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Michigan man sentenced in attack on man he believed was gay

Friday, February 8, 2013

DETROIT — A man who assaulted another man at a Detroit-area gas station in 2011 because he believed his victim was gay, has been sentenced to 18 months in a federal prison.

Everett Avery, 26, of Detroit, was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in Detroit after pleading guilty to committing a hate crime.

On March 7, 2011, Avery struck Justin Alesna in the face while they were customers at a convenience store in Detroit. Alesna said he went to a BP station to buy cigarettes and was standing in line behind Avery. Avery used an anti-gay slur and told him to move back because he believed Alesna was gay, according to a plea deal.

When Alesna told him that he was in fact gay, Avery punched Alesna in the face without warning, according to the prosecutor. Alesna also testified the clerk at the gas station not only refused to call police, but he encouraged the attacker to “Kill it, bro.”

Alesna, who suffered a fractured eye socket during the assault, gained national attention after posting this video to YouTube that showed his facial injuries suffered from the attack.

“Hate-fueled incidents like this one have no place in a civilized society,” Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, said in a statement.

“The Justice Department is committed to using all the tools in our law enforcement arsenal, including the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, to prosecute acts motivated by hate.”

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14 more reader comments:

  1. Good. This shit will never stop unless the perpetrators are punished. And I’d be on the hunt for an attorney to sue that gas station,too.

    Posted on Friday, February 8, 2013 at 7:31pm
  2. Wow… people hurt people for STUPID reasons… He deserves to be punished…

    Posted on Friday, February 8, 2013 at 7:32pm
  3. bull-shit :(

    Posted on Friday, February 8, 2013 at 7:34pm
  4. What I love is how the station attendant not only didn’t call the police, he encouraged the attacker! OMFG!

    Posted on Friday, February 8, 2013 at 7:35pm
  5. Glad he got 18 months…..he should’ve gotten 36!

    Posted on Friday, February 8, 2013 at 7:35pm
  6. … Only-18-mos. JAIL time?!? REALLY?!?

    Posted on Friday, February 8, 2013 at 7:38pm
  7. I hope those 18 months are truly nasty, you sick fuck

    Posted on Friday, February 8, 2013 at 7:40pm
  8. Please tell me that asshole of a clerk was punished too.

    Posted on Friday, February 8, 2013 at 7:41pm
  9. Well, 18 months is better than nothing. Not so many years ago, the gay victim would have been blamed,perhaps even arrested for “inciting” the attack and certainly the whole incident would may well have been “lost” in the system.

    Posted on Friday, February 8, 2013 at 7:42pm
  10. What goes around comes back to haunt you…threefold!

    Posted on Friday, February 8, 2013 at 7:53pm
  11. Honestly, I usually don’t wish pain on anyone…. but I hope that the 18 months the attacker spends in prison, he is given hell every single day. Let karma kick his ass!

    Posted on Friday, February 8, 2013 at 8:41pm
  12. Anyone who assaults someone who is LGBTQ, or does so to anyone else, should get the justice inflicted on them that they deserve, nobody should have to live in fear for being the way they want to be.

    Posted on Friday, February 8, 2013 at 9:41pm
  13. 18 months is NOT long enough, imo…..but, what do i expect for michigan.

    Posted on Friday, February 8, 2013 at 10:03pm
  14. 18 MONTHS for a HATE CRIME???? How unacceptable! And why is there nothing in the article about what kind of jail time the gas attendant received? CLEARLY he was an ACCOMPLICE to this HATE CRIME! And just when I thought we had made so much more progress than this.

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 9:49am