Three Students Fake Hate Crime, Only Earns Them Probation, Community Service

Asha Burwell, Ariel Agudio and Alexis Briggs all maintained they were accosted by men on a Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) bus, called the “N” word and other racial slurs. The confrontation got physical and some insults were hurled by both sides. The women called 911 shortly after the incident.

What the trio failed to realize was that the bus was equipped with 12 different cameras, including some with audio capability, that captured the incident in detail. None of the alleged “N” word slurs were found on the recordings.

Briggs pleaded guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct last summer. She apologized for lying about the incident and was sentenced to 100 hours of community service. She was not compelled to testify against Burwell and Agudio.

They were convicted in April on two counts of falsely reporting an incident and faced up to two years in jail. However, the judge saw no reason to sentence the women to jail time because they had faced “significant consequences” already.”

Judge Roger McDonough sentenced the two women to three years of probation and two years of community service. He said the women’s false actions hurt people involved in legitimate hate crime cases.

What’s clear…is you chose to selfishly manipulate the village, just like the boy who cried wolf.” He added, “I don't think there's any benefit in sentencing you to a jail term. No benefit for society and no benefit for you.”

Burwell and Agudio were expelled from the university in May and Briggs was suspended for two years.

Attorneys for Burwell and Agudio have 30 days to decide whether or not to file an appeal. Otherwise the two women will be on probation until June 16, 2020.

I think there’s no question that Ms. Agudio and Ms. Burwell were prosecuted, brought to trial and convicted, and now sentenced because they dared to say that they experienced a racial incident,” Agudio's attorney Mark Mishler said after the sentencing.

The proliferation of hate crime hoaxes involving Muslims and African-Americans has hurt the ability of those who have legitimate complaints to get justice. More often, the charges of Islamophobia and racism have lost their sting because hoaxes like the one in Albany pull down the credibility of legitimate cases.

Source: Fox News




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