Stanislaus County Judge Al Girolami looked at a 10-county bias survey to help him decide whether to move Scott Peterson’s capital murder trial out of his slain wife Laci’s hometown of Modesto.
But several of the criminal justice students who compiled the report said Thursday that they had made up a lot of the information because it had been too hard to gather all the data properly.
“We falsified the info,” a 20-year-old criminal justice student at Cal State Stanislaus told the Modesto Bee. “The stuff we submitted wasn’t true.”
The Stanislaus County district attorney, James Brazelton, said his office wants to talk to the students to confirm the allegations.
Not all students said they had faked their results, which accounted for 20% of their grade. But six students admitted they made up all of their answers because they had no time and no money for the dozens of lengthy long-distance phone calls that were required.
Other students said they used answers provided by friends and relatives, or that they completed part of the survey properly, then faked the rest.
One student said she didn’t want to falsify her results but couldn’t complete the survey, so she saw her grade drop from an A to a C.
The survey was compiled by 65 students under the supervision of professor Stephen Schoenthaler.
“I’m stunned and I find it hard to believe,” Schoenthaler said. “It seems impossible that I could have missed something like that.”
Vice Provost Diana Demetrulias at Cal State Stanislaus said she would investigate the situation.