A Central Michigan University instructor who made headlines with her story of being attacked by a homophobe outside a bar has now recanted that story and admitted to the police that she made it up.
In August Mari Poindexter claimed that she had been watching a Toby Keith concert with her family when a man invaded their personal space and then yelled homophobic abuse at them, calling her a ‘cross-dressing fag.’
Poindexter further claimed that later that night the same man had attacked her in the parking lot of a nearby bar, punching her in the face and spitting on her.
Poindexter shared her story on social media and it went viral, prompting media coverage and a public statement of support from her university.
However when her supporters began pressuring her to report the attack to the police the lie began to get out of hand.
Police reviewed security footage from inside the bar with Poindexter however she stopped cooperating with them when she learned that there was also footage from CCTV covering the parking lot.
Later that night a friend of Poindexter feared she was going to harm herself and called Isabella County Central Dispatch.
Central Dispatch recorded the phone call, during which Poindexter admitted that she had fabricated pieces of her story.
According to police, Poindexter ‘made the story up about being assaulted by a male subject at the bar and punched herself in the eye because she wanted to raise awareness about the social hardships of people in the LGBTQ+ community.’
However Poindexter’s lawyer Dan O’Neil says the incident at the Toby Keith concert had been real.
‘On the night in question, she was accosted, by another patron at a local concert,’ O’Neil told the court according to Morning Sun News.
‘The assault included many homophobic remarks, [and was] very mean spirited.’
O’Neil said the incident had angered Poindexter and that she had wanted to use it to highlight the homophobia experienced by the LGBTI community but ‘made the mistake of exaggerating the assault.’
Poindexter was originally charged with lying to a police officer and making a false report.
The charge of lying to a police officer was later dropped when Poindexter agreed to plead guilty on the other charge and she was given six months probation and fined $225.