Men Who Beat Philadelphia Gay Couple Unconscious Plead Guilty To Avoid Jail Time

A third suspect, a police chief’s daughter, has decided to take her chances at trial.

Two of three suspects arrested in connection with the horrific gay bashing that rocked Philadelphia last September 11 pleaded guilty to assault and conspiracy charges in court Thursday.

Kevin Harrigan , 26 (above right), and Philip Williams, 25 (above left), both accepted plea deals and will dodge jail time in exchange for three and five years probation respectively, as well as 200 hours of community service at a local LGBTQ community center.

In addition, both Harrigan and Williams are banned from City Center, the Philadelphia neighborhood where the attack occurred, during probation. Both will also pay restitution to the victims.

Related: Victim Of Violent Dallas BBQ Gay Bashing Speaks Out: “We Haven’t Been Able To Sleep”

The third suspect, 25-year-old Kathryn Knott, rejected a plea deal prosecutors said was “similar” to the others and has decided to take her chances at trial. Her attorney maintains that she was not an aggressor in the attack that left one of the victims hospitalized.

All three suspects were apprehended last September after Internet sleuths identified the aggressors from police-released surveillance footage by using Facebook. Details of the attack, partially captured on that footage, outraged Philadelphia residents in the days after.

According to police, Zachary Hesse and his boyfriend, Andrew Haught, were attacked after the suspects hurled homophobic slurs at them while passing on the sidewalk. Prosecuting attorney Mike Barry said Harrigan prompted a physical altercation by calling Hesse a “fucking faggot.” Hesse was beaten by the men with his arms pinned at his side and Haught, left with facial fractures, had his jaw wired shut for two months.

The trial by media was swift and directed mostly at Knott, who turned out to be a spoiled police chief’s daughter who used social media to post selfies of her drinking from liquor bottles, as well as racial and homophobic remarks.

kathryn-knott-tweet

In court Thursday, Harrigan and Williams offered apologies to their victims, claiming the attack was not rooted in hate.

Philadelphia Gay News reports:

“I’m very sorry for my actions that night. I apologize to the victims,” Williams said, noting he only got involved when he perceived Knott to be threatened. “My conduct had nothing to do with their sexual orientation. That is not how I live my life or the person I am.”

“I want to reiterate what Phil said,” Harrigan began. “None of us wanted this to happen. It is what it is, and I’m sorry for the whole situation.”

Speaking with the paper, Barry said that if the cases had gone to trial, Harrigan’s felony aggravated assault charge could have landed him 10 years in prison, and Williams’ misdemeanor assault charge could have gotten him two years.

Barry added that details of where the men will serve community service are still being worked out. Knott is expected back in court on October 30 to set a trial date.

Matthew Tharrett is a writer, filmmaker, and above all else, a Britney fan. He once shared a milkshake with Selena Gomez.
@mattharrett