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By Crystal Proxmire
According to the US Department of Justice, 36-year-old Everett Dwayne Avery pled guilty to a Federal Hate Crimes charge, on Aug. 29. Avery was accused of having called a man derogatory names and punching him in the face.
On March 7, 2011 the victim was assaulted by Avery while waiting in line to buy cigarettes at a Detroit gas station. According to reports, Avery told the victim to back up and called him derogatory gay slurs. The assailant then punched the victim, fracturing his eye socket and causing other facial injuries.
The Detroit Division of the FBI investigated the case and Avery was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Pam Thompson and Trial Attorney Sanjay Patel of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Avery faces a maximum of 10 years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 28, 2012, before Judge John Corbett O’Meara.
“Hate-fueled incidents have no place in a civilized society,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department is committed to using all the tools in our law enforcement arsenal, including the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, to prosecute acts of violence motivated by hate.”
“A hate crime is different than a simple assault because it is an attack on not just one individual victim, but an attack on everyone who shares a particular characteristic,” said U.S. Attorney Barb McQuade. “By passing (the Prevention Act), Congress made it clear that an attack based on a victim’s sexual orientation will not be tolerated in America.”
“The FBI is committed to protecting the community from those who are motivated by hate to victimize anyone as the result of their sexual orientation,” said Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Robert D. Foley, III.