What Happened to Charlie Rogers' Donations?


Video by kmtv.com

What Happened to Charlie Rogers' Donations?

By Meghan Matthews. CREATED Aug 28, 2013

Omaha, NE - She fooled us all with the story of a vicious hate crime that made national headlines. Even the judge called it an outrageous lie before sentencing her to a week in jail.

Charlie Rogers told Lincoln police last July that a group of men attacked her and carved anti-gay slurs into her body. Her story fell apart. A judge found her guilty of filing a false report. 

When a Lancaster County judge sentenced Charlie Rogers he also ordered she returns all the money raised for her. Some haven't seen the cash and other organizations may have been duped, into thinking those funds are coming to them.

In support of Charlie Rogers and the entire gay community, thousands of people and thousands of dollars went behind her story.

"It's kinda like pouring salt in the wound. Cause all these people. I mean this is one of the biggest candle light vigils the city has seen. The support was overwhelming I mean I'm kinda getting goose bumps just thinking about it."
More than $10,000 in donations went to Rogers and only months later, her entire hate crime story, turned out a hoax. As part of her punishment a judge ordered she return all donation money to identifiable donors.
"The letter from the judge, who says, hey, we're not giving you back the money, because you as an organization raised this money at the candle light vigil and although you gave it as an organization you still can't identify each of those individual donors."
Heartland Pride in Omaha raised $1,800 for Rogers during the massive vigil at Memorial Park. They still haven't seen a dime.
"We had people there counting and triple checking so we knew how much we had; we put that in an account that was set up for Charlie. And we're not getting any of that back."
The judge also ordered the unclaimed cash to be donated to a nonprofit organization. Since then it's been given to the Lincoln Police Department's 'Santa-cop' charity.
The there was another twist.
"They voted, via Facebook so this just kinda fell in our laps."
A different Nebraska non-profit, called "Project Kindle", says that money, is theirs.
"So we were just really elated to know that someone had A.) submitted our name and then B.) the outcome."
Public Relations Coordinator Trina Harrison says someone created a survey online, claiming people could vote on where to send the money.
We didn't find the survey or the creator. We did find a Facebook post. 
The Lancaster County Chief Probation Officer tells Action 3 he isn't aware of any survey, and that wasn't a part of the judge's decision.