No charge for attackers of Salt Lake gay man
A group who attacked a gay man in Salt Lake, U.S.A. will not be charged with assault.
David Bell, 30, was beaten by between three and five of his neighbours at his home on 4th July, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.
The neighbours claim that Mr. Bell kidnapped two children aged two and four years from their house, who were later found in his bedroom.
Mr. Bell’s family say that he took the children to his house when they could not sleep at their own due to a loud party.
Mr. Bell had been present at the party from around 2AM until dawn.
Roger Kraft, Mr. Bell’s attorney, claims that the neighbours kicked down his client’s door, broke his windows and attacked him and his partner, Dan Fair.
Mr. Bell stated that his attackers cut his throat and foot with broken glass, and can no longer hear with one ear due to violence of the incident.
The mother of one of the children, Lulu Latu, said: ‘Imagine walking into your house and not being able to find your kids, and then you find them in someone else’s bedroom.
‘I know it’s not right. But what if I hadn’t caught it in time? It could have been a child-murder case instead.’
Roger Kraft said that the attack ‘escalated into a hate crime,’ and that Mr. Bell’s attackers assumed that ‘because a person’s gay, he’s also a child-molester.’
Kraft continued: ‘If the mother had gone to that house and found David with his wife, this would not have happened.’ Queerty.com reports.
Ms. Latu denied that Mr. Bell’s sexuality was an issue, and that concern for the children motivated the attack.
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Mr. Bell’s uncle, Joe Taylor, stated that he though his nephew’s actions were unlikely to be a kidnap attempt.
He said: ‘It doesn’t add up. Kidnapping when you got a bunch of people in both houses? When you’re right next door? What’s that?’
The Salt Lake County District Attonery’s Office announced on Wednesday that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute Mr. Bell’s alleged assailants.
Mr. Bell is currently being held at Salt Lake County jail.
A preliminary hearing, in which he will be charged with burglary and child kidnapping, is set for 21st August.
According to EdgeBoston.com, the case inspired a protest on 29th July.
12 people collected outside the Matheson Court House in support of Mr. Bell and against hate crime.