Police: Woman Faked Gruesome Anti-Gay Attack to Spark Change ‚ÄĒ May Have Even Carved Gay Slurs Into Own Skin
Posted on August 22, 2012 at 7:53am by Erica Ritz
(The Blaze/AP) ‚ÄĒ A former University of Nebraska women‚Äôs basketball star faked an attack in which she allegedly carved anti-gay slurs into her skin because she felt it would spark change, police said Tuesday.
Four days before Charlie Rogers crawled naked and bleeding from her Lincoln home, screaming for help, she outlined in a Facebook post what investigators believe was her motive for faking the July 22 attack, Police Chief Jim Peschong said at a news conference.
‚ÄúSo 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,‚ÄĚ read the July 18 posting, according to police.
Furthermore, genetic testing on evidence gathered at the crime scene undermines Rogers‚Äô account of what happened, Peschong said.
(Related: Lesbian Couple in Colorado Charged After Allegedly Faking ...)
Charlie Rogers, 33, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to making a false police report and was released on her own recognizance. She didn‚Äôt respond to a message seeking comment left Tuesday at a number listed as hers, but her lawyer, Brett McArthur, said she maintains the attack happened and plans to vigorously defend herself.
‚ÄúThis has been a very traumatic event for her, and having the focus of the investigation turn toward her has been really hard,‚ÄĚ said McArthur, who described Rogers as reserved and soft-spoken, and not the type to seek attention.
Below is an interview Rogers did with KETV in late July, where she expressed disappointment that the focus of the investigation seemed to be turning towards her.
‚ÄúWhat matters is the story, you know? That‚Äôs awful. It feels awful to me. This is an investigation. This is a crime. This is not‚Äď it deserves a level of respect. I know when these sorts of things happen, it ignites fires, and that‚Äôs a good thing in some ways‚Ä¶‚ÄĚ she said.
According to police, Rogers said three masked men broke into her home, and that one of them pinned her down while another sliced a cross into her chest, cut the front of her thighs and shins and carved derogatory words in her arms and abdomen. She said they then rolled her onto her stomach and cut her buttocks, the back of her thighs and the back of her right calf. She also said they tried to burn down her house.
The community‚Äôs gay community responded swiftly, and hundreds turned out for a rally that weekend outside the state Capitol.
But now, four Nebraska gay-rights groups that followed the case have released a joint statement crediting police for conducting what they believe was a balanced and thorough investigation.
Police reportedly found a pile of clothes, white knit gloves, and a red box cutter on the living room floor after the alleged attack. Rogers said the gloves didn‚Äôt belong to her, but investigators determined that much of the DNA found inside the glove was Rogers‚Äô, and that none of it came from a male.
Peschong said investigators also discovered that Rogers deleted numerous text messages she had sent the evening of the alleged attack, and that she bought cotton gloves, a box cutter and zip ties from an Ace Hardware Store in Lincoln on July 17. All of the items were later found in her house, he said.
She also sent a photo of a cross-shaped cut on her chest to a friend a few days before the reported attack, Peschong said.
Investigators say they found no apparent sign of a struggle in the living room where Rogers said she was attacked, and no blood on the sheets where the cutting allegedly took place. An FBI forensic pathologist concluded that Rogers either cut herself, or allowed someone else to do it.
Peschong said the department spent thousands of dollars investigating the case, but he stressed that the case will not undermine the department‚Äôs trust in people who report hate crimes.
‚ÄúThe FBI, the Bureau of Fire Prevention and the Lincoln Police Department have spent an exorbitant amount of time and personnel resources investigating this,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúWe aggressively investigated this. Every day since this incident has happened, there have been investigators working on trying to identify who these assailants were.‚ÄĚ