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UVA Student and Friend Assaulted in Anti-Gay Hate Crime

In the early hours of April 4 a University of Virginia student and his visiting friend were attacked by five men on the University of Virginia campus in an assault based on the perceived sexual orientation of the victims, Allen W. Groves, the Dean of Students at UVA said in a letter mailed to students recently.

Uva Writes Groves: "The attackers uttered several homophobic slurs immediately prior to and during the attack. The attackers smashed the victim’s cell phone when he tried to call 911 for help. University Police units responded when the student’s guest was able to flee and call for help. Based upon the facts as we currently know them, we believe this to be a bias‐motivated crime, in that the perceived sexual orientation of the two victims appears to have motivated the assault."

The investigation of the attack, originally thought to have occurred off-campus in Charlottesville, was turned over to the University police after the site was visited by the victim and investigators who determined it was in UVA's jurisdiction. Groves added: "There is no place for crimes of hate at the University or in the surrounding Charlottesville community. Please know that we will do all that we can to apprehend and punish those responsible."

Charlottesville's Daily Progress reports: No arrests have yet been made in the incident, though the UVa Police Department is investigating, said Lt. Melissa Fielding. 'It’s an open, active investigation,' she said. 'We would encourage anyone with information about this incident to call Crime Stoppers or University Police.' Crime Stoppers can be reached at 977-4000 and UVa Police are at 924-7166."

Virginia's hate crimes law does not cover sexual orientation. However, "UVa’s student-run judicial system, however, can impose additional sanctions against an offending student if the action was motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation."

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Comments

  1. Sadly the more gains we make in the courts and in the hearts of truly caring and open people, the more we will see of these kinds of attacks, perpetrated by the bigots who just cannot get over the fact that they have lost this war. Those prone to violence against us will feel even more so. So, the more we win the more vigilant we need to be.

    I hope these two guys, and the other fellows that we read about this week alone that were attacked, all recover soon...

    Posted by: CK | Apr 14, 2009 11:52:39 AM


  2. This story has some holes. It took the city police nearly a week to realize that the attack occurred on university property? It was in the parking lot of Scott stadium. Everything in that area is university-owned.

    Also, the fact that some of the assailants were identified at being 16 suggests that they weren't UVA students. (UVA students, even the few dumb bigots, know they'll get expelled for something like this and so keep their bigotry to themselves.) The city police shouldn't have turned it over to the UVA police, or it should be a dual investigation.

    I can't believe what used to be the LGSU is now the Queer Student Union.

    Posted by: Paul R | Apr 14, 2009 3:51:16 PM


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