Police in Lincoln, Neb. have not ruled out the possibility that a reported anti-gay hate crime may have been staged, the Lincoln Journal Star reported.
(Related: ‘We Found U ’Dy**’: 3 Masked Men Allegedly Mutilate Lesbian After Breaking Into Her Home During Grisly Hate Crime)
Chief Jim Peschong said Tuesday investigators were not certain the attack on a 33-year-old woman took place, but that it was too early to tell whether it was a hoax. Police have no suspects, he told the Journal Star.
The alleged victim told police three masked men entered her home early Sunday, tied her up and carved anti-gay slurs into her skin. Police confirmed the woman had been injured and was treated at a local hospital, according to Reuters. "Multiple detectives" were working the case, a department spokesman told Reuters, and an FBI agent had joined the investigation Tuesday, the Journal Star reported.
Megan Mikolajczyk, the Lincoln attorney representing the woman who reported the crime, told the newspaper her client did not wish to make a statement about it.
Dawn Thorfinnson, a friend of the alleged victim, told the Journal Star when she first heard about the attack "it seemed far-fetched and hard to believe."
“It’s entirely understandable (police) are not ready to believe something this horrid would happen, and it would actually be almost better if it never did,” she said. “I would hate to find out anything that she said wasn’t actually real.”
Thorfinnson said she believes her friend is telling the truth.
“That would shock me. I know enough about (her) that I know this is not at all something she’d be capable of doing," she said.
Thorfinnson said her friend's attackers targeted her after watching her perform with a 5-year-old girl during Omaha’s Gay Pride Parade on June 30. She said the woman lip-synced Elton John’s “Your Song” while the child danced in a tutu. Thorfinnson said her friend wanted to work to make the world a more tolerant place for future generations of gay and lesbian children to grow up.
The local community has rallied behind the woman since she reported the attack, including holding a candlelight vigil and donating funds to support her recovery.