LA Judge Orders Two to Trial in Attacks on Gay, Transgender People
[LOS ANGELES, CA] - Two men accused of separate baseball bat attacks on a gay man and a transgender person were ordered Friday to stand trial on charges carrying hate crime allegations.
Superior Court Judge William Fahey found there was sufficient evidence to require Ever Rivera, 20, and Selvin Campos, 19, both of Los Angeles, to stand trial on two counts each of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of second-degree robbery.
The hate crime allegations were added to the charges after prosecutors concluded the alleged attackers thought their victims were gay.
The attacks occurred in October just east of West Hollywood, where a Sept. 1 attack on a gay actor is being prosecuted as a robbery and assault without hate crime allegations. The decision by county District Attorney Steve Cooley not to file hate crime charges in that case prompted picketing of Cooley's office and a petition drive to recall him.
In the first case involving Rivera and Campos, a gay man testified that he was struck in the head Oct. 13 with a bat by a pair of assailants who took his house key after he ran home and left the keys in the door as he hurried inside. The man, who identified Rivera and Campos in court, said he had to receive 14 stitches for his injuries.
Shortly after that attack, a 19-year-old transgender person told police that anti-gay slurs were hurled during another baseball bat attack.
The judge also ordered Rivera to stand trial on separate assault and robbery charges stemming from an alleged Oct. 9 attack on another transgender person.
Rivera remain jailed in lieu of $185,000 bail and Campos remains behind bars in lieu of $135,000.
Both men were scheduled to appear back in court Jan. 24.