US: Atlanta man receives 10 years in prison for defending himself in anti-gay attack
The victim of an anti-gay attack in Atlanta has been sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges that he assaulted his attackers.
Luke O’Donovan was attacked on 13 December 2012 at a New Year’s Eve party after dancing with and kissing men throughout the evening.
He was beaten and stabbed by at least five men who shouted homophobic slurs at him during the altercation.
O’Donavan defended himself with a pocketknife, and escaped the incident. He received treatment for stab wounds and injuries to his head and body at the Atlanta Medical Center.
He was arrested by police hours later while receiving treatment and charged with attempted murder and five counts of felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
The Luke O’Donovan Support Committee issued a statement about O’Donovan’s sentencing, saying: “This is the epitome of a hate crime. Witnesses report seeing between five and 12 men attacking O’Donovan, stomping on his head and body, and stabbing him in the back while calling him a ‘faggot.’
“The demonization of O’Donovan’s actions is a part of a growing trend: criminalizing those who successfully defend themselves from hate crimes.”
The committee added: “O’Donovan’s defense team was only able to negotiate the 10-year sentence after video footage surfaced of one of O’Donovan’s assailants participating in an attack of a transgender woman on July 3.”