(Why are the Feds dragging their feet?)
Police mull hate crime charges for W.Va. attack
Suspects allegedly used racial slur, tortured woman for a week
Six people to be charged with hate crime
Sept. 11: In W.Va., police are investigating what they call a shocking case of torture. Six people could be charged with a hate crime.
6 charged in torture
Sept. 11: MSNBC’s Tamron Hall talks to WSAZ reporter Jennifer Cottrill about the case.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Authorities said Tuesday they are considering hate crime charges in the case of a woman who was tortured while being held captive for at least a week, and they are investigating the possibility that she was lured by a man she met on the Internet.
The victim was repeatedly called a racial slur while her captors sexually abused, beat and stabbed her, her mother said.
“I don’t understand a human being doing another human being the way they did my daughter,” Carmen Williams said Tuesday from her daughter’s room at Charleston Area Medical Center General Hospital. “I didn’t know there were people like that out here.”
Megan Williams, with a cast on her arm, spoke barely above a whisper.
“I’m better,” she said.
The Associated Press generally does not identify suspected victims of sexual assault, but Williams and her mother agreed to release her name.
‘Out of a horror movie’
A prosecutor said police are investigating the possibility that the victim was lured to the house where she was attacked by a man she met on the internet, but Carmen Williams insisted that wasn’t the case. “This wasn’t from the Internet,” she said.
Deputies also interviewed the victim Tuesday morning. State, local and federal officials planned to meet later in the day to decide whether to file hate crime charges, Logan County sheriff’s Sgt. Sonya Porter said. An FBI spokesman in Pittsburgh, Bill Crowley, confirmed that the agency is looking into possible civil rights violations.
The woman’s abductors called her the N-word “every time they stabbed her,” Carmen Williams told The Charleston Gazette earlier.
Authorities were still looking for two people they believe drove the woman to the house where she was abused, said Logan County Chief Deputy V.K. Dingess.
The case is “something that would have come out of a horror movie,” Logan County Sheriff W.E. Hunter said.
Deputies found Williams on Saturday when they went to the house in Big Creek, about 35 miles southwest of Charleston, to investigate an anonymous tip from someone who had witnessed the abuse, Porter said Tuesday.
One of the suspects, Frankie Brewster, was sitting on the front porch and told deputies she was alone, but moments later the woman limped toward the door, her arms outstretched, saying “Help me,” the sheriff’s department said in a news release.