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Man Files Civil Suit In Gay-Bashing Case

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Man Files Civil Suit In Gay-Bashing Case

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

September 28, 2006 - 1:00 pm ET

(Madison, Wisconsin) A Wisconsin man who says he was the victim of a gay bashing is suing his alleged attackers in civil court for unspecified damages.

Brett Timmerman was involved in a fight with two other men outside a restaurant in Platteville in August, 2005. A police officer who happened to be passing by pulled the two men off Timmerman.

Both men were arrested but neither charged with assault or a hate crime court records show. Wisconsin law includes gays and lesbians under its hate crime law.

One of the men, Oden Waite was eventually found guilty of municipal disorderly conduct. The other man, Enove Urias, was found guilty of misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

At trial, both Waite and Urias accused Timmerman of starting the fight - an accusation later disproved.

Timmerman, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville at the time, says the fight was motivated by homophobia.

In his lawsuit, filed Thursday by Lambda Legal, Timmerman alleges that he and a female friend were walking into the restaurant when Waite and Urias made a gay slur.

The lawsuit says that Urias then slapped Timmerman and Waite spat on him. It then alleges that Timmerman's friend tried to intervene, but Waite pushed her aside and spit in Timmerman's face again. Waite then put Timmerman in a headlock and took him to the ground.

The lawsuit invokes the Wisconsin hate crime law which allows civil suits after someone engages in conduct that would trigger a hate crime penalty even if the person was not charged with or convicted of a crime.

"Every day that I went out in Platteville outside of the University, I was harassed - I couldn't even go to the bathroom alone out of fear of being attacked again," said Timmerman in a statement on Thursday.

"I was constantly looking over my shoulder. I am filing this lawsuit because I want to make sure that no one else has to go through what I went through."

It is believed this is the first civil suit in the state involving an alleged gay hate-crime.

©365Gay.com 2006

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