Anti-gay attack was staged, police say

Aug. 22, 2012 at 8:07 AM
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LINCOLN, Neb., Aug. 22 (UPI) -- A lesbian in Nebraska who reported a hate crime attack staged the incident in her home, police said.

Lincoln police said Tuesday physical evidence was at odds with the story given by former University of Nebraska basketball player Charlie Rogers and "extensive investigation revealed numerous inconsistencies," CNN reported.

Rogers, 33, told police three masked men broke into her home July 22, undressed her and bound her then carved anti-gay slurs into her skin before trying to light her and the house on fire.

Police arrested Rogers on charges of filing a false report. Her attorney, Brett McArthur, told CNN his client agreed to surrender to police in exchange for a personal recognizance bond.

She pleaded not guilty to the charge, McArthur said.

Police, in a news release, said DNA and pathology results did not support Rogers' original statements and she changed her story during the investigation.

"These were serious allegations that garnered national attention and spread fear among local citizens," the police statement said. "A great deal of time and resources were spent investigating Charlie Rogers' claims in hopes of identifying and arresting the three suspects in this case."

Beth Rigatuso, president of Heartland Pride based in Omaha, organized a vigil that drew more than 1,000 participants and raised more than $1,800 after the reported attack.

"I don't feel betrayed as much as I feel sad for how, if this is really true ... there is a lot of things going on with her," Rigatuso told CNN. "It leads to a bigger problem in our society that someone would do this."

Rigatuso said she'd like the funds returned to Heartland Pride "so we can establish our own fund to support victims of anti-gay violence."

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