By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — One victim says the alleged gay-bashing attack of him and his partner last September in center city Philadelphia was unprovoked.READ MORE: Officials Investigating Gas Explosion Inside Home In South Philadelphia
Zachary Hess says it started with cursing and gay slurs and ended with him and his partner beaten, bloodied, and dazed.
During today’s preliminary hearing, Hess says he and his boyfriend, Andrew Haught, were walking near 16th and Chancellor Streets when defendant Kevin Harrigan, with a group of about a dozen men and women, challenged him.
“I think the evidence showed, without any doubt, this was about their sexual orientation,” said Philadelphia prosecutor Mike Barry after today’s proceeding. “There was no other interaction between these people until somebody decided to start commenting to these gentlemen that they were homosexuals and then using the worst slurs they could possibly use about them.”READ MORE: Philadelphia Police ID Suspect In Deadly Shooting Of Temple Student Samuel Collington
Haught suffered a broken jaw and other facial injuries.
Hess implicated all three defendants — Harrigan, Kathryn Knott, and Phillip Williams — in the slurs and ensuing violence. A trial was ordered for all three.
But the defense contends there were words and punches thrown by members of both groups. Williams’ attorney contends he only got involved after one of the alleged victims hit Knott.
The defendants are pleading not guilty.MORE NEWS: FDA Panel Narrowly Votes To Recommend Merck's COVID-19 Pill