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Lesbian Accused of Faking Beating

July 15, 1998

LANCASTER, S.C. (AP) _ A lesbian whose claim that she was twice beaten by an intruder at her home renewed calls for a hate-crime law in South Carolina was charged Wednesday with staging both incidents.

Investigators said Regan Wolf, 40, even offered a friend $350 to administer one of the beatings.

Ms. Wolf surrendered to authorities Wednesday and was released for a court appearance July 28. If convicted of giving false information to a law enforcement officer, she could get a month in jail and a $200 fine.

A scraped and bruised Ms. Wolf had claimed that she was twice beaten and tied up. State Sen. Darrell Jackson used her story in trying to get lawmakers to support his hate-crimes bill, but the measure failed in a dispute over whether offenses based on sexual orientation should be covered.

``If this is a publicity stunt by Ms. Wolf, it’s the worst orchestrated publicity stunt of all time,″ said Ms. Wolf’s lawyer, Joe McCulloch. He said she passed a lie-detector test.

Her mother, Jackie Adams, said: ``We adamantly and vehemently stand behind our story.″

Jackson and gay-rights advocates said her guilt or innocence does not lessen the need for a state hate-crimes law.

In recent years, some local governments in this conservative Southern state have condemned homosexuality, a candidate for agriculture commissioner said homosexuality threatens the family farm, and a high school concert by the Indigo Girls was canceled because some parents complained the duo is lesbian.

Ms. Wolf was found on her front porch on Dec. 26 with her hands and feet tied and abrasions across her back. She said a stocky, red-haired man with a scruffy beard attacked her. The words ``Jesus weren’t born for you, faggot″ were spray-painted in red on her porch steps.

However, an unidentified man told police she hired him to beat her. The man gave a sworn statement and physical evidence and passed a lie-detector test, Sheriff John Cauthen said. The man was promised $350 but was paid only $50, said Hugh Munn, spokesman for the State Law Enforcement Division.

Ms. Wolf stretched out on her bed and ``he took a double wide belt and whacked her across her back,″ Munn said.

On May 13, Ms. Wolf reported she had been hit from behind, beaten and tied up on her back porch, and left hanging by her wrists and ankles for two hours.

Police think that attack also was a hoax, but do not believe the same friend was involved, Cauthen said.

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