A Utah teen attacked in August for being gay got justice in court Wednesday as a judge sentenced his assailant.
Seventeen-year-old Christian Peacock and his parents were joined outside the courthouse in the town of Sandy by an overwhelming show of support in a sea of Pride flags, local Fox affiliate KSTU reports.
“It has always been a very safe neighborhood,” Kyle Peacock, Christian’s dad, told the station. “Then to have something like this happen at your home, where you’re supposed to feel safe, it just, it really riled a lot of different emotions that you didn’t know you had inside of you.”
During Wednesday’s hearing, the judge reviewed recommendations from the state and probation office to determine what to do next. He decided the teen attacker posed a low risk to the public.
“I appreciate the good report from home detention, it’s an excellent report,” the judge said, according to KSTU. “So I am going to follow the recommendation from probation and terminate you from home detention and electronic monitoring. You’re still going to be on probation.”
The judge said that the perpetrator was also ordered to volunteer with LGBTQ+ groups, take a class on empathy, write an apology letter to Christian, and pay for the damages to educate him and make him a more considerate person.
In early August, Peacock and his boyfriend were embracing outside the teen’s home when a group of teenagers pulled up in a car and began berating the couple.
One in the group yelled out of the window, “F**k you, faggots,” Peacock told The Salt Lake Tribune. The car then sped away.
Sandy police report that the vehicle returned 45 minutes later, and two occupants advanced on Peacock’s boyfriend and him. One of the teenage aggressors tore off his shirt and tried to bait the couple into an argument before punching Peacock in the face, knocking him to the ground and causing him to suffer a concussion.
Peacock’s 19-year-old sister subsequently identified and confronted the attacker and engaged him in a ruse that resulted in his arrest. A second teen was subsequently arrested as well.
“I think it’s really important that we all keep standing up and saying this is not okay,” Stefanie Peacock told KSTU. “That we are people and everyone should be loved and accepted.”
Per the judge’s order, the probation office will file a report on the teen’s progress with the judge on December 30, and the court will assess the rest of the sentence after that.