“Cops: Student made up campus attack,” by Russell Working for the Chicago Tribune via ChicagoBreakingNews, October 17 (thanks to Axel and Peter):
A Muslim student who said a masked gunman assaulted her after he wrote anti-Muslim slurs in a women’s restroom at Elmhurst College has been arrested for filing a false police report, officials said today.
A week after the incident roiled the small college, Elmhurst Police Chief Steve Neubauer said officers had cited Safia Z. Jilani, 19, of Oak Brook, on a single count of filing a false police report. Filing a false police report is a Class 4 felony, punishable by one to three years in prison.
The announcement — made jointly by Elmhurst Police, the college and the DuPage County state’s attorneys office — concluded there was no merit to her complaint.
“The totality of all the evidence, and interviews with staff and students at the college … concluded that this incident never happened,” Neubauer said in a phone interview.
Jilani’s report followed several weeks of tension on campus that began when some students allegedly called anti-Muslim slurs at students protesting the treatment of U.S. captives at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp.
As officials at the private college affiliated with the United Church of Christ last Friday called the incident a hate crime, hundreds of students rallied to show solidarity with their Muslim peers, who constitute about 25 of the school’s 3,300 students.
The college beefed up security, including foot and car patrols by Elmhurst police, and campus security offered to escort Muslim students around the campus.
And all because of a lie.
More details here: “Police: Student made up story of being attacked,” from the Chicago Sun-Times, October 17 (thanks to Axel):
A Muslim student who claimed she was attacked at Elmhurst College in what school officials described as a hate crime has now been charged with making up the story.
Safia Z. Jilani, 19, of Oak Brook, told police that on Oct. 9, a masked, male attacker struck her in the head with a handgun after she entered a restroom in the Schaible Science Center on campus, according to a release from Elmhurst police.
Police found threatening graffiti — “Kill the Muslims” — written on a mirror in the restroom, students and police said. Earlier Thursday, the victim had spoken at a demonstration called to denounce anti-Islamic slurs and a swastika she had discovered Oct. 2 on her locker, school officials said.
But late Friday afternoon, Elmhurst police announced that a weeklong investigation determined the assault never occurred; there was no gunman; and Jilani was arrested on a warrant for filing a false police report, a Class 4 felony punishable by up to 3 years in prison.
Bond was set at $10,000 for Jilani, who posted $1,000 and was released, according to DuPage County State”s Attorney”s office spokesman Paul Darrah. Her next court hearing is Nov. 17 at 8:30 a.m. before Judge Kathryn Creswell.
The initial report of the attack triggered a lockdown at the college while police searched the campus and prompted hundreds of students to rally again the following day to protest the incident.
Officials at the 3,300-student private college — which has about 30 Muslim students — denounced the attack and promised to increase security on campus, including offers of rides for Muslim students to and from classes.