Douglas County Deputies: Evidence Shows Women Made Up Story
6:45 AM, May 18, 2012
Arrest warrants have been issued for two women, formerly of Parker, in connection with a reported gay hate crime incident last year.On October 28, 2011, Douglas County deputies responded to a reported incident on Lark Water Lane in Parker. The two women that lived at the address reported that they were the victims of a hate crime.The words Kill the Gay were spray painted in red on their garage door. The next day, deputies responded to the same residence on the report that a noose was left on the front door handle. At the time of the initial report, both women stated they felt the incident was in retaliation for issues with their homeowners association and neighbors.The Douglas County Sheriffs Office worked on this case with the FBI, due to the alleged hate crime incident. Through the investigation and from witness statements, it was determined that allegations of the incident were false. Detectives were able to determine that the two women involved were responsible for the words that were spray painted on the garage and the placement of the noose on their own front door.Arrest warrants were issued for the two women. Christel Conklin, 29, of Denver was in custody Thursday for investigation of two counts of criminal mischief and false reporting.Aimee Whitchurch, 37, of Denver was in custody for investigation of two counts of criminal mischief, false reporting and forgery. A booking photo for Whitchurch was not available.Both women bailed out Thursday evening.Whitchurch said investigators are wrong in believing the report was false. When asked how they could make such a mistake, she told 7NEWS, "The only thing I can think is they didn't like this thing public, I don't know."Whitchurch vowed to fight the allegations."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."Scott Levin, the Mountain States Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League issued a statement Thursday that said:"False reporting of hate crimes wastes law enforcements time and resources and diverts law enforcement away from investigating legitimate complaints of hate crimes. When people make false claims of being victims of hate crimes, they take advantage of sympathetic community members and of the media."Hate crimes are a serious problem. They have an impact far beyond the individual victim of the crime. When a victim is chosen because of his or her actual or perceived sexual orientation, race, religion, national origin or disability, other members of the targeted group feel unsafe and unwelcome. Hate crimes resonate throughout the victims community and threaten the safety and well-being of every member of that group."