NY Man Sentenced To Four Years In Prison For 2008 Anti-Gay Attack

Joshuaholts Some good news out of Springville, New York, where Joshua Holts has been sentenced to four years in prison for the vicious 2008 beating of a 47-year old gay man, Scott Wright.

Holts was caught on film beating Wright and hurling anti-gay epithets. Though police pursued the case as a hate crime, Judge Thomas Franczyk thought otherwise: he claimed that the beating was simply motivated by "anger, rage and ignorance," according to WIVB. The judge also lambasted Holts for "beating the hell out of this guy."

For his part, Holts blamed the crime on booze: I'm really not a bad person," he said. "I had too much to drink and made some bad decisions based on that, and I am sorry for."

Judy Wright, Scott's mother, appears to understand Holts' contrition, and remarked, "It's sad when you see a young man handcuffed and taken away." Still, she does believe Holts was motivated by hate: "After eight minutes, you felt the need to return to the victim and deliver some more blows to his already damaged head. This was a crime filled with hate that thankfully was all caught on camera."

What are you thoughts, reader? Has justice been done, or does Holt deserve a stiffer punishment?


  1. swne says

    Just once I’d luv to hear bout a gay victim of a bashing, blow away the basher — like Charlie Bronson would’ve done years ago.

  2. alexInBoston says

    I have to refer to the Judge’s own words, “Judge Thomas Franczyk thought otherwise: he claimed that the beating was simply motivated by “anger, rage and ignorance,”, now isn’t that what “Homophobia” is? Stiffer sentence was due, and I would hate to be him sitting in a NYS Prison…..too cute!! Hope he smokes cigs!

  3. Kevin says

    4 years?

    That comes to 2 years because of overcrowding, then good behavior maybe?

    That brings it to 6-8 months.

    Hate crime or not, he should have had more time.

  4. phineas says

    Very short sentence, he’ll be back on the streets in no time. Obviously, this judge is biased because the victim is gay.

  5. stephen says

    he returned to continue beating the victim???

    And the judge wondered if it was motivated by hate & said so??? It’s like asking white people if discrimination really exists, duh!

    Seriously, WTF.

    If this wasn’t on tape he’d have probably received no sentence at all.

  6. rayrayj says

    I’m opposed to the idea of “hate crimes.” How is beating someone because you don’t like the group he belongs to worse than beating someone just because he is weaker than you. Decreasing hate crimes is accomplished through exposure to (immersion in) diverse groups.

    I also believe we need to examine our total justice system. We imprison people for victimless crimes and slap them on the wrist for beating someone senseless but in either case is there generally any attempt at rehabilitation.

  7. TANK says

    Another idiot heard from…rayray. Sick of these stupid conversations with stupid people who either don’t want to get it or don’t get it, or both.

    Anyway, what’s done is done…useless to get upset or outraged insofar as it can’t be used to see that these things don’t happen again.

  8. Randy says

    “anger, rage, and ignorance” are not a defence to a charge of hate. Rather, they are a description.

  9. Danny says

    he’ll get a stiffer sentence all right–right between his butt-cheeks. that boy’s gonna learn a lot in prison. none of it will help his perception of his crime I’m afraid.

  10. ratbastard says

    I wish these stories had more detail. What occurred, if anything, inside the bar? Was the victim also drunk? Did the two exchange words and the situation turned physical?

    I’M NOT SAYING the victim deserved to get the snot beat out of him and almost die, and I’m not trying to defend this Holt character who sounds like a local thug, but c’mon….fights occur inside and outside bars all the time. Generally speaking, 99% of the time these things don’t happen out of the blue. Hey! You go out to a club, a bar, you’re around a lot of inebriated people, there’s increased tension in the air…you’re kind of taking your chances a long with everyone else. It’s an environment where shit happens.

    And I agree, he’ll be out pretty quickly with good behavior and time served.

  11. TANK says

    Yeah, but he’ll put out even quicker, RB. Bwahahaha…seriously, I understand why you don’t like being gay, but do you have to not like that much?

  12. ratbastard says

    T, I have zero problems with my sexuality. Z.E.R.O.

    You’re kinda of right though, I dislike a lot of gays, but not because of their sexuality.

  13. TANK says

    Hey, I can’t blame ya on that score. There aren’t a lot of desirables out there…to hang around with as friends. That’s why mosta mine are straight. Anyway, just joshin’ ya.

  14. johnny says

    That judge needs off’d the bench. There’s no reason to have hate crime laws if these idiot judges can’t figure out which acts merit being defined as a hate crime under the statute.

    Hate Crime Definition:
    The perpetrator is beating a guy and uttering hate speech about his victim’s sexual orientation or religion.

    What more do you need? Seriously…

  15. shannon says

    WHY is it always the most UGLY….uneducated…in bred..trailer trash that always wants to think people want them and “bash” people???? NOW THIS ANIMAL WILL BE RAPED IN PRISON EVERYDAY BY THE PEOPLE HE HATES! GOOD FOR HIM!

  16. nikko says

    TANK and RATBASTARD, you two should be a couple!!
    Curious to know why you generally dislike gays? I feel the same toward many straight guys.

  17. rayrayj says

    Tank…I guess you disagreed with something I said, If I’m the idiot to whom you referred. Moreover, if I am the idiot to whom you referred, please explain to me how adding disparaging remarks while beating the hell out of someone makes the beating worse. I think any aggravated assault should be punished to the maximum extent of the law whether you are motivated by hate or by psychopathy.

