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Lesbian couple says HOA sparked hate crimes

5:42 PM, Nov 1, 2011   |    comments
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"We are not the type of people to sit back and take that," Christel Conklin said.

Conklin and her partner Aimee Whitchurch have been together for four years and have lived at their Parker condo for almost six months.

On Friday night, someone defaced their condo in Parker with red spray paint. Along with the garage door graffiti, a target was painted on their front door.

The next night, a noose was left on their door step.

"This is where we live. We should feel safe. I am afraid to walk outside my place now," Whitchurch said.

Whitchurch and Conklin believe this all stems from a feud they've been having for months with the Homeowners Association.

Conklin says the HOA has claimed the women don't pick up after their dogs.

"It ridiculous. We have a Mastiff and a Great-Dane, two of the largest breed dogs, if we didn't pick up after them this entire place would be covered. It's completely invalid. That's just common sense," Conklin said.

The couple called their HOA President on Friday night and told him about the situation, but they say it wasn't handled properly.

"The president came down here on Saturday and slapped some primer [over the paint.] You can see the awesome job he did," Conklin said sarcastically.

The white paint barely covers the red spray paint on their beige garage.

"They said they wanted to cover it because it was a sight for sore eyes. But [his paint job] is still a sight for sore eyes, so we decided to put these signs up too," Conklin said.

The couple has made signs that say, "Don't just cover it, solve it" and "We will not submit to hate."

9NEWS tried to contact several members of the HOA board on Tuesday afternoon, but we have not received a reply.

Since the initial graffiti on Friday night, the couple says their car has been keyed and dog feces have been left on their property.

"I don't understand this. This is not the reaction you would expect to see from your community," Whitchurch said.

"For someone to target us for our lifestyle - it's ridiculous," Conklin said.

The case is still an open investigation with the Douglas County Sherriff's Office.

"Right now, we don't have any leads and no one is in custody," Det. Ron Hanovan with Douglas County Sheriff's Office said.

Hanovan says two crimes are involved here: criminal mischief over $1,000 and an anti-bias crime.

Hanovan says they have added extra patrols in the area.

Conklin and Whitchruch say they are taking it to the FBI.

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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