Bullying | Columbus | Crime | News | Ohio

Ohio Teen Charged with Assault for Beating of Gay Classmate

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Levi Sever, a 15-year-old student at Union-Scioto High School in Chillicothe, Ohio was charged with one count of assault this morning for brutally beating a gay student, now identified as Zachary Huston.

The assault was captured on video by the aggressor's cousin and posted to Facebook. In the video, which I posted last week, classmates stood by as Sever waited for Huston to arrive in the classroom, then grabbed him, pushed him to the ground and punched him in the face several times.

The Columbus Dispatch reports:

Unioto High School student Levi Sever will appear later in juvenile court to answer to the charge filed by the office of Prosecutor Matthew Schmidt following an investigation by the sheriff's office. Schmidt was not available for comment this morning. Sever is accused of assaulting 15-year-old Zachary Huston at the high school on Oct. 17, with the victim's mother contending he was targeted because he is gay. The case has captured national attention.

...Meanwhile, a second bullying incident — this time in a Westerville school — also is being called an anti-gay attack by gay-rights activists. In that case, the victim isn’t gay but reportedly has a sister who is a lesbian. However, Westerville police said this afternoon that their investigation has found no evidence the fight involved "gay bashing."

I've reposted the video which led to the assault charge as well as a report on the second attack, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. That's a good start!!

    Posted by: Sethboy | Nov 3, 2011 6:15:24 PM


  2. Good. If these creeps understand that the consequences for violently attacking another kid are gonna be a lot harsher than just a three-day suspension, maybe it can start preventing a lot of 'em from doing it in the first place.

    On the other hand, some of those bigoted, disgusting lowlife harpies from the Lawrence King jury are probably knitting "Free Levi" armbands as we speak.

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Nov 3, 2011 6:47:49 PM


  3. Anyone know how to set up some sort of a college fund for kids like this Zachary Huston? Or help his family with the medical bills? Seriously, if all of us reading these posts and either getting pissed off or frustrated would instead spend just a night out's worth of money to send to this kid, we could truly help out one of our own when he needs it most. I'm just tired of not being able to do something. If any of you are interested, please respond with ideas.

    Posted by: Eric | Nov 3, 2011 6:53:35 PM


  4. This is a start. It's also the only way things will ever progress in conservative Ohio. This Levi punk needs to be made an example of and the charges need to be elevated to hate crime status. As for the other reported hate crime, reportedly Equality Ohio said they "jumped the gun" and that the investigation is still taking place there. With that said, the boy attacked has a lesbian sister and said he's been harassed for years, so yeah, it's not a coincidence. The only way these backwards cultures will learn is by lawsuits, charges brought on the attackers, punishment and social derision. We can not allow any more kids be victims of this cycle of hatred.

    Posted by: Francis | Nov 3, 2011 6:54:11 PM


  5. @Francis. Hold your fire on the Westerville case, as all the facts are not in. Are we now a lynch mob? Do we shred the Bill of Rights, including due process, right to counsel, and assumption of innocence, in our justifiable fury? Where are your rights as a persecuted minority if the very document under which you shelter is trashed? Each case needs to be treated on its own facts and merits. In the criminal law (or juvie court) one size does not fit all. Bullies, as much as we loathe them, have rights too. Let the guilty be punished, but only within the full panoply of due process rights. If we shred those, LGBT hard won rights will be worthless.

    Posted by: Contrarian | Nov 3, 2011 8:23:55 PM


  6. Well, Contrarian, as I said, Equality Ohio said they jumped the gun on the Westerville case. With that said, the boy who got attacked has reportedly been bullied for years and reported being bullied because of his sister being a lesbian. So whether or not this specific incident is homophobic-driven or not, there is still homophobia within the hallways of that school. As for our community being a lynch mob, if that is standing up for ourselves and not being victims entails, then maybe that's what some will call us. I agree, of course, innocent until proven guilty, due process, I think we all get this. But I also know, when there is smoke, there is usually fire accompanying it and it's time to put out these flames and prevent more LGBT teens and straight teens, to be abused out of gay hate.

    Posted by: Francis | Nov 3, 2011 8:41:14 PM


  7. What is "delinquency count of assault"? I suspect it is less than a felony, even though it was premeditated, with Sever laying in wait. Has the school district done anything to address the problem or are they just going to sit back and watch the courts give Sever a slap on the hand?

    Posted by: CB | Nov 3, 2011 10:11:23 PM


  8. Teach kids to hate gays and then you deal w/ this kind of thing...

    But that will be the defense; he beat on a GAY kid... dismissed.

    After all, what could be MORE American?!

    Posted by: pete N SFO | Nov 4, 2011 12:27:06 AM


  9. Good start. Let's see how this goes.

    Posted by: JohnAGJ | Nov 4, 2011 12:33:09 AM


  10. "Anti-gay epitaphs" ? (second video 0:22)

    Posted by: Randy | Nov 4, 2011 2:05:41 AM


  11. Hopefully this is just a start. The US Attorney's office or the FBI needs to investigate in terms of the new federal hate crimes statute, and the accomplice who captured this on his cell phone should be charged with criminal conspiracy.

    Posted by: Grego | Nov 4, 2011 1:05:46 PM


  12. Is it wrong of me to want some Gay guy to beat the hell out this kid?

    Posted by: cmh | Nov 4, 2011 9:49:44 PM


  13. Andy: You need to delete SEMPERFI's comment. Publishing someone's home address and contact information is unethical and just plain low no matter how vile the target is. This kid is 15 years old. Your commenter is inciting violence against a child.

    Posted by: somebody42 | Nov 5, 2011 1:56:02 AM


  14. Andy, i agree that semperfi's comment needs to be deleted.

    Posted by: the milkman | Nov 5, 2011 2:20:02 PM


  15. If I, an adult, lay in wait for someone and then beat them up I would be handcuffed and put in jail. If a minor beats up another minor, nothing happens. I believe the problem is that children have no rights. We need legislation that protects children from these types of assault. I can't stand to see another defenseless child beaten especially because of their sexual orientation.

    Posted by: Joe | Nov 10, 2011 3:43:24 AM


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  17. First of all it was not a hate crime the mother is just claiming it is a hate crime so that she can press charges on Levi for beating up her son.

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