Showing posts with label gay hate Crime. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gay hate Crime. Show all posts

September 14, 2016

Hate Crimes Up in Detroit } Gay Man Shot on Date from FaceBook





In Detroit's third serious anti-LGBT assault since July, a gay man was shot and nearly killed after a teen lured him to quiet meeting spot.

The 19-year-old shooter, Kaleel Williams, is currently in police custody and has been charged with assault with intent to murder. According to local news station WXYZ, police say Williams met his gay victim on Facebook in late August, then invited him to meet in person.

When the victim showed up at the corner of Appoline and Grove in a quiet residential area of Detroit's west side, he reportedly noticed that the guy he was there to meet was wearing white latex gloves on his hands. Police say the LGBT victim became alarmed immediately and started to back away. Then Williams pulled out a gun and began shooting while yelling homophobic slurs.

The victim was hit by two bullets as he ran away, and collapsed in the street—where a neighbor called 911.

"I heard gun shots and heard him yelling, saying he got shot," a different, anonymous witness told WXYZ. "It's really messed up how people not really past that, you know what I'm saying? It's 2016, so we should really accept other things and how people believe, because a lot of times people can't really help who they are."

Anti-LGBT crimes appear to be on the rise in Michigan, something the newly formed Fair Michigan Justice Project hopes to curb. The nonprofit formed this summer in order to raise money for a special investigator and prosecutor to work with local police on anti-LGBT violence.

Detroit's LGBT community began pressing for law enforcement to investigate hate crimes after the 2015 murder of Amber Monroe, a 20-year-old transgender woman. But the pressure to take the reins grew after the Orlando massacre in which 49 LGBT people were killed this June. 

Michigan law currently offers no legal protections related to sexual orientation or gender identity—which could be part of why the LGBT community there now has to fund its own law enforcement team to investigate the spate of violence.

Fair Michigan quickly helped secure a hate crime conviction just one month after it was formed in July: Byron Wade was convicted of a felony assault charge in after trying to stab a 22-year-old gay black man while calling him a "fag," "queer," and "bitch" in August.

In a press release, Fair Michigan President Dana Nessel used the case as an example of why the program was so necessary.

"LGBTQ people are far more likely to be targeted for hate crimes than any other minority group. Despite this, LGBTQ victims are less likely to feel safe reporting these incidents," Nessel said. “The Fair Michigan Justice Project provides a resource for hate crime victims to ensure their cases will be handled with respect and that the assailants will be prosecuted.

wxyz.com/news

September 5, 2016

Gay Couple Thrown off London Bus under Vile Attack by Driver


Omar Okai claimed he and his boyfriend were kicked off the bus for being gay (Picture: Facebook/Omar Okai) 
  

