By: Sabrina Ahmed
Gay pride and anti–violence activists rallied in front of the capitol Sunday night to show support for a Lincoln woman who was attacked earlier in the day.
Hundreds of people gathered in response to what friends say was a hate crime. It happened early Sunday morning. Fire fighters originally responded to a house fire but friends told us that it was much more than that.
A friend of the victim says the woman who was attacked in her bed is working to make it through. Not much is confirmed yet by Lincoln police. Officials do say they were called to a fire in the near 22nd and E.
They say multiple suspects forced themselves into the home, assaulted the woman then started a fire inside.
A friend, who did not want to go on camera, explains what he says happened inside.
"3 men came into her home, they broke down the door, stripped her of all her clothing, tied her hands behind her back with a zip tie. They cut derogatory words into her arms and stomach and continued to cut all over her body."
Friends add the men who assaulted her also spray painted anti-gay words in her basement. Friends say they think this was a hate crime because the woman assaulted is a lesbian.
"When someone takes the time to hand cuff someone with a zip tie and carve derogatory comments or words into somebody else's body, that's sheer hate and at this point, this is a hate crime."
Police say the woman ran to her neighbors house for help. We spoke to the neighbor, who says she also believes this was a hate crime. She also doesn't want her identity revealed to keep the victim anonymous.
"It's so devastating that someone would take one little iota of her character and zero in on that when truly don't know what a wonderful person she is."
This neighbor broke down while we were talking, she says she doesn't understand how it all could happen.
"You know I just feel so bad that it's happening and she doesn't deserve it."
Police say they are still searching for suspects.
Sunday night, a large crowd gathered and spoke about their support for the victim. One of the speakers told the crowd that this can never happen again in Lincoln.
If you have any information about this crime, call Crime Stoppers at 402-475-3600.