An unidentified Lincoln, Neb., woman, 33, was attacked and tortured in her home late Saturday night. She was held captive, stripped and zip tied by three masked men. They cut her face and carved words in her body. Her assailants also painted, among other things, the word “dyke” inside the home, before dousing it with gasoline and lighting it on fire. Luckily, the fire did little damage and the woman survived. Police were called to the scene after the naked victim, still bound and bleeding, appeared on her friend and neighbor’s doorstep sobbing and begging for help. “I was in shock,” said the 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.” Rappl took the woman inside and gave her a blanket before calling 911. Rappl said the woman was also cut on her arms and legs, “Some of the blood that was on her — that had run down her legs — was dried so I don’t know how long it was before she got away.”
The openly gay victim had recently lost her job and was doing some volunteering with children. According to Rappl, “Apparently, though, through that job someone let her know that she had no business working with children because she was a lesbian.” Rappl added of the victim, “She is a wonderful, beautiful person. I couldn’t ask for a better neighbor.” The victim was taken to a local hospital.
In an outpouring of support for the victim and a stand against the hate-fueled attack, the community held a candlelight vigil for the victim outside the state Capitol Sunday night, attended by about 500 people. Police, who do not have any suspects, have withheld the specific details of the attack, and are not speculating as to the assailants’ motive, but they are treating the attack as a hate crime.