On 22 July, Charlie Rogers ran from her burning house covered in blood. It was alleged that the former basketball player was assaulted by three masked men who stripped her, tied her down and carved homophobic slurs into her skin before they tried to set fire to her and her house. Lincoln, Nebraska police now say that the attack was a hoax and that the incident did not occur.
The LPD stated that “the physical evidence conflicted with Charlie Rogers’ version of events” and that “extensive investigation revealed numerous inconsistencies.” Rogers has not admitted any of this, but according to her attorney, Brett McArthur, agreed to turn herself in so long as she was released on a personal recognizance bond. McArthur stated that “she did not have to post any money” and “She maintains her innocence. This has been kind of a kick in the gut as a victim to turn around and be charged.”
Police cite DNA and pathologists’ examinations that did not substantiate Rogers’ original statements as well as changes in her story during the investigation. The police stated that “These were serious allegations that garnered national attention and spread fear among local citizens. A great deal of time and resources were spent investigating Charlie Rogers’ claims in hopes of identifying and arresting the three suspects in this case.”
For Heartland Pride president Beth Rigatuso, who organized a vigil in the aftermath of the alleged attack, the new was horrific to hear. She stated “I don’t feel betrayed as much as I feel sad for how, if this is really true…there is a lot of things going on with her. It leads to a bigger problem in our society that someone would do this.”
The vigil raised more than $1,800, all of which went to an account for Rogers. Rigatuso now wants that money back because “We’d like to get the funds returned to us so we can establish our own fund to support victims of anti-gay violence.” McArthur doesn’t know anything about the fund.