The fact that this common sense argument has taken this long to be recognized is scary, but at least the court in Michigan got it right.

A Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled that a man who attacked another man for unwanted sexual advances was rightly denied the use of “gay panic” as a defense strategy.

In the case People of the State of Michigan v. Dale Edward Cutler out of Montcalm County, Cutler and his victim, Ryan Young, told quite different stories of the incident that left Young badly beaten and missing teeth.

This case arises from the beating of Ryan Young. In the early morning hours of June 11, 2009, Young was celebrating his birthday with friends at a local bar. Defendant was also at the bar. Young did not know defendant, but defendant joined Young and his friends at their table and defendant and Young talked and became acquainted. At about 3:30 a.m., Young and defendant were dropped off at Young’s apartment. Young testified that he went into his bedroom to change and asked defendant: “did you want to do anything or did you just want to go to bed,” to which defendant responded: “yeah, I’m going to do something you fucking faggot.” Young testified that defendant choked him “so bad” that he “could not get away from him” and Young thought he was going to die because defendant “wouldn’t get off me and just stop punching me.” Young believed that he was fighting for his life. Young remembered defendant cutting off his oxygen until he passed out and that, when he came to, defendant was “just still bashing my face in” until he went unconscious again. Young believed defendant hit him “a good 30 times.” According to Young, he never tried to touch defendant and neither of them ever fell asleep-except when Young went unconscious from the assault. Young testified that there was no discussion about flipping the television on or anything and that he believed this was because defendant had the assault already planned.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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