Last summer, well-known performer and drag queen Kevin Aviance was beaten and kicked in the middle of 14th Street and First Avenue by four youths yelling homophobic slurs. Aviance, who had been wearing black sleeveless hoodie, black shorts and boots, suffered a broken jaw and other injuries; Mayor Bloomberg called the attack a disgrace.
The four youths were charged with assault as a hate crime and yesterday, they all pleaded guilty. Hate crime convictions can bring sentences of up to 25 years in prison, so perhaps that's why they pleaded guilty. Seventeen-year-old Gerard Johnson faces 15 years in prison for first-degree assault as a hate crime; 21-year-old Akino George and 21-year-old Jarell Sears face 8 years in prison for first-degree gang assault; and 19-year-old Gregory Archie faces 6 years in prison for second-degree assault as a hate crime (they all face post-release supervision). They will be sentenced in April and May.