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Ohio teen sentenced to 90 days for video recorded attack on gay classmate

Thursday, December 1, 2011

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — A judge has sentenced 15-year-old Levi Sever to a 90-day sentence in a juvenile detention center for the October assault on an openly gay classmate that was recorded on video and then posted to Facebook.

Zach Huston and his mother Rebecca Collins

Ross County Chief Juvenile Court Judge Richard Ward handed down the sentence Wednesday to Sever, who had previously pleaded guilty to a single count of delinquency assault.

The victim, 15-year-old Zach Huston — a student at Unioto High School — suffered physical injuries as a result of the beating. His mother, Rebecca Collins, described the attack as hate motivated gay bashing.

In addition to serving a 90-day sentence, Sever was ordered to undergo mental health counseling and continue his education during his detention, said Ross County Prosecutor Matthew Schmidt.

Sever has not been attending classes at the high school since the assault first came to light and Zach’s mother launched a formal protest. However, the school’s administration has declined to reveal what disciplinary actions were taken against Sever.

The Columbus Dispatch reported that Huston and his mother, Rebecca Collins, have repeatedly alleged that school officials have not responded appropriately to their reports about bullying due to his sexual orientation.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio who is representing Huston and his mother have threatened to take legal action against the Ross County school district in Federal Court unless it immediately implements changes to protect students, especially LGBTQ pupils such as Huston from bullying.

Late Thursday, a spokesperson for the ACLU in Columbus told LGBTQ Nation that Union-Scioto School District administrators have as of yet to address the ACLU’s request, which included amending the district’s anti-bullying policy to specifically prohibit the harassment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students.

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Filed under: Ohio

27 more reader comments:

  1. it should be more than 90 days, but this is still a great victory for equality

    Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 9:13pm
  2. I’m sorry to hear that another person was assaulted :( I truly hope that the sentenced teen has a great change of thinking and heart while seving time.

    Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 9:13pm
  3. 90 days is better than nothing and I sincerely hope the young person learns a little something from this.

    Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 9:15pm
  4. what a uggggh cant say

    Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 9:16pm
  5. Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 9:19pm
  6. not enough time!!!

    Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 9:23pm
  7. what the fuck? 90 days?

    Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 9:23pm
  8. 3 months in detention – 90 days – is a lot for a 15yo. I think it’s an appropriate sentence. Much longer than 90 days would preclude any real opportunity for the offender to be rehabilitated. Just think about how he’ll be a teenage prison bitch for 3 months – probably will deter him and his friends from hate attacks in future….

    Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 9:39pm
  9. If the sentence was not good enough, and I dont think its squat, it will come back to bite him sooner or later and make it right.

    Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 9:40pm
  10. just remember e1 karma is a bitch

    Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 9:49pm
  11. listen this kid should get 90 days for being in a highschool fight not matter what the kid might not even knowen the person was gay and if a gay guy beats up a straight guy the worst that will happen is a week out of school they can stand up from themselves

    Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 9:51pm
  12. “The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio who is representing Huston and his mother have threatened to take legal action against the Ross County school district in Federal Court unless it immediately implements changes to protect students, especially LGBTQ pupils such as Huston from bullying.” See you in federal court soon, folks. School districts don’t understand change, only lawsuits. Period! Good luck, everyone! :-{P}

    Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 9:56pm
  13. 90 days is absolutely not enough, but at least it wasn’t shoved under the rug as many of these cases are.

    Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 10:04pm
  14. if this were an adult the penalty would be staggering. if they can commit violence then they should undergo the same therapy and assault to their citizenship as any other felon.

    Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 10:05pm
  15. Should’ve been more time and tried as an adult.

    Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 10:59pm
  16. Let us hop that the basher learns to get his life in order before he continues to act like a thug and spends his live in and out of prisons.

    Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 11:01pm
  17. @Tina, why should he be tried as an adult, he is not one!

    Posted on Friday, December 2, 2011 at 12:43am
  18. @Adrian, true. He should be punished as a toddler, that is what he acted like.

    Posted on Friday, December 2, 2011 at 3:19am
  19. Very good

    Posted on Friday, December 2, 2011 at 4:12am
  20. The time doesn’t fit the crime!But in due time it will come back to him!

    Posted on Friday, December 2, 2011 at 7:13am
  21. I feel that 90 days, even though some believe it’s not enough, is adequate. We shouldn’t demand that his punishment be greatly prolonged, just because he bashed a gay kid. Most school fights end with the kid who instigated being suspended for a week or so. This is plenty of time.

    Posted on Friday, December 2, 2011 at 9:22am
  22. absolutely not enough punishment!!!

    Posted on Friday, December 2, 2011 at 3:21pm
  23. 50 days???? That’s IT????

    Posted on Friday, December 2, 2011 at 5:35pm
  24. in my country a similar situation happened and the teen its facing 3 years in prison now

    Posted on Friday, December 2, 2011 at 6:40pm
  25. It may not seem like much but it is a start, as couple of years ago this crime would never had been ignoliged!! Lets keep fighting!!

    Posted on Friday, December 2, 2011 at 8:32pm
  26. The Christian Right invokes “freedom of religion” to defend their “right” to teach their children that we are diseased, perverted, sub-human sinners going to hell. They are even fighting anti bullying policies and legislation in the name of freedom of religion. And then people wonder why shit like this goes down. It disgusts me that there is so little we can do to break the grip of these sanctimonius a**holes on the government.

    Posted on Saturday, December 3, 2011 at 8:53am
  27. I totally read the headline wrong at first. I thought the person who video taped it was sentenced and was pissed. 90 days does not seem like much but once he is 18 or over I am sure he will be headed to prison at some point.

    Posted on Sunday, December 4, 2011 at 1:09pm