Crime | Matthew Shepard | News

Man Escapes After Two Sexual Assaults, Kidnapping, Auto Arson, in Attack Near Texas Ghost Town

Terlingua

A 19-year-old man whose name is being withheld was kidnapped and repeatedly sexually assaulted by two men before his car was set on fire in the Texas ghost town of Terlingua on Sunday. It is unclear whether the victim was gay but those with knowledge of the incident have been drawing comparisons to the attack on Matthew Shepard.

The Big Bend Gazette reports: Terlingua2

"On the evening of Sunday, December 6, a 19-year-old male from Terlingua was allegedly physically assaulted outside the Boathouse Bar and Restaurant in the Terlingua Ghost Town, kidnapped, and driven in his own vehicle to a remote south Brewster County location where he was sexually assaulted. The victim’s car was then set on fire. The victim was then brought to a different location in south Brewster County, a private residence, where he was again sexually assaulted. The victim escaped from the home, and ran approximately three miles to Highway 118 where a Brewster County Sheriff’s Deputy found him at about 1 am. After being medically examined and questioned by law enforcement authorities, the victim, whom authorities described as 'cooperative,' was released and is recovering at an undisclosed location. Terlingua Ranch resident Daniel Martinez, 46, has been arrested and charged with one count of sexual assault in the case, with at least four more charges from this case pending, and is being held on a $35,000 bond. Brewster County Sheriff Captain Rusty Taylor, lead investigator in the case, said Martinez has numerous prior arrests and convictions. Kristopher Buchanan, 27, also of Terlingua Ranch, is being held on two outstanding felony warrants from two other counties, with numerous charges from this case pending."

The Dallas Voice adds: Terlinguamap "Brewster County Sheriff Ronny Dodson didn’t return phone messages left by Dallas Voice on Wednesday. John Waters, publisher of the Big Bend Gazette, said Wednesday that it’s unclear whether the attack was a hate crime. Waters also said he doesn’t know for sure that the victim is gay. Waters said he didn’t classify the attack as a 'possible hate crime' in his report because he didn’t want to out the victim. The man’s name is being withheld anyway because he’s a sexual assault victim, but Waters said most people in the sparsely populated area would find out who he is. Waters said he contacted Equality Texas on Tuesday to get more information about anti-gay hate crimes in the wake of the incident. Equality Texas political director Randall Terrell, who spoke with Waters, told Dallas Voice on Wednesday that although many of the facts aren’t yet known, the case has 'all the makings of a hate crime.' ... 'It sounds like Matthew Shepard all over again,' Terrell said."

The case is currently being treated as a kidnapping, sexual assault, and auto arson, according to the Big Bend Gazette. More news on this as it comes in...

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Comments

  1. This is my issue with "hate crimes." I'd say anyone who is assaults someone, rapes them and sets their car on fire is filled with hate. But unless the perpetrator was straight and the victim was gay, its not a hate crime. And what if both the victim and the perp are gay--can gays commit hate crimes against other gays?

    We know next to nothing about the facts of this case, except that this 19year-old has been through a horrible ordeal. Did they know each other? Was the perpetrator straight or gay? Was the victi? Did sexuality even play into this crime ? I think its a little early to draw comparisons to Matthew Shepard

    Posted by: dizzy spins | Dec 10, 2009 8:12:13 AM


  2. This is horrifying, just dreadful.

    Posted by: Sean R | Dec 10, 2009 8:38:34 AM


  3. FYI: Terlingua is a hippy countercultural town right next to Big Bend National Park. It gets a lot of tourists in season and people who want to check out of society (kind of like the Salton Sea in CA). So even though it's remote it's not exactly podunk

    Posted by: hall | Dec 10, 2009 8:41:59 AM


  4. as dizzy spins noted, we know very little about the attack, other than the victim survived an absolutely horrific attack and the perpetrators are [blessedly] in custody.

    my questions arise with the potential hate crime aspect. does the victim have to identify as gay for it to be a hate crime? what if the attackers were screaming anti-gay slurs at the victim while repeatedly raping and beating him? would it matter if the victim was actually gay in that case?

    again, there are still lots of facts to uncover about this attack, and i hope andy continues to follow its progress. my heart aches for the victim, and i wish him and his family comfort. whether this is ultimately classified as a hate crime or not, the attackers need to never be released into the public again...

