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Investigators say mother attacked teen for being gay

By Patrick Hayes
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The mother of a 17-year-old girl has been arrested for allegedly beating her 
for being gay. 
According to the Dona Ana County sheriff's deputies, Magdo Haro became upset when her daughter confessed to her that she was gay and attacked her with a shoe.
The girl told investigators that her mom gave her three chances to prove that she wasn't a lesbian.  After seeing her daughter in a baseball cap Haro allegedly told her daughter "not to wear boy clothes anymore, only girl clothes," and that she would have to start attending church with her grandmother.
Then her mother found notes from the daughter's girlfriend. 
Deputies said the girl was then forced to undress in front of her mother to "show her she was a woman, and not a man." The girl told investigators that her mother then demanded that she perform sex acts on herself, so the girl did so out of fear that her mother was going to sexually assault her.
The girl told investigators that her mom was threatening to use a plunger to make her feel what it's like to have sex. 
KFOX14 reached out to the P-FLAG, an equal right advocate group. 
The group's president Carrie Hamblen said she came out to her parents when she was 22 but not everyone is as accepting.
"What happens with the family or friend when they find out is that they go through stages similar to death.  They go through denial, they go through anger, they go through depression and they eventually lead to acceptance, which is what we hope," she said.
Hamblen said this situation is both unfortunate and rare, especially in Las Cruces. 
The 40-year-old mother was taken into custody Tuesday and charged with criminal sexual penetration and child abuse.
Haro denied sexually abusing her daughter but admitted to hitting her with a shoe. 
Investigators said there was another family member in the house that witnessed some of the incident.  When questioned, he told investigators that he saw his mom undressing his sister and then overheard the two argue. 
The charges in this case have been enhanced, because the incident qualifies as a hate crime.
"When we charge someone with an enhanced penalty because of that hate crime we're sending a message that their criminal behavior isn't going to be tolerated in this community," Kelly Jameson, a spokesperson with the Dona Ana County Sheriff's Department, said.