The latest in a long string of hate-crime hoaxes comes from Ohio, where a woman claimed she received death threats — only for police to discover she sent the threats to herself.
Anna Ayers, a journalism major and a member of the Student Senate at Ohio University, claimed she found two of the threatening notes — one of which contained a death threat — in her desk drawer at her office in the Student Senate Office. She said she also found a “hateful, harassing” message at her residence that used a derogatory term in reference to her being a member of the LGBT community, according to the student newspaper The Post Athens.
Ayers was also on the Post's publishing board and a former columnist.
The Student Senate devoted time to discussing the notes. An emotional Ayers claimed she was “angry, frustrated and disappointed” after the first threat, and called her parents to tell them about it. Because two of the messages were found in her Student Senate desk, the threats were at first believed to have come from another member of the organization.
“Senate will never be the same for me,” Ayers said in front of her Student Senate peers. “The friendships will continue to grow, and our successes will always evoke pride, but the memory of my time in senate and at OU will be marred by this experience. We will all have a memory of a time when this body failed one of its own.”
Ayers went on to call the threat sender cowardly, weak, and worthless, according to the Post.
“You may find me revolting and worthy of a threat on my life, but in reality, it is your beliefs that are repulsive,” Ayers said during her speech in the senate. “You need to get this through your head, you f***ing a**hole: I am proud to be who I am, and nothing you could say or do will ever change that.”
On Monday, Ayers was arrested by OU police for sending the threats to herself. She was charged with making three false reports to police. A false report of this nature is considered a first-degree misdemeanor. She faces a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for each charge. Considering how previous hate-crime hoaxes have been treated, she won’t receive anything close to that.