Gay Issues

Hate Crime? Lesbians Beat Up Gay Man

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

Three women accused of beating up a gay man at a Boston train station say they should not be charged with a hate crime -- because they are lesbians.

The Daily Mail reports that 21-year-old Erika Stroud, her 18-year-old sister Felicia and Lydia Stafford, 20, beat the man last Sunday, punching and kicking him and breaking his nose.

Prosecutor Lindsey Weinstein said the attack was "motivated as a crime because of his sexual orientation" since the three women "called him insulting homophobic slurs."

However the attorney for Stafford said that is nonsense, pointing out that Stafford is "openly identified as a lesbian ... so any homophobic (conduct) is unwarranted." Helene Tomlinson also claimed that the victim was the aggressor and used racial slurs against them. "He provoked them," she said.

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But district attorney spokesman Jake Wark said in this case, lesbians can indeed be charged with a hate crime.

"The defendants’ particular orientation or alleged orientations have no bearing on our ability to prosecute for allegedly targeting a person who they believe to be different from them," he told the Boston Herald.

The women face charges of assault and battery with intent to intimidate, which carries up to a 10-year prison sentence.