By Neal Broverman
Originally published on Advocate.com April 12 2012 2:35 PM ET
The first LGBT-related indictment brought by the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act came down on Thursday against two Kentucky men accused of assaulting and kidnapping a gay man.
David Jason Jenkins, 37, and Anthony Ray Jenkins, 20, are charged with federal hate crimes for allegedly targeting Kevin Pennington because he's gay. Federal authorities say that in April 2011 the defendants tricked Pennington into getting into a truck where the men drove him to a state park against his will and then assaulted him. The defendants could face life in prison if convicted.
The Shepard-Byrd law was signed into law in 2009 by President Obama, and it criminalizes acts of physical violence motivated by numerous factors, including one's sexual orientation or gender identity. The law also helps provide federal resources for investigating crimes and indicting alleged criminals.