A man was beaten and held hostage for four days because of his sexuality, a court has heard.
The alleged victim, who is 50, was held against his will in a Massachusetts flat, prosecutor Dylan Krasinski said on July 2.
Police have charged Jackson Sugrue, 19, with a hate crime in connection to the alleged assault, which has echoes of Zak Ostmane, a 35-year-old French LGBT activist who was drugged, raped, beaten and held hostage for two days before risking his life to get free last year.
Meghan Kelly, a spokeswoman for the Middlesex District Attorney’s office, said Sugrue also stood accused of intimidating a witness and using anti-gay slurs, according to The Boston Globe.
The alleged victim told police that he was using drugs with Sugrue on the Wednesday, but when he tried to leave, the teenager refused to let him go, the Associated Press has reported.
Sugrue then struck the victim multiple times and refused to give him food or water, the alleged victim added.
He told police that he managed to escape the flat on the Saturday night.
The 19-year-old has had his bail set at $1,000, ordered to stay away from the alleged victim and also told to avoid the Philadelphia Baptist Church in Framingham.
Authorities have not clarified how the church is involved.
Sugrue’s attorney rejected the alleged victim’s assertions in the arraignment hearing yesterday, saying that his client was actually the victim.
He added that the 50-year-old man was trying to take advantage of Sugrue.
The alleged assault comes after a string of horrendous atrocities over the past year in the US, with anti-LGBT prejudice being cited as a motivating factor in some of the cases.
In June, 10-year-old Anthony Avalos died of abuse just weeks after coming out as bisexual.
Avalos, who suffered head injuries and had cigarette burns all over his corpse, told the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Families before his death that he had been beaten, locked up and left unfed.
Also in California, in February, Pearl Sinthia Fernandez pleaded guilty to the murder of her eight-year-old son Gabriel, who she tortured to death because her boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre, thought Gabriel was gay.
And in March, it was found that a man had ordered his girlfriend to rape his 11-year-old autistic son because he thought the child was gay.
When Sean Cole, 29, discovered that his eleven-year-old son “compromising position” with another boy, he told his 20-year-old girlfriend Khadeijah Moore to perform sex acts on his son when he visited his home on Thanksgiving.