UPDATE: Police say woman made up hate-crime story
Posted By: Megan Palera
Charlie Rogers pleaded not guilty to false reporting.
A warrant for her arrest was issued Tuesday morning and just a few hours later she turned herself in.
It was a case that gained national attention and had thousands rallying to support Charlie Rogers, a lesbian who claimed she was a victim of a hate crime.
After nearly a month long investigation, Lincoln Police say Rogers made it all up.
“The last thing that we ever think when somebody ends up reporting a crime to us is that it is not the truth,” said Police Chief, Jim Peschong. He says the physical evidence doesn't match up to Rogers' story.
She claims three masked men forced their way into her home, assaulted her by carving words into her skin and then tried to set the home on fire.
According to court documents, police say there was no blood from the cuts on the bed spread where the alleged assault happened. Also, a pathologist says she believes Rogers made the cuts herself or they were done with her permission.
Police say they found her DNA inside the gloves that were supposedly left behind by the suspects. Gloves that they say were also purchased by Rogers, along with a box cutter and zip ties, at an ace hardware just a few days before the alleged crime.
Police say all her texts from the night of the alleged attack had been deleted and that she posted this on her Facebook wall just days before it all, “I believe way deep inside of me that we can make things better for everyone. I will be the catalyst. I will do what it takes.”
Peschong says, “There's obviously some underlying issues that need to wind up being dealt with.”
Rogers turned herself in Tuesday, was later arrested and released without bond. She's charged with false reporting, a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to a year in prison. Her attorney says it's been very disheartening for her.
“It's very, very difficult you know because this is a traumatic event being assaulted in this way and then having things turned on you and being accused of making something like this up. It's been hard on her,” said Brett McAurthur, Rogers' attorney.
Chief Peschong says despite this case, the police take hate crimes very seriously and he doesn't want victims to feel like they can't come to them for help.