A judge today accepted the deals offered to two men who entered guilty pleas in exchange for no jail time in the beating of a gay couple in Philadelphia last year.
Philip Williams, 24, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and conspiracy, while 26-year-old Kevin Harrigan pleaded guilty to simple assault and conspiracy.
Harrigan, who pleaded guilty to one count of simple assault and one count of conspiracy, was sentenced to two years probation and ordered to pay $314 in restitution, according to a statement released by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office. Williams, who pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated assault and one count of conspiracy, will spend five years on probation, and pay $628 in restitution.
As part of the plea deal, both men will also complete 200 hours of community service at LGBT organizations, and have agreed to not enter City Center Phildelphia, where the attack took place, for the duration of their respective probations.
The third person charged, 24-year-old Kathryn Knott, rejected the deal and will stand trial next month.
The attack in Philadelphia’s City Center on September 11, 2014, left Zachary Hesse and his boyfriend, Andrew Haught, hospitalized with a broken jaw and cheekbones, resulting in his jaw being wired shut. The couple says they hope the punishment will send a message that prevents others from being attacked reports WPVI.
“I approached him and said, ‘Maybe I am a dirty fucking faggot,’” Hesse said. “He pushed me, I pushed him.” The confrontation then escalated, and witnesses called 911.
Police identified Knott, Harrigan, and Williams as the primary assailants and arrested and charged the trio last September. Social media exploded with images of homophobic and racist slurs on her Twitter feed. Her feed also exposed misconduct in her job at Abington Health, and she was subsequently terminated.
Pennsylvania does not have hate crime laws inclusive of sexual orientation, though Philadelphia’s City Council.
Source: The Advocate