A 19-year-old Muslim student from the University of Michigan could spend the next four years in jail or be fined with $2,000 if the jury finds her guilty. Her identity remains undisclosed by the law enforcement officers until the police department charges her with a crime, says Lt. Matthew Lige, a detective with the Ann Arbor Police Department.
In November, the student filed a report stating that an intoxicated man threatened to set her ablaze if she didn’t remove her hijab. According to her description, the man was in his 20s or 30s, athletic build, average height and disheveled appearance. Her statement says that the suspect cornered her outside the Ann Arbor campus on November 11th, around 7 p.m. and threatened to set fire to her clothes with a lighter.
Police officials launched an investigation right away. However, officers with the Ann Arbor Police Department, University of Michigan officials, and FBI agents found numerous inconsistencies with her story after analyzing video feeds and pulling statements from multiple witnesses.
The results of the investigation have been turned over to the prosecutor’s office. In light of the events, Washtenaw County prosecution is deciding whether to charge the student with filing a false report. Under Michigan law, the act of intimidation that turned out to be a hoax the student reported to authorities is punishable with either four years in jail or a fine of $2,000.
The recent findings come only a week after another 18-year-old Muslim woman from Long Island, New York, claimed three men under the influence of alcohol assaulted her while chanting “Donald Trump” on December 3rd. After the authorities could not find any evidence to support her claims, police officials brought her in on charges of filing a false report and obstructing government administration.
Many other similar incidents occurred in several parts of the U.S. shortly after the presidential elections. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, roughly 1,000 reports have been filed by Muslims, immigrants, African-Americans, and other minorities involving intimidation and harassment accusations shortly after President-elect Donald Trump won the elections. Some of the reports pointed to more serious allegations such as direct attacks or vandalism acts.
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