Scroll To Top

Civil Suit Filed in Philadelphia Gay-Bashing

Williams Knott Harrigan

The gay couple assaulted by a mob in 2014 filed suit seeking $500,000 in damages from the three attackers who had faced criminal charges.

The gay couple assaulted by a crowd in Philadelphia in 2014 filed a civil lawsuit this week against three of their attackers.

Andrew Haught and Zachary Hesse filed the suit Tuesday in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court against the three people who had faced criminal charges in the attack: Kathryn Knott, Philip Williams, and Kevin Harrigan, the Philly Voice reports.

The suit alleges that the three intentionally inflicted injury on Haught and Hesse or threatened to do so. It seeks $500,000 in damages.

The men were walking in Philadelphia's heavily gay Center City neighborhood on the evening of September 11, 2014, when they were confronted by a crowd of as many as 15 people. One member of the crowd, identified as Harrigan, used an antigay slur toward Haught. Members of the group then physically assaulted Haught and Hesse, leaving Haught with facial fractures that required hospital treatment, and Hesse with cuts and bruises. Haught had his jaw wired shut for eight weeks.

The suit is not simply about obtaining compensation for medical costs, but "is more about the pain and the suffering and the permanent injuries done to Andrew [Haught], including the scarring of his face," the couple's attorney, Andrew Youman, told Philadelphia daily The Inquirer.

Of the three who faced criminal charges in the case, Knott was the only one who took her case to trial. Last December she was found guilty of simple assault, reckless endangerment, and conspiracy to commit simple assault, and in February she was sentenced to five to 10 months in prison. Williams pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and Harrigan to simple assault, and both received probation.

Pennsylvania's hate-crimes law does not cover crimes motivated by the victim's actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. After the attack on Haught and Hesse, though, the Philadelphia City Council adopted an ordinance that imposes elevated punishments for violent attacks based on gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability status.

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories