their bill on television and said, “She's doctored up our check!” Outraged readers began sending her money, which she promised to donate to the Wounded Warrior Project. Morales was exposed when her friends described her as an habitual liar, and the veterans organization said she did not donate the money.
In a case of opportunism, one man claimed he was assaulted for being a homosexual, but it turned out he injured himself doing an unsuccessful backflip after spending the evening drinking.