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Police Doubt White Student’s Claim

April 10, 1998

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) _ A white student leader who claimed she was the victim of a racial attack has been asked to take a lie detector test by police, who say they have found no evidence to support her allegations.

Greensboro police, who had been criticized for not finding a suspect, have closed their investigation into the alleged attack on Molly Martin, president of the Guilford College student senate. She claimed she was knocked unconscious while alone in her office in February and someone scrawled the words ``nigger lover″ across her chest.

Martin, 20, was running for re-election at the time and had a black running mate on her slate. The alleged attack drew national attention and led to several anti-racism rallies and forums at the Quaker-founded college, where about 70 of 1,000 students are black.

Lt. Gary Cundiff said police found inconsistencies in Martin’s story and a lack of physical evidence such as bruises.

Cundiff called Martin a ``reluctant witness″ who did not report the incident until the following day, after she washed off the writing and cleaned up her office. In addition, he questioned whether an attacker would have taken the time to unbutton Martin’s sweater before writing on her chest.

Although Martin already passed a lie detector test she paid for, Cundiff said police still wanted her to take a test administered by them, a request he said she refused.

Cundiff did not accuse Martin of staging the attack.

``It’s not my intention to indict her,″ he said. ``But I do want to defend our investigation.″

Neither Martin nor her lawyer returned phone calls on Friday, but she has denied that police asked her to take a lie detector test. Martin has said she hired a lawyer and took her own test to squelch rumors that she staged the incident.

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