Cops: Lesbian Arranged Own Beating
LANCASTER, S.C. (AP) _ A lesbian who used her assault to renew the call for hate-crime legislation in South Carolina has been accused of faking two attacks that left her beaten and bound.
Regan Wolf, 40, could face a month in jail and a $200 fine if convicted of giving false information to a law enforcement officer, Lancaster County Sheriff John Cauthen said Tuesday.
Wolf, accompanied by her partner, Jenna, and her mother, Jackie Adams, turned herself in this morning at the Lancaster County sheriff’s office. She was later released on a personal recognizance bond.
Last month a friend, whose name was not released, told authorities that Wolf paid him $50 to beat her Dec. 26. She had promised him $350, said Hugh Munn, spokesman for the State Law Enforcement Division.
The pair bought gloves, a belt and spray paint, then returned to Wolf’s home where ``she laid across the bed and he took a double wide belt and whacked her across her back,″ Munn said.
Wolf had told police she heard someone walking on the front porch of her mobile home and when she opened the door, she saw a stocky red-haired man with a scruffy beard. She said she was hit on the back of the head and blacked out.
Wolf was found with several abrasions across her back, and her hands and feet were tied. On the porch steps, in red spray paint, was the warning: ``Jesus weren’t born for you, faggot.″
Forensic experts studied photographs of Wolf’s injuries and decided they were ``consistent with her being a willing participant,″ Munn said.
Authorities had not interviewed Wolf about a possible motive, but they believe she was ``deliberately trying to have a hate crime reported when there was none,″ Munn said.
Wolf’s attorney, Joe McCulloch, said she stands by her story.
``She’s a victim twice of two serious, really offensive crimes resulting in serious injuries to her and, in a sense, this is a third injury to her,″ McCulloch said.
On May 13, Wolf reported she again was assaulted, struck from behind and tied up on her back porch. Police do not believe the same friend was involved, but they think the second attack also was a hoax, Cauthen said.
Munn, who said the investigation remains open, said he was unsure whether her partner or mother was involved in either incident.
Gay rights groups have called her a symbol of persecution. They held a Statehouse rally this spring to support hate-crime legislation that got buried in a state Senate subcommittee last year. They also blasted authorities for dragging their feet.
``Law enforcement has spent more time and resources investigating the victim than in tracking down suspects,″ said Steven Bates, executive director of the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Tony Snell, co-chairman of the South Carolina Gay and Lesbian Pride Movement, which sponsored the Columbia rally, said he was not ready to buy into the allegations against Wolf. But he said if they were true, it would give gay rights opponents ``more fuel for their fire.″