LOS ANGELES (AP) — A college has placed a professor on paid leave while prosecutors determine whether she vandalized her own car and reported it as a hate crime, officials said Saturday.

Kerri Dunn, 39, who was teaching at Claremont McKenna College east of Los Angeles, will be replaced when classes resume Monday following spring break.

"While we await further details, the conclusion of law enforcement that an alleged hate crime may have in fact been a hoax is a shocking and disturbing surprise to our community," college President Pamela Gann said in a statement.

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Dunn, who is white, told police her car was spray-painted with racist, anti-Semitic and sexist epithets, its windows broken and its tires slashed on March 9 as she spoke at a forum on racism. The incident galvanized students, who staged sit-ins and rallies.

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