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Gay-Bash Victim Told To Take Lie Detector Test

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Gay-Bash Victim Told To Take Lie Detector Test

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

April 28, 2006 - 12:01 am ET

(Grand Rapids Michigan) Michigan gay rights activists are questioning why a college student who filed a police complaint that he was gay-bashed on campus was told he would have to take a polygraph test before an investigation was begun.

Jason Burns, a senior at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, says that he was attacked as he left the library of the Christian college.

Burns said that one of the attackers yelled to the other, "Hey look! There's the faggot that speaks in classes."

He said that he was grabbed and punched as the pair hurled homophobic slurs at him. Burns said he was able to break free and run for his car.

"Yeah. Go ahead and run fag...we'll get you anyways," Burns told WOOD television.

Burns, who frequently speaks out about homophobia and hate crimes on campus, said he reported the incident to college officials who suggested he go to police.

But when he filed a report with the Holland Police Department he was told he would have to take a polygraph.

He said that he initially agreed, but was later advised by a lawyer not to. Police finally agreed to investigate anyway.

"It suggests they (police) don't believe the persons story," says attorney Chris Yates told WOOD.

"If you analogize this to rape, for example; if you confront individuals on the front end of investigations, people may not come forward with such allegations," Yates told the station.

In a statement Holland Police said it is not a common procedure to ask a victim for a polygraph. "We are working on this case assuming the allegations made in this case are true," the statement said.

The attack led to a demonstration on the school's campus this week. About 100 students protested what they call a "homophobic atmosphere" at the school.

The students presented a petition to the administration calling for official recognition of two off LGBT student groups.

©365Gay.com 2006

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