A 33-year-old Nebraska woman said three masked intruders tied her up, carved homophobic slurs into her skin and then set her house on fire in a shocking case that police are reportedly classifying as a hate crime.
A spokeswoman for the Lincoln Police Department said investigators found a derogatory slur used against lesbians spray painted inside her home following the attack early Sunday morning.
The woman, an open homosexual who was not identified in local reports, made her way to a neighbor’s home after her assailants left. She called police around 4 a.m.
“I was in shock,” said neighbor Linda Rappl. “She was naked, her hands were tied with zip ties. All I could see was a cut across her forehead and blood running down.”
The woman told police three men wearing ski masks broke into her home and bound her hands, the Omaha World-Herald reported. The men also reportedly used a knife to cut the gay slurs into her skin and then doused her home with gasoline to start the blaze.
Officials declined to say what three words were carved onto the woman’s arms and stomach, and refused to detail other aspects of the incident.
“We need to maintain the integrity of the case,” Capt. Jim Davidsaver told the World-Herald.
Erin Thompson, a friend of the woman, told the newspaper she was in tears when she called Sunday from the hospital. “They carved on me,” Thompson said the woman told her, according to the World-Herald.
Thompson also posted a picture on Facebook of the message spray painted in her friend’s home that included the slur.
“I wanted to share this, not to provoke anger, but to show you how truly devastating and spirit shattering people can be,” she wrote. “This was in the basement.”
The house was still on fire when police arrived, but the flames only did about $200 worth of damage, city fire officials told the Lincoln Journal Star. The newspaper reported Monday that police had no suspects and the intruders concealed their faces.
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