Woman guilty of anti-gay assault imprisoned for up to 10 months
A woman who was found guilty of assaulting a gay couple has been sent to prison.
Kathryn Knott was sentenced to 5-10 months in prison yesterday (February 8) for her role in the 2014 beating of a gay couple in Philadelphia, reports Philly Voice.
Knott was also handed two years of probation and a $2,000 fine by the judge – concluding a process described as “harrowing” by the victims, Andrew Haught and Zachary Hesse.
Knott was taken into custody immediately after the hearing, after Judge Roxanne Covington also ordered her to attend anger management classes and stay away from her victims upon release.
Before sentencing, Knott read a statement in an attempt to show her remorse.
“I am so sorry to what happened to you both on the night of Sept. 11, 2014,” Knott said.
“I ask you now for your forgiveness and I hope that you some day will be able to provide it.
“Again, I apologise to you and your families. I wish you nothing but the best.”
However, Mr Haught – who suffered a broken cheekbone and jaw during the attack – told the court that he will “never forget that everyone in that group, including Kathryn Knott, left me the alleyway to die.
Covington echoed the victim’s statement as she sentenced Knott, expressing her shock at the defendant’s actions, especially because Knott worked in the medical profession.
“The entire group walked away from this,” Covington said.
“Until those faces appeared on the news no one responded – and did so only to save themselves from prosecution.”
In issuing her sentence, Covington added that she had also considered the homophobic slurs used by Knott and others in her group to be hate speech – even though Pennsylvania law does not recognise it as such.
Knott was found guilty of simple assault and reckless endangerment in 2014, after refusing to accept a plea bargain offered by the prosecution which saw her two co-defendants avoid prison.
However, the jury also acquitted her of four counts which included aggravated assault on each of the victims.
Knott’s legal team had hoped to get her off on a technicality – after a juror admitted reading comments about the trial online, before creating an ‘Ask Me Anything’ page on Reddit.