Charlie Rogers is a former college basketball player and also a lesbian who came forward with a dramatic story of a hate crime. She claimed three masked men broke into her house, carved anti-gay slurs into her flesh, and then poured gasoline around her house, and tried to set her on fire. But Rogers escaped, crawling from her home and shouting for help.
The community was understandably outraged. They held a church service and, the next day, a candlelit vigil in support of Rogers. A local tattoo parlor decided to pitch in by offering cut-price "NOH8" tattoos. Ten dollars of every tattoo would be put into a fund for Rogers herself. According to this story, the fund grew to over $500 -- the donations of at least 50 clients.
But police have now determined that the hate crime never happened. Or rather, it did happen, but the person who carved those hateful slogans into Charlie Rogers' flesh was Ms. Rogers herself.
The police evidence for this looks fairly strong. The box cutter and gloves police collected from Rogers' floor contained her DNA. A worker at the local hardware store ID'd Rogers in a photo lineup as the person who had bought the items just five days before the attack. These and many other inconsistencies in her story have led police to arrest her for staging the fake crime. At least one local gay advocacy group is supporting the decision by the police.
Prior to the arrest, when her story was starting to be questioned, Rogers came forward and described herself as a "survivor." She said that being questioned was like being victimized a second time. She gave a tearful, extended interview to KETV.
Rogers may have missed her calling as an actress. Anyone watching that without knowing the crime was staged would feel anger. And that seems to have been the point all along.