By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com October 08 2002 12:00 AM ET
One of three men charged in the beating of a gay actor in West Hollywood last month claims the assault was not motivated by the victim's sexual orientation. In a jailhouse interview, 19-year-old Torwin Sessions said the attack, which left actor Trev Broudy critically injured, was not planned and that he didn't know Broudy is gay. "We were out joyriding, looking for girls on Sunset Strip," Sessions told the Los Angeles Times in the interview, published Saturday. "It was so crowded that we just took that other street, and I slowed down to yield for traffic. Then everything happened."
Prosecutors say they believe Sessions wielded the baseball bat used in the attack. But Sessions said he was driving a stolen car through West Hollywood on September 2, when his two companions suddenly jumped out of the vehicle with the bat. "I heard the car doors slam, then I saw the dude fall down," he said. "The two guys I was with got back in the car and just said, 'Go!' Everybody in the car was just hysterical and panicking." Sessions said he was unaware of Broudy's sexual orientation. "That's not why everything happened," he said, without elaborating. Sessions, Larry Walker, 29, and Vincent Dotson, 18, pleaded innocent to attempted robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, and conspiracy to commit robbery.
Hours after the attack on Broudy, another West Hollywood man was assaulted in a similar fashion. Then on September 22, a 55-year-old gay man was also attacked. Detectives are investigating a possible connection. A decision by prosecutors not to file hate-crime charges in the attack on Broudy prompted protests by more than 500 people in West Hollywood on Friday night.