A lesbian professor at Central Michigan University has pleaded guilty for falsely claiming that a random guy at a Toby Keith concert called her a â€œcross-dressing fag,â€ punched her in the face, and then spat on her.
Mari Poindexter had alleged that the man approached her at the August 19th concert at the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in Mount Pleasant, Michigan when the incident occurred.
The man then began supposedly shouting a plethora of homophobic slurs at her, she told police.
Later that night, the professor said, that same man ambushed her in the parking lot of a local bar. She claims the man then popped her in the eye and spat on her.
She posted a Facebook photo of herself with her black eye and a story complete with outrage. That post went viral and several news outlets ran the story.
â€œWeâ€™re proud of you, Mari, for taking a stand,â€ Central Michigan University officials wrote on the schoolâ€™s Facebook page. â€œCMU stands with you.â€
But it turns out that Ms. Poindexter got the black eye she punched herself in the eye.
Her story began to unravel when police investigated the incident. detectives sat down with her to review security footage from the bar to identify the man. Then, when the investigators informed her that there was also surveillance footage of the parking lot, she seemed to became anxious. She said she was no longer interested in viewing any video which might incriminate her assailant.
Six days after the attack, on August 25th, a woman called police saying that Professor Poindexter was threatening to kill herself with an overdose of pills.
Poindexter was on the phone with the woman who called police. Later in the call, police say, the wayward professor admitted to concocting the whole story.
She’d made up the story and punched herself in her own right eye â€œbecause she wanted to raise awareness about the social hardships of people in the LGBTQ+ community,â€ court documents say.
She continues to claim that a random guy approached her at a Toby Keith concert and started thowing homophobic slurs. It was her anger about that incident which caused her to fabricate the rest of the story, she says.
On February 25th, she was given a fine of $225 and six months of probation.
The sentence was part of a plea bargain. The original charges against her were filing a false police report and lying to a police officer.
Dan Oâ€™Neil, her attorney, said she received psychiatric treatment after the suicide threat.
Poindexter, who taught business information systems courses at Central Michigan University, is currently on leave from the school.
Officials at the school continue to support her.
â€œWhile facing mental health challenges does not absolve Mari of accountability, it helps us understand why our offering compassion rather than judgement and isolation is so important,â€ the CMU LGBTQ services office said in a statement.