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Delco Man Gets Light Sentence In Hate Crime After 16 Years On The Lam

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A Delaware County, Pa. man who was convicted of an anti-gay hate crime in 1994 and then fled before sentencing, got a break today at his long-delayed sentencing.

Patrick Groce and a codefendant were convicted of beating, punching, and kicking a man at 13th and Lombard Street because they thought he was gay.

The victim says the attack ruined his life.

But today, Groce got a work-release sentence of 11½ to 23 months, and Judge Harold Kane cited Groce’s clean record during the 16 years while he was a fugitive.

Prosecutor Vince Regan argued for a longer sentence.

“The other defendant in this case got 4½ to nine years,” Regan said following the sentencing.  “The guideline in this case called for a sentence of approximately two to four years.  My postion in the case was that this defendant should not have been rewarded for fleeing at sentencing and instead should have been sentenced to the guidelines.”

Croce, now with a wife and three children, was discovered living in Delaware County after a DUI arrest last Feburary.

Reported by Tony Hanson, KYW Newsradio 1060

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  • The Misses

    I totally agree with some of the comments on here. This case smells of “fixing” or political grand-standing. To reward someone for avoiding prosecution by fleeing is outrageous!! He didn’t have a clean record while on the lam…HE WAS A FUGITIVE!!!!! And a drunk according to last year’s DUI….smh. And to give someone who beat the hell out of someone that he ASSUMED was gay, then went hiding in plain sight WORK RELEASE is plain disgusting, but the other guy got years in prison. Judge Kane must be a family friend or a fellow gay-basher.

  • Jennifer

    This is outrageous! To reward a fugitive from justice is disgusting. What he did to another human being is also disgusting! How “clean” was his record if he had been arrested for a DUI. What is wrong with our court system and justice system at times. It makes me sick!

  • Mary Viza

    Learn the facts before you condemn someone… People change, maybe someday you will, too.

  • Gayborhoodian

    Judge Harold Kane hates gays

  • anders norsman

    I would hope the poor guy that scvum bag Patrick Groce beat up takes him to civil court. And takes all he has. Wonder why type of pay off Judge Harold Kane received. This smells like a fixed case.

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