LINCOLN, Neb., July 24 (UPI) -- Investigators in Lincoln, Neb., say an assault on a 33-year-old lesbian is being investigated as a hate crime because of homophobic slurs painted on her wall.
The Lincoln Police Department is releasing few details, but said the woman was stripped and mutilated early Sunday inside her home by three men wearing masks. The woman said she does not think she knows the men.
Police said it appeared she was attacked because of her sexual orientation, KVNO-TV, Omaha, reported.
The attackers carved words into the woman's body and gasoline was poured around the woman's house and lit, although the fire caused little damage, CNN reported. After the attack, the woman went to a neighbor's house for help. Her neighbor said the woman was naked and bleeding, her hands bound by zip ties.
A hastily organized vigil Sunday night at the Capitol building was attended by more than 500 people, activists for Lincoln's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community said.
Mayor Chris Butler denounced the attack.
"Hate crimes are despicable and appalling to me and to all Lincoln residents," Butler said Monday in a statement. "Lincoln strives to be a community that embraces tolerance and equality. We stand united with our gay and lesbian citizens in denouncing violence directed at any group."
CNN said the woman was treated at a hospital and was staying in an emergency shelter.