McCain volunteer begins probation program for made-up story
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The McCain campaign volunteer who falsely claimed a Barack Obama supporter carved the letter "B" into her face with a knife entered a probation program this morning.
Ashley Todd, 21, of College Station, Texas, had her initial interview with a probation program for first-time offenders today after she was formally arraigned on the charge of filing a false police report.
She told police Oct. 24 that she was mugged in Bloomfield by a man who then became enraged at the John McCain bumper sticker on her car and came back to leave an Obama-themed mark. Ms. Todd's story began to unravel when investigators noticed the "B" was backwards, as if she had cut herself using a mirror.
But by then, the tale had attracted national attention after a photo of Ms. Todd's scarred face was sent to The Drudge Report Web site. In the midst of a heated campaign season, the assault became an Internet and cable news sensation. The McCain and Obama campaigns expressed concern for her safety.
After police determined the report was fabricated, Ms. Todd was jailed for a week and, upon her release, ordered to undergo counseling as a condition for her entry into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition -- or ARD -- program.
Her probation could last anywhere from six to 24 months, according to Allegheny County District Attorney spokesman Mike Manko. The terms of the probation will be determined at her first hearing May 22.
First Published January 7, 2009 10:24 am