  18. Bad Humor Boy says

    The Judge claims the beating was motivated by “anger, rage and ignorance” but this does not meet his definition of “hate.” The criminal pleads he is really not a bad person; too much booze just broke down his normal inhibitions unleashing anger and rage? And society is to understand that this is Justice because this defendant was indiscriminate in letting his ignorance dictate his behavior; he might have directed it against anyone?

    So be it. For however much time Joshua Holts serves, I hope he is given the every possible opportunity to explore his feminine side – again, and again, and again; repeatedly and with unrelenting vigor! It may not generate any empathy in him for his victim, but he’ll discover what it’s like to be one.

    I can’t share the mother’s sadness at seeing this young man handcuffed and taken away. As is so often the case, he is sorry he had too much to drink and sorry that led to a bad decision, but there is no expression of remorse for the damage done, and no apology offered for it. May he discover hell on Earth and live to rue the day!

  19. wimsy says

    The reason for having “hate” crimes is to alter behavior, not only to deter bigotry-based crime, but to make it socially-unacceptable. Beatings of black people were extremely common until they were made hate crimes with enhanced punishment. Now, there are far fewer, and no public official today would defend them the way they still defend hateful violence against gays. This judge’s refusal to recognize a hate crime for what it obviously was illustrates how far we still have to go. The two thugs who murdered Matthew Sheppard also excused their hate crime behavior with the “we wuz drunk” defense. Fortunately, nobody bought it in that case.

  20. says

    “if I am the idiot to whom you referred, please explain to me how adding disparaging remarks while beating the hell out of someone makes the beating worse.”

    It doesn’t necessarily make the beating worse (tho hate violence is often more torturous and severe than crime violence), but that’s not what hate crimes are about, RAYRAYJ. When a victim is targeted BECAUSE of the group he belongs to, or is perceived to belong to, it is a bias-motivated crime, one which terrorizes not only the victim but a whole group of people. So if a gay man, for instance, is specifically targeted for a beating outside a gay bar because he is gay, it affects everyone in that bar. A random beating does not. It’s a different crime.

    Now, some people believe that’s still not adequate reason to punish hate crimes uniquely, but often those who are “opposed to the idea of ‘hate crimes'” simply don’t understand what they mean.

  21. ratbastard says

    WHY is it always the most UGLY….uneducated…in bred..trailer trash that always wants to think people want them and “bash” people???? NOW THIS ANIMAL WILL BE RAPED IN PRISON EVERYDAY BY THE PEOPLE HE HATES! GOOD FOR HIM!

    POSTED BY: SHANNON | SEP 30, 2010 12:58:32 AM


    C’mon….this dude may be an ahole, but ugly he aint. Did the guy who got beat up come on to him? I’M NOT SAYING HE DESERVED TO BE BEAT UP…..so don’t start posting smack.

    And you know he’s uneducated how?

    He appears to be a dude who can take care of himself in the joint.

  22. Jack F says

    I know Judge Thomas (“Tim”) Franczyk. He’s a good guy and an excellent judge. He called this one as he saw it. Unless you attend all proceedings and review the pre-sentence report, you cannot second guess. It’s easy to emote on blogs. It’s harder to dispense justice..

  23. says

    A man was sentenced to four years in prison for beating a gay man outside a bar near Buffalo, N.Y., in 2008, but the judge found insufficient evidence to prove a hate crime.

    According to WBEN, “Joshua Holts, 26, was found guilty of second-degree assault in July. Prosecutors say video surveillance tape from outside Casey’s Bar clearly shows Holts repeatedly striking 47-year-old Scott Wright in the head and face. Over the last couple of years, Wright has had multiple surgeries to repair the damage to his eyes and face.”

    Holts allegedly shouted antigay slurs at Wright during the attack, but WBEN reports that Erie County Judge Thomas Franczyk determined there was not enough evidence to prove a hate crime.

  24. Barbara says

    This person should be held accountable for beating a human being. He was wrong, but that doesn’t at all defend the homosexual lifestyle.

    Homosexuals (LGBT) can’t be the same and can’t be equal because God did not create men to be with men and women to be with women. He created man and woman to be together. There are many verses that deal directly with homosexuality: Lev. 18:22, 20:13; Rom. 1:25-27; I Cor. 6:9-10; I Tim. 1:9-11; and Jude 1:7. If you don’t have a Bible, God calls this practice an abomination and those who practice it will spend eternity in hell. God also gives His opinion of it in Deut. 23:17-18; I Kings 14:22, 24; and Gen. 19.

    God also has something to say about those people who agree with this practice even though they, themselves, don’t do it. In Romans 1:32, He says that they will receive the same fate as homosexuals.

    It is a sad day for this nation and for those who have been deceived by Satan into believing that they were actually born this way. Think about it. Would God create people as homosexuals and then condemn them to hell for it?

    Although God hates the sin, He loves the sinner, regardless of what sin we commit. That is why He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for us. Do not be fooled. That these things are coming to pass is because the time is near when God will be closing the curtains on time itself. Please repent of your sins and turn your lives over to Him (read Rom. 3:23; 6:23; Jn. 3:3). For those of you who are caught up in homosexuality, there is an organization called “Exodus International.” It will help you through the love and truth of Jesus Christ. I’ll be praying for you.