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Professor Ordered to Undergo Testing

The instructor who faked a hate crime at Claremont Colleges will be sent to a state prison for evaluation.

September 19, 2004|David Pierson | Times Staff Writer

A Claremont McKenna College psychology professor convicted of faking a hate crime against herself will undergo 90 days of psychological testing to help a judge determine her sentence.

Keri Dunn, 39, was found guilty last month of spray-painting racist slogans onto her car and then blaming students. She could face up to 3 1/2 years in prison when she returns to a Pomona courtroom for sentencing Dec. 15, Los Angeles County Deputy Dist. Atty. Martin Bean said Saturday.

Within hours of her incarceration at the county's Inmate Reception Center in downtown Los Angeles, "Dunn apparently was involved in a minor altercation with sworn personnel and she was treated for a minor injury," Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Josie Woolum said Saturday. Sheriff's officials, who run the county jail, are investigating the incident, she said.

On Friday, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Charles Horan ordered the testing to be conducted in a state prison.

"She won't be kept in the prison's general population, but she will be observed 24 hours and receive a variety of tests," Bean said.

The March 9 incident initially sparked outrage among the college community, which held anti-racist rallies that garnered national attention.

Dunn had told police that she was returning from a forum on racial tolerance when she found the tires slashed and windows broken on her 1990 Honda Civic. She also said that $1,700 worth of personal belongings had been stolen from the vehicle.

Her story crumbled when two witnesses said they saw Dunn vandalize her own car. Investigators found inconsistencies in her account of the incident.

The testing could also help explain why Dunn staged the attack, Bean said.

Dunn's attorney, Gary Lincenberg, could not be reached for comment.

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