A 21 year-old Michigan Student pleaded guilty to manufacturing a hate crime. Halley Bass, who claimed she was attacked for wearing a liberal ‘solidarity pin’ in November, admitted that she lied about the whole thing according to a local paper.
“I was suffering from depression at the time,” Bass told the court. “I made a superficial scratch on my face. It was visible and I was embarrassed about what I’d done. So, I made up a story and told a friend that a stranger had done it while I was walking. I was encouraged to report it to the police. I made the mistake of doing that.”
She claimed the assault was part of an alleged ‘spike’ in violence in the wake of President Trump’s election surprise and the UK’s Brexit vote, and that she was attacked for wearing a ‘solidarity pin’.
“The person must have seen the pin and picked on me,” Bass says in the police report. “That’s my best guess. No other reason why he would be targeting me.”
Bass and her Ann Arbor-based attorney, Douglas Mullkoff, requested that she be sentenced through the 15th District’s mental health court. Hines said if court officials determine Bass is eligible, Bass will be sentenced by Judge Karen Valvo in that court on March 22.
She faces up to 93 days in jail and/or a $500 fine.
Bass originally told police that she got out of class at Angell Hall around 1 p.m. and walked to the Starbuck’s on the corner of East Liberty Street and South State Street, but left because it was too crowded, according to the report. Bass said she then went to the Michigan Theater down Liberty to see what movies were playing and that while she was passing by “Graffiti Alley” a short time later a man attacked her, slashing her face with what she believed was a safety pin, the report said.
Bass told police the attack was likely prompted by the Brexit pin.
“(The) person must have seen the pin and picked on me,” Bass said, according to the report. “That’s my best guess. No other reason why he would be targeting me.”
Police asked Bass if something like that ever happened to her before.
“I’ve heard of other people experiencing incidents recently, but not to me,” she said.
The police noted several scratches on her face.
Bass described the suspect as an approximately 45-year-old white male, with stubble on his face, wearing a black baseball hat pulled low over his face, a gray hoodie with the hood down and sweat pants.
She has now admitted to making up the suspect.