NE Woman Accused Of Faking Hate Crime Stands By Her Claim

A Nebraska woman accused of staging a hate-crime attack against herself insists she’s telling the truth.

In July, Charlie Rogers, 34, came to police in Lincoln, NE, and told them three men had broken into her house. They sliced a cross into her chest, cut her shins, thighs and posterior, and carved anti-gay slurs in her arms and stomach. She also claimed they tried to burn down her house.

Rogers harrowing account outraged the community and even sparked a candlelight vigil on the steps of the Lincoln statehouse. But investigators couldn’t find any evidence to support Rogers claims—no sign of a struggle at the house, and no blood on the bed where she allegedly cut. A forensic pathologist determined the wounds were self-inflicted.

Police arrested her on August 21 for making a false report to police, but Rogers pleaded not guilty in September. In addition to a lack of evidence supporting Rogers’ version of events, she posted a suspicious comment on Facebook shortly before the incident: “So maybe I am too idealistic, but I believe way deep inside me that we can make things better for everyone,” she wrote. “I will be a catalyst. I will do what it takes. I will. Watch me.”

In a YouTube video posted Tuesday, Rogers maintained her innocence: “The perpetrators of my crime are still out there. They are. It wasn’t me,” she says in the clip. I wouldn’t say I did it then, and I won’t say I did it now. I am innocent.” She claims police didn’t do a thorough enough job investigating the incident and were eager to label her as mentally ill.

The case against Rogers is expected to go to trial.