Neighbors of Jeana Terry and Lisa Lange described life at home for the Cape Girardeau couple as a "peaceful existence" until the past several months.
Mima B. Poole has lived a few houses away from Lange for nine years.
"Now I am afraid to come down here and visit," Poole said Friday as she sat in the couple's living room.
What she said she saw when she looked out her front door last Tuesday evening is why.
"They were kicking, stomping and beating the hell out of her," Poole said of the alleged attack on Terry, 41, by three siblings who live in a house across the street. Two girls, ages 16 and 13, and their 11-year-old brother are still in custody in the Mississippi County Regional Juvenile Detention Center, authorities say, charged with assault and burglary.
Terry and Lange are gay, and believe what they experienced -- they say the oldest girl rounded up her siblings and some friends and came onto their front porch with the intention of an attack -- is a hate crime, though the juvenile's mother tells a different version of events.