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All Nine Suspects in NYC Hate Crimes Case in Police Custody

The nine suspects accused of hate crimes against three men in New York City are currently in police custody, with the last suspect, 22-year-old Ruddy Vargas-Perez, arrested earlier this week. According to CNN, six of the suspects are being held without bail. Bail for the remaining two suspects is set at $100,000. New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said that the suspects are facing charges of unlawful imprisonment, abduction, sodomy, assault, robbery, and menacing, all as hate crimes. According to police, the violence was spurred by a Bronx gang’s discovery that one of their potential recruits is gay. Nine members of the Latin King Goonies allegedly forced the 17year old recruit into an apartment and questioned him about his relations with a 30-year-old man. Both the recruit and the 30 year old man were then allegedly beaten and tortured by all nine suspects. The gang then allegedly went to the home of the 30-year-old victim and robbed and assaulted his brother, although none of the inflicted injuries were life-threatening, authorities say. The nine suspects are also accused of beating another teenager, according to the New York Times. The New York Times reports that though police were able to find sufficient evidence linking the attackers to the crime, the victims were hesitant to provide clues, fearing retribution and the invasion of their privacy. Many officials have strongly condemned the hate crimes, expressing disappointment and disgust. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg stated, “I was sickened by the brutal nature of these crimes and saddened at the anti-gay bias that contributed to them. Hate crimes such as these strike fear into all of us,” reported CNN. The New York City hate crimes follow a rash of anti-gay bullying-related suicides and other attacks against gay individuals. In September, a student at Rutgers University committed suicide after a roommate live-streamed his sexual encounter with another man Last weekend, a man was beaten and robbed by two assailants who used anti-gay slurs at the historic Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village.

Sources:

New York Times 10/8/10; CNN 10/12/10; Human Rights Campaign 10/9/10