(Newsweek) “Every single one in this photo will get what is coming to them,” read the ominous Instagram message sent to several students of color at the University of La Verne, east of Los Angeles, in March 2019.
The accompanying black-and-white photo was of a group of outspoken students who were well-known on campus for organizing anti-racism protests. Seen in the photo: Anayeli Dominguez Peña, a Mexican-American graduate student and vocal social-justice campaigner…
“One of the elements of every hate crime hoax is a cinematic story,” says Wilfred Reilly, an assistant professor of criminal justice at Kentucky State University and author of the 2019 book, “Hate Crime Hoax.”
As part of his research, he compiles alleged hate incidents in the U.S. Last year, he categorized the incidents reported at ULV as having a high probability of being hoaxes. “When you have alleged victims who are part of activist subcultures, you should apply more suspicion, especially when you see GoFundMe efforts to raise money.”
While Dominguez Peña did not benefit financially from crowdfunding, Robertson-Stewart says she told him and others at his graduation that the university granted her financial reprieve, though he does not know for how much. He says the university waived his own housing costs in the spring semester because he was a victim in the Instagram threat.
One of Dominguez Peña’s charges include a felony count of perjury for allegedly filing a false claim to receive financial benefits from the California Victim Compensation Board. The state-funded program provides assistance of up to $70,000 per case to help crime victims with relocation, security and medical costs. It is unclear what amount of money she may have received, if any.
Anayeli Dominguez Peña, who majored in Social Justice in Higher Ed Administration, has been charged with multiple felonies related to the alleged hoaxes. She is also accused of filing a false claim to get benefits from the Cal. Victim Compensation Board. https://t.co/cciisYTeOX pic.twitter.com/tqkWaRDMnS— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) April 13, 2020