Thu October 25, 2012
No Hate Crimes Verdict in E. Kentucky Assault Case
The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky says he’s pleased with the outcome of a trial that involved two defendants who attacked a gay man, although the convictions do not include a federal hate crime.
37-year-old David Jenkins and his 20-year-old cousin Anthony Jenkins were found guilty Wednesday of kidnapping Kevin Pennington. Prosecutors alleged that the assault happened because of Pennington’s sexual orientation, but the jury acquitted the Jenkins men of those charges.
U.S. Attorney Kerry Harvey says he respects the jury’s decision and his office is committed to protecting the rights of victims.
“We certainly will have no reluctance in bringing charges under the hate crimes statute or any other applicable federal statute when the facts warrant,” he said.
This case marks the first prosecution in the country to involve the sexual orientation part of the federal hate crimes law. The defendants face up to life in prison for the kidnapping conviction. Sentencing is set for February.