I’ve left another message for Brewster County Sheriff Ronny Dodson this morning, and his secretary assures me that this time he’ll call me back. In the meantime, take a peak at this story from CBS 7 in Odessa, in which the sheriff for the first time acknowledges publicly that the brutal kidnapping and rape of an 18-year-old man in Terlingua over the weekend may have been an anti-gay hate crime:

“He was allegedly knocked out, thrown into his own car, driven out to the desert where he was sexually assaulted and his car was lit on fire,” said Brewster County Sheriff Ronny Dodson.

The victim was then taken to a house in Terlingua Ranch, where investigators say he was sexually assaulted again.

“He was able to find a break and escape and ran out in the desert with nothing but a pair of flip-flops on,” said Dodson.

An organization called Equality Texas says this has all the makings of a hate crime.

“Right now we haven’t determined the hate crime part of it — it is a possibility but until we’ve conducted full interviews with everybody, we’re holding off on all that,” Dodson continued.

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