Neighbor of gay hate crime victim in Nebraska talks of 'shocking' attack which moved hundreds to hold vigils in support.
A Nebraska lesbian whose attackers allegedly carved anti-gay slurs into her skin before setting fire to her house has spoken out about the ordeal for the first time.
Three masked men broke into the house of 33-year-old Charlie Rogers in the early hours of Sunday morning (22 July).
The attackers reportedly tied her up and cut her all over her body, before scoring her skin with homophobic insults. They then covered the floor in gasoline and set it alight.
Moved by the brutal assault, around 500 held an impromptu candlelit vigil at the steps of the Capitol building in Lincoln on the same evening of the attack and a thousand people also showed their support in Omaha last night (26 July).
In her first media interview with KETV, Rogers said: 'My world has been changed forever.
'I can't adequately express how much it has meant to me that people are standing with me and people are standing for me.'
She added: 'For people to think this doesn't happen here, it does. It did.'
Lincoln Police are investigating the incident and Rogers' lawyer Megan Mikolajczyk denied rumors that the story is a hoax.
A neighbor who sheltered Rogers following the attack told the news channel she was 'in shock' after hearing what happened.
'She was naked, her hands were tied with zip ties,' said Linda Rappi.
'All I could see was a cut across her forehead and blood running down.'