Lincoln assault victim speaks out
July 26th, 2012
Omaha, NE – The alleged victim of a brutal assault in Lincoln spoke publicly for the first time Thursday. Charlie Rogers is a 33-year-old Lincoln woman, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate and former Husker basketball star.
The alleged attack early Sunday morning has drawn national attention. Lincoln police are investigating it as a hate crime, as it appears the suspects targeted Rogers because of her sexual orientation. Rogers is openly gay.
In an interview with KETV that aired Thursday night, Rogers said she doesn’t want to hide from this anymore. “My world has been changed forever,” she said.
KETV says Rogers did not want to discuss the details of the attack because she wants to ensure she does not jeopardize the investigation. But she told police three masked men broke into her home, tied her up and carved homophobic slurs into her body before attempting to set her home on fire. Rogers escaped to a neighbor’s house, and the neighbor called 911.
“So there’s fear. But there is resilience,” Rogers said. “There is forward.”
Rogers went public with her story, according to KETV, in response to rumors that have been circulating – mainly online and repeated in newspaper stories – that her attack was a hoax. There has been no evidence to suggest that. “For people to think this doesn’t happen here…it does,” Rogers said. “It did.”
“That people think it’s a lie is so hurtful.”
Rogers said she is thankful for the outpouring of support from the community, particularly in Lincoln and Omaha where multiple vigils have been held in her honor. “I can 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,” she said.
In Omaha, thousands showed up at Memorial Park Thursday night, including Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle and Councilman Ben Gray, to support Rogers and stand against all forms of hate and violence.
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