Erin (ebay313) wrote in ontd_political,

Michigan man pleads guilty to federal hate crime- TW Homophobic Violence

A Detroit man pleaded guilty to a hate crime in federal court today, admitting he assaulted a customer at a convenience store because he believed the man was gay.

On March 7, 2011, Everett Dwayne Avery, 36, struck the victim in the face, fracturing his eye socket and causing other facial injuries, he said in the pleading. He faces up to 10 years in prison when he’s sentenced in November.

According to Avery’s plea agreement, the incident occurred at 9 p.m. at a BP gas station store in Detroit.

Justin Alesna, who spoke to the Free Press after the assault, went to the BP to buy cigarettes and was standing in line behind Avery. Avery used an anti-gay slur and told him to move back because he believed Alesna was gay, the plea deal stated.

Avery hurled profanities and other homosexual slurs before punching Alesna in the face, the document stated. The two had never met before, and Avery knew nothing about the victim except that he assumed Alesna was gay, the document indicated.

Under the terms of his plea deal, Avery’s sentencing guideline range is 12 to 18 months in prison. He also could be fined up to $20,000.

Restitution to the victim has not been agreed upon, although the judge will determine that amount at sentencing.

“A hate crime is different than a simple assault because it is an attack on not just one individual victim, but an attack on everyone who shares a particular characteristic,” said U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, who praised the federal law that allows the government to prosecute hate crimes. “By passing this statute, Congress made it clear that an attack based on a victim’s sexual orientation will not be tolerated in America.”

FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Foley, whose Detroit office investigated Avery, said this case should send a message to the community.

“The FBI is committed to protecting the community from those who are motivated by hate to victimize anyone as the result of their sexual orientation,” Foley said.

Source. Source also has a link to the youtube video Justin posted last year after the attack, which contains homophobic slurs and shows injuries.

I am so glad they managed to catch the guy who did this! That is pretty great news. Especially nice since this all happened in Detroit and it's so rare to see crimes in Detroit actually get taken seriously and prosecuted.

edited to fix cut text
Tags: *trigger warning: homophobia, *trigger warning: violence, detroit, homophobia, lgbtq / gender & sexual minorities, youtube

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