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Antigay Tweets Will Be Used as Evidence in Philadelphia Gay-Bashing Trial

Antigay Tweets Will Be Used as Evidence in Philadelphia Gay-Bashing Trial

A judge ruled Tuesday that the antigay tweets of a Pennsylvania woman can be used as evidence against her in her upcoming trial for allegedly joining two men in attacking a gay couple in Philladelphia, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Kathryn Knott is charged with conspiracy, two counts of aggravated assault and related offenses in the September 11 attack on a gay couple in the Center City section. The attack left Zachary Hesse and his boyfriend, Andrew Haught, hospitalized with a broken jaw and cheekbones, resulting in Haught’s jaw being wired shut. Knott refused a plea deal, but her accomplices, Kevin Harrigan and Philip Williams, pleaded guilty to assault and conspiracy in exchange for no jail time.

At her trial scheduled for next month, the Inquirer reports Knott’s jury will read gems from her Twitter account such as:

“jazz flute is for little fairy boys”

“this camo song is gay like all the other brad paisley songs”

“@krisssstenxoxo the ppl we were just dancing with just turned and mafe out with eatch other #gay #ew”

“@g0_nads he’s gonna rip me today for my hair..just wait. #dyke”

Shortly after the attack, Knott was identified as the daughter of Bucks County police chief Karl Knott. Mr. Knott appeared in court but “cast his eyes downward as he sat in the courtroom gallery with his wife,” according to the Inquirer.

Though she had been drinking around the time of the attack, prosecutor Michael Barry said alcohol was not responsible for Knott’s behavior during the alleged crime. Knott was seen punching Hesse and yelling the word “faggot,” he said. “She does not like gay people. This is why the fight happened,” Barry reportedly told the judge, “She’s one of the people who jumped in and joined the assault.”

Knott’s lawyer Louis Busico said Knott wasn’t homophobic and didn’t touch either of the victims and called Barry’s tactics “character assasination,” according to the paper.

Harrigan, 27 and Williams, 25, accepted a plea deal in October for participating in the attack and were put on probation, ordered to pay restitution and banned from the city, but did not face any jail time. They were also ordered to perform community service at a center supporting LGBT people, the paper reported.

At the arraignment, Hesse testified that after a short exchange of words, Harrigan asked if he was “a dirty faggot,” which led to Hesse being shoved and shoving back, reported TV station WCAU.

“I approached him and said, ‘Maybe I am a dirty fucking faggot,’” Hesse said. “He pushed me, I pushed him.” The confrontation then escalated.

At the time of the attack, there were approximately 15 people surrounding the couple, one of whom eventually called 911, according to the paper.

Pennsylvania does not have hate crime laws inclusive of sexual orientation, though Philadelphia’s City Council unanimously passed an LGBT-inclusive hate crimes law in response to the attack last November. Despite the lack of formal hate crime charges, out Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Sims said the attack was definitely a hate crime.

Source: advocate.com BY ELIZABETH DALEY
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