Thanks to Donald over at Cincinnati Blog for the heads up on this one:
From the filings with the Clerk of Courts, it looks like there's two defendants, Ethan Kirkwood, 19, and Matthew Kafagolis, 20. Also looks like there's two alleged victims--let's call them V1 and V2.And also Jamie over at Stuff Queer People Need to Know, give us this heads up after she went and did some digging:
V1 says that Kirkwood and Kafagolis "cause[d] or attempt[ed] to cause serious physical harm" to V1 "by kicking and punching him and using slurs against homosexuals." Further, "Victim states that above began assaulting him when it was discovered he was a homosexual by knocking him to the ground and punching and kicking him while calling him a faggot and gay." V2 says that the two defendants assaulted him when he attempted to defend his friend "who was being assaulted for being a homosexual."
Both defendants are charged with felonious assault. That's a second-degree felony; each count carries 2 to 8 years in prison. Both are released on bond (5000 straight for Kirkwood, 10000 at 10% for the other). It looks like neither was arrested at the time of the incident, but were arrested separately a few days later (and not on the same day as each other).
The grand jury report date (the date by which the prosecutor should present the case to a grand jury) is March 20 for Ethan.
Amid a swell of rumors here in Cincinnati, there has been word of an alleged hate crime against a young gay man that took place on or near the University of Cincinnati’s campus sometime in the March. Queer Cincinnati reported that in an e-mail promoting the Human Rights Campaign, it was stated that Channel 5 News reported that the alleged assailant’s name is Ethan Kirkwood. Nothing about this story could be found on Channel 5’s Web site. Upon searching the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts records for that name, two charges of felonious assault were filed on March 8, against Kirkwood, a 19-year-old white male. Kirkwood was charged in 2008 with DC - Intoxication, which was dismissed, and underage person liquor offense, which was paid out.In brief: the two stories tell us the same story, essentially. There were two alleged attacked -- this Kirkwood and this Kafagolis, we believe. Again, this is all alleged. Let me stress that again: all alleged. The arraignments have all ready happened for both of them, and Kirkwood will hear from the Grand Jury tomorrow (3/20) and Kafagolis on the 23rd. I have Sister Cody, aka the Seeker, on the case to find the victims and make sure they are OK.
Upon searching for Kirkwood, another entry popped up on the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Web site for Matthew Kafagolis, a 20-year-old white male, that had no mention of Kirkwood. (In the search, Kirkwood’s name comes up next to Kafagolis’ case number, but upon clicking on it, Kirkwood is not mentioned in the case itself.) Kafagolis was also charged with two counts of felonious assault on March 8. Kirkwood’s and Kafagolis’ case numbers are /09/CRA/7109 and /09/CRA/7111 respectively, which leads me to believe they were filed one right after the other. It is not clear if these two individuals knew each other or if their charges are related to each other. It is also unclear if these charges are related to the alleged hate crime incident.
A snoop inside of one of the news offices gave us this heads up on why it has not been covered: neither have been charged with a hate crime, and, therefore, reporting it as such would be illegal. I'm pretty sure there's no hate crime statute for LGBT folks in this city/state, but I could be very wrong, but the point is that there would be no statute to charge them under. Hence, it's "just another assault." I'll see about putting a little bit of pressure on the news stations tomorrow morning to cover the grand jury report.
As for the news report, I think I can get my hands on the actual report itself that was mentioned in the email, but I'll update you later. There are legal issues, there.
UPDATE: Heard from Sister Cody, aka "The Seeker," who attends UC. He is (indirectly) in contact with one of the victims, who does not want his name published (or, rather, is not letting the word out about who he is). However, he is doing fine. If it's OK with everyone, I sent along the community's love.
Any other information you may have, or if you spot it somewhere, please email me at email@example.com . THX!
UPDATE, TAKE 2: This is the information given to one of the local news desks about the arraignment that day. It gives little new information, but interesting none the less:
"Room A," btw, is a term for a holding cell before the arraignment. Gives us a little more detail.
ETHAN KIRKWOOD, 19, OU STUDENT, WAS IN ROOM A.
KIRKWOOD IS OF CINCINNATI. HE IS CHARGED WITH 2 CTS OF FEL ASSAULT.
ON OR ABOUT 3/6/09, ON CLIFTON AVE, KIRKWOOD ATTACKED A MAN FOR BEING A HOMOSEXUAL. KIRKWOOD THEN PUNCHED AND KICKED A FRIEND OF THE VICTIM WHO TRYING TO DEFEND HIM.
HIS BOND IS $5000.