Conservative student faked threats, police officials say

Posted on 20 Dec 2007 at 11:33am
By Geoff Mulvihill Associated Press

Nava sent e-mails to himself, other conservative students, and put scratches, scrapes on himself before reporting “‘attack’ to police

MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. A Princeton University student who argued that his conservative views were not accepted on the campus confessed to fabricating an assault and sending threatening e-mail messages to himself and some friends who shared his views, authorities said Monday, Dec. 17.

Princeton Township police said Francisco Nava was not immediately charged with any crimes, but the investigation was continuing.

Detective Sgt. Ernie Silagyi said Nava has “some underlying personal issues.”

A spokeswoman for the Ivy League university also said that disciplinary action which would range from a warning to expulsion was pending Monday.

Authorities say Nava, a 23-year-old junior from Texas, gave himself some scrapes and scratches on Friday, Dec. 14, then claimed to have been assaulted by two men off campus.

They also say he sent threatening e-mails and reported to campus police that he received such threats over the past few months. The e-mails threatened Nava and others for speaking out against topics such as gay marriage and the university’s distribution of free condoms.

A friend wrote a column published Dec. 14 in the campus newspaper asserting that university officials were not taking the threats against the socially conservative students seriously enough.

The friend, Brandon McGinley, said Monday that he feels duped by Nava.

“Everyone feels saddened, shocked and surprised to have been dragged along in this,” McGinley said. “We’re all extremely concerned for [his] mental state.”

University officials were also upset.

“The university takes all matters related to the safety of its community members very seriously,” said spokeswoman Lauren Robinson-Brown

“It’s particularly concerning that a student would fabricate such matters.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 21, 2007.

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