Hate crime hoax, one year later - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Hate crime hoax, one year later

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By: Kayla Bremer
kbremer@klkntv.com

One year ago, July 22, 2012, Charlie Rogers told police she was the victim of a hate crime that shook the community.

"I got out of my house, I was naked, and I was cut," Rogers said in a YouTube video.

Rogers said three men broke into her house, tied her up and carved anti–gay slurs onto her body, then tried to burn her house down.

At the time, the hate crime brought an outpouring of support and donations from across the country.

But after a month of investigating, police said she made the whole thing up.  She was eventually convicted of false reporting.

Now, a year later, the LGBT community remembers and has come a long way.

A director of one of the resource centers in Lincoln says it's important to look at the good that came from it all, especially the support and coming together of the community.

"No one likes to be considered like they're being taken advantage of or that they're believing something that isn't true but I think that hopefully most people understand that what happened was really on some level a cry for help," Pat Tetreault said.

Tetreault says anyone who is ever a victim of a hate crime should report it without the fear that Roger's hoax could lead anyone to doubt them.

"There's lots of examples where things happened where people don't tell anybody and so that idea of reporting is an important one," Tetreault added.

In April of this year, Rogers was sentenced to seven days in jail, two years probation and 250 hours of community service.

She maintained her innocence throughout the entire process.

"I won't say I did it then.  I won't say I did it now.  I did not do this," Rogers said.

Rogers has since served her seven day jail term.  She will be on probation until April of 2015.  If she violates her probation, she could face another 90 days in jail.

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