When Alexandra Pennell, a student at Central Connecticut State University, first told classmates she had found anti-gay messages on notes slipped under her door, the campus rallied around her. But by the time she spoke at an anti-hate rally, police were already beginning to doubt the 19-year-old lesbian’s story.
In early March, after Pennell reported the first note, authorities began an intense investigation and installed a video surveillance system to track the perpetrator—but it kept mysteriously getting disabled. After the second malfunction, cops installed a second camera and caught her placing the notes herself.
When first confronted by police, Pennell denied any wrongdoing.
When Lt. Edward Dercole of the CCSU police told her of the second video camera, which captured her sliding one of the notes under her door, she said she had only left one or two of the notes, but she insisted the rest were real. When told the second camera had been recording for a long time, Pennell confessed to planting all the notes, according to the warrant for her arrest.
Pennell told authorities she faked the notes to get more attention from her roommate, Siobhan Dooley. A letter Pennell wrote Dooley stated that Pennell worried her friends were slipping away and she feared losing her girlfriend. In the letter, Pennell also told Dooley she had turned herself in and confessed to authorities, even though she had denied any involvement until police showed her the video evidence.
Pernell has been expelled from CCSU and barred from attending any state university for five years. She also faces eight felony counts of fabricating evidence, misdemeanor charges of lying to police, filing a false police report and making a false statement to police. She was arrested May 2 but pleaded not guilty and is free on her own recognizance. She’s due back in court on July 26.