LINCOLN, Neb. – A former University of Nebraska women's basketball star accused of faking a hate-crime attack against her is standing by her story in emails to news organizations and in an online video.
In the YouTube video and emails Charlie Rogers, 34, insists she did not make up the July attack, the Lincoln Journal Star reported (http://bit.ly/TGTbiv).
"The perpetrators of my crime are still out there. They are. It wasn't me," Rogers said in the 15-minute video. "I wouldn't say I did it then, and I won't say I did it now. I am innocent."
Rogers told police that three masked men broke into her home, and that one of them pinned her down while another sliced a cross into her chest, cut the front of her thighs and shins and carved derogatory words in her arms and abdomen. She said they then rolled her onto her stomach and cut her buttocks, the back of her thighs and the back of her right calf. She also said they tried to burn down her house.
Rogers crawled from her home naked, bleeding and screaming for help, a neighbor told police.
Police arrested her Aug. 21 for allegedly staging the attack, and prosecutors charged her with making a false report to police, a misdemeanor. She pleaded not guilty Sept. 27.
Both prosecutors and Rogers' attorney have said they expect the case to go to trial.
Investigators did not follow up on leads in the case, Rogers said. They did not interview a woman who had a key to Rogers' house, didn't check out men taking photographs of her at a public event and didn't secure the crime scene in the days after the attack, she said.
Instead, Rogers said, authorities have painted her as mentally ill and tried her in the court of public opinion.
Police Chief Jim Peschong countered that investigators have worked diligently on the case and brought in an FBI agent to help.
Peschong said investigators never found any evidence to back up Rogers' story. He said there was no sign of a struggle at Rogers' house and no blood on the bedspread where she said the men cut her. An FBI forensic pathologist determined that Rogers made the cuts herself or they were done with her permission, her arrest warrant says.
Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com