Hate crime? Gay woman beaten likely for sexual orientation - KMSP-TV

Hate crime? Gay woman beaten likely for sexual orientation

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The victim was walking near the Roundtree apartment complex. The victim was walking near the Roundtree apartment complex.
Police released this suspect sketch Wednesday. Police released this suspect sketch Wednesday.
YPSILANTI TWP., Mich. (WJBK) - The Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department is investigating after a woman says she was attacked and beaten because of her sexual orientation.

A woman got off the bus Monday around 6 p.m. in Ypsilanti Township and was approached by three men. The men called her a derogatory, anti-gay slur and then punched her in the face, says Derrick Jackson, Director of Community Engagement.

The 28-year-old victim was knocked unconscious. She awoke shortly after and was being repeatedly punched and kicked. Jackson says the men ran off then. The woman was able to get up and go home and then went to the hospital, where police were contacted.

She suffered bruising and swelling in her face, arms and torso.

The woman was one of hundreds who rushed to courthouses, marrying her partner, during the brief window when same-sex marriages were allowed in Michigan on March 22.

Jackson says the men apparently recognized her from television reports about same-sex marriages in Michigan.

Right now, police have a very limited description of the suspects.

The victim was only able to identify one suspect as a white, heavy-set male with a low husky voice. 

If you were on the bus, or were driving by, and saw something you may have information that could aid in the investigation. The attack happened in the 3000 block of Round Tree Boulevard near the Roundtree apartment complex.

If you saw something, you are asked to contact the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department at 734-973-7711 or Crime Stoppers of Michigan at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.

Representatives from Equality Michigan will invite the woman to join a support group for hate crime victims and are considering the prosecutor to file federal hate crime charges, since right now all the suspects could be charged with is assault.

"In Michigan, hate crime legislation doesn't include sexual orientation, but that's something attorneys could actually deal with," Jackson suggests. "Clearly, someone targeted her because of sexual identity."


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