There is a welcome update to a horrible anti-gay assault that happened almost two years ago in Detroit. Twenty-three-year-old Justin Alesna suffered a shattered eye socket after he says witnesses "gawked and laughed" after he was brutally attacked at a gas station in March 2011.
Everett Dwayne Avery pleaded guilty to a federal hate crimes charge in August 2012. Avery was sentenced yesterday to serve 18 months in prison, the Justice Department reported via email.
Avery used anti-gay slurs toward the victim as Avery and the victim waited in line in the convenience store. Shortly after the first slurs, while still in the store, Avery used another anti-gay slur and punched the victim in the face, fracturing the victim’s eye socket. Avery pled guilty to violating the federal Hate Crimes Protection Act on Aug. 29, 2012.
Hate-fueled incidents like this one have no place in a civilized society," said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "The Justice Department is committed to using all the tools in our law enforcement arsenal, including the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, to prosecute acts motivated by hate.
"Congress has made it clear that it is a crime to assault people solely on the basis of their sexual orientation. Prosecutions under this law are important to ensure that all people in our community know that they have the full protection of the law," said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara McQuade.
The FBI and Justice Department intervened in the investigation because Michigan is one of six states that does not have a hate crime statute, Alesna recorded a video and uploaded it to YouTube. Watch that video AFTER YOU JUMP ...