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Student admits to false threats at Princeton

He claimed to have been assaulted and harassed for a conservative column in the student paper.

A Princeton University student who argued that his conservative views were not accepted on the campus confessed to fabricating an assault and sending threatening e-mail messages to himself and some friends who shared his views, authorities said yesterday.

Princeton Township police said Francisco Nava was not immediately charged with any crime, but the investigation was continuing.

Nava claimed to have been assaulted Friday by two men off campus, police said. But he later acknowledged that scrapes and scratches on his face were self-inflicted, and that the threats were his work, too, said Detective Sgt. Ernie Silagyi.

A spokeswoman for the Ivy League university said disciplinary action - which could range from a warning to expulsion - was pending.

"The university takes all matters related to the safety of its community members very seriously," said spokeswoman Lauren Robinson-Brown. "It's particularly concerning that a student would fabricate such matters."

Nava, a 23-year-old junior politics major from Bedford, Texas, found himself at the center of one campus controversy recently when he wrote a column for the student newspaper, the Princetonian, criticizing the school for giving out free condoms, which he said encouraged a dangerous "hook-up culture." A debate followed on the opinion pages of the paper.

A short time later, Nava made his first report to the university public safety office that he was receiving threatening messages in his campus mailbox. A friend says Nava told him one message read, in capital letters: "ONE MORE ARTICLE AND YOU WON'T LIVE TO SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY."

Other members of the Anscombe Society, a conservative student organization, who have spoken out against premarital sex and gay marriage, said they received similar threats.

So did Robert George, a professor in the politics department.

Nava did not respond immediately to an e-mail from the Associated Press yesterday.

A phone listing for him could not be located.