A Santa Barbara student who had the UC Santa Cruz campus up in arms over an alleged rape on campus has been charged with filing a false report to police, authorities announced Thursday.
Morgan Triplett, 20, was charged with a misdemeanor, punishable by as much as six months in jail, according to a prepared statement released by Santa Cruz County District Attorney Bob Lee.
Triplett told police she was raped and beaten on campus while looking for banana slugs on Feb. 17. After an intensive investigation by UCSC and Santa Cruz police, the woman recanted her story.
"After an extensive investigation it became apparent that the majority of the information that Ms. Triplett gave the officers was not in fact true," Lee said in the prepared statement.
In the wake of the alleged attack, the campus held a 300-person vigil and a meeting about security on campus with UCSC Police Chief Nader Oweis attended by 50 students.
"She created a lot of fear on campus," said Oweis. "There's still a sense of fear on campus because of the fabricated claims."
Another student put out a YouTube video questioning whether the rape was being covered up by the University, which was seen by more than 9,000 people and led many on campus to question officials' integrity. Comments were taken off the page after discussion got so heated.
According to background sources, Triplett took out an ad on Craigslist asking for someone to beat her up.
One of the investigators on the case was Santa Cruz Police Det. Elizabeth Butler, who was murdered in an unrelated incident while working on this investigation.
Triplett will make her first court appearance within the next week, according to the District Attorney's Office.