Trial starts for woman accused of brutal homophobic assault
The trial has begun in the case of a woman accused of playing a part in a brutally violent homophobic attack.
Katherine Knott, the daughter of a police chief, is accused of playing a part in a brutal attack against a gay couple in the City Centre of Philadelphia.
The attack took place on 11 September last year, and while the men were attacked they recall the assailants using homophobic slurs.
The two other accused in the attack have opted to take plea deals, but Knott, who is the daughter of Pennsylvania police chief Karl Knott, will defend herself in court.
The charges she face are one of conspiracy, two of aggravated assault and other criminal offences.
A judge last week permitted anti-gay tweets sent by Knott to be used as evidence in her trial.
The tweets were revealed after Knott was accused of the attack, and include referring to gay couple kissing, saying “ew”, and “jazz flute is for little fairy boys”.
In other tweets she used the word “dyke”, referring to her own hair in a derogatory way and using the word gay as a negative.
Prosecutor Michael Barry said Knott’s tweets “clearly indicate a general dislike to a disgust of gays and lesbians and people of other backgrounds.”
“She does not like gay people. This is why the fight happened. . . . She’s one of the people who jumped in and joined the assault,” the prosecutor added.
Knott maintains that she is not homophobic.