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WASHINGTON – A Virginia man has been found guilty of a hate crime in the assault of a group of lesbians in downtown Washington in September 2009.
Christopher McDonald, 27, confronted the lesbians with homophobic slurs while they ate pizza on a sidewalk and threatened them with knife.
McDonald was charged on two criminal counts, and received the 1 1/2 times enhanced penalty for committing a bias-motivated crime in the District of Columbia.
"We commend the U.S. Attorney's Office, as well as the Metropolitan Police Department, for their commitment to securing justice for the victims, and for making it clear that expressions of bigotry and hatred will not be tolerated in the District of Columbia," said Sophie Dornstreich, assistant regional director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
"Perpetrators of hate crimes send a message to their victims - and everyone else who shares the victim's characteristics - that minorities are not welcome or safe. Every time the perpetrator of a hate crime is brought to justice, the opposite message is sent loud and clear; that all people, of any nationality, race, sexual orientation, gender, religion, or ethnicity, are welcome, safe, protected, and included in this city."
Hate crime statutes have been adopted by 45 states. Many of those laws are based on a model statute crafted by ADL, which has long been in the forefront of national and state efforts to deter and counteract hate-motivated criminal activity.
About the ADL
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.