By Melissa Abbey, CNN
(CNN) - Three masked men allegedly bound a woman and carved words into her skin, police in Lincoln, Nebraska, said Monday.
The incident has been classified as a hate crime because a derogatory term for lesbians was painted inside the home, said Officer Katie Flood, a spokeswoman for the Lincoln Police Department.
Someone had carved words into the woman's body, police said, but investigators declined to elaborate. In addition, someone poured gasoline around the house and lit it, but the fire did little damage, police said.
After the attack, the woman made her way to the home of a neighbor, Linda Rappl, who said she feared bad news about her husband, who is in hospice, when she heard someone knocking on her door before dawn Sunday.
What she saw instead was her 33-year-old neighbor, she said, naked and bleeding.
"I was in shock," Rappl said. "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 was sobbing. Rappl, 68, brought her neighbor inside and wrapped her in a blanket before calling 911.
Hate crimes will not be tolerated in Lincoln, NE. Thinking of the victim.
This is a terrible, awful, sad story and my heart breaks for this young woman. Carol, you said you know her? Is there a fund set up to donate money to help her get back on her feet?
I was reading comments earlier this evening, and the thought that this woman did these terrible things to herself sickens me. I live in Lincoln, I know her. She did nothing except be openly gay. She is a very kind and loving person.