LINCOLN, Neb. — In a Lancaster County courtroom Monday, Judge Gale Pokorny, found Charlie Rogers guilty of staging a fake anti-gay hate crime that shocked both the citizens of Lincoln, Neb., and the nation — first for the brutality of the alleged crime, and then for lying about the crime.
Rogers, 34, pleaded no contest in court this afternoon, a reversal of the not guilty plea she had made in the case earlier in September. Pokorny set the date of her sentencing for February, 14, 2013.
Rogers’ defense attorney Brett McArthur told reporters after the hearing, “The courtroom is not a gentle place. Charlie is a very fragile personality. This has been very distressing experience and she felt she couldn’t go on.”
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Local prosecutors had charged Rogers last August with making a false report to police.
Rogers told investigators that three men broke into her house on July 22, tied her up, carved anti-gay slurs into her skin and tried to light the house on fire.
In a 15-minute video she posted online in mid-November, Rogers re-asserted her claim to that version of the events.
“The investigation culminated with me in a room with law enforcement and them saying, Charlie you did it. Say you did it. You did it. And me saying, No, No I didn’t I won’t say I did it then, I won’t say I did it now. I did not do this I am innocent,” Rogers said in the YouTube video.
Rogers also accused Lincoln police investigators of botching the investigation by trying to shred her story while according to her the three attackers ran free.
“Despite being railroaded,” she said, “I’m gonna talk. I’m gonna talk, and I’m gonna talk until I can’t talk anymore. This isn’t ok.”
Prosecutors said they offered Rogers no deal.
She faces up to one year in prison, and a fine of up to $1,000 for the misdemeanor crime when she appears for sentencing.