Federal inmate at Seagoville pleads guilty to anti-gay hate crime

Posted on 08 Nov 2012 at 6:02pm

An inmate at the federal prison in Seagoville  pleaded guilty Thursday to an anti-gay hate crime for assaulting a fellow inmate he believed to be gay, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

John D. Hall, 27, assaulted the victim with a dangerous weapon on Dec. 20, 2011. He admitted to attacking the victim because of his perceived sexual orientation — repeatedly punching and kicking him while calling him gay slurs.

The unidentified victim suffered multiple cuts to his face and chipped and fractured teeth as a result of Hall’s unprovoked attack. Hall, who pleaded guilty under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, passed by Congress in 2009, faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for the assault. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website, Hall had been scheduled for release on Aug. 19, 2013.

“The justice department continues to investigate and prosecute acts of violence targeting individuals because of their sexual orientation; this case is just another example of the department’s commitment to the pursuit of justice on behalf of all people regardless of their sexual preference or orientation,” said Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division. “The department will continue to vigorously enforce the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and all the laws under our jurisdiction, to protect the rights of all individuals.”

This case was investigated by the FBI Dallas Division and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Errin Martin and trial attorney Adriana Vieco of the Civil Rights Division.

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