    Posted by: Matt | Dec 10, 2009 9:20:49 AM


  5. Uh, do we know if the alleged rapists are gay?

    All we know is that some sick creeps kidnapped and raped a man.

    Posted by: HowardB | Dec 10, 2009 9:56:35 AM


  6. A hate crime is an act intended to put fear into a community of people. If this 19 year old was picked up and raped just for being gay and the person did it out of hate for gay people then it is a hate crime.

    Posted by: KFLO | Dec 10, 2009 10:05:09 AM


  7. The issue under the Texas hate crimes statute is the perpetrator's bias or prejudice as a motivation for the crime, not whether the victim was actually (in this case) gay:

    the defendant intentionally selected the person against whom the offense was committed or intentionally selected property damaged or affected as a result of the offense because of the defendant's bias or prejudice against a group identified by race, color, disability, religion, national origin or ancestry, age, gender, or sexual preference.

    Posted by: Glenn | Dec 10, 2009 10:14:58 AM


  8. "This is my issue with 'hate crimes.' I'd say anyone who is assaults someone, rapes them and sets their car on fire is filled with hate. But unless the perpetrator was straight and the victim was gay, its not a hate crime."

    But your issue with hate crimes is a flawed understanding of what hate crimes are, a miscomprehension that seems to be shared by the newspaper publisher quoted in the story.

    As Glenn (and others) points out, whether the victim was actually gay should be irrelevant. (The perpetrators' sexuality should also be irrelevant.) The question is whether he was deliberately targeted for violence because the perpetrators perceived him to be gay. If people in a community are deliberately being targeted for violence because of their perceived sexuality, it terrorizes an entire community--that's a hate crime.

    Whether or not this should be designated a hate crime remains to be seen, and even then it would still need to be proven in a court of law, but that's a separate issue from taking exception to hate crime laws based on a flawed interpretation of what they really mean.

    Posted by: Ernie | Dec 10, 2009 10:51:18 AM


  9. DIZZY, "can gays commit hate crimes against other gays?"

    Yes, just look at the "Ex-Gay" groups and gay Republicans for examples.

    Posted by: JerzeeMike | Dec 10, 2009 11:28:49 AM


  10. Talk about a surreal setting. Terlingua was formerly a mining town and is now truly dead. With no moisture and little weather outside of heat, much of the town is preserved in decay and truly is spooky. I was there just last year, truly off the beaten path...

    Prayers go out to victim.

    Posted by: Travis | Dec 10, 2009 7:41:28 PM


  11. I, too, have a problem with hate crimes for the reasons this case presents. Regardless of the motive of the criminals, the victim was brutalized and traumatized, and will remain traumatized for some time to come. Viciousness and predatory violent crime are horrible regardless of why they are perpetrated, and immediately focusing on whether this young man was attacked because he was gay, and the authorities having to decide if it is a hate crime, means more intrusive press for the young man and we are in effect saying that such crimes against some people are worse than the exact same crimes against other people.

    Posted by: Babylonia | Jan 8, 2010 1:32:57 AM


  12. There is still lots of facts to uncover about this attack, and i hope Andy continues to follow its progress. my heart aches for the victim, and i wish him and his family comfort. Intentionally selected property damaged or affected as a result of the offense because of the defendant's bias or prejudice against a group identified by race, color and disability.

    Posted by: automotive tools | Sep 9, 2010 1:49:45 AM


  13. Thank you for the prayers

    Posted by: Meme | May 17, 2012 3:45:54 PM


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