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Police say lesbian student faked threatening, anti-gay notes

Tuesday, July 3, 2012
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NEW BRITAIN, Conn. — A lesbian student at Central Connecticut State University, who claimed she was harassed by an anonymous person who left threatening, anti-gay notes under her door, has been charged with writing the notes herself.

Alexandra E. Pennell, 19, faces eight felony counts of fabricating evidence, eight misdemeanor charges of lying to police, eight misdemeanor counts of filing a false police report and one count of making a false statement to police, reported the Hartford Courant.

Alexandra Pennell

The incidents date back to March 7, when Pennell first reported that anti-gay notes were slipped under her door several times and written on a dry erase board on her door.

Reports of the threatening messages, which Pennell claimed she received on at least eight separate occasions, sparked a March 13 rally at CCSU where students protested against hate crimes.

It was on that date, around 4 p.m. — just before Pennell headed off to speak at the campus rally against hate — Pennell reported to police that she found another harassing note that had been left when she went to take a shower.

The video surveillance system police left in Pennell’s room to identify the person leaving the notes had been disabled just before the note was allegedly slid under Pennell’s door.

Police say only after they set up a second camera in a hall closet ā€” a camera that Pennell did not know about ā€” did they learn the truth: Pennell had been writing the notes herself.

Pennell told police she faked the notes to get her roommate’s attention with the hope that her roommate, Siobhan Dooley, would spend more time with her.

Pennell has been thrown out of CCSU and prohibited from attending any state university for five years.

She has pleaded not guilty and is due back in court July 26 in New Britain, Conn.

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