Twists in UC Santa Cruz Rape Hoax Case

Another twist happened in the case of a woman who police said faked being violently raped on the University of California at Santa Cruz campus last month.

According to sister station KSBW, Morgan Triplett, 20, appeared in court for a hearing Friday and pleaded not guilty to one misdemeanor count of filing a false police report. Triplett is a UC Santa Barbara student and was visiting UC Santa Cruz's campus the day of the alleged Feb. 16 rape hoax.

During Friday's hearing, Assistant District Attorney Joanna Schonfield revealed that investigators believe Triplett posted two ads on Craigslist a few days before the incident.

In one ad, Triplett offered to have sex with anyone who would shoot her in the shoulder with a small caliber bullet, Schonfield said. When no one responded to that ad, the college student posted a second Craigslist ad asking someone to "punch, kick and bruise her," and promised she would not file any charges against the person.

Several people responded to the second Craigslist agreeing to go along with Triplett's plan.

A man met Triplett at UC Santa Cruz, beat her up, and Triplett called 911 to say a stranger had just beaten and raped her on a walking path in broad daylight, Schonfield said.

Defense lawyers and prosecutors agreed that locking the student in jail until her next May 23 court date was not appropriate. The judge required some conditions before Triplett was allowed to leave court on her own recognizance Friday. Triplett may only use the Internet to complete school work and she must continue psychological counseling sessions in Santa Barbara where she lives.

Triplett's father, Richard Triplett, covered his daughter's face as she was whisked in and out of the Santa Cruz County courthouse.

As far as a motive for carrying out the hoax, Schoenfield said Triplett was suicidal.

"Part of the prompting for posting these ads was thoughts of suicide, depression, and wanting somebody to hurt her to almost bring her back to life," Schoenfield said.

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