Stonewall Inn Hate Crime Attacker Sentenced to Two Years in Prison

By DNAinfo Staff on September 27, 2011 8:14pm

MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — A man who admitted to attacking and robbing a patron in the bathroom of the LGBT landmark Stonewall Inn was sentenced to two years in prison Tuesday.

Matthew Francis, 22, admitted to attacking a 34-year-old man from Washington, D.C., in the Oct. 3, 2010, incident by pleading guilty to third-degree assault as a hate crime and second-degree attempted robbery earlier this month. He was promised two years as a sentence in exchange for his plea.

Victim Benjamin Carver, a writer and art director who was visiting the historic establishment on a trip to New York, wrote on Facebook that he "got gay bashed" while using the bathroom at the Christopher Street establishment, often considered the bithplace of the gay-rights movement.

"Ironic, right?" he wrote from the hospital hours after the attack.

Francis' co-defendant, Christopher Orlando, admitted to holding down Carver while Francis threw punches and shouted homophobic slurs.

Orlando pleaded guilty to third-degree assault as a hate crime and second-degree attempted robbery in exchange for a six-month jail sentence. He's expected to be sentenced on Jan. 12.

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