HARLAN COUNTY, Ky. -- In the middle of an April night last year, a young gay man named Kevin Pennington crawled out of the woods in the remote hills of southeastern Kentucky, looking for help. Bruises and cuts covered his face and body and he limped down the road, dragging his ankle along the asphalt, until he reached a pair of empty cabins in a clearing -- a ranger's station -- and smashed out a window in one and climbed inside.
Pennington then called 911, setting in motion a series of events that will culminate next month in a historic trial: For the first time, the federal government will prosecute someone for a hate crime aimed at a gay person.
In 2009, President Barack Obama signed new legislation that gave the federal government an unprecedented ability to crack down on crimes motivated by anti-gay prejudice. Next month, two cousins, David Jason Jenkins, 37, of Cumberland, Ky., and Anthony Ray Jenkins, 20, of Partridge, Ky., will be the first to stand trial under that law for allegedly attacking a gay person.
The cousins drove with Pennington in a pickup truck into the mountains around Harlan, where they beat him and kicked him with their steel-toed mining boots, allegedly stopping only to get a tire iron to finish him off. Anthony's wife, Alexis LeeAnn Jenkins, and his sister, Mable Ashley Jenkins, both 19, looked on and have already pleaded guilty to luring Pennington into the pickup, aiding a kidnapping, assault and the hate crime. The two cousins have not denied beating Pennington and said they were upset over a drug deal gone awry, according to their lawyers.
But Pennington, who declined to be interviewed for this story, has said, according to court papers and others who have met with him, that he was beaten because he was gay and that all four of his assailants shouted things like "How do you like this, faggot?" and "Kill that faggot" During a lull in the beating, Pennington made a run for it, diving off into the side of the road and into the woods. He hid until his attackers drove away.
More at the source, if you can stomach the rest of the article.
Mods, I added tags this time.