Four accused of brutalizing entertainer Kevin Aviance plead guilty
Justice in NYC. Four young men who shouted homophobic names at gay entertainer Kevin Aviance, then beat him until they battered his body and broke his jaw, pleaded guilty and will serve time, with the ringleader sentenced to 15 years in prison for first degree assault as a hate crime. (365gay):
Aviance was attacked as he left the Phoenix bar last June. The four beat him unmercifully, breaking his jaw, doing serious damage to one leg and leaving him with cuts and bruises over most of his body.
As they attacked him the four young men yelled homophobic slurs.
Days later, with his jaw still wired shut and his leg in a brace, Aviance made a surprise appearance at a rally against homophobic violence.
“You can’t keep a good queen down,” Aviance told the crowd. But he warned against meeting violence with violence. “We can’t fight any of these people with arms and bullets and drama. We have to fight all these people with love, every single day,” he said.
George and Sears will receive eight years plus five years of parole supervision for first degree gang assault; Archie pleaded guilty to second-degree assault as a hate crime and will go to the clink for six years.
This is why hate crimes legislation must pass.
HRC President Joe Solmonese on the news of the assailants pleading guilty:
“Kevin’s attack in Manhattan last June was a sad and telling reminder that members of our community remain vulnerable to senseless acts of violence just because of who they are. His story proves that even those who live in our nation’s most urban and progressive areas are not immune to being targeted for hateful, anti-gay violence.
“We applaud the state of New York for having hate crimes laws in place to help prevent and combat these acts of terror. Kevin’s courage and strength in the face of his attack only motivates us to increase our urgency in passing enhanced national hate crimes legislation this year.”
Contact your reps using HRC’s web site tool to tell them to pass the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act.