June July 2016
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Philly Gay-Basher Won't Get Reduced Sentence

Kathryn Knott
Kathryn Knott

Kathryn Knott, sentenced to five to 10 months in jail for an attack on a gay couple in Philadelphia in 2014, won’t receive the reduced sentence she requested.

Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Roxanne Covington ruled today that the sentence is appropriate, the Philadelphia Daily News reports. Knott, 25, is still “in need of correction,” the judge said, adding that a shorter sentence would “depreciate the seriousness of the crimes.”

Knott was convicted in December of simple assault, reckless endangerment, and conspiracy to commit simple assault in the attack on Zachary Hesse and his boyfriend, Andrew Haught, in Philadelphia’s Center City neighborhood in September 2014. She was in a large group of people who confronted the couple, with one man in the crowd asking Hesse if he was “a dirty faggot.” The exchange soon escalated into physical violence, leaving Hesse hospitalized with a broken jaw and cheekbones, resulting in his jaw being wired shut. The attack led Philadelphia to pass an LGBT-inclusive hate-crimes law; Pennsylvania lacks such a law statewide.

Two men charged in the attack made a deal with prosecutors, agreeing to plead guilty to assault and conspiracy and receive a sentence of probation and community service, but Knott sought a trial. She was sentenced in early February and began serving time February 8, but shortly thereafter she asked for a reduced sentence.

At today’s hearing, Covington said Knott had a “complete disconnection with the incident itself and a failure to take personal responsibility herself for the crimes she was convicted of,” the Daily News reports. Knott was present at the hearing but did not speak.

During the investigation of the attack, it surfaced that Knott, the daughter of a police chief in suburban Bucks County, had sent antigay messages via Twitter, such as “jazz flute is for little fairy boys” and “this camo song is gay like all the other brad paisley songs.” The tweets were ruled admissible in her trial.

In addition to her jail time, Knott has been sentenced to two years of probation and a $2,000 fine, and was ordered to attend anger management classes.

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