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A former University of Wisconsin student is seeking monetary damages from two men he says attacked him in a hate crime last year.
Brett Timmerman, who was a student at UW's Platteville campus, filed the lawsuit Thursday against Oden Waite and Enove Urias, who he says slapped and spit on him as he tried to enter a local restaurant.
"Mr. Timmerman was singled out and beaten by his attackers because he is gay," James P. Madigan, staff attorney in Lambda Legal's Chicago office, said in a statement. "He suffered physical as well as emotional injury and has shouldered significant expense in the aftermath of the attack."
Before walking into the restaurant, Timmerman says, he was called a "faggot" by Waite and Urias. The pair then proceeded to physically abuse Timmerman, he says, including striking him in the head. A police officer eventually broke up the fight, arresting Waite.
Waite said in court documents that the criminal charge against him was dropped but that he had to pay a Grant County ordinance ticket. Urias was cited for misdemeanor battery, entered a no-contest plea, and was convicted and fined, UW's Exponent newspaper reported.
Lambda Legal's argument invokes the Wisconsin hate-crime law, which allows civil suits after someone engages in conduct that would trigger a hate-crime penalty even if the person was not charged with or convicted of a crime.
"Every day that I went out in Platteville outside of the university, I was harassed--I couldn't even go to the bathroom alone out of fear of being attacked again. I was constantly looking over my shoulder," Timmerman said in a statement. "I am filing this lawsuit because I want to make sure that no one else has to go through what I went through." (The Advocate)