Three New York college students, who said that they were targeted in a racially motivated attack, are facing charges of fabricating the claim, prosecutors said.
Ariel Agudio, Asha Burwell and Alexis Briggs were each indicted on a charge of assault and multiple counts of falsely reporting an incident, according to the Albany District Attorney's Office. Agudio and Burwell face additional charges of harassment and Agudio has charges of attempted assault.
The three women, who are black, are students at the State University of New York at Albany. They claimed that a group of white men and women attacked them on January 30 during a confrontation on a city bus, CNN reported.
The university backed up the students with a rally and university President Robert J. Jones sent a letter to students and faculty saying he was "deeply concerned, saddened and angry about this incident," according to CNN.
On social media, the hashtag #DefendBlackGirlsUAlbany was started as the incident made national headlines and the People of Color Caucus issued a letter in support.
That was until university police announced that the investigation revealed that the women were the aggressors in the assault. Security footage on the bus caught the women assaulting white students
"What happened on the bus was not a 'hate crime,'" University Police Chief Frank Wiley said in February, according to CNN. "The only person we heard uttering racial epithets was one of the defendants."
In February, the women pleaded not guilty to charges of assault and harassment, CNN reported. Agudio's lawyer, Mark Mishler, said in a statement that the charges were unwarranted.
"It is unfortunate that some in the media and public appear to have reached a conclusion as to what occurred in this incident without actually having the information needed in order to reach such a conclusion," Misher said.