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Nebraska

Police say Nebraska woman faked anti-gay hate crime

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

LINCOLN, Neb. — A Nebraska woman who claimed she was the victim of an anti-gay hate crime in which three masked attackers invaded her home, painted homophobic slurs on the walls, and carved them into her skin, before attempting to set her house on fire, has been charged with filing a false police report and lying to investigators.

Charlie Rogers, 33, a former standout basketball player at the University of Nebraska and who is openly lesbian, was charged after investigators determined that her claims of being attacked were an elaborate hoax.

Charlie Rogers

In the alleged attack on July 22, Rogers told responding officers that she had been attacked earlier that morning by three masked men who barged into her house, bound her wrists and ankles with zip ties, cut her all over her body and carved homophobic slurs into her skin before dumping gasoline on her floor and lighting it with a match.

The crime, which shocked the city of Lincoln and created a firestorm of outrage from the LGBT community, made national headlines — thousands of people denounced the attack, and hundreds rallied around Rogers, giving her money and holding vigils in the cities of Lincoln and Omaha.

But investigators now believe that Rogers fabricated the story because she felt it would spark change, reported the Associated Press.

Four days before Rogers crawled naked and bleeding from her Lincoln home, screaming for help, she outlined in a Facebook posting what investigators believe was her motive for faking the July 22 attack, Police Chief Jim Peschong said at a news conference.

“So maybe I am too idealistic, but I believe way deep inside me that we can make things better for everyone. I will be a catalyst. I will do what it takes. I will. Watch me,” read the July 18 posting, according to police.

The Lincoln Journal-Star reported Tuesday that investigators sought an arrest warrant, saying that the evidence doesn’t match Rogers’ story.

In the warrant, investigators wrote that they found no sign of a struggle in the living room where Rogers said she fought her attackers as they ripped off her clothes and zip-tied her hands and feet.

Rogers told police one man held her down while another cut derogatory words into her arms and abdomen, sliced a cross into her chest and cut the front of her thighs and shins, the warrant states.

“There was no apparent blood on the bedspread, even though Ms. Rogers reported she was rolled on to her stomach after she had been cut on her arms, abdomen, chest and front of her legs while being held down,” according to the warrant.

And a forensic pathologist called in by the FBI, which assisted in the investigation, said she believes Rogers made the cuts herself or that they were done with her permission.

The cuts are superficial and symmetrical, avoided sensitive areas of the body and would’ve taken considerable time to inflict, pathologist Michelle Elieff said in the warrant.

Rogers has pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor of providing false information to police. A judge released her on her own recognizance and set her next court appearance for September 14.

Police officials said they never ruled out the possibility that the alleged hate crime may have been a hoax, and in fact, one source within the Lincoln police department, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told LGBTQ Nation that detectives were suspicious of the Rogers’ claims from the start of the investigation.

Lincoln Police spokesperson, officer Katie Flood, told media organizations last month that detectives had found no evidence that indicates that the attack was staged, however, police said they were unable to identify any suspects in the case.

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27 more reader comments:

  1. ::sigh::

    Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 7:13pm
  2. I hope she gets the help she so desperately needs.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 7:15pm
  3. Sounds like somebody needs a psych eval !

    Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 7:15pm
  4. *SMH* really?

    Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 7:16pm
  5. Fuel for the opposing fire. Such a f*cking shame.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 7:17pm
  6. seriously not ok

    Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 7:19pm
  7. If it’s true that she faked it then she has done her own cause great harm. Now every time someone comes forward after having been attacked they will be met with scorn and skepticism instead of the support and sympathy they need… congratulations.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 7:19pm
  8. Second false hate crime in a matter of weeks.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 7:20pm
  9. I felt so bad for that bitch too!

    Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 7:22pm
  10. We’d rather have all our lgbt people mentally and physically well than trying to spark change with false hate crime claims. It hurts the community.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 7:22pm
  11. Doyou really think she did this to herself? WOW I too hope she finds help.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 7:22pm
  12. She hasn’t helped us any.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 7:23pm
  13. shame shame shame. Lies can not support a cause so pure as the freedom to fight for human rights. Don’t joke around with this people, this is a serious matter. If anyone is reading this, please, DO NOT lie about hate crimes.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 7:23pm
  14. You all are making comments when the legal process hasn’t even taken place?

    Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 7:25pm
  15. You know what they say about crying wolf. Soon, the authorities will not believe it when a GLBT individual actually is part of a hate crime.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 7:26pm
  16. that did nothing but make the GLBT community look bad. so ticked at this lady for making everyone look bad. idiot!!

    Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 7:33pm
  17. Such a shame as does nothing to help our cause at all. I was genuinely outraged at that time. now feel like I and others have been taken advantage of. There is enough people really being hurt and killed because of who they are. We do not need other faking it.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 7:43pm
  18. yeah and when she is attack no one will help her

    Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 7:43pm
  19. For the sake of the community and herself, I hope these accusations aren’t true.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 7:45pm
  20. These things cause more damage in the long run WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS?! right now we have a gay couple with their family in our state that were being constantly harassed and were in actual danger of violent crimes but were doubted the first incident because of cases like this… they ended up moving out of that house before something horrible happened

    Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 8:29pm
  21. I think that every person that fakes it, should have to watch a video of a real gay bashing.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 9:13pm
  22. Well…that just set us back 50 years. I appreciate the sentiment but there are other ways…

    Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 9:32pm
  23. Next question..is she really gay? Or is this a ploy?

    Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 5:06am
  24. can you say “bat shit crazy”?

    Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 5:11am
  25. Whatever the situation she needs to be exposed for what she did or is. False charges is just as bad as committing the crime being charged.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 6:00am
  26. Could you at least wait with accusing her until the investigation is finished? I agree that she’s a horrible person if this is true, but it’s not been formally determined yet.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 6:18am
  27. If you read above it says they “say”… She has not been actually proven to do this. They are just taking what they think and “saying” it. You can take 3 people and all 3 can see something different from one situation. Noone should judge her until we actually know all the facts! What if this was true and we turned our backs. Maybe we should all just sit back and see what happens before we pass our judgements.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 8:37am