Two co-habiting women who claimed they were victims of a hate crime directed against lesbians have been arrested after Colorado police determined they had staged the incidents. On October 28, 2011, Aimee Whitchurch, 37, and Christel Conklin, 29, called local police and reported the words "Kill the Gay" were scrawled in red spray paint on the garage door of their home in Parker, Colo.
The next day, the couple told then told sheriff's deputies they found a noose hanging on the handle of their front door. The pair told officers they believed the incidents were retribution on the part of their from their neighbors and homeowner's association, who had complained the couple did not pick up the excrement left by their dogs.
The Douglas County Sheriff's Office worked cooperated with the FBI in an investigation of the alleged hate crime. However, upon examining statements by various witnesses, the agencies concluded that Whitchurch and Conklin had staged the incidents.
Both women were arrested and are now charged with criminal mischief and false reporting. Whitchurch also faces an additional charge of forgery. She told ABC's Denver affiliate KMGH-TV that the police were mistaken. Vowing to fight the charges, Whitchurch "This is a fight I started. This is a fight I'm going to finish. This is a fight I'm right on," she said. "I have every right to live where I want to live."