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Three Gay-Bashing Suspects Released on Bail Less Than 24 Hours After Arrest

Three Gay-Bashing Suspects Released on Bail Less Than 24 Hours After Arrest

The three suspects arrested in the Philadelphia gay bashing that left two men hospitalized have been released on bail after spending less than 24 hours in jail.

Phillip Williams, 24, and Kevin Harrigan, 26, were each released on $75,000 bail. Kathryn Knott, 24, was released on $50,000 bail. All three, who were part of a larger group of as many as 15 people, have been charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment, and criminal conspiracy in connection with the attack on a gay couple in Philly's Center City neighborhood earlier this month.

Knott, the daughter of nearby Chalfont Borough police chief Karl Knott, has also been suspended from her job at Lansdale Hospital, where she worked as an emergency room technician, according to the Bucks County Courier Times. Abington Health, the hospital's parent company, is also investigating Knott for photos of patient X-rays she posted to her Twitter account.

“Abington Health takes patient privacy and confidentiality very seriously and is fully investigating this matter,” company officials said in a statement.

In addition, Fran McGlinn has not been formally listed as a suspect in the assault, with police instead calling him a person of interest, but the Roman Catholic Archidiocese of Philadelphia nonetheless released McGlinn from his position as assistant coach at Archbishop Wood High School this month.

In light of the attack, the Philadelphia LGBT activists are calling for changes to Pennsylvania's hate-crime statute, which does not cover attacks motivated by the victim's sexual orientation or gender identity. A petition on Change.org aimed state lawmakers and created by Caryn Kunkle says the absence of such provisions is a “gross failure to protect and serve people like my friend who were savagely attacked primarily for their sexual orientation.”

“My friends are traumatized but not defeated,” writes Kunkle. “They never want this to happen to anyone again. And I won’t standby so I am demanding that the Pennsylvania state legislators act now to pass a law for a hate crime to include sexual orientation in its definition.”

Out state representative Brian Sims has stood behind the couple to support  inclusion of sexual orientation in the hate-crime law. Sims will host a rally today in Philadelphia's Love Park, with multiple speakers expected to appear. Sims will also host a public hearing of the House Democratic Policy Committee October 2 at the Kimmel Center in Philly to discuss LGBT hate-crime issues, according to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

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