SANTA CRUZ - A 20-year-old woman who faked being raped by a stranger at the University of California Santa Cruz pleaded "no contest" Thursday to filing a false police report.
UC Santa Barbara student Morgan Triplett did not appear in Santa Cruz County Court as her lawyer changed her plea from "not guilty" to "no contest."
As part of the plea deal, Triplett must write a letter of apology to UC Santa Cruz, serve 60 days in a jail work release program, volunteer 200 hours of community service, and undergo 60 days of mental health therapy, and serve three years probation.
Prosecutors dropped one probation term that would have barred Triplett from using Craigslist.com and online social media.
On Feb. 16, Triplett posted ads on Craigslist soliciting someone to beat her up on UCSC's campus in exchange for sex, and several interested people responded to the ads, according to prosecutors.
The following day, the UC Santa Barbara student visited UC Santa Cruz to attend a conference for lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender students. She met up with a man who responded to her Craigslist ad, and he beat her up.
- So is he being arrested for domestic violence / assault?
"They had sex, and afterwards she used a cellphone screen reflection as a mirror to see if the injuries were bad enough. (Triplett) then directed him to hit her some more," court records stated.
Triplett called 911 and told dispatchers that she was searching for banana slugs at UCSC when a stranger brutally raped her in broad daylight on a walking path, Assistant District Attorney Joanna Schonfield said.
After an 11-day, around-the-clock investigation, UCSC Police Chief Nader Oweis concluded the entire incident was a hoax and said Triplett confessed to staging it.
UC Santa Cruz Spokesman Jim Burns said the university will gladly accept an apology.
"Would we accept it? Yeah, I'm sure. This was a traumatic event that really unnecessarily traumatized not only members of the campus community but (also) members of the larger Santa Cruz community," Burns told KSBW's Phil Gomez.
According to her Facebook page, Triplett works as an HIV test counselor at Pacific Pride Foundation, is a member of UCSB's Queer Student Union, and is majoring in sociology at UC Santa Barbara.