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Michigan man beats up gay man, pleads guilty to hate crime

Everett Dwayne Avery, 36, of Detroit, Mich., pleaded guilty in federal court today to a federal hate crime, admitting that he assaulted a victim because he believed the victim was gay, the Justice Department, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara McQuade and Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Robert D. Foley, III announced today.

During the time of the plea, Avery admitted that on March 7, 2011, he struck the victim in the face while they were customers at a convenience store in Detroit because he believed that the victim was gay.  The victim suffered a fractured eye socket and other facial injuries as a result.

“Hate-fueled incidents have no place in a civilized society,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.   “The Justice Department is committed to using all the tools in our law enforcement arsenal, including the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, to prosecute acts of violence motivated by hate.

Avery faces a maximum of 10 years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 28, 2012, before Judge John Corbett O’Meara

“A hate crime is different than a simple assault because it is an attack on not just one individual victim, but an attack on everyone who shares a particular characteristic,” said U.S. Attorney McQuade.   “By passing this statute, Congress made it clear that an attack based on a victim’s sexual orientation will not be tolerated in America.”

“The FBI is committed to protecting the community from those who are motivated by hate to victimize anyone as the result of their sexual orientation,”   said Special Agent in Charge Foley.

This case was investigated by the Detroit Division of the FBI and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Pam Thompson and Trial Attorney Sanjay Patel of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

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