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Cheyenne Williams Attacked by Classmates Because She's a Lesbian, Parents Claim

Corrine Schwab, left and Ashley Sams are accused of beating classmate Cheyenne Williams because she is a lesbian. Kentucky State Police

Cheyenne Williams (WKYT)
MCKEE, Ky. (CBS/AP) Cheyenne Williams says three of her classmates kidnapped her and took her to Flat Lick Falls, a remote area 60 miles south of Lexington, Ky., where they beat her and tried to push her off a cliff - and she says they did it because she is gay.

The incident happened on April 16, a national "Day of Silence" intended to raise awareness about bullying and harassment due to sexual orientation. Williams' mother believes that is what was at the root of the attack.

Corrine Schwab, left and Ashley Sams (Kentucky State Police)
Williams has known the three suspects since sixth grade and has been "out" for years, but Kentucky State Police say they haven't yet found evidence to substantiate a qualification of a hate crime, according to CBS affiliate WKYT.

According to the criminal complaint, filed by Williams on Monday, the three suspects took Williams against her will to Flat Lick Falls were they allegedly attacked her at the falls and tried to push her off a 50-foot cliff, state police said. Williams then brandished a stick at the girls and was able to get away.

The girls later found her and forced her back into the car but then let her go, warning her not to say anything, according the complaint.

School officials said the "Day of Silence" anti-violence event Friday, promoted by the national Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Alliance, did spark some controversy on campus. While some students wore stickers in support of the observance, others protested the event by wearing stickers that said "Gay is not the way." It wasn't clear which side of the debate the three suspects were on.

Ashley N. Sams, 18, of Annville and Corrine M. Schwab, 18 of Sandgap, were arrested and charged with kidnapping and attempted murder. A third 17-year-old girl was also charged in connection with the attack but those charges, and her name, are being withheld because she is a juvenile.

Schwab was released Wednesday on $25,000 bond. She is to be arraigned next week.

Sams remained jailed Wednesday. She is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.

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