Morgan Triplett's father attempts to hide her face from photographers as she leaves a Santa Cruz courtroom

Brad Kava / Santa Cruz Patch

Morgan Triplett's father attempts to hide her face from photographers as she leaves a Santa Cruz courtroom

UCSB Student Sentenced for Fake Rape Report

Morgan Triplett Ordered to 60 Days in Jail and Three Years of Probation

Friday, July 26, 2013
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A UCSB student charged with filing a false rape report after she solicited a man to beat her up in exchange for sex was sentenced Thursday to 60 days in Santa Barbara County Jail and three years of probation. As part of her no contest plea, 20-year-old Morgan Triplett is also required to complete 200 hours of community service, undergo 60 hours of mental-health treatment, and pay a $710 fine.

Triplett had traveled to UC Santa Cruz in February for a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender conference where, according to authorities, she organized a strange and perverse scenario in a desperate attempt to save a troubled relationship.

On February 17, Triplett called 9-1-1 to report she had been raped while looking for banana slugs along one of UCSC’s campus paths. Though she gave a detailed description of the supposed suspect, which prompted detectives to detain and question several people and put the Santa Cruz community on high alert, authorities became suspicious when Triplett refused to provide her clothing as evidence or allow DNA samples to be sent away for testing.

Over the course of their 11-day investigation, police determined Triplett had instead actually met a man through Craigslist who agreed to kick and punch her and be paid afterward with sex. Triplett would eventually admit to fabricating the rape incident. Johanna Schonfield, Santa Cruz County assistant district attorney, said the male subject was not charged with any crimes because there was no evidence to suggest he knew Triplett was going to submit a false police report. And since the hitting was consented to, he couldn’t be charged with battery, Schonfield explained.

In March 2012, Triplett contacted the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office to report someone had tried to rape her as she took out her trash in Isla Vista, where she resides. She alleged a man approached her from behind, put a knife to her neck, and tried to pull down her pants. A skateboarder riding by the scene scared the purported suspect away, she told detectives. No suspects were ever identified or caught, Schonfield said, and it’s not known if the report was truthful or not. In both instances, Schonfield noted, Triplett claimed her attacker smelled of cigarette smoke.

Triplett’s attorney, Santa Cruz public defender Jack Lamar, was unavailable for comment, but Schonfield said she heard from him that Triplett is currently in counseling and is close to graduating UCSB with a bachelor’s degree in sociology.

Schonfield said false rape reports are extremely rare and hopes this unusual case will not dissuade women who were actually assaulted from coming forward.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

why only a $710 fine? shouldn't they itemize the entire cost of the law enforcement resources allocated to this fiasco and send her the bill?

StockiestCastle (anonymous profile)
July 26, 2013 at 4:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)




typo (anonymous profile)
July 26, 2013 at 5:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

My last speeding ticket cost more than that and I did not try to falsely get someone convicted of a felony or advertise to have someone beat me up and have sex with me...
A nutty end to a nutty case with a completely nutty female. Thank goodness she will graduate from UCSB with a degree in sociology and after 60 hours of counseling be cured of being a complete nitwit....

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
July 27, 2013 at 7:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

no need to e-shout at me, typo, or is your caps lock key stuck? why would i care for someone who actively seeks to ruin the lives of other people for attention? i care about the law enforcement and santa cruz community who lost sleep over her fake allegations. i see a pathological liar who is diminishing the perceived value of my alma mater. she should be expelled for using a university campus as the stage for her little tragedy.

StockiestCastle (anonymous profile)
July 27, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. (Suggest removal)

She should get the same sentence as a rapist. What if someone went to jail and was labeled a sex offender for life because of her actions?

Botany (anonymous profile)
July 27, 2013 at 11:57 a.m. (Suggest removal)

BREAKING: "italiansurg", charged with speeding, was sentenced Thursday to 60 days in Santa Barbara County Jail and three years of probation. As part of their no contest plea, italiansurg is also required to complete 200 hours of community service, undergo 60 hours of mental-health treatment, and pay a more-than-$710 fine.

typo (anonymous profile)
July 27, 2013 at 12:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

castle dwellers prefer to care about money more than humans.

spacey (anonymous profile)
July 28, 2013 at 11:59 a.m. (Suggest removal)

the comments that are snarky and sarcastic about the poor little darlings rights are obviously her lesbian pals - lesbians are more irrational that straight women ; feeling as though their snotty teenage attitudes are somehow proof of the superiority of their lifestyle ; proof right above :
" castle dwellers care more about money than humans " actually you have that backwards ; your little rape victim cares more about herself than any other human ..

harryhaller (anonymous profile)
July 29, 2013 at 9:15 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The fake banana slug search is icing on the cake for this incredibly bizarre episode.

rubenken (anonymous profile)
July 29, 2013 at 9:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Once again the US justice system lets the little white girl off.

DarNel (anonymous profile)
July 29, 2013 at 10:57 a.m. (Suggest removal)

nice one hairy. I did feel the need to clarify for somebody, but for you, heck, you did it all for me by outing yourself the way you did. My critique? Economics > People = downfall. Actually had nothing to do with all your baggage.

spacey (anonymous profile)
July 29, 2013 at 12:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Harry Palms

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 29, 2013 at 12:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

UCSB is extremely hard to get into but stories like this are proof that even stupid people can attend and may actually graduate!

buckwheat (anonymous profile)
July 29, 2013 at 1:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

What's a banana slug?

JohnDouglas (anonymous profile)
July 30, 2013 at 1:13 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The future; I expect she'll never hurt anyone again?
The future; I expect she'll repeat this event regularly?

Google people's names that you meet and "Beware, THEY look like us"

khiggler (anonymous profile)
July 30, 2013 at 7:43 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Looks like papa is doing what she claimed someone else did to her. What a piece of work, this chick, eh? Wolf!

Draxor (anonymous profile)
July 30, 2013 at 8:37 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I hope this is a lesson to anyone who thinks they can just make up false charges. It's not so easy, and there is punishment. Yes, this is bizarre and this young woman needs a skilled mental health professional to help her figure out what made her want to do this. There are a significant number of people who need to be beaten up in order for them to allow themselves to have sex, but they don't turn their partners in as rapists. Kinky sex requires mutual trust. She broke all the rules. And most people have a hard time understanding the desire to be hurt in the first place. But making a false claim of rape is against the law.

Shira (anonymous profile)
July 30, 2013 at 9:28 a.m. (Suggest removal)

spacey, i'm guessing the castle dwellers comment was directed at me. you clearly didn't read my comment, i care more about the lives of the many service people and community members she terrorized than her as an individual. though i still think her family should be liable for the trouble she caused.

StockiestCastle (anonymous profile)
August 3, 2013 at 9:28 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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