AP, May 3
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — An advocacy group for Hispanics is demanding an apology from the bride-to-be who skipped town days before her lavish wedding and falsely claimed she had been abducted by a Hispanic man.
The president of the group Hispanics Across America said Jennifer Wilbanks’ cover story before admitting to a case of cold feet endangered Hispanic males across the country and contributed to bias.
“While I understand this is a troubled woman, we cannot and will not stand for any racial stereotyping of Hispanics as criminals and thugs,” Fernando Mateo said.
Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter said he has also received numerous complaints from members of the community about Wilbanks’ false accusation against a fictitious Hispanic male.
“They’re asking, ‘What would’ve happened if the Albuquerque police had located this fake couple?’ An unknown Hispanic male all of a sudden becomes the bogeyman,” he said.
In addition to demanding an apology, Mateo said he would like Wilbanks to perform community service in a Hispanic neighborhood as part of any possible punishment.