A Portland, Oregon man received a 21-day jail sentence after he threatened to kill a gay man at an HIV community center. He also previously threatened to bomb the center.
The Oregonian reported Scott Wayne Smith, 47, was convicted of second-degree intimidation. This is classified as a hate crime under Oregon law.
As the trial was set to begin, Smith pleaded no contest to the charge of threatening to kill a gay man.
The judge sentenced Smith to 21 days in jail, which included credit for time he already served. He also received two years of probation and a list of conditions. The conditions include staying away from the victim and center, as well as writing an apology letter.
The center is an apartment complex that’s part of a treatment community for people living with HIV and AIDS.
On 13 August, Smith approached two men sitting outside the complex. He asked them for a cigarette and they didn’t respond, he began ‘using homophobic language and threatened to kill the men’, according to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors said Smith is a neighbor of the complex and has previously threatened to bomb it as well.
One of the prosecutors, Deputy District Attorney Melissa Marrero, commented on the case: ‘Everyone deserves the right to feel safe in our community. Scott Smith took that right, and the sense of security, away from the victim as well as the other residents living at this particular apartment complex.’
She continued, commenting on the ruling: ‘We believe this is an appropriate resolution that holds Mr. Smith accountable for specifically targeting the victim based on his sexual orientation, which is a protected class in Oregon.’
More than half of US states are ‘high priority’ for lacking LGBTI equality
Is a neo-Nazi group behind the rise of anti-LGBTI attacks in Portland?
Man pleads guilty after attacking gay man then bragging about it online