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Appeals court upholds ruling that ‘gay panic’ was not sufficient defense

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Michigan Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court’s decision rejecting use of the so-called “gay panic defense” in a case where the defendant attacked and severely beat another man for what he testified was unwanted sexual advances.

In a majority finding, two of the three Appellate justices ruled that the disparity between defendant Dale Edward Cutler’s version of the events leading to the charges and his victim Ryan Young’s, were significant enough to as cast legal reasonable doubt on Cutler’s testimony of the incident — precluding use of the so-called “gay panic defense.”

The appellate court’s ruling, cited the following:

This case arises from the beating of Ryan Young. In the early morning hours of June 11, 2009, Young was celebrating his birthday with friends at a local bar. Defendant was also at the bar. Young did not know defendant, but defendant joined Young and his friends at their table and defendant and Young talked and became acquainted. At about 3:30 a.m., Young and defendant were dropped off at Young’s apartment. Young testified that he went into his bedroom to change and asked defendant:

“Did you want to do anything or did you just want to go to bed,” to which defendant responded:

“Yeah, I’m going to do something you fucking faggot.”

Young testified that defendant choked him “so bad” that he “could not get away from him” and Young thought he was going to die because defendant “wouldn’t get off me and just stop punching me.” Young believed that he was fighting for his life. Young remembered defendant cutting off his oxygen until he passed out and that, when he came to, defendant was “just still bashing my face in” until he went unconscious again. Young believed defendant hit him “a good 30 times.” According to Young, he never tried to touch defendant and neither of them ever fell asleep—except when Young went unconscious from the assault. Young testified that there was no discussion about flipping the television on or anything and that he believed this was because defendant had the assault already planned.

The defendant’s testimony before the trail court and jury offered a divergent tale. Cutler stated that he and the victim had gone to bed in the same bed and he awoke to find Young with his hand in Cutler’s pants. Culter is quoted by the Appeals Court as saying:

“There was a struggle. I think it was my momentum that threw him off the bed but we ended up rolling off the bed and I ended up on top. . . . I think the hold broke when we fell to the ground. . . . Then I was on top then and I punched him . . . Probably about four or five [times] . . . . Then I got up and left.”

However, Cutler admitted under oath during the trial proceedings that he beat the victim into unconsciousness in order to make sure he didn’t do anything to prevent him from leaving.

The jury found Cutler guilty of assault with intent to great bodily harm and he was sentenced to 11 to 25 years in prison as a habitual offender.

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6 more reader comments:

  1. This is why “homophobia” is an inferior term. Because it implies fear and can sometimes contribute to the gay panic defense (although thankfully these people realize that’s fucking ridiculous). I know a couple of people use “heterosexism” or “homobigotry” instead, but IDK if it could ever spread.

    Posted on Monday, June 20, 2011 at 10:45am
  2. What if i had “heterosexual panic” and shot every male that approached me or looked at my breasts or followed me?????

    Posted on Monday, June 20, 2011 at 11:21am
  3. Gay panic defense? What cute new “legalese” for gay bashing. Hope Citler enjoys his new friends in prison. Yeah!!

    Posted on Monday, June 20, 2011 at 1:46pm
  4. We need to switch over to the terms “heterosexist,” “cissexist,” and “monosexist.”

    Posted on Monday, June 20, 2011 at 3:25pm
  5. lots of time for Cutler to have fun in prison, and get over his panics.

    Lawyers will try to twist words so crazily to get any creep off.

    the only thing missing here is a dozen years in the slammer for those who perpetuate hate with their words. In Gods name of course. Canada, england, and Germany (of course) have laws against hate speech.

    If Germany had those laws long ago in the 1930s, hitler would have rotted in Jail and 55 million would not have been murdered.

    BTW, hitler was born and baptised catholic in very cathlic austria in 1888. He leveraged the church’s hatred of Jews (remember Christ Killers and the blood libel?) to gain election. And he has yet to be EXcommunicated by the church that claims to support life.

    If you go to the website

    you will see why the catholic church refuses to EXcomm hitler.

    They’s also have to EXcomm the church.

    Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at 12:19am
  6. I’m simply AMAZED that this is STILL an issue! If I had a nickel for every unwanted heterosexual pass I’ve had to dodge in my LONG life I’d not be struggling to survive on SSI now! Believe me… I’d LIKE to have been able to have gotten away with shooting a few of them too!

    Posted on Friday, July 1, 2011 at 4:56pm