A DuPage County grand jury indicted a Muslim student at Elmhurst College on suspicion she lied when reporting a masked gunman assaulted her on campus, hours after she spoke at a diversity rally urging tolerance.
Safia Z. Jilani, 19, of Oak Brook is expected to plead not guilty Monday when arraigned on a felony charge of filing a false police report. If convicted, she faces a possible sentence of probation or up to three years in prison.
Prosecutors said Jilani told police her assailant beat her with a pistol about 8:30 p.m. Oct. 9 after she entered a washroom in the Schaible Science Center, where the masked man had scribbled racial slurs on the walls.
One week earlier, she reported finding anti-Muslim slogans and a swastika written inside of her locker. She said the incident prompted her to speak at the Oct. 9 diversity rally, where she read a poem advocating peace and understanding despite the actions against her.
Police investigated both reports as a hate crime, which caused a stir on campus, but they ended up arresting Jilani one week later after accusing her of making up both allegations to garner attention.
A grand jury indicted Jilani Thursday, according to court records released Friday. She is free on bond pending Monday's arraignment before DuPage Circuit Judge Kathryn Creswell in Wheaton.