PhD Candidate At The University Of Texas Is Charged With Fabricating A Brick Attack After Receiving $40K Via GoFundMe

Authorities in Texas filed criminal charges against a doctorate student, claiming that she had lied about being beaten and then profited up to $40,000 from a GoFundMe set up to aid in her recovery.

PhD Candidate At The University Of Texas Is Charged With Fabricating A Brick Attack After Receiving $40K Via GoFundMe

A felony-level theft by deceit accusation was recently brought against Roda Osman, a student in the University of Texas at Austin’s African and African Diaspora Studies Department. Osman’s buddy launched a GoFundMe page named “Help Roda Recover” in September following reports that Osman had been struck in the face with a brick.

Osman stated on Saturday that she is “heartbroken” by the accusations and that she is innocent, according to Fox News Digital.

In a video that she shared on social media, Osman said that a guy had attacked her after he requested her phone number and was turned down. She was concerned in the video, pointing to a swollen area of her face.

“This man just hit me in my face with a brick and all these Black men just watched, and they don’t give a f–k,” Osman said.

The video was widely circulated on Twitter and, according to NBC reporting at the time, the situation, “[pointed] to a familiar pattern of backlash hurled at Black women when they publicly denounce harm from Black men.”

The Houston Police Department asserts in court records acquired by Fox News Digital that Osman was struck by a water bottle while engaged in a verbal dispute with another guy.

“It appeared Defendant Osman and [the man] was in the middle of a verbal argument when Defendant Osman swung her right hand while holding an unknown object and hit [the man] in the face,” the documents read. “[The man] then swung his right hand while holding what appeared to be a plastic water bottle and struck Defendant in the face.”

“The video footage capturing the incident did not support Defendant Osman’s recorded statement.”

Additionally, the police reported that a caller had accused Osman of operating a phony GoFundMe in 2020.

The 2020 GoFundMe, which purportedly bore the title “Help Black Muslim Mother Pay Her Medical Bill,” detailed Osman’s violent assault by private security in Minneapolis, where she suffered damage to her knee, a black eye, and many facial contusions. She needs about $5,000 to cover her costs for a new phone, legal bills, and other expenses.”

When the caller called the Minneapolis Police Department, they informed him that they were unable to provide any evidence of the alleged attack. Authorities also talked with Rachel, Osman’s roommate, who had previously accused him of scamming.

“Ms. Rachel stated at first they were cool, but that she discovered Roda was scamming people and she wanted no part of it,” the document said. “Ms. Rachel mentioned the scam Roda took part in by creating the GoFundMe in 2020 claiming someone hit her but it was a lie.”

Osman discussed the accusations with Fox News Digital on Saturday. She claimed that she was unable to identify the precise object that had struck her due to the damage to her head.

“I’m not guilty…as a person who suffered from a head injury from blunt force trauma and went online five minutes later for my own safety, I’m not obligated to remember every single detail correctly,” Osman explained. “That is unprecedented, and it’s dangerous to victim-blame in that way, and to also hold me to a standard that is not legal.”

“I didn’t see the weapon he hit me with,” the student added. “[A brick] is what it felt like. And that was the only weapon that I saw when I opened my eyes and I looked up…so that’s what I believe the weapon of choice was.”

Additionally, Osman claimed to Fox News Digital that the “manosphere,” a collective of anti-feminist social media users, was pursuing her.

“The manosphere [is] targeting me…for speaking out against a Black man because Black women are supposed to protect Black men from the justice system,” she said. “But I refuse to be silenced when I have been harmed so brutally.”

According to Osman’s UT–Austin webpage, her interests include “Black feminist theory, ethnography, urban social movements, Black diasporic studies [and] decolonial studies.” Osman told Fox News Digital that the legal situation is making it difficult for her to focus on school.

“It’s a horrible precedent to set for Black women, because Black women are already unprotected, and we are already silenced,” Osman said. “And this is sending a really bad message to all Black women telling them that if you are assaulted, and you do not remember every single detail correctly, you will be criminalized. And that is awful. And it’s a scary, scary thing and I feel so heartbroken.”

Fox News Digital was informed by GoFundMe that Osman has been removed from its website.

“GoFundMe has zero tolerance for the misuse of our platform and cooperates with law enforcement investigations of those accused of wrongdoing,” a spokesperson explained. “The fundraiser has been removed from the platform, all donors have been refunded, and Roda Osman has been banned from using the platform for any future fundraisers.”

The University of Texas at Austin was contacted by Fox News Digital for comment, but they did not respond.

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