Feds sentence Atlanta men in gay hate crime

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Two men who beat a gay Atlanta man while yelling gay slurs and recording the attack were sentenced on Wednesday, just weeks after they became the first people in Georgia convicted under a federal hate crime law.

Christopher Cain and Dorian Moragne — two of the four men who beat Brandon White during an attack in southwest Atlanta on Feb. 4, 2012 — were sentenced on Wednesday to 10 months in prison and three years supervised release. U.S. District Judge J. Owen Forrester also gave them 16 months credit for time served in state custody, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

In April, Cain and Moragne pleaded guilty to the federal hate crime charge. Under the plea agreement announced at the time, the men will serve their federal sentence at the same time of their state sentence. In July 2012, the two men were sentenced to 10 years in prison, with five years to serve, during a trial in Fulton County Superior Court.

In the federal case, Cain and Moragne admitted to violating the Matthew Shepard & James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which was expanded in 2009 to include crimes motivated by sexual orientation and gender identity. U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said the hate crimes convictions based on sexual orientation are a first in Georgia. The state’s hate crimes law was scrapped by the Georgia Supreme Court in 2004.

Cain and Moragne were among four men accused of attacking White in a crime that gained national attention after it was recorded and posted online. The men beat White and called him “faggot” during the incident outside a grocery store in southwest Atlanta.

In July 2012, Dareal Demare Williams was also sentenced to 10 years to serve five for his role in the attack. Javaris Bradford was also indicted in the state case but has eluded police capture.

Photos of (l-r) Cain, Moragne, Williams via Fulton County Jail


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