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Student Activist Faces Felony Charges Linked To Hate Crime Hoax At University Of La Verne

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - A former University of La Verne student was set to appear in court Tuesday on felony charges for allegedly fabricating a hate crime on campus last year.

Police say Anayeli Dominguez Peña, 25, of Ontario, was behind a series of reported threats against members of a student group at ULV in Feb. 2019, which escalated to the point of classes being cancelled.

Anayeli Dominguez Peña
Anayeli Dominguez Peña (Photo via La Verne PD)

Investigators with the La Verne Police Department looked into what they say were nine additional incidents beyond the initial reported threat, including the discovery of a "backpack emitting smoke" inside an unlocked vehicle in a dormitory parking lot.

Police say most of the threats were delivered via email or text message and were directed at ULV, student activist group Decolonize ULV, and Peña herself.

Prosecutors say Peña reported the false threats to police and applied for victim compensation from the California Victim Compensation Board.

Investigators presented the case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office for filing of criminal charges, including one felony count each of criminal threats and perjury by declaration as well as six misdemeanor counts of false report of a criminal offense and one misdemeanor count of internet/electronic impersonation.

Bail was set at $136,000. Peña is scheduled to appear Tuesday in Superior Court.

If convicted on all charges, she faces up to eight years in state prison.

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