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 Heads to Trial for False Rape Report

Morgan Triplett Accused of Hiring Man Through Craigslist to Beat Her in Exchange for Sex

Wednesday, May 8, 2013
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The trial for a UCSB student charged with filing a false police report after orchestrating a violent and bizarre series of events in Santa Cruz this February is scheduled to begin May 23.

Morgan Triplett, 20, told authorities she was beaten and raped by a stranger as she looked for banana slugs along a path on the UC Santa Cruz (UCSC) campus. She had traveled there for a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender conference. Over the course of their investigation, detectives determined Triplett had actually hired a man through Craigslist to beat her in exchange for sex. While the motive remains unclear, authorities have speculated she organized the entire affair in an attempt to save a troubled relationship.

Efforts to reach Triplett have been unsuccessful, and messages left with her attorney — Santa Cruz public defender Jack Lamar — have not been returned. If convicted of the misdemeanor charge, she faces up to six months in jail. She pleaded not guilty during her March 29 arraignment.

In the criminal complaint, Santa Cruz County Assistant District Attorney Johanna Schonfield claims that Triplett called 9-1-1 on February 17 to report she had been raped. Law enforcement arrived on the scene, interviewed Triplett, found no suspects, and sent her to a nearby hospital for a sexual assault exam. But, the complaint explains, Triplett refused to give the nurse her clothing despite being told it could contain evidence, and she asked that DNA samples not be sent to the Department of Justice, “which raised red flags in the minds of the investigators.”

Triplett helped a forensic artist sketch an image of the supposed suspect that was then disseminated to the public. As a result, several people were detained and questioned. Parents pulled their children out of school, Schonfield said, and “widespread fear” permeated the community.

Over the next few weeks, “police learned Ms. Triplett has a history of lying, particularly in efforts to save troubled relationships,” Schonfield wrote. The day before she filed the report, Triplett and her boyfriend at the time had broken up. “In response to the ending of this relationship, she claimed she was pregnant with her boyfriend’s child, which was not true,” the complaint reads. “She also previously had told this boyfriend her father had suffered from a heart attack, which he had not, that she had been lost in the desert with amnesia, and that she had ovarian cancer, none of which was true.”

That same day — February 16 — Triplett reportedly posted two ads on Craigslist. One sought a gun owner who would shoot her in the arm or shoulder “with the smallest caliber bullet possible.” She promised she wouldn’t press charges and offered undefined compensation. The other ad asked for someone to beat her up. “Punches, bruises, kicks,” she wrote.

An unnamed individual responded to the second ad and began texting with Triplett. “The two reached an agreement that in exchange for the physical assault Ms. Triplett would have sexual intercourse with him,” Schonfield said. They met February 17 on UCSC’s campus. “Ms. Triplett directed him to hit her repeatedly in the body and face. They had sex and afterwards she used his cell phone screen reflection as a mirror to see if the injuries were bad enough and then directed him to hit her some more.” They parted ways, and Triplett called 9-1-1.

“During the course of the investigation it became very clear that Ms. Triplett is a very troubled young woman who was engaged in self-injurious behavior and been suicidal at points,” the complaint concludes.

Outside a Santa Cruz courtroom after her arraignment in March, Triplett’s father, Richard Triplett, told the Register-Pajaronian that his daughter did arrange to be beaten, but was then forcibly raped. “Morgan asked for some trouble, but she did not ask to be sexually assaulted,” he said. “There are two sides to every story.”

Richard Triplett went on to say Morgan is remorseful for the entire incident. “She is sorry for any problems or chaos that she has caused,” he told the Register-Pajaronian. “What we’re dealing with is a very scared, very upset, very confused 20-year-old girl who has made some poor choices. This is the culmination of those choices.”

For her part, Morgan simply stated, “Right now, I just want this to settle down. I’m trying to move on with my life.”


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Why is nothing reported here about the individual she hired to beat her? Was he detained? Isn't there something with which this man should be charged? Or is it legal to beat someone with their consent/payment for services rendered?

MesaJim (anonymous profile)
May 8, 2013 at 11:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Some people just want to be a victim, the media encourages it (Nancy Grace etc.)

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 8, 2013 at 12:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You would know douch bag..just kidding..

Byrd (anonymous profile)
May 8, 2013 at 2:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I know several d-bags Byrd, some are mutual friends! (just kidding)

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 8, 2013 at 2:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Contrary to the assertion of her father it appears that there is only one side to this kinda comical story. Went to a lesbo convention and then had a strange man beat you in exchange for hetero sex! Wow, my life is sure pedestrian in comparison.

Geez, d-bags acknowledging that they are mutual d-bags? Is there no shame left in our lil' burb? C'mon you two scamps, sign up for a free self esteem class and betta' yo selves...

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
May 8, 2013 at 9:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm way worse than Byrd, he tries but I'm far more repulsive. But I'm not as lame as the girl in this article.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 8, 2013 at 10:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Italiansurg: I take issue with your quote about "lesbo convention". I believe that since the word "lesbo" refers to a person/group of people, the word should be capitalized. Same thing (Ken) with "d-bags". Am I wrong?...I believe these are nouns and as such should be capitalized.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
May 9, 2013 at 1:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

had no idea you were so into grammar, BC! Would you capitalize "tea bagger"? Seriously now...

DrDan (anonymous profile)
May 9, 2013 at 4:20 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Suggests parents are clueless also. Likely child abuse victim. She's a Jody Arias in the making. Dad, hide your guns when she starts dating again. Oh, darn sex-for-guns, she can get a gun anytime.
"Beware, they look like us", title of my book in progress.
There are many people like this out there, and they hide in plain sight and can act normal outdoors....beware! Natural born liars are hard to spot.

khiggler (anonymous profile)
May 9, 2013 at 7:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

KV-I am laughing out loud after reading your comment and folks around me are looking at me as if I am as bonkers as the girl in this story.
Any hot Lesbo's/lesbo's wanna pleasure me and kick my butt?

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
May 9, 2013 at 12:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

DrDan: This thread was already going down the toilet so I simply decided to flush it.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
May 9, 2013 at 3:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

But Bill, it got clogged on the way down.
I'm gonna hire someone to argue with me on this site.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 9, 2013 at 3:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I think the title of "Drama Queen" fits the person this article is about.

GluteousMaximus (anonymous profile)
May 9, 2013 at 7:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It is obvious this kid has a Mental Illness and needs medical help. I find it interesting how callous the peanut galley can be.

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
May 9, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It may appear callous but there's bona fide rape victims from whom she stole resources; as well as having created a bad precedent in the minds of less evolved people. Rape is a serious charge. Imagine if someone had been tried and wrongly convicted.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 9, 2013 at 7:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Hey Kehiggler, you said:
"There are many people like this out there, and they hide in plain sight and can act normal outdoors....beware! Natural born liars are hard to spot."
Not true. Kasi Beutel can be seen in public at "Coffee with a Cop" events around town, and anyone with a brain knows she is a NBL.

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
May 10, 2013 at 7:55 a.m. (Suggest removal)

hey darryl, be careful, that padager you have for beutel will hinder blood flow to your already overworked heart.

lawdy (anonymous profile)
May 10, 2013 at 8:38 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Hey Lawdy, are you sure your autocorrect didn't scuttle your post?:
Merriam-Webster's dictionary:
The word you've entered isn't in the dictionary. Click on a spelling suggestion below or try again using the search bar above."
I have a pretty descent sized vocabulary and that word was not in mine either, which is why I had to consult a dictionary. You are obviously in possession of greater literary talent than I.

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
May 10, 2013 at 9:06 a.m. (Suggest removal)

nope. padager.

lawdy (anonymous profile)
May 10, 2013 at 9:15 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Lawdy - I just about fell over laughing when I googled "padager"!

sacjon (anonymous profile)
May 10, 2013 at 1:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Okay, following sacjon's advice, I trashed the dictionary and Googled it.
Lawdy, that was funny. Not accurate, but very funny. Thanks for teaching me a new word I can use in court without much fear of being contempted!

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
May 11, 2013 at 6:31 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Who wants to bet that she won't do any time, and will get off very easy? Come on I got some greenbacks on this one.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
May 13, 2013 at 6:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Not taking that bet.

She might plead NGI.

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2013 at 5:38 a.m. (Suggest removal)

How many UCSB students actually get any kind of sever punishment? Even the "Angel of Death" is on his way out, and he murdered 4 people.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2013 at 8:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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