In May 2018, a gay couple was stabbed multiple times for holding hands in public. Authorities arrested Dylan Payne for stabbing the couple as they walked down the street holding hands after leaving a nightclub. Payne allegedly yelled homophobic slurs at them before stabbing them in the neck and hands. He faces charges of first-degree assault and it is being investigated as a hate crime in Colorado.
This most recent crime is just one of many hate crimes in the state this year. Colorado law CRS § 18-9-121 addresses hate crimes. According to this law, a hate crime is committed when a person knowingly causes bodily injury, damage to property, harasses, intimidates, or threatens another person because of biases against that person or group of people. Hate crimes can be committed against people based on their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or gender. When a person is motivated to commit a crime based on biases against others, then they may be charged with committing a hate crime.
In 2017, it was reported that hate crime rose significantly in Aurora. FBI statistics showed that there were 18 hate crimes in 2016 alone – up 200%. In Boulder County, hate crimes also increased in 2016. Some of the crimes reported involved graffiti and vandalism, while others involved racial slurs and assaults. This was in line with the rest of the country that year when 6,100 hate crimes were committed. More than half of the racially biased hate crimes were committed against black people. In addition, Jews were targeted in more than half of all religious hate crimes.
The reason for the increase in hate crimes was driven by crimes against people because of their race or ethnicity. 15 of the 18 crimes that year were perpetuated against people because of their race, while just 3 involved crimes against victims because of their sexual orientation. Some believe that hate crimes themselves may not be on the rise but that perhaps, more people are feeling encouraged to report them. Hate crimes, like sexual assaults, often occur more than they are reported.
Law enforcement is cracking down severely on incidents of hate crime, especially due to the rise in nationalist white supremacy in the country the last several years. If you or someone you love is arrested and charged with a hate crime, it is important to understand the severity of this crime and the consequences you face. Without legal representation, you could find yourself convicted of a felony crime and facing years in prison.
Contact Our Boulder Criminal Defense Lawyers
When you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime in Boulder, you need an experienced Boulder criminal defense lawyer that can fight for you and your future. Your lawyer can build a solid defense against these serious charges, and if you are a first time offender, may even be able to keep you out of jail. Contact the Boulder criminal defense lawyers at Steven Louth Law Offices today for a free consultation and review of your case. Call us at (303) 422-2297 immediately!