SANDY, Utah (ABC4) – A judge sentenced a teen boy charged with a hate crime for assaulting and yelling slurs at a gay teen in Sandy Wednesday.
The judge said after seeing the teen’s psychological and home detention report, he believed the teen is starting to feel remorse for his actions. The judge ruled the teen is no longer required to be on home detention but is still on probation.
The victim, Christian Peacock, said he’s still suffering from effects of the assault.
Protestors gathered outside the courthouse in support of Peacock, a gay teen who said he was punched in the face for hugging his boyfriend back in August.
“I got a concussion, and I lost my memory of everything that happened and for a few days afterwards. I couldn’t remember like who my boyfriend was or who people were and I’m still struggling with my memory so that’s the worst part of it,” Christian said.
In sentencing, the judge required the teen to continue taking an empathy course, do community service for the LGBTQ+ community, pay restitution for material loss and not possess a weapon.
“Frankly, the reason that your orders aren’t different, aren’t more restrictive, are number one — that you’ve already spent a good amount of time in detention, and number two — every evaluation that you’ve been administered indicates that you’re low risk,” Judge Steven K. Beck said.
But Christian and his family still feel anxious.
Christian’s mom said the teen charged is part of the “Kingston polygamy family,” and accuses them of stalking. “They’ve also been intimidating us, they’ve been driving past our house, speeding past our house,” Christian’s mother Stefanie Peacock said.
Christian said he and his boyfriend haven’t gone out on a public date since and doesn’t feel comfortable showing affection to his boyfriend in public.
“I get anxiety every time we hang out or hold hands together,” Christian said.
However, they said their persistence sends a message to other LGBTQ+ youth.
“It’s the first youth to be charged with a hate crime in Utah, and so it’s very important that we stand up and stand our ground because it’s for all the children that are coming up that are being bullied, that are being hit,” Stefanie said.