Originally published on Advocate.com September 30 2003 12:00 AM ET
Three South Los Angeles men whose baseball-bat attack left a gay man in a coma were given state prison sentences Friday ranging from seven to 21 years. The victim, Trev Broudy, 34, appeared in superior court and wept as he described how he was attacked on September 1, 2002, after embracing a male friend outside his home in West Hollywood. The actor and model was in a coma after the attack and spent 10 weeks in the hospital. He told the court that he was left with memory loss and vision so poor that he cannot read or drive. "What you did to me I will have for the rest of my life," he said. "I amazingly didn't die. I will survive, and I refuse to be a victim in spite of what you did to me."
The men pleaded guilty last month to mayhem and conspiracy to commit robbery. Torwin Sessions, 20, said he felt sorry about Broudy's injuries. He received the longest sentence at 21 years. "I have no evil in my soul. I have no evil in my heart," he said. "I didn't inflict that injury to you, and I never would have." Sessions said he has gay family members. Larry Walker, 30, was given a 13-year term. Vincent Dotson, 19, who also had pleaded guilty to car theft, was sentenced to seven years.
Broudy believes he was targeted because of his sexual orientation. Prosecutors, however, declined to file hate-crimes charges after concluding that the motive was robbery. They contended that Sessions struck Broudy in the back of the head with the bat and that Walker patted him down for money or valuables. In court, Broudy said the men never asked for his money and didn't take any. He also noted the ferocity of the attack. "You do that because you're full of hatred," Broudy said. Prosecutors said the men will have to serve 85% of their terms before they are eligible for a parole hearing because mayhem is a violent felony.