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19 November 2007

Comments

Bj

I found it interesting how AP sanitized this very same story and was the preferred version used by planet out. I am not aware that many people of color read planet out and it shows in their writings. They wanted the print the story as a gay issue and preferred (at least that is how it seems) to leave out the racial one as not to offend their readers who seemingly are primarily not of color. The question becomes "Was the racial issue left out because the victim was black and the assailants white"? Does anyone think that this wasn't a key component to the story? Didi someone think it was insignificant because the victim was black? Here is the story as reported by AP and posted on planetout.

Three men convicted of beating a New York City gay man and then chasing him onto a highway where he was struck by a car and killed were sentenced to prison on Tuesday, prosecutors said.

All three had been part of what prosecutors called a hate-inspired robbery scheme.

On October 8, 2006, they found Michael Sandy in an Internet chat room frequented by gay men, lured him out to Brooklyn's remote Plum Beach with a promise of a date, and then attacked him. When Sandy tried to escape, he was hit by a car on the Belt Parkway.

Anthony Fortunato, 21, who had told jurors they shouldn't convict him of a hate crime because he's gay, was sentenced to seven to 21 years in prison for second-degree manslaughter as a hate crime and attempted petit larceny.

John Fox, 20, was sentenced to seven to 21 years in prison for second-degree manslaughter as a hate crime and attempted robbery as a hate crime.

Ilya Shurov, 21, who pleaded guilty, was sentenced to 17 1/2 years in prison for second-degree manslaughter as a hate crime and attempted robbery as a hate crime.

A fourth man, Gary Timmons, had already pleaded guilty to attempted robbery as a hate crime and testified in the case in exchange for a four-year sentence.

Fortunato claimed in court that the attack was not motivated by hate. But prosecutors argued that under state hate-crimes law, they didn't have to prove that Sandy's attackers hated gay men -- only that they picked their victim because of his sexual orientation.

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