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College students punished after claiming racial attack

Ariel Agudio, left, and Asha Burwell are seen in photos obtained by CBS Albany affiliate WRGB-TV.

Two black New York college students who claimed they were victims of a racially charged assault on a public bus in January have reportedly been expelled.

University at Albany President Robert Jones said in an email to the university community that Ariel Agudio and Asha Burwell were dismissed, The Albany Times Union reported Friday.

A third woman, Alexis Briggs, was suspended for two years, the newspaper reported.

All three have been charged with fighting with passengers aboard the bus and lying about what happened, CBS Albany affiliate WRGB-TV reports.

The trio pleaded not guilty in Albany County Municipal Court on Wednesday.

In court, prosecutors introduced video statements into evidence they intend to use in the case, WRGB-TV reports.

"We don't feel safe because people think we're lying," Burwell told Albany police officers in a Feb. 2 interview.

"We feel like we're being treated like we're not victims in this whole thing," she said.

In the videos, investigators show the women surveillance tape that authorities claim shows a story contrary to what the women told police.

The Times Union reported the university determined the women's punishment more than two weeks ago. Jones sent his email on Thursday.

All three women were released on their own recognizance after Wednesday's hearing.