A theatre director describes how he was kicked off a London bus after its driver launched a vile racist and homophobic tirade at him and his boyfriend.
Omar Okai said the “humiliating” incident happened after he had enjoyed an evening out with his boyfriend in central London on Friday.
He said the couple were left "shocked and disgusted" after the driver challenged them with an apparently innuendo-laden remark after they boarded the bus at the rear.
The 51-year-old, from Bethnal Green, alleged that the driver told them: "I bet you like it in the backdoor" during the confrontation near Tottenham Court Road station. 
Mr Okai and his Spanish partner Juan Salas Carranza, 36, have now formally complained to Transport for London and the police over the alleged incident.
20160902-215835.jpg
Behind the wheel: Omar Okai took a photograph of the bus and driver following the incident. (Omar Okai)
"We put our hands out to get the bus but he looked at us and pointed at something and just drove on," Mr Okai told the Standard. 
“We caught up with the bus at another stop. The front doors were closed but people were on the bus. The back door was open so we got on and go straight to the front and put our Oyster cards on the machine.
“He then said, the front doors were closed for a reason. We apologised and said ‘but we have paid, is it ok?’
“He just kept repeating, ‘how long have you been using buses in this country?’ I made it very clear I am British but he kept repeating it. It was really aggressive, it was vile.
“He then said, ‘why did you use the backdoor?’. We again apologised and he said, ‘I bet you like it in the backdoor anyway.’
“I kind of stopped and said, ‘what do you mean’. He said, ‘you heard’.
20160902-215738.jpg
Snapped: The bus driver who Omar Okai has reported as part of the alleged incident. (Omar Okai)
“He then pressed the button on the top of his bus panel and made this announcement. He said 'this bus is not going any further and people need to get off'. 
“It was in such a nasty way. We got off the bus but realised other passengers stayed on. He then opened the front doors and allowed another lady to enter and then he drove off.”
Mr Okai, who runs his own theatre company, said: “You don’t have to call me a poof and a queer to be homophobic. This on a bus in your own country in 2016, that’s disgusting.”   In a letter to TfL, he added: “I would like an explanation, not just an apology, as I will be taking it further. 
“This kind of behaviour is not acceptable in any shape or form in Great Britain and as a British citizen born here, I am not accepting it. My partnerand I were humiliated and intimidated, being made to leave the bus.
“In a multi-racial, poly-sexual society, this can't be allowed to pass. I use the transport system day in, day out and have never been so insulted.”
Transport for London said they are investigating what happened.
A spokesperson said: “We are concerned to hear of this incident and are investigating it with Tower Transit, the operator of the 25 bus route. 
“We expect the highest standard of public service from bus drivers."
Bus operator Tower Transit have also been contacted for comment.
Mr Okai also reported the alleged incident, which happened at around 10pm on Friday, to the Metropolitan Police. Scotland Yard have been contacted for comment. 
People have taken to social media to show their support for Mr Okai and applaud him for reporting the incident.
Steven Kavuma said on Twitter: "Absolutely disgusting. I hope his bus licence gets taken away."
Stephanie Sirr wrote: "Shocking treatment of two gay men on their way home. Feels like we’re going backwards".


August 10, 2016

Guys that Beat Up Gay Blck Man Want to Change Sweet Plea Which Kept Them Free








I posted about this story back on 2013 [click hasidic-jews-arrested-on-beating-of gay black man ]
Its unbelievable that these cowards were never sent to jail but they signed a sweet-heart plea agreement to do 150 hrs of community service among an integrated neighborhood(not their own cubby neighborhood where they spent their off time or among their ‘religious’group). Guess what? They are screaming fowl now to the prosecutor and want to do their sentence(sentence??) where they choose which you guessed it! it will be among their own people.

The New York Post brought this to my attention with the following story(for pictures click on the above link):

Two Shomrim thugs who dodged jail after beating a gay black man into a pulp are now trying to shirk the conditions of their plea deal.

Pinchas Braver and Abraham Winkler — who admitted to jumping Taj Patterson as he walked down a Williamsburg block in Brooklyn in December 2013 — have now taken issue with the DA’s recommendation that they serve their 150 hours of community service in a “culturally diverse neighborhood.”


Taj Patterson was beaten by a group of Hasidic men in Williamsburg.
Instead, the men want to toil at Chai Lifeline, an organization for sick Jewish children.

While Braver, 22, and Winkler, 42, were in court Tuesday for sentencing, prosecutors opted to return to court Aug. 16 after a more thorough investigation into Chai, which describes itself as an organization dedicated to offering “a number of services for Jewish children with life-threatening illness.”

As part of the plea, the two men agreed to be sentenced on charges of unlawful imprisonment to three years’ probation and to pay $1,400 restitution for the vicious attack, which left Patterson permanently blind in one eye.

Though five defendants were originally charged in the beating, charges were dropped against two of them — Aharon Hollender and Joseph Fried — in 2014 and 2015. The remaining defendant, Mayer Heskovic, has opted to head to trial. He will return to court Aug. 23.


May 27, 2016

Dad Gets Attacked for Taking 5 Yr.Old to Bathroom

   
                                                                       
Christopher Adams with his 5-year-old daughter, Emery, and 7-year-old son, Kyler. KSL







A Utah father taking his young children to the bathroom at a Wal-Mart ended in violence after he was punched in the face by another customer allegedly over taking his 5-year-old daughter with him to the men's room. 

Christopher Adams was on a family trip to buy blinds and storage bins at a Wal-Mart in the city of Clinton over the weekend when his two children, 7-year-old Kyler and 5-year-old Emery, had to use the restroom, he told NBC affiliate KSL. 


Christopher Adams with his 5-year-old daughter, Emery, and 7-year-old son, Kyler. KSL
Adams said he took his son and daughter with him into the men's restroom when a confrontation ensued. 

"This guy walks in and goes to the bathroom, the urinal, and then he just like turns to me and starts freaking out and dropping the f-bomb," Adams said. "And what he was freaking out about was that my daughter was in the men's bathroom." 

Adams said the other man told him he thought Emery's presence in the restroom was inappropriate and started to shove him. 

"When I turned back around, I got sucker punched," he said. 

Adams said he was punched in the face and kicked in the knee multiple times before he was able to force his assailant out of the restroom. 

"I just slammed him to the ground and just held him until associates from Wal-Mart could get there," Adams the distraught dad added. 

Clinton Police Lt. Shawn Stoker said the individual who was "determined to be the aggressor" was cited at the scene. 

"WHEN I TURNED BACK AROUND, I GOT SUCKER PUNCHED."
The man, who police declined to name, was cited for disorderly conduct and the city attorney was screening a potential assault charge, according to KSL. 

"This is a situation where a father felt the most reasonable and safe thing for him to do was to take his children inside the restroom with him," Stoker told the station. 

The other customer "took exception to that," he said. 

"I want him to understand that he was in the wrong," Adams added. “The way he handled the situation was completely wrong — I just think it's ridiculous."

nbcnews.com

March 17, 2016

Gay YoungCouple Doused with Hot Water WhileSleeping by Mom’s Boyfriend




A young couple is recovering from severe burns after police say a man threw burning water on them --  because they are gay.
 
The victims told Channel 2’s Nicole Carr that they were sound asleep, resting after a long day at work, when they were attacked.
                                                                                       Marques Tolbert 21 One of the victims
 
"The pain doesn't let you sleep. It's just, like, it's excruciating, 24 hours a day, and it doesn't go anywhere,” Marquez Tolbert said. “It doesn't dial down, anything. It's just there."
 
Tolbert believes that the second and third-degree burns along his neck, back and arms are scars of hate.
 
"Why else would you pour boiling hot water on somebody?" Tolbert asked.
 
The 21-year-old and his boyfriend, Anthony Gooden, were severely burned last month when the men say Gooden's mother's boyfriend walked in on them sleeping in Gooden's College Park apartment and poured scalding water all over them.
 
"I can barely think straight because the burning, the stinging is everywhere,” Tolbert said.
 
Martin Blackwell 48, gay hater perpetrator
 
Tolbert spent 10 days at Grady Memorial Hospital undergoing surgery that took skin from his thigh to replace skin on his back.
 
Gooden got out the hospital on Friday. 
 
Martin Blackwell, 48, remains in the Fulton County Jail, charged with two counts of aggravated battery.
 
"Martin pulled me up and said, 'Get out of my house with all that gay,'" Tolbert said. "I couldn't stop screaming.”
 
According to a police report obtained by Channel 2 Action News, Blackwell said he was disgusted by the men's relationship, telling police, "They'll be all right. It was just a little hot water on them."
 
"Like, where was your head at? Why would you do this?" Tolbert asked. 
 
An Atlanta Police Department LGBT liaison assisted in the case to make sure Blackwell did not make bond, police said.
 
Although they don’t exist in the state of Georgia, the liaison said federal hate crime charges are a possibility in the case, and an upcoming hearing will address that.

August 6, 2015

The Ultra Orthodox Israeli Community Tries to Understand an Attack on Gays by one of their own





 On July 30, Yishai Schlissel, an ultra-Orthodox Jew, stabbed six people attending Jerusalem’s gay pride parade. Sixteen-year-old Shira Banki later died from her wounds. The incident not only horrified the ultra-Orthodox community, it also caught it off guard.
The Jewish religion forbids murder and the harming of others. How, then, could a man from that community, a product of its educational system, attack participants at a gay pride event with a knife, not once but twice in 10 years? How could he claim that his motivations were religious?
The main questions the ultra-Orthodox community is asking itself are these: Does the community bear any responsibility that it should acknowledge, beyond condemning these events equivocally? Could the fact that the murderer was raised and educated in ultra-Orthodox institutions play any part in encouraging the violence that led to murder given that his actions, according to him, were driven by religious motivations he had absorbed?
Those who claim that the ultra-Orthodox community has no reason to assume responsibility for the Schlissel case rely on the fact that the ultra-Orthodox educational system does not actively incite against the LGBT community. After a few failed attempts in the past, the ultra-Orthodox community has not demonstrated against the gay pride parade or initiated public gatherings to oppose it since 2008. In addition, the ultra-Orthodox leadership, rabbis and politicians alike, has not spoken out against gay organizations or activities in recent years.
This is not the first attack of its kind for Israel. Schlissel himself served 10 years in prison for stabbing participants in the annual Gay Pride Parade in 2005. The year 2009 saw a shooting resulting in the deaths of two people and injuries to at least 15 others at the Tel Aviv branch of the Israeli LGBT Association, “Bar-Noar.”
 That said, the ultra-Orthodox community is adamantly opposed to the LGBT community based on the religious prohibition against homosexual relations. That the gay pride parade is still called the “abomination (or blasphemous) parade” by members of the community could, according to outsiders, contribute to the emergence of violent tendencies.
But We Are Guilty,” an article on the ultra-Orthodox Kikar Shabbat website, has caused considerable consternation in the community. In the piece, the ultra-Orthodox strategist Asher Gold criticizes his community’s attitude toward the LGBT community, an attitude that he asserts led to the terrible murder.
“As delusional and detached from reality as Yishai Schlissel is,” Gold wrote, “he committed the stabbing in the name of the God of Israel, in the name of that flawed worldview that calls itself ‘ultra-Orthodox,’ which has caused so much damage to our community, both internally and externally. When Schlissel committed the stabbing, public announcements [condemning the parade, in the form of wall posters plastered throughout Jerusalem] flashed through his head.''
Gold declined to be interviewed by Al-Monitor, asserting that the debate over ultra-Orthodox responsibility for the murder should take place within the community itself, not in more public forums. He noted, however, that he stood behind everything in his article.
Based on voices from within the community, the impression is that a large part of it does not identify with Gold’s arguments. “Since when do we have to take responsibility for what crazy people do?” asked Chaim Brizel, 41, the sexton of a Jerusalem synagogue. “His motive was madness. His justification was religion. Religion should not have to apologize that crazy individuals exploit it for bad purposes. The same Torah that condemns homosexual relations also says, ‘Thou shalt not kill’ [Exodus 20:13]. This is proof that the person suffered from extreme instability, which interfered with his judgment.”
Brizel further stated, “We will continue calling the parade an ‘abomination parade,’ because the act itself is described as an ‘abomination’ in the Torah. We are ideologically opposed to the movement to promote the phenomenon in public. We consider it to be a perverse deviation from the straight and narrow path and harmful to the continued existence of the world. But that is a far cry from an attack. The fact is that apart from a single, crazy individual, the ultra-Orthodox community has never produced a murderer who pulled a knife to kill for religious reasons. We have never killed people for violating the Sabbath. We have never killed people for eating non-kosher food. Nor do we have the authority to punish people who violate the Torah. All the talk about this in the media is a case of incitement against the ultra-Orthodox sector.”
An internet poll conducted by Kikar Shabbat asked visitors to the website if the ultra-Orthodox community should apologize for what Schlissel did. At the time of writing, 64% of all respondents said “No! He is an insane individual, who acted alone and doesn’t represent anyone.” Only 13% selected, “We must [apologize]. He is presented in the media as belonging to the ultra-Orthodox community.”
The established print media in the ultra-Orthodox community did not mention the attack. This is because the ultra-Orthodox press does not cover crime, and it has a policy of not reporting on the activities of LGBT groups. The rationale behind not covering crimes or any activities that the community deems negative is the idea that constant exposure has an impact. In other words, constant exposure to criminal acts, or in this case to the gay community, provides a degree of legitimacy to something that is forbidden by Jewish law.
Nevertheless, Moshe Amar, a former chief rabbi of Jerusalem, and David Lau and Yitzhak Yosef, the two chief rabbis of Israel, both of whom affiliate with the ultra-Orthodox sector, publicly denounced the violence against the participants in the gay pride parade. In the political arena, the Sephardic (Middle Eastern) ultra-Orthodox Shas publicly condemned the incident, while the Ashkenazi (Eastern European) ultra-Orthodox Yahadut HaTorah refrained from doing so.
“It goes without saying that we firmly condemn this act, just like we condemn all acts of murder and violence,” a Yahadut HaTorah source told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity in explaining his party’s silence. “But in this particular situation, we decided not to respond, because a response could be misinterpreted to mean that we assume a degree of responsibility, when we assume no responsibility at all. We did not incite, we did not demonstrate and we never encouraged violence. Our educational system doesn’t even mention the phenomenon. As representatives of our public, we will not respond to every criminal act, especially not an act committed by a single insane individual.”
The murder of Banki sent shockwaves through Israeli society and has resulted in a lively public discussion about attitudes toward the LGBT community. Although there are some who try to create the impression of institutionalized incitement to violence against the LGBT community by the ultra-Orthodox, it is difficult to point to such a case. The focus of attention should be on the failure of the police more so than what the murder says about groups that allegedly encourage violence.
The man with a face that should have been familiar to every policeman, and whose traditional, ultra-Orthodox clothing should have raised flags, burst through the security perimeter protecting the parade in full sight of everyone nearby. Most of all, attention should be paid to the scandalous failure in how authorities dealt with the murderer, who had been released from prison just a few weeks earlier after serving time for having committed the same exact act and who told the media that his beliefs and behavior had not changed.
This article appeared today in Israel by:
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse 

Author Mordechai Goldman
Adamfoxie* blog totally agrees with this article. Instead of bringing its western opinion of this incident [which should not have happened], the blog is bringing you what is being discussed in Israel both in the gay and orthodox communities which automatically spills to the American gay community here and hopefully we are helping in the process.  The Orthodox Ccommunity there blames totally the perpetrator and nothing  or no one else as responsible for what happened. On the other hand we know that no event is alone in itself, there is always a reason and chain of events leading to it.


August 5, 2015

Gay Hate Attack on Couple at a Bodega, NYC




2015_08_lennoxchoate.jpgDaniel Lennox-Choate and Larry Lennox-Choate (Via Larry Lennox-Choate's Facebook)
The police are hoping the public can help them find the suspect who yelled anti-gay statements and attacked a gay man in a Manhattan bodega on Sunday. The victim's husband apparently fought the attacker off.
According to the NYPD, the victim and his husband were at the SOHO Newstand at 186 Prince Street around 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, August, "when an unidentified male in his forties entered the location to buy beer. The male began to shout anti-gay statements which led to a verbal dispute. The unidentified suspect struck the 30-year-old male victim in the face causing minor injuries to his mouth."
2015_08_sohobodega12.jpg Suspect in bias assault
The victim refused medical attention at the scene, while the suspect fled on a grey bicycle. Police released an image of the suspect (right), describing him as about 5'8", 130 pounds with curly hair and wearing a white t-shirt and blue shorts holding a grey bicycle and carrying a black backpack.
Larry Lennox-Choate wrote on his Facebook pagethat his husband Daniel Lennox-Choate was attacked. Both men are West Point graduates whose wedding became the first same-sex marriage at the school's chapel
It's hard to believe that in 2015 we would have to deal with anti-gay hate crimes in soho of all places but that's what happened today. First off- we're ok. Aside from one fat lip and a sore punching arm, we are fine. The guy who screamed anti-gay obscenities at us in a bodega before sucker-punching Danny? He left covered in his own blood with his tail between his legs after I handled the situation and tossed him in the street like the coward loser he is. 
The hate crimes division of the NYPD is on the case and we have full faith a positive outcome will follow. We refuse to be victims and are thankful we can defend ourselves, but are saddened by the fact that idiots like this guy might not pick two guys who went through Plebe Boxing next time.
JEN CHUNG 


Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

December 29, 2014

Sharia law Forces LGBT to hide in Indonesia


                                                                                
 The fingernails of a transgender person are seen as she applies nail polish at her office in Banda Aceh, December 25, 2014. 
CREDIT: REUTERS/BEAWIHARTA
                                                                           


Overwhelmed by fear, members of the main gay rights group in the Indonesian town of Banda Aceh started burning piles of documents outside their headquarters in late October, worried that the sharia police would raid them at any moment.

Indonesia's northernmost province of Aceh had weeks earlier passed an anti-homosexuality law that punishes anyone caught having gay sex with 100 lashes. Amnesty International criticized it, saying it would add to a climate of homophobia and fear.

"We are more afraid, of course," said a 31-year-old transgender person who, along with three other members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) group, Violet Grey, burned the pamphlets, group records and other papers.


"As an institution, Violet Grey went as far as removing all documents related to LGBT. We burned them all," said the group member, who declined to be identified out of fear of being arrested.

The province's tight-knit gay community, estimated by some at about 1,000 people, has become increasingly marginalized since Aceh was allowed to adopt Islamic sharia law as its legal code.

Aceh was granted special regional autonomy as part of a 2005 peace agreement ending a three-decade old separatist insurgency.

After the anti-homosexuality law was passed in September, Violet Grey began warning its 47 members to keep a lower profile and for gay and transgender people to avoid going out together as couples in public.

No one has been arrested under the law, which Aceh officials say will not be enforced until the end of 2015 to allow residents time to prepare for it. But this has not eased the fear in the gay community. 

Even before the law, life was not easy for gay people in the most religiously conservative part of Indonesia, the north of Sumatra island where Islam first arrived in the archipelago.

The gay community is a target of regular harassment from sharia police and residents. Transgender people are particularly vulnerable because of the difficulty of concealing themselves in public.

In 2011, a transgender make-up artist was stabbed to death in Banda Aceh after she held up a stick in response to a man's taunts.


OTHER PROVINCES TO FOLLOW?

Aceh authorities defend the law, saying it does not violate human rights because gay people are free to live together but just can not have sex.

The law also sets out punishment for various acts apart from gay sex including unmarried people engaging in displays of affection, adultery and underage sex. 

"It is forbidden because in the sharia context, the act is vile," Syahrizal Abbas, the head of Aceh's sharia department, which drew up the law, told Reuters. 

"It brings unhealthy psychological impact to human development, and it will affect the community."

Outside Aceh, Indonesia is generally tolerant of gay people, particularly in urban areas like Jakarta.

Engaging in homosexual acts is not a crime under Indonesia's national criminal code but remains taboo in many conservative parts of the country, which has the world's largest Muslim population. 

Gay rights groups fear other conservative provinces, such as South Sumatra and East Java could follow Aceh's lead if Indonesia's new president, Joko Widodo, does not step in and overturn the law. 

Widodo's administration is reviewing the law to see whether it violates human rights but it can only request changes and cannot overturn it, said Teguh Setyabudi, the home ministry's head of regional autonomy.

The Violet Grey member hopes the law will eventually be overturned so she can walk home without watching her back in fear.

"Being like this is our fate, not a choice," she said.

"What makes people wearing a jilbab and peci feel so righteous that they can condemn other people as sinful?" she asked, referring to a woman’s veil and a traditional Muslim cap worn by men.
(Reuters) - 


(Additional reporting by Reza Munawir in Banda Aceh; Editing by Randy Fabi and Robert Birsel)

December 12, 2014

World Faith Fellowship Members Indicted on Gay Attack 2013






Matthew Fenner, a college student, said he thought he was going to die when five members of the Word of Faith Fellowship allegedly assaulted him.WSPAMatthew Fenner, a college student, said he thought he was going to die when five members of the Word of Faith Fellowship allegedly assaulted him.

Sarah Anderson, Adam Bartley, Brooke Covington, Justin Covington and Robert Walker Jr. face felony charges in connection to kidnapping and assaulting college student Matthew Fenner last year because he was gay. ‘I honestly thought I was going to die,’ Fenner said of the attack.

Five members of a North Carolina church have been indicted for allegedly attacking a man for being gay.
The Word of Faith Fellowship has a dubious history of abuse among its members, but allegations have not resulted in felony charges until this week when a grand jury indicted five people within its Spindale community.
Sarah Anderson, Adam Bartley, Brooke Covington, Justin Covington and Robert Walker Jr. have all been charged in connection to a 2013 attack on Matthew Fenner, according to Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office.
“I honestly thought I was going to die,” Fenner told WSPA-TV while describing the incident. “My head was being flung back, and my vision was going brown and back.”
Full details of Fenner’s account have not been released by authorities, but Fenner claims the abuse nearly killed him.


Five members of the church Word of Faith Fellowship in North Carolina face kidnapping and assault charges.
Five members of the church Word of Faith Fellowship in North Carolina face kidnapping and assault charges.
PreviousNext
  • Five members of the church 'Word of Faith Fellowship' in North Carolina face kidnapping and assault  charges.
  •  
  • One of the five members, Sarah Anderson, is accused of choking Matthew Fenner during a 2013 beating because he was gay.
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WSPA
This is the first time members of the church have face felony charges for crimes connected to its history of abuse.
Of those charged, Anderson is accused of attempting to strangle Fenner, but her brother does not believe she is capable of such violence.
“I knew it was a lie from the beginning,” Patrick Covington, who is also gay, told WLOS-TV. “She is not capable of what he’s accusing her of doing.”
All five are also charged with kidnapping the then-teen and assaulting him.
Josh Farmer, an attorney representing Word of Faith Fellowship, has denied his clients ever “physically harmed Mr. Fenner,” according to WSPA-TV.
“The church does not target members who are gay,” Farmer wrote in an email to the TV station.
The allegations follow a similar investigation spurred by a 2011 attack where a former member claimed he was held against his will for being gay as well.
Michael Lowry accused the Spindale church of beating him unconscious to cure him and keeping him detained for several months after coming out, but in 2013 he retracted his account.
He also lied about being gay after being confronted by his parents over a stash of pornography.
Word of Faith had also been investigated for child abuse when allegations of restraining children while screaming prayers surfaced, but no charges were filed because the complaints could not be “proved nor disproved,” according to reports by the Star-News published in 1995.
Footage from hidden cameras shown during an Inside Edition investigation showed adults and even young children stomping, punching the air and screaming at the top of their lungs during sermons.
Rutherford County Department of Social Services also removed a then-10-year-old girl from the church after separate allegations of abuse that year as well.
Lawsuits filed in 2003 also claimed Word of Faith held some of its members against their wills, records show.

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