Matney charged with filing false police report

Scheduled to appear in court for misdemeanor citation May 16

Quinn Matney told police he was assaulted near Craige Residence Hall in an anti-gay hate crime.

Quinn Matney, the freshman found to have falsified a report that he was victim of an anti-gay hate crime, was charged Friday with filing a false police report.

Matney was served with the misdemeanor citation Friday after going to the Department of Public Safety voluntarily, said DPS spokesman Randy Young.

The freshman is scheduled to appear in court on May 16 in Hillsborough, Young said.

A typical punishment for a misdemeanor like the one Matney is being charged with is called a community sentence, said Jeff Welty, an assistant professor of public law and government. He said the sentence is probationary, but whether that probation is supervised or unsupervised would depend on how serious the court deems the offense.

He said the prosecutor could instead offer Matney deferred prosecution. With deferred prosecution, Matney would not have a criminal record if he stayed out of further trouble for a period of time and fulfilled additional, case-specific conditions.

“I can’t speak to what the courts will do in this particular case,” Welty said.

Matney, who is gay, filed the report with DPS on April 5. He said that a man verbally insulted his sexuality and then burned him on the arm with an object in the early morning of April 4.

Matney’s father said the injury was self-inflicted.

Welty said it is common for courts to hear that a defendant was in mental distress at the time of a crime. He said that at this point, it is impossible to predict whether the court would take Matney’s mental state into account or what type decision they will ultimately reach.

“Just because someone is charged doesn’t mean they will be convicted,” he said.

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