Inn Trouble

Exclusive: Stonewall Inn Victim Speaks About Bashers’ Sentencing

‘Happy’ is not the word I would use. I believe that the legal system determined a fair punishment for these young men. For their own sake, I’m pleased that they owned their crime and plead guilty to it.

All I feel is relief that this is over and nausea that two young people screwed themselves and probably caused a great deal of pain for their families. It’s a sick waste of human potential. There’s no place for happiness in this. I just hope they can manifest something good as they move forward in their lives.

There were a number of hate crimes in New York City near the same time as mine. An analysis of the legal outcome of these and other hate crimes should be reviewed before we know if the system is working for LGBT people.

As for my personal experience, the system exceeded my expectations. And by system I mean the city of New York: From the barback at Stonewall (Ben), who chased these guys through the streets, [to] the uniformed officers and the detectives of the 6th precinct who stayed with process all weekend, the ambulance and hospital professionals, the office of Councilmember Christine Quinn, the tenacious D.A’s office (notably Assistant D.A. Karin Singh) and the people I testified before during the hearing.

I’ve heard a great deal of cynicism about the police and legal system, so I didn’t know what to expect, but watching them in action and the speed in which they move while remaining professional and compassionate despite incredibly long hours was unanticipated.

To put it in more pedestrian/colloquial terms: Don’t fuck with New York.”

—Bashing victim Ben Carver to Queerty on whether he was happy about the two-year sentences received by Matt Francis and Christopher Orlando, who assaulted him in the bathroom of New York’s Stonewall Inn in October 2010.


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