Charlie Rogers, a woman accused of filing a false hate crime report in an incident that initially caused an outpouring of support on the internet but was later revealed to be invented out of whole cloth, has been convicted after pleading “no contest” to charges brought against her after the subterfuge was discovered.
In August, Charlie Rogers became a cause celebre online when her tale of being accosted in her own home in July by three men who bound her, carved anti-gay slurs into her skin and tried to burn the place down went viral on the internet. Rogers’ claims were embraced by gay rights groups and even made it into nationwide mainstream media sources before police said that evidence uncovered during the course of the investigation revealed that the victim herself was the likely assailant.
The subsequently disclosed information about the alleged attack included that of a forensic investigator who concluded that due to the nature of the wounds, Rogers, 34, either inflicted them herself or allowed them to be inflicted upon her — and that no evidence of a struggle was apparent. In November, Charlie Rogers posted a YouTube video reaffirming her allegations and saying that she was forced to plead “no contest” to the claims in court.
“The investigation culminated with me in a room with law enforcement and them saying, ‘Charlie you did it. Say you did. You did it.’ And me saying, ‘No. No I didn’t.’ I won’t say I did it then. I won’t say I did it now. I did not do this. I am innocent.”
“I will keep fighting. I will keep trying to be heard. I will keep telling the truth. Doing this is going to hurt me and my case. But it might help someone else. It might make someone out there think twice … That makes any bad that comes my way from speaking out worth it. I will not stand by and let someone else be hurt knowing I could have done something about it. I would not have stood by before this happened. I will not now.”
Yesterday, as his client pled no contest to charges of filing a false report in the anti-gay attack, defense attorney Brett McArthur explained of Rogers’ plea:
“She does maintain her innocence … The courtroom is not a gentle place. Charlie is a very fragile personality. This has been a very distressing experience, and she felt she couldn’t go on.”
Charlie Rogers was found guilty on charges of filing a false report by Lancaster County Judge Gale Pokorny and will face sentencing on February 14.