A man who reported someone beat him and carved a homophobic slur into his arm staged the attacks, authorities in rural Utah said Tuesday.
Millard County Sheriff Robert Dekker said Rick Jones, 21, could face charges after officers investigating the series of reported attacks found inconsistencies in the evidence. The Delta man eventually acknowledged faking the harassment, Dekker said.
Brett Tolman, an attorney for Jones, said the reports were a cry for help initially directed toward people close to him, and Jones didn't realize how much attention they would get.
"I think it's such good evidence of the difficulties members of the gay community deal with, and some make better choices than others," Tolman said.
Jones has since begun mental health treatment, the lawyer said.