Woman accused of brutal homophobic assault says she threw no punches
A woman accused of playing a part in a brutal homophobic assault has said she just stood by, and did not participate.
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 opted to take plea deals, but Knott, who is the daughter of Pennsylvania police chief Karl Knott, is defending herself in court.
Assistant District Attorney Allison Ruth made an opening statement to the jury of eight women and four men, saying evidence will prove Knott played an active role in the attack.
Ruth said Knott was “screaming and throwing punches”, and that her group of friends were cheering the fact that “a girl was hitting a guy.”
“Out there among 15 people in that crowd, she got involved,” Ruth went on.
Defense attorney Louis R Busico denied that this is the case, and described Knott as a “wonderful human being”.
Buisco said “all hell broke loose”, saying one of the gay men hit a woman, and said: “Being present while some other people commit a crime is not a crime… Don’t hold [Knott] responsible for the acts of other grown men.”
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”.
More from PinkNews
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.
The trial continues.