Teenager reportedly ‘starved man for days’ because he is gay
A US teenager from Framingham, Massachusetts, has been charged for terrorising and starving a man for four days because he’s gay.
Jackson Sugrue, 19, has been charged with assault and hate crimes over the incident, reports Boston Herald.
A 50-year old man claimed that Sugrue had refused him food and drink for four days.
According to court documents, the accuser said “he had escaped from a church’s basement where he was kept against his will for four days,” and was in a bloodied state when police found him.
The man had allegedly been sleeping in the basement of Philadelphia Baptist Church, while looking for permanent housing.
According to the local paper, Sugrue pleaded not guilty to charges of assault, battery with a dangerous weapon, committing a hate crime, and witness intimidation on Monday at Framingham District Court.
The 50-year old claimed that he had done drugs a number of times with Sugrue, who lived nearby, in the basement.
However, he said that the teenager became “crazy and very dangerous” when they took drugs on one occasion on June 27.
He claimed that Sugrue went on to deny him food or water, and hit him over the head with a coffee table.
The man that Sugrue stood on his neck, before repeatedly screaming at him: “I know you like me. I know you are gay.”
Although they were not in a relationship, Sugrue “used him for favors of borrowing clothes, a place to sleep from time to time, and money because Mr. Sugrue knew that (the accuser) really liked him,” according to a police report quoted by the Boston Herald.
The paper reported that Sugrue has been released on a $1,000 cash bail, and his next court date has been set for August 1.
Sugrue is reportedly having medical treatment over the incident.
His mother, Teresa Sugrue, told the Boston Herald her son was “traumatised” by the accusations – and claimed the teenager had been trying to help the 50-year old man.
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“It’s a hell that we’re living in,” she said. “It’s a one-sided story. We’re helpers, we’re not haters.”
She added: “This is a person that we tried to help, that we gave rides to work to, that I bought dishes and glasses for. We even paid this guy’s electric bill.
“The bottom line is, my son shouldn’t have gone into the basement with [the man], but it was someone he trusted. He is a heartfelt child.
“He finds the wrong people to be with. It’s a story every mother has. He had a connection with this gentleman that I just don’t understand.”
According to the paper, Sugrue was already on probation pending a re-trial at the time of his arrest, after reportedly stealing a bicycle last year.