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Bethany Storro Admits Acid Attack a Hoax

By Jason Beahm on September 17, 2010 12:04 PM

Two weeks ago I wrote about the story of 28 year-old Bethany Storro, who was walking down the street in Vancouver, Washington, minding her own business, when an unknown assailant threw acid in her face. The acid attack was an awful incident, leading me ask myself: Why would this happen? What kind of world are we living in? What kind of person would do something like this?

She did.

Storro has admitted to police detectives that her injuries were self-inflicted. The acid attack was a hoax. Prosecutors are now determining whether to charge her for lying to the police and making false accusations. Storro originally told police that a black woman between 25 and 35, wearing khaki shorts and a green shirt approached her and said "Hey, pretty girl, do you want to drink this?" and then threw a cup of acid in her face.

The community had rallied around her and police spent hundreds of hours on the case trying to locate the alleged suspect. However, police became suspicious because of the inconsistencies involving the splash patterns on her face. They also found it odd that she said she was wearing sunglasses at 7:15 p.m.

"She is extremely upset," said police Commander Marla Schuman, CNN reports. "She is very remorseful. In many ways it got bigger than she expected."

If prosecutors decide to charge Bethany Storro for faking the acid attack, she would be looking at charges of filing a false police report and making false statements to investigators. However, as attorney Julie Hilden explained in a 2005 column for FindLaw's Writ, it's difficult to obtain a conviction on such charges if the defendant was mentally disturbed at the time they lied. That's because the crimes require criminal intent and if Storro was mentally unstable, she probably lacked criminal intent.

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