Everett Dwayne Avery, 26, of Detroit, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge John Corbett O’Meara after pleading guilty to committing a hate crime by assaulting a man because the man was gay. Avery was sentenced to serve 18 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.
The assault occurred on March, 7, 2011, while Avery and the victim were at a convenience store in Detroit. Avery used anti-gay slurs toward the victim as Avery and the victim waited in line in the convenience store. Shortly after the first slurs, while still in the store, Avery used another anti-gay slur and punched the victim in the face, fracturing the victim’s eye socket. Avery pled guilty to violating the federal Hate Crimes Protection Act on Aug. 29, 2012.
"Hate-fueled incidents like this one 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 motivated by hate."
“Congress has made it clear that it is a crime to assault people solely on the basis of their sexual orientation. Prosecutions under this law are important to ensure that all people in our community know that they have the full protection of the law,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara McQuade.
Special Agent in Charge Foley stated, "Hate Crimes have no place in a civilized society. We are a nation of laws and our laws embrace diversity and differences. The law does not tolerate the type of hate demonstrated in this matter and the FBI will investigate and put forth for prosecution a violation of that law."
The case was investigated by the FBI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Pamela Thompson from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and Trial Attorney Sanjay Patel from the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.