University of North Carolina student Quinn Matney

A gay US student may be charged after he allegedly falsely claimed to have been a victim of a hate crime attack.

Quinn Matney told University of North Carolina authorities that he had been attacked on campus on April 5th. He claimed that a man called him anti-gay slurs and then, after saying “here is a taste of hell”, branded his hand with a hot object resulting in third and fourth degree burns.

“It has burned all the way through the flesh and is burning through muscle and tendon. He never actually let go until I punched him full in the face,” Matney told WRAL News.

The alleged attack received national and international media coverage, but now Matney could be charged with making a false police report.

In an e-mail sent to students and staff by the university, Chancellor Holden Thorp said that “the alleged aggravated assault reported to campus last night did not occur. That report, filed with campus police on April 5, was false”.

It added: “It is important to recognise that incidents of harassment do occur. When they do, we take them seriously. We strive to foster a welcoming, inclusive and safe environment at Carolina.”

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