Alleged attack debated to be a hate crime

November 4, 2007

(Megan) Williams (second from right) was found by police at a home in Logan County in early September. She says she was held against her will, sexually assaulted, stabbed and even threatened with death. All six people charged in connection with the incident are white and face charges of kidnapping and sexual assault. (link)

But the six alleged attackers aren’t being charged for hate crime, despite the pleas of the 400 who marched to Charleston, W.Va. on Saturday. Williams’ lawyer, Brian Williams, said it’d be difficult to prove this to be a hate crime because she had a “social relationship” with one of the attackers before the alleged incident.

 

“Hate crimes are out of control in America,” Malik Shabazz, pictured above, a legal adviser to Williams and her family and a founder of Black Lawyers for Justice, told the group at a rally before the march. “Nooses are being hung and our women are being raped by white mobs. What happened to Megan Williams was a hate crime and we want this prosecuted as a hate crime.” (link)

A hate crime carries an additional sentence of ten years. Although if convicted for kidnapping, the alleged attackers could face a life sentence.

Zayid Muhammad, the national minister of culture for the New Black Panther Party, came to the rally from Newark, N.J.

“As a father of a daughter and a child of African ancestry, the idea that I can sit by idly, (in) the face of one of the most violent and obscene acts committed against a black woman in my life, was too appalling,” Muhammad said. “I had to come.”

A one on one interview with Megan Williams describing the assault in detail is available here.

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