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Orlando police investigating woman's rape as hate crime

A woman was gang-raped while walking home from the Revolution nightclub in Orlando.  Police are investigating as a potential hate crime. 08-26-13
A woman was gang-raped while walking home from the Revolution nightclub in Orlando. Police are investigating as a potential hate crime.
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Updated: 8/27/2013 10:03 am
ORLANDO, Fla. (WFTV) -- A woman walking home from an Orlando nightclub was raped early Sunday morning, according to Orlando police.

Police said the woman told them she was walking home from the Revolution Nightclub on South Bumby Avenue when a silver-colored vehicle with three white men pulled up near her.

The woman said she remembers walking under an overpass in the area and then giving a homeless man some money before the car pulled up, but she can't remember exactly where the alleged assault happened.

According to a police report, the men began yelling sexually explicit and derogatory comments about the woman's sexual preferences.

The men stopped the vehicle and got out, and then one of the occupants pushed the woman to the ground, where the driver raped her, according to the police report.

The woman told police that the men then drove away.

Police said the woman told them she didn't know the men.

Police said when they arrived, they found the woman with scratches on her arms and a laceration on her chin.

Police said they are investigating the assault as a hate crime.

"It's rare. I know we don't get a lot of hate crimes reported in the city of Orlando," said Sgt. Jim Young of the Orlando Police Department.

Revolution Nightclub goer Jose Torrez was surprised to hear a woman was raped just after leaving the bar early Sunday morning.

"I think that's really sick. I really do," said Torrez.

People who frequent the Club Revolution said it's not unusual for them to be harassed. Torrez said there have been times where he's feared for his own safety after leaving the club. He said it's not uncommon to hear derogatory words yelled in his direction.

Police haven't said whether surveillance cameras at the club that caters to the gay and lesbian crowd have turned up any clues.

News of the attack has outraged many.

"As a gay person I look out for my people. To have someone be yelled at and be called a lesbian and get raped because of it that's absolutely ridiculous," said club goer Josh Thomas.

Randy Stephens, executive director of the Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual-Transgender Center, told Channel 9 he plans to warn the gay and lesbian community, especially with the holiday weekend coming up.

"Just to issue a warning, please be extra careful, that we've had a situation," he said.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS (8477).

Vido: WFTV Orlando
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