Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hate Crime Follow Up

Follow up to previous post on the UC attack against a gay student.

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.

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.
And also Jamie over at Stuff Queer People Need to Know, give us this heads up after she went and did some digging:

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.

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.
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.

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 queercincinnati@gmail.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:

HIS BOND IS $5000.

"Room A," btw, is a term for a holding cell before the arraignment. Gives us a little more detail.


Anonymous said...

Pretty sure Cincinnati passed a hate crimes ordinance in 2003 even before the Article XII repeal.

The Seeker said...

Well worded my friend. Thanks!

Barry Floore said...

Thanks, Anonymous! I sometimes get so confused as to what's passed and what hasn't -- and when I'm throwing blogs up quickly between everything I'm doing, I don't get a chance to check!

Confirm, someone: Cincinnati has a sexual orientation and/or gender identity/expression hate crimes law?

The Seeker said...

thanks for the update

Anonymous said...

Cincinnati's City Council expanded the city's hate-crimes law Wednesday to include crimes based on gender, age, physical or mental disability and sexual orientation.

The law already covered race, color, religion and national origin.

"It is an issue of tolerance ... and, ultimately, it's about being proud of our city," said Councilman John Cranley, who introduced the amendment. "It is standing up for the dignity of all life."

The amendment was approved 7-2. There was no public comment - that came Tuesday during an emotional, three-hour meeting of council's Law and Public Safety Committee.

From wlwt.com, 2003, copyright by Channel Cincinnati

Sr. Lustee Raw'ket said...

And they got out on bail for $500 (plus $45 processing fee). What a gip. Show's the lack of seriousness due to the "jail overcrowding". pft.

Jere Keys said...

The city ordinance regarding bias crime in Cincinnati is here. Unfortunately, the crimes listed here are classified as first degree misdemeanors and it seems the state is charging these men with felony assault - which does not (near as I can tell) include a bias crime component under Ohio law.

Anonymous said...


Donald said...

Not to be too picky....but "Room A" actually isn't a holding cell. It actually refers to Courtroom A in the Hamilton County Justice Center, where people make their initial appearances. And the two haven't technically been "arraigned" yet...that won't happen until the grand jury is through and decides whether to indict and, if so, at what level.

Tony Cody said...

From facebook

hey I saw your update about that the other day. I just got an email from U.C. documenting the situation.

Here's the Update...

To: UC Community

From: Karen Patterson
UC Police Department

Cincinnati Police have reported two felonious assaults that occurred on March 6, 2009 at 4:20am in the 2500 block of Clifton Avenue.

The victims were walking home when one of the victims stopped to talk to the suspects, who were friends from high school. Upon hearing that the other victim was a homosexual, the suspects became aggressive and attacked both individuals.

The victims were able to provide the police with the names of several of the suspects in the case. All three suspects were white males with two being described as 18 to 20 years old, 5'10", between 150 and 160 lbs, with brown hair and green eyes.

Karen K. Patterson MEd
University of Cincinnati Police Department
51 West Corry ML# 0215
Cincinnati, OH 45221
Office phone: (513)-556-4906
Email address: karen.patterson@uc.edu
Reply to all

Anonymous said...

More updates.

Anonymous said...

There is a rally on UC's campus tomorrow (3/19), beginning at 530pm, starting over by the Collge of Law!

Barry Floore said...

Thanks, Jo!!!!

I posted that this evening here: http://cincywestsidequeer.blogspot.com/2009/03/hate-crime-update-and-protest.html

But keep us on our toes -- we're not always the best at getting information out... just usually the best :-).

Anonymous said...

Tell Ethan..one of the suspects...what you think about his gay-bashing bullshit!


Anonymous said...

I'm actually friends with the "victim," and I know for a fact this is being prosecuted as a hate crime and not assault. This makes it a much more serious crime than plain old assault apparently, since the guys face a serious amount of jail time if convicted.

Anonymous said...

fuck all this bullshit i'm friends with ethan kirkwood it's all a bunch of bullshit lies!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last poster. There's only one side of the story here, not that I'm condoning any sort of violence... I'm wondering what Ethan Kirkwood and the other kid has to say. Were the "victims" trying to hit on/pick up Ethan Kirkwood and his friend? After seeing a photo of Ethan Kirkwood, that could be a possibility. If that was the case, the "victims" had no business in doing this and should have known better. Like I said, let's be fair and get both sides of the story out in the open.

Anonymous said...

i hate faggots