Lancaster County Attorney Joe Kelly says a judge issued an arrest warrant Tuesday for Charlie Rogers. As of Tuesday morning, Police in Lincoln, Neb., who spent weeks investigating the case as a hate crime, had not arrested Rogers.
Rogers, 33, of Lincoln, told police three men wearing black ski masks broke into her home during the early morning hours on July 22, bound her wrists and ankles with zip ties, beat her and carved anti-gay slurs into her arms and abdomen.
Rogers also alleged the men spray painted slurs inside the home and poured gasoline around the house before lighting it on fire.
Rogers said she was bound and naked when she escaped and managed to knock on a neighbor’s door at about 4 a.m. July 22.
Police said they interviewed Rogers on four separate occasions. Now, police said, because of inconsistences in her various accounts of the attack and forensic DNA evidence, a warrant has been issued for her arrest.
There was no apparent struggle in the room where Rogers said she was attacked on her bed, the warrant for her arrest says, which also described the bedspread as appearing “neat” and “evenly placed on the bed.”
“There was no apparent blood on the bedspread; even though Ms. Rogers reported she was rolled on to her stomach after she had been cut on her arms, abdomen, chest and front legs while being held down.”
Forensic tests of Rogers’ bedding at the University of Nebraska Medical Center found no traces of blood.
Additionally, the FBI sent photos of the cuts on Rogers to a coroner’s physician for Lancaster County, who consulted with Dr. Michelle Elieff, a forensic pathologist. According to the warrant, Elieff said Rogers’ cuts appeared to be self-inflicted.
“This opinion is based partially on the fact that the cuts appeared to be superficial and symmetrical, avoided sensitive areas of the body, appear that they would have taken considerable time to do and are accessible to the victim and follow the victim’s frame of reference for reading and writing.”
Elieff also noted Rogers had no bruising, even though she alleged the men beat her.
Police also found a pile of clothes, a pair of white knit gloves and a red box cutter on the living room floor. Rogers said the gloves did not belong to her, but DNA testing determined she was the “major contributor” of DNA inside of them, according to the warrant.
Investigators discovered that the gloves, zip ties, blades and a red utility knife were purchased five days before the alleged attack at a hardware store in Lincoln. During an interview, Rogers told police she shops at that store.
Police showed a clerk from the store a photo lineup and the clerk identified Rogers as the person who bought the items, the arrest warrant says.
Police said that they also discovered graffiti spray painted on the basement walls after Rogers told the initial responding officer about it the morning of her alleged attack. But in a subsequent interview with Rogers, police said she did not know anything about the graffiti because she left her house immediately after the attack, the arrest warrant said.
News of the alleged attack sparked multiple vigils attended by thousands of gay-rights supporters who donated money in support of Rogers in cities throughout Nebraska.
At the time, Rogers said she would not attend the vigils because she was in hiding and wouldn’t speak publicly about the details of her attack for fear of influencing the police investigation.
But after a week, police said they had found no suspects, leading some to question whether Rogers made it all up.
On July 27, Rogers gave an interview to KETV in Omaha, saying she decided to make her name and face public to counter those skeptical that the attack ever happened.
“I understand that people sort of have a hard time wrapping their heads around the things that have happened, as do I,” Rogers said. “But I’m a person with feelings, with concerns. For people to think that this doesn’t happen here, it does. It did.”
Police were expected to arrest Rogers Tuesday.
Really disappointed in this. Hopefully she can get some counseling because there are serious issues mixed up in this.