Updated: Police classify attack of woman as a hate crime

Posted By:  Melina Matthes

Lincoln police have confirmed the weekend attack is a hate crime due to the victim's sexual orientation.

Police say early Sunday morning, three men wearing masks tied up and cut a Lincoln woman in her home and then set fire to her kitchen.  Police say the victim did not know the suspects.  Now, police are saying this is a much bigger issue. 

Lincoln Police Officer Katie Flood says they're continuing to investigate the assault and arson that happened near 22nd and E Streets. 

The police incident report says a 33-year-old woman was tied up by unknown parties.  It says the suspects then carved words onto her body with a knife.

“It has been classified as a hate crime, words were spray painted inside the home making a derogatory comment towards someone's sexual orientation,”  says Officer Flood.

Lincoln police say the suspects also poured gasoline around the inside of the house which ignited and burned itself out.  Lincoln police say they are not providing too many details regarding the incident as it could damage the investigation. Police will say they are searching for 3 men. So far, there have been no arrests.

A special Service for Healing and Hope has been planned this Wednesday at the chapel at First-Plymouth UCC, 20th and D Streets. That's at 7pm.

Another candlelight vigil has been planned for this Thursday night in Omaha.  It's being organized by members of the Omaha LGBT.  It's scheduled to begin at 8:30 at Memorial Park located near UNO.

Mayor Chris Beutler is calling the incident despicable and appalling. The Human Rights Campaign out of Washington, D.C. is demanding justice and has alerted both the FBI and the Justice Department.

To donate to the victim's recovery fund just log onto http://starcitypride.org/victim-recovery-fund/