City Officials: Purported Hate Crime Was Faked

Friday, March 2nd 2007, 4:06 pm
By: News On 6

ADA, Okla. (AP) A woman who claimed two men threw her to the ground and one of them cut the word, "lesbian," into her forearm with a knife has admitted to fabricating the incident, Ada city officials said Friday.

Sarah Kaspereit, 21, showed police superficial wounds when she reported the incident in December in this city of about 15,000 people, 90 miles southeast of Oklahoma City.

"Both the FBI and local police conducted an investigation and ultimately determined the wounds were most likely self-inflicted," city spokesman Mark Bratcher said in a written statement.

"Kaspereit admitted that was indeed the case on March 1, almost three months after she initially filed the false report."

Police Sgt. Tracy Jackson said Kaspereit told an investigator she had inflicted the injury to herself and that nobody else was around when she did this.

"Kaspereit apologized for her actions and expressed remorse for the trouble she had caused," Jackson said.

After the attack, members of the Gay-Straight Alliance, a community organization based at East Central University, held a rally to raise awareness about threats to the gay community.

Police suspicions about the incident began early on. Kaspereit had said it occurred in front of her house on Dec. 4 and that she had screamed, but her neighbors told police they did not see or hear anything unusual.

Before this incident, gay rights advocates had become alarmed with a report of a potential hate crime in Pontotoc County outside of Ada. A woman had claimed that someone blindfolded her, bound her to a tree and wrote the word "Hellbound" in pen across her chest.

This incident was determined to be unfounded not long after it occurred, authorities said.

Ada Police Chief Mike Miller said he did not intend to file any charges against Kaspereit even though filing a false police report can be a misdemeanor crime.

"She's trying to fix her problems on her own," he said. "She never said what prompted her to do this. She's going through a lot of problems right now and trying to work them out."

Miller said the incident drew national attention.

"We were getting a lot of inquiries about it, local, state and even nationwide, calls, letters and e-mails," he said. "I'm just glad that this crime didn't happen here."