Three high school girls in Kentucky have been charged with kidnapping and attempting to murder an openly lesbian classmate by pushing her off of a cliff. The attack took place on the Day Of Silence, which some students at the school observed as the anti-gay Day Of Truth, as instructed by Christian hate groups.
Cheyenne Williams, 18, of McKee, signed a sworn criminal complaint Monday, saying she was abducted on Friday by Corinne M. Schwab, 18, of Sandgap; Ashley N. Sams, 18, of Annville; and a 17-year-old girl who was not identified because she is a juvenile. Williams told police she was attacked as a result of her sexual orientation, state police Detective Joie Peters said. The criminal complaint says the girls unlawfully restrained and tried to cause Williams’ death. The intent was to “accomplish or advance the commission of a felony and to inflict bodily injury or to terrorize” Williams. The complaint, which was signed by George Hays, the Jackson County attorney, does not provide any other details. Hays declined to comment. State police issued a news release Tuesday that says Williams was “taken against her will to the Flat Lick Falls area” where she was assaulted and that the other three girls “attempted to push her over a cliff, which could have resulted in serious physical injury or death.” Williams was able to escape and get to safety, the report says.
Police say they don’t yet have proof that that attack was motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation.
State police Detective Joie Peters, who is investigating, said it appears the incident began as a practical joke but got out of hand, escalating to the point that Williams sustained minor injuries. Peters said he was not minimizing the incident but has not uncovered evidence it constituted a hate crime. Peters said he would present evidence to a grand jury for a decision on what charge correctly fits the facts of the case. The grand jury could indict the girls on the same charges, a lesser charge such as assault or decline to indict them.
The victim’s mother says that the attack was spurred by student dissent to the national Day Of Silence. Christian groups across the country had encouraged students to actively oppose the Day Of Silence in their schools.
Johnson said she has no clue why the other girls would try to hurt her daughter. As for the timing, however, she noted that the alleged attack happened Friday, the day of a national observance for people who have faced bullying or harassment because of their sexual orientation. The attack stemmed from that, Johnson said. Crawford said he understood some students were wearing tags or stickers in support of the observance, while others were wearing stickers in opposition that said something like “Gay is not the way.” Superintendent Ralph Hoskins directed that students in both groups not to display the stickers because he didn’t want the situation to escalate, Crawford said.
And here we appear to have proof of exactly what the anti-gay Christian groups enabled and encouraged with their campaign against the Day Of Silence. Congratulations, PFOX, Laurie Higgins, Linda Harvey, Concerned Women For America, Exodus International, Peter LaBarbera, and all the rest.