WHITEVILLE, N.C. — A woman in North Carolina is accused of child abuse and could face hate crime charges after she allegedly instructed her son to “beat the gay away” from his brother.
Mary Gowans is currently charged with misdemeanor child abuse, but the Columbus County, N.C. District Attorney’s office said they are evaluating whether she should be charged with a hate crime, reported WECT-TV
According to police, Gowans instructed her 12-year-old son to beat his older, 15-year-old brother, who was not allowed to fight back.
The report also indicated that Gowans made the older son strip to his underwear and she proceeded to beat him with a belt across his body.
Gowans said that she does think her son is gay, and that “it bothers me because he’s a young age, he’s not all there, he do not know right from wrong.” [sic]
She said she was trying to protect him, because she claims he has been visiting a neighbor who she believes is gay and suspects is molesting her son.
Watch a report from WECT-TV:
Gowans is expected to appear in court on October 9.