CRIME
04/02/2013 01:08 pm ET | Updated Apr 02, 2013

Morgan Triplett, UCSB Student, Hired Man To Beat Her, Then Filed Rape Report With Police: D.A.

A California student accused of filing a false rape report with police had placed an ad on Craigslist in which she sought to hire someone to beat her in exchange for sex, according to prosecutors.

Morgan Triplett, a 20-year-old student at the University of California, Santa Barbara, pleaded not guilty to charges in court March 29.

Prosecutors said a police investigation revealed that the young woman had placed two separate ads on Craigslist on Feb. 16, while visiting UC Santa Cruz for a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender conference. In the first ad, Triplett wrote that she wanted to hire someone to shoot her. In the other, posted later that night, the woman wrote that she wanted someone with a "strong hand" to "punch, kick and bruise her," stated that she would compensate the participant with sex, and said that "no charges would be filed," according to police.

In an interview outside court on Friday, Assistant District Attorney Johanna Schonfield told Santa Cruz Patch (which, like The Huffington Post, is owned by AOL) that Triplett placed the ads because she "was suicidal and she wanted something to bring her back to reality."

Triplett wrote in the first ad, which was quoted in court records, that she was looking for someone to shoot her in the arm or shoulder "with the smallest caliber bullet possible," according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Schonfield said several people responded to the second ad. One of them, a man who is now cooperating with police, met with Triplett on the UC Santa Cruz campus Feb. 17, beat her and had sex with her as planned.

Court records stated that after having sex, Triplett "used a cellphone screen reflection as a mirror to see if [her] injuries were bad enough" then told the man to "hit her some more," according to NBC Central California affiliate KSBW.

Afterward, Triplett called 911 and claimed she had been raped on a campus trail. She provided UC Santa Cruz police with a description of her attacker, but police determined the rape report was false 10 days later.

"Ms. Triplett essentially orchestrated this event," Schonfield said in court. "This case caused a lot of widespread fear in the community."

In an interview with the Register-Pajaronian, Triplett's father disputed prosecutor’s claims, saying that the physical attack on his daughter was invited, but the sexual assault was not.

According to the San Jose Mercury News Triplett could face up to six months in jail, if convicted, and could be made to pay restitution to the UC Santa Cruz police.

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