LINCOLN, Neb. — In her first appearance since suffering an alleged attack in a home invasion last week that police officials are investigating as a possible hate crime, Charlie Rogers of Lincoln, Neb., said, “I’m not hiding from this anymore.”
Rogers, 33, said 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.
A source to LGBTQ Nation said Sunday that “the words ‘cunt,’ ‘fag’ and ‘dyke’ were carved onto her face and body.”
The incident, which occurred early Sunday morning, July 22, drew national attention and led to vigils, including one that night in Lincoln, and another on Thursday in Omaha.
But now, with some people questioning whether the attack was hoax, Rogers is going public, and said her doubters are making her a victim all over again.
Rogers talked about her pain and frustration over those who think she staged the attack.
“My world has been changed forever,” Rogers told KETV in Omaha. “I understand that people sort of have a hard time wrapping their heads around the things that have happened, as do I.”
“But I’m a person with feelings, with concerns. For people to think that this doesn’t happen here, it does. It did.”
Rogers, a former standout basketball player at the University of Nebraska, avid volunteer and small business owner, said she doesn’t want to be the face of a hate crime.
Vigils in multiple Nebraska cities were organized in the days following her attack and more are planned, though Rogers says she won’t be attending them because she’s still in hiding.
“I could never thank them in a way that I feel adequately expresses how much it has meant to me that people are standing with me and people are standing for me,” said Rogers.
“There is fear, but there is resilience. There is forward,” she said.
An extended interview with Rogers from KETV is here:
Earlier this week, Lincoln police spokesperson Katie Flood told LGBTQ Nation there are currently no suspects.
“We are investigating all aspects of the case, including the possibility that it is a false report,” Flood said.
“This type of evaluation is not uncommon and is necessary in completing an investigation. This is a complex case that takes time. At this time, investigators are aggressively pursuing all leads in the case,” she said.