Was Cheyenne Williams Attacked Because She's Lesbian?

The mother of a high school girl who was allegedly beaten and nearly thrown off a Kentucky cliff by three friends says her daughter was attacked because she is gay.

"It's a hate crime," said Dee Johnson, the mother of high school senior Cheyenne Williams. "There is evidence."

Johnson said she was advised not to go into details because of the ongoing investigation, but said her daughter managed to take cellphone video while fending off her alleged attackers at a 50-foot waterfall near McKee, Ky.

Bullied To Death
Bullied To Death

Johnson said the video evidence will show that the attack was a hate crime, but she can't discuss the details of the video because it is now part of the investigation.

When asked how her daughter was able to defend herself and take a video of the incident, Johnson said, "When you think you're getting killed, you take a video and hope the police will find it after you're killed."

She said Cheyenne eventually escaped her attackers by using a stick to defend herself.

Corrine Schwab and Ashley Sams, both 18, have been charged with kidnapping and attempted murder. Both are free on bail. The third suspect is a juvenile and has not been identified by police because of her age. It is also not known what charges she faces.

According to Timothy Crawford, the attorney for the Jackson County High School where all four girls were students, the attack happened last Friday, April 16, when the three suspects offered to drive Williams, 18, to a job interview.

When the interview was delayed, the girls instead drove Williams to Flat Lick Falls, according to Crawford, where they allegedly "hit her and beat her and threatened her and left her."

Was Cheyenne Williams The Victim of a Hate Crime?

Lt. David Jude, a commander of the Kentucky State Police, said that the investigation is still ongoing and disputed earlier reports that authorities have ruled out the possibility of a hate crime and have deemed this instead as a "prank gone awry."

"Our detectives are still looking at what happened," said Jude, who declined to say whether it was a hate crime.

Williams is recovering from minor injuries, but will not be returning to the school, according to her mother. She is also having trouble sleeping since the attack.

Johnson says that her daughter has been out as a lesbian since middle school, and has never had any problems up until now.

"I'm more angry than anything," said Johnson. "These were supposed to be her friends and I just really upsets me. I knew these girls myself and I'm really disappointed in them."

Calls and e-mails sent to Schwag and Sams by ABCNews.com were not immediately returned, and it was not immediately clear whether the girls have attorneys.

Suspects in Williams Attack Case Were Her Friends

Crawford said that the school didn't even know about the attack until Monday when Williams' mother came in to complain to the school. He said that nothing has changed at the school and that the girls had no history of violence and were known for being friends.

Williams had shared a room with one of the girls on a recent senior trip to the Bahamas, said Crawford.

The high school did recognize the "Day of Silence," an anti-violence event promoted by the national Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Alliance, said Crawford, but that the principal had asked students to remove pins that declared their allegiance either for or against the cause to head off any potential conflicts